Friday, August 6, 2010

Brad Gilbert calls for on-court coaching in ATP matches

Citing the "success" of on-court coaching on the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour, commentator, former pro, and former coach Brad Gilbert (Andre Agassi, Andy Murray) called for on-court coaching in the ATP today. In agreement with him was Darren Cahill, who also said that on-court coaching has been "very successful" for the women's tour. Finally, Patric McEnroe also agreed that the ATP should have on-court coaching.

Though I cannot imagine the ATP going in that direction, it was disheartening to once again hear praise for the disastrous WTA experiment that eventually became a terrible reality.

8 comments:

Sunny nine said...

What is meant when they say it has been successful? Has it been successful for the players? I have seen no data about players getting coached playing better. In fact it seems random it me.

Do they mean it is successful because the fans like it? Shouldn't the idea of coaching have to do with the game, the play, not with the fans.

I think Federer would faint if the ATP went to on-court coaching. The ESPN crew also said that it should be done at majors!

Much of the time, you can't understand the language of the coaching anyway so in what way is it successful for the fans? Since a coach has to be miked, then it is for the fans and this is what they are basing sport-changing decisions on?

It is bad enough that women only play 2of3 sets at majors and don't step it up mentally or physically but to have coaching there?

I heard all that too Diane. My husband wouldn't let me pull my hair out.

Diane said...

We always hear that the "fans like it," but there is no evidence of that, either. As far as I know, there have been no fan surveys. If such surveys exist, I wish the tour would publish them. And even if fans do like it (and I haven't spoken with any who do), that doesn't mean its' a good thing.

Cahill is against on-court coaching during the majors, but the other two favor it.

Sunny nine said...

Thanks for correcting me on Cahill. He is the one that I am surprised by the most at wanting on-court coaching on any level. But I wish they had said in what way it is a success!

TennisAce said...

Every player who has won a major on the women's side for the past 2 seasons are players who do not use on court coaching. I think the only one was perhaps Sveta and I think she won the FO when she did not have a coach.

Federer would be the most vocal about bringing on court coaching and even though he is no longer No.1, he is the president of the player council and I am sure that he will never ever sanction something like this for the ATP.

He has called out on many occassions, Nadal and Djokovic for receiving on court coaching so clearly this is something that for him goes to the heart of competition.

These men are all convinced that this is working and they want certain players to win majors and the only way they can do this is if they allow on court coaching during the majors. This would just be a travesty and would take away the individualism and ability to figure things out on your own which makes tennis unique.

I am apalled at this.

Diane said...

One of the commentators said it would add to the "entertainment value" of tournaments. I think maybe some U.S. commentators are quite immersed in the culture of team sports. Also, attention spans are getting shorter (that's now been proven, and how's that for "progress"?), so there may be a move to throw every imaginable thing at the "audience."

Just guessing here, of course.

TennisAce said...

OK, I am in a bit of a mini discussion with Brad Gilbert on twitter (yeah, nice to be able to speak to folks directly) and I have told him what fans think of on court coaching. They hate it. Thinks it makes the women look ineffective and co-dependent. Told him that it is not good for the game as it takes away the one on one aspect of competition for which tennis is known.

I posted elsewhere that I have started a Facebook group called "WTA On Court coaching". You can join by going to facebook and searching for it. I may even start a twitter account just for it. Many of my tennis watching friends hate on court coaching so hopefully the Group will get many members who are against this fallacy and it will come to the attention of the WTA that fans really do not like it. Wish me luck

Anonymous said...

I also heard their on-court coaching discussion. My take-away, they like it because it gives them (the commentators) more to talk about.

I guess tennis isn't popular enough in the USA. Maybe we need a tennis reality show - snookie from jersey shore could get drunk and stumble around a tennis court?

Svente said...

I think by "successful" Gilbert may mean that players - even, gasp! the men!! - are getting obviously coached from the stands anyway, the ATP may as well make it 'official.'