What effect do top coaches have on players during a Grand Slam? As we approach finals weekend at Wimbledon, we take a closer look at the some of the coaches who have guided their players this far.
Ivan Lendl (coach of Andy Murray)
Many Andy Murray fans were delighted when former world number one Ivan Lendl returned to the Scot’s coaching team to try and repeat the success the pair enjoyed back in 2012-13. Murray, of course, won the US Open in 2012 followed by Wimbledon a year later but went separate ways with Lendl in 2014, citing schedule issues. However, the pair reunited just before this year’s Championships and they have seemingly picked up where they left off. After winning Queens, for a record fifth-time, Murray has only dropped two sets on his way to the Wimbledon semi-final and showed great character to ensure victory over Jo Wilfried-Tsonga in the quarter-final after dropping a two-set lead.
“It’s beneficial having him [there], for sure, because I trust him, have a lot of confidence in him,” Murray said of Lendl in the press conference. “He can help when I’m on the court a little bit, just his presence. Might be a small amount, but like I said, every little bit helps.
“The pre-match stuff, the work that you do in preparation for the matches, is where you get the big benefit. When this tournament’s finished, the sort of training weeks are really where I think you get the biggest benefit. Hopefully, I’ll have a few of them between now and the end of the year.”
John McEnroe (coach of Milos Raonic)
Iconic seven-time Grand Slam winner John McEnroe teamed up with world number-seven Milos Raonic after this year’s French Open and it looks to have had a very positive effect on the Canadian. Despite losing in the final of Queens to Andy Murray, Raonic has impressed on his way to the semi-final of Wimbledon and despatched with Novak Djokovic’s conqueror, Sam Querrey, over four sets in the quarter-final.
Raonic explained the reasons behind getting Mcenroe on board in his post-match press conference, saying: “Part of the motivation to bring him along to help was to improve the attacking aspect of my game, how much I can implement it in my game and how to use it and what the right moments are.”
“He definitely keeps emphasising demeanour on court, which I probably would not have put as one of the priorities,” said the sixth seed. “I think it’s about making sure you don’t let yourself just quietly drift away in important moments.”
(coach of Serena Williams)
French coach Patrick Mouratoglou has won eight Grand Slams with Serena Williams since the pair joined forces in 2012 and they are on the verge of clinching the world number one’s seventh title at SW19. Williams hit the headlines earlier this the week when she threatened to sue umpire Marija Cicack after she was made to play under rainfall in her fourth round victory over Svetlana Kuznetsova. The match was level at 5-5 in the first set before the centre-court roof was closed and the 34 year old praised coach Mouratoglou’s calming influence during the stoppage.
“He is just so sangfroid and that really helps me,” said Williams in the press conference. “It helps me realise that when I am calm I usually find the answers and come through in big matches.
“Both Svetlana and I had an opportunity to talk to our coaches and I think that really helped me out. I talked to Patrick, he is very calm and he gave me some tips on what I could do and I was able to do that.”
So it appears there is fine margins between winning and losing, especially in the latter stages, of a Grand Slam, and when it comes to players seizing their opportunities coaching matters.
BothHands: The Business App for Sports Coaches
More info about Both Hands:
Rolf Harrison and Nick Jones announced the release of BothHands, a business application for sports coaches.
BothHands helps coaches to manage their day-to-day coaching business. Through BothHands they can:
- Organise their client information, schedule and business performance;
- Communicate more effectively and professionally with their clients through automated emails, bookings, and notifications;
- Earn more money and grow their coaching business by reducing admin hours, increasing the capacity to do group bookings and reducing cancellations.
Ex Tennis professional and coach Rolf had the idea for BothHands whilst in Singapore. He was running a coaching business using 30 different spreadsheets and different apps. This prompted him to look for an alternative. After trialling various software and not getting anywhere, Rolf decided to set up BothHands.
“I couldn’t find anything that worked that was simple enough for the coach to take on board and use on a day-to-day basis.” says Rolf. “I wanted something that was simple to use, highly mobile, ran from a smartphone but also gave feedback on fundamental business metrics.”
“Most coaches just don’t really have a clear idea of their fundamental business metrics. They do their best they can but are not really keeping track of the overall score of the business metrics.” says Rolf.
Co-founder Nick Jones adds, “That’s because coaches have always been taught the technical aspects of how to teach a player, not necessarily how to run a business. I’ve been a coach and I’ve experienced how that has failed coaches. We want to bring an education to the business element of coaching.”
The name ‘BothHands’ derives from the saying, “seize your opportunity with both hands” and this is a philosophy that runs through the business.
Advisor and consultant to BothHands, Former MP and Minister for Sport Gerry Sutcliffe believes that “the BothHands technology provides sports coaches with a fantastic opportunity to organise, manage and engage better with their clients.”