While improving one’s tennis and tennis coaching involves taking to the court, there’s a lot one can learn by getting into the minds of the great coaches and former players. Reading some of the best tennis and tennis coaching books proves to be a very beneficial way of acquiring this knowledge and below we have for you a list of some of the best tennis books to read to improve your tennis.
Why Read Tennis Books
If you want to be a good tennis coach you need to constantly keep yourself updated on all things to do with tennis.
This means staying on top of the skills side of the game, understanding the best way to coach players of different ages, levels and temperament, keeping updated with any new techniques that come into play, physical and technical skills, and also, follow tennis news.
A good coach must coach physically, emotionally and mentally.
As players improve, so the coaching needs to improve too. As players grow, so must the coach.
Read as much as you can on tennis.
Like with any career it is highly recommended that you keep learning about your chosen career and read voraciously. Perhaps, each month, treat yourself to a new book on tennis coaching.
The more you read, the more you learn and improve. You will also keep your passion, grow your love for tennis, and in turn, be able to pass this passion and love on to your tennis pupils.
Let’s take a look at some of the best tennis coaching books on the market, but also, do your own research, see what appeals to you, and make your own choices.
Novak Djokovic’s book “How to Serve’ is one of the more recent tennis bestsellers, and while it is not necessarily on tennis coaching, it will definitely help you, as a tennis coach, stay motivated, and help your players stay motivated too.
Here is our list of tennis coaching books that we think are fab!
1. USTA Mental Skills and Drills Handbook
By: Larry Lauer, Daniel Gould, Paul Lubbers, Mark Kovacs
When the USTA Mental Skills and Drills Handbook came out in 2010, it was a groundbreaking book.
It’s still a groundbreaking book for tennis coaches of all levels, as well as being an important book for tennis players and parents of tennis players.
The book covers coaching strategies, physical drills, varied tennis strokes and grips, and apart from being an in depth tennis coaching book, it’s as much about the mental agility skills needed to become a professional tennis player.
It also includes the importance of setting goals, keeping players motivated, managing stress, teaching focus and confidence and most importantly, preparing players for the mental aspect of the game. It has been called brilliant!
2. Winning Ugly: Mental Warfare in Tennis
By: Brad Gilbert, Steve Jamison
Brad Gilbert is known as one of the best mental tennis players there are, and while his strokes were not always pretty, he knew that looks didn’t count nearly as much as winning. Brad Gilbert beat a lot of tennis greats, playing what became known as ‘the ugly game.’
In his book, co-written with Steve Jamison, he talks about how to use your head and your brain, and to outwit and outthink your opponent, not just during a game but before and after the game too.
This is a great book for tennis coaches, irrespective of the age or level of the player. While you are not going to talk to young or new players about playing ugly, you can read this book and gain great insight into the mental part of the game.
3. The Science of Coaching Tennis
By: Jack L. Groppel, James E. Loehr, D. Scott Melville, Ann M. Quinn
This is one of the highest selling tennis coaching books of all times, and it includes all the topics necessary for a good tennis coach to cover.
Sports skills, sports science, exercise physiology, sport psychology, analysis, and of course, how to motivate and inspire players, as they learn and as they compete. The reviews are great, over 20 thousand copies of this book have been sold and although The Science of Coaching Tennis was published in 1989, the concepts in the book are timeless.
Excellent review and this is a book that is well read by tennis coaches worldwide.
4. Tennis Anatomy
By: E. Paul Roetert, MarK Kovacs
Tennis Anatomy is a good book for tennis coaches and for tennis players. It includes over 70 illustrations, highlighting different tennis strokes and which parts of the bodies are used for each.
It shows the active muscles used in each stroke, helping the player understand which parts of their body to focus on. A simple follow through is well illustrated, an ace serve is well illustrated, as are volleys, forehands and backhands.
It’s all about getting on the tennis court and playing your best shots, and this book will teach you, as a tennis coach, to put together a training program for your tennis players, helping them achieve their goals.
5. Complete Conditioning for Tennis
By: E. Paul Roetert, Mark Kovaks, Todd S. Ellenbecker and the USTA
Another fab book, endorsed by the United States Tennis Association, helping you to maximise training and tennis coaching with exercises, drills and programs.
It’s all about assessing a player, ensuring the right drills are following, increasing speed, stamina and flexibility, preventing illness, and of course, improving skills.
We all know that injuries can plague a tennis player for life; this book is helpful in that it is about fitness and strength for the tennis body, trying to prevent injury, but also, teaching how to recover from injury.
The good news is that there are over 200 drills, both on court and off course, and access to tennis video clips.
6. The Inner Game of Tennis:- The Classic Guide to the Mental Side of Peak Performance
By: W. Timothy Gallway, Zach Kleiman, Pete Carroll.
The title says it all. The mental side of tennis is so important and this book focuses on that.
It’s a great book for tennis coaches who are coaching competitive or professional tennis players, and for tennis coaches who have new tennis players and need to guide them to loving tennis, feeling passionate about tennis and wanting to win tennis.
This is a successful guide to the mental side of the game of tennis, over 800 thousand copies have been sold, and while the book may be over 30 years old, it is completely relevant today.
7. Coaching Tennis Successfully, 2nd Edition
By: The United States Tennis Association
The United States Tennis Association published this book, now in its second edition, and it’s an incredibly helpful guide to managing your tennis player’s success.
As a coach, you are as good as your players. This book will help you grow the best possible tennis players you can.
The book includes tennis teaching tips, how to keep your players motivate, and fit, and to manage a comprehensive tennis program. It is an excellent book for all tennis coaches, helping you guide your players to success.
It includes all the basics of tennis strokes, offers drills and practice techniques, teaches you how to keep your players motivated, and yourself, and is an essential guide for all tennis coaches.
8. Coaching Tennis
By: Chuck Kriese
This book is an all time favourite, most notably because the author, Chuck Kriese, has lead so many players to professional rankings and to victory.
Amongst many other tennis accomplishments, Kriese was the US Junior Davis Cup coach and the men’s head tennis coach at Clemson University. His coaching accomplishments include, but are not limited to, eleven ACC titles, eight national top ten finishes, and six ACC Coach of the Year awards.
This book covers everything in tennis coaching and should be on the shelves of all tennis coaches.
It’s not only about physical prowess but about strategy and mindset, confidence and motivation, inspiration and the all important need-to-win and want-to-win.
Kriese had his own one of a kind motivational system and this book bares all!
9. Coaching Youth Tennis, 3rd Edition
By: The American Sport Education Program
Any book on tennis coaching that is endorsed by a sports organisation, in this case by the American Sports Education Program, must be good and useful. Coaching Youth Tennis is in its third edition, which means it is a favourite amongst tennis coaches.
This book has been updated to ensure that what it teaches is relevant and up to date. Coaching Youth is a series, in all sports, and is a tennis specific guide that offers positive tennis coaching principles.
This is a guide that provides tennis coaches with information on their roles as coaches and how to fulfil them.
It’s about developing a passion for the game, teaching the game, and equipping youth with skills that will see them, not only through a tennis game, but also through life.
10. Building a Tennis Champion, 30 Things Every Tennis Player, Coach and Parent Must Know
By: Nathan and Giselle Martin, with Lleyton Hewitt, Martina Navratilova, Casey Dellacqua, Sam Stosur, Svetlana Kuznetsova, Arantxa Sanchez Vicario, Monica Seles and others.
This book is a must read, not just for tennis coaches but for all young tennis players and parents of want-to-be-tennis champions.
It’s a great book for anyone who is passionate about tennis, wants to improve their tennis, and importantly, how to be and become a tennis champion.
It’s an extremely important handbook for tennis coaches, motivating because of all the star tennis players who have co-written the book, and it’s a book that you can refer to for life. It will help with tennis drills, tennis strategy, strokes, practice, training and fitness.
It will also help with diet, injury and recovery from injury. Most importantly, it deals with the mental aspect of the game.
Nathan and Giselle Martin, who did the primary focus for this book, are tennis fitness trainers.
They have coached five world Number One players, travelled the WTA and ATP circuits and have worked with many of the above tennis professionals. They are passionate about the game, and you will be too, after reading this book.
The above was a list of our most favourite tennis coaching books. Here’s our remaining list for your perusal once you have completed the above set.
Other Tennis Books Worth a Mention
11. Coaching Tennis Technical & Tactical Skills
American Sport Education Program | 2009
12. Coaching Mastery
The Ultimate Blueprint for Tennis Coaches, Tennis Parents, and Tennis Teaching Professionals
David Walter Smith
13. Coaching Mentally Tough Tennis
Lessons From The Trenches
14. The Art of Coaching High School Tennis 2nd Edition
88 Tips, Tricks, Skills and Drills for a Magical Season
15. Coaching and Learning Tennis Basics 4
The Road to College Tennis
16. Analyzing Your Tennis Game
Coaching Tips – Tennis Instruction Pointers
17. From Go to Pro
A Playing and Coaching Manual for the Aspiring Tennis Player
Mark A. Beede
18. Coaching For Life
A Guide to Playing, Thinking and Being the Best You Can Be
Paul Annacone |
19. Thriving in the Tennis Business
Simple Steps to Succeed in the Sport
20. Figure Private Tennis Coaching
Start Your Own Tennis Coaching Program
21. Winning Tennis with the Tactical Point Control System
How to Win Tennis Points against Any Opponent
22. Tennis Coaching Notebook
Just Assume That I’m Never Wrong – 8.5×11 Coaches Practice Journal: Tennis Coach Notepad for Training Notes, Strategy, Plays Diagram and Sketches
23. Tennis Coach Lesson Plans
Plan your tennis lessons & drills for tennis coaching – inspirational tennis quotes: Roger Federer – Black & White Design – 8″ x 10″ paperback *50 blank lesson plans*
The Book Worx
24. Tennis Circuitry
Master the Hardware of a Professional Tennis Player
Every tennis coach should keep learning
To succeed as a tennis coach, you need to keep improving your own skills and that does not mean your tennis skills. Presumably, you’re a pretty good tennis player to have made it as a tennis coach. Now, you need to improve your teaching skills and your motivational skills. Do it by reading!