This email got my attention a few days ago.The question to me was, “Do you use a charting system when you coach matches?” By charting system I think they meant a nice excel sheet with codes for short serves, unforced errors, etc. I have had many friends try to explain to me their charting system and I get flashbacks to 9th grade Algebra when the teacher was talking a mile a minute explaining some formula or other and asking if there were any questions. I was that kid that was embarrassed to say I had no clue what he was talking about.

I do have a system for coaching matches and I guess it would be best described as recording what is happening now, in the future, and what happened in the past!

1. What is happening in the match. Now

2. What we need to do to win. Future

3. What we need to work on in future practices for future matches. Future long term

4. Maybe what great shot was executed and how great it works (past and future)

I use colorful phrases and acronyms so nobody knows what I am writing but me. RS might mean the ref sucks or it might mean Right side for example. I will star something that needs to be called to the athlete’s attention. I will star it twice or three times if it is very important. During a time out I will only address three stars or more. The others will be dealt with in future practices. But I will violate all of those rules when someone is winning and controlling the match. During those times I rarely say anything. At those times all I can do is mess the match up by over-coaching.

I use UE, unforced errors as in UEBH or UEFH. I also try to record FE. Big difference between unforced errors and forced errors. That is the failure of straight charting. If I was to chart points scored on my player’s backhand side only, and they played someone with an awesome drive serve their % would show a weak backhand. That stat could be wrong. I get an idea of how to attack certain sides of the court based on an opponent’s body type, mindset, personality, and most important, skill set. There are some folks out there with great charting systems I have seen but the action is happening too fast for me to write all of it down, and besides the system I have allows me to work with improvement of the athlete as well as what happened in the match.

Use Code