© Ella Ling

Stanislas Wawrinka backhand

Exclusive coaching tips from Magnus Norman

   

Tips from Magnus Norman, Stanislas Wawrinka’s coach, and a former world No 2, on ‘How to change a player’s mentality’. For more information on Norman and the Good to Great Tennis Academy, click here

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Appreciate that, at a high level, confidence is everything. “The mental aspect on the practice court is vital for player development.”
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Before you build up a player’s confidence or belief, you have to read the player. “It’s different from player to player. Some players like to sit down and talk a lot. Some not. It takes time to change habits. But personally I like making changes. It’s very fascinating.”
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You can change a player’s mentality quickly. But you need the player’s trust. And you need the player to want to change. “It depends on the trust and the relationship between the coach and the player, and how much the player is ready to change. Sometimes this can be done quickly, and sometimes it will take a longer period of time.”
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Working on a player’s mental approach becomes more important as the player improves and reaches a higher level. “The importance depends on the level and age of the player. When you coach younger players this is less important. Then you work with basic movement patterns as well as technical things. If you’re coaching a player in the top 100 it becomes more important.”
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Recognise that there are no mistakes while you are trying to make changes to a player’s mentality.