Brian Lutz / December 4, 2019

Nobody is perfect.

But with out a plan or mission I can’t sit back and accept these flaws.

One of my big gripes in the tennis industry is the lack of standardization.  I’m not alone in this complaint as our USPTA tennis teachers trade association is raising the bar every year to enforce standards of entry and continuing education for professional tennis instructors.

You even see it on the ATP Tour where players all working as independent contractors all have different uniforms and standards.  Players actually wear there hat backwards on the court.  Could you imagine this happening in other professional leagues?

It’s kind of comical to imagine a NFL player putting his helmet on backwards but this year in the ever strict NBA they excluded “ninja style head bands” that didn’t conform with their uniform standards.

So in professional tennis both teachers and tour players the culture of slack runs deep.  Perhaps I’m being rigid but I believe systems are what makes businesses, teams and industries successful and these operational plans have details for a reason.  The ATP, WTA Tours and ITF Tours have more protocols than the tennis teachers associations.  It’s not even close.

Here is a sample from the ITF page for the Futures and Challengers Tours. You will see the link in PDF file if you wanna browse it. Get ready to do a lot of scrolling.  Hint! It’s also not mobile friendly but that’s another blog post.

So, all of this ad hoc and “winging it” got me thinking. Several years ago I saw this ESPN feature with the famous football coach Bill Parcels.  He had this segment entitled 11 Commandments of a Quarterback.

It was inspiring.  So much so I repurposed it for tennis specifically tennis coaches.  It’s gotten some good PR in other publications and has been a nice road map for me to keep the operations fine tuned.

This podcast episode is a dedication to those Commandments. This episode features Commandment Number 1.  It has to do with knowing your lesson plan “cold” as Coach Parcels might say.

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Brian Lutz

Hint: 11 Commandments of a Quarterback with the “Big Tuna” Bill Parcels