Paired Coaching Lessons
Other than when doing detailed technical work prefer to coach players in pairs, rather than one on one.
· A match played between two equal students is real. Due to a coach's superior skill level, and the less competitive nature of the game, the rallies played between a coach and a student do not have the same feel as if the game were played between two students of a close standard. For instance interference hardly every occurs in a game between a coach and a student, when in reality this is a very common occurrence of the game between players of every level. Pairing students together allows me to tackle problems that happen in the context of an actual game played at the appropriate level. I do not believe a coach can create the exact tempo and structure of a real match for their own students when playing against them.
· By pairing students together I get to tackle some of the mental issues that arise, such as losing temper, giving up, and choking. The pressures that cause these negative behavior traits hardly ever happen when a coach plays with the student - they only come up when students play against each other.
Having three people on the court allows so many more great practices that cannot be done with
two people. Of course all the two person
practices can still be done too, with either me dropping out or with the students taking turns to rest.
When putting students together for two person practices it allows me to watch in more detail (because I do not have to pay any attention to my own hitting of the ball), giving me a better chance of identify the true cause of a technical or tactical error. Because of this I can get to the route of a problem far quicker. Once the problem has been identified it also allows me to jump in with one of the pupils while the other one watches - to demonstrate what I am looking for.
In almost all cases, each student hits the ball more times in 60 minutes of a shared lesson than they do in 40 minutes of an individual lesson. The majority of the hitting is between the two students, not between the student and coach. The extra repetition speeds up the learning process.
The greatest retention rates in learning occur when we teach something to others? Often in paired lessons I will have my students attempt to identify each others technical problems and act as the coach for short periods of time. Identifying problems in their playing partner helps increase their own understanding of correct technique.
Students have more fun in paired lessons - the lessons have a more social element.