The Ingredients that Make Great Coaches Great

Coaches do more than teach players how to return serves and hit backhands. They instill a sense of self-confidence in their players, empowering them to overcome challenges and discover the best version of themselves. 

Emma Doyle has been coaching for over 30 years, and she’s learned so much in that time. Emma shares some coaching insights about what makes a great coach great and how she wrote her book, What Makes a Great Coach

The following is a transcript of this Game Changers webinar: 


I’d love to geek out with you over your new book and have you share that with our audience. 

I read it first when it came out, and I was flipping through it again and picking out my favorite parts. But there are so many stories and nuggets of wisdom. 

When I was rereading the chapter on resilience, I was like, ‘Wow.’ That’s really right. Right on. And I don’t know if I’ll get the stat right, but I think it was something like, you reference the Grand Slam that Roger Federer won, and he won 55% of the points, I think it was. 

This means he lost 45% of the points, and when you think about it, 55% is just a little more than half. So the sheer resiliency to have lost that many points and keep coming back is amazing. 

The same applies to life. You’re going to try something new, a new marketing strategy or a new product launch, and it might go amazing. And it might not. It might take some time at first and tweaking, but then it works. 

Resilience is one of the key things for life, on and off the court.


Thank you so much for saying that, Kalindi. 

The one thing I want to pick you up on is actually they’re not called chapters; they’re called practices, interestingly. So, with my book, What Makes a Great Coach, I interviewed hundreds of coaches through my podcast. 

We ask every guest, in one to three words, what makes a great coach? 

In the end, there were 520 coaches from all over the world. 328 of those were tennis coaches, 105 were business coaches, and 71 different sports coaches. We had 17 tennis players, including seven former world number ones. 

And we took this data and got the top 10 practices. 

And these were the things that were the most important to great coaches and players. 

When I look at those practices, none of them is necessarily rocket science; it’s not hard to understand. But they’re all skills that, when I was younger, I didn’t value as much as I do now. 

That perspective comes from time, and it’s made me a better coach. I hope those who check out this book can gain those insights sooner. 

Coaching is such a unique skill. And the world needs more coaches who care, who live and breathe the game. 

Emma has empowered her students to be their best selves and wants to share her coaching experience with other coaches so they can do the same for their students. Find Emma’s book right here!   

Check out the rest of this game changers video by checking out our Game Changers 5 webinar right here.