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In Part 1 of “A Shaky Foundation,” I posed several questions about the current high- performance tennis coaching model. In Part 2, I do my best to answer some of these questions.

In recent years, I have spent time looking at my environment and examining my relationship to the world around me to determine when I am just following the crowd and mindlessly conforming to societal norms. I am fascinated by different people’s thought processes, how diverse cultures view the world and when and why they conform to certain behaviors that may not always serve their best interests. I am also curious about what actions really count; what decisions or actions really move the dial in igniting change in our world?

When it comes to high-performance tennis, I can’t help but wonder about how much coaching occurs, and if the coaching provided is really benefitting the players as much as we think or hope.

Research shows that athletes are more likely to improve in an environment that encourages autonomy. They also need high levels of intrinsic motivation and self-determined extrinsic motivation if they are to succeed at the highest levels of their sport. Yet, we currently have a system that provides little to no autonomy to tennis players.

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