What are ‘Little-Big’ conversations with your players?

‘Little-Big’ conversations are ‘Little’ because they may only consist of one or two quick exchanges over the course of a coaching session but they are ‘Big’ because of the potential impact that they could have on our players, from helping to create better focus and increased awareness of ball, body and racket, to developing confidence and a sense of self-responsibility.


Let’s say you have set up a drill in your mini-orange group session where the players are practising rallying for depth. You’ve given the players a few technical tips to start with; hitting high over the net, faster racket speed and body rotation.


As the players rally and you walk around, a ‘Little-Big’ conversation with individual players could go something like this;


1.     Sophie


‘So, Sophie, what are you noticing that’s helping you to hit with more depth?’

(Asking for the player’s experience).


‘I think when I turn more, I can get more power and then the ball goes further.’


‘Good awareness, Sophie – have you noticed how much you turn your body when the ball goes just where you want it to?

(You could leave at this point as you have validated Sophie’s experience and asked her a follow-on awareness question to explore).


2.     Tom


‘Tom what’s helping you to hit deeper?’

(Asking for the player’s experience).


‘I think when I swing with my racket pointing up like this it goes a bit deeper.’


‘That’s interesting – do you want to find out for sure and see exactly what the angle of your racket is for the next few shots?’

(Validating the player’s experience and following their focus).


Simply listening carefully to what a player says and then staying with their experience by asking a follow-on question linked to what they have just said can be a very quick and powerful coaching intervention.


Group coaching only allows a limited time with each player – one good question which enables each player to think for themselves can create a learning environment where everyone is engaged and enjoying the process.


Coaching Kids 4 Self-Belief has a range of LTA accredited courses and training to help you to master child-centred coaching. These skills have helped us for many years to coach more effectively and to enjoy our coaching more and we love sharing what we’ve found to work with other coaches.


If you would like more information, please do e-mail or give us a call.


Best regards,

Andy and Pete.



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