Coaching a competitive tennis team or at the collegiate level takes expertise, commitment, and experience. With so many factors to manage across each individual member of the team, coaches have an endless list of things to think about. While there are a fairly standard number of angles to consider as a coach in regards to player management, such as training, stamina, confidence, and strategy, things get a bit less clear when you factor in the weather. Yes, the weather.
Consider a few facts:
- Most tennis matches are played outdoors
- Most tennis practices are held outdoors
- The weather impacts how a match should be played
But what can coaches really do, look at the forecast and try to make decisions about rain or wind? That’s what’s happening today, and it’s causing issues amongst teams from practice planning to scheduling to match strategy. But there’s hope! Coaches and teams can now use hyper-local weather forecasts to avoid getting beat by the weather, and here are a few examples:
- Scheduling outdoor practice: Two things can be frustrating about scheduling practice. First, not knowing how your week is going to go. It might rain, it might not. Unexpected weather arrives out of the blue. All of a sudden your weekly plans change and you need to make arrangements at the last minute. Second, you’re already practicing outdoors when unexpected weather like rain or lightning forces your team to head indoors. In an ideal world, you should know exactly when and where weather will strike so you can plan your practice schedule (indoors or outdoors) out at the beginning of the week.
- Managing court conditions: After it rains, wet courts force players to go indoors as it’s often difficult to know when courts will be dry again. But, if you were able to monitor the wind, humidity, and cloud forecast for precise locations you could accurately predict when the courts would be dry again and schedule time outdoors ahead of time.
- Improve player safety: Everything from slick courts to lightning to heat, player safety is the #1 concern for all teams and coaches. Helping players better prepare for incoming weather makes a difference. If you know the courts aren’t dry, or that lightning is on the way, or that the heat/humidity requires more fluids you can safeguard against any hazardous conditions.
- Better strategize upcoming matches: The way a tennis ball moves on a cool, sunny day with no wind is quite different from a day with high humidity and high winds. By knowing the exact weather conditions of a given location during specific times of day, you can strategize and prepare your plan for the match ahead of time, giving you an impactful competitive advantage.
- Manage travel: Nobody wants to be late, but road conditions impact travel times. Understanding days ahead of time when you’ll need to leave and how much time travel will take is one of those little things that ends up making a big difference. Arriving on time means less stress, plenty of time to prepare, and a more focused team.
Sounds great, huh? The truth is it’s easy to manage all 5 of these with Tomorrow.io’s tennis insights app. Everything is automated and unique to your exact location. You can also send out automatic alerts and messages to everyone on your team whenever there’s a change in the schedule, whether it’s practice, travel, or match updates.