The Knowledge Base – An Introduction

The TCPR Knowledge Base

The TCPR Knowledge Base is our blog discussing everything related to building tennis athletes. The tennis establishment has developed many theories which are widely held to be principles. We intend to examine these theories to determine if they are indeed principles. The intent is not to demean the theories but rather to assess their relevance in the future lexicon of player development. Indeed the future of player development is the main thesis of our blog. Because nothing is “off the table” it should be of ¬†interest to any participant in the process of building tennis athletes, from players to parents to coaches and support providers.

As a participant in the sport in several roles (player, coach, sport scientist) for over 50 years I have seen many approaches to developing players. I’ve noticed that if one exists only in the culture of tennis it is a given that these practitioners operate in the context of some form of the establishment “principles” give or take. These ideas have been passed down through the generations. It was not until I had the opportunity to participate in athlete development in other sports that I witnessed different thinking and unique approaches to developing athletes.

In the early to mid 90’s as I was working on my Master’s Degree in Exercise Science I had the opportunity to work with USA Swimming at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs. Obviously the dominance of US swimmers in the international arena is legendary so I was intrigued to see how their process worked. One thing stood out without question ¬†– it seemed completely different from what I had experienced or learned about in tennis.

The approach was much more team based and the development pathway more organized and conciliatory. But the big difference was the team of sport scientists and coaches working together in complementary training facilities and laboratories to innovate and build the athletes. That experience made it clear to me at the time that something like the USA Swimming (and most Olympic sport and professional sport organizations) model could and should be possible in tennis.

This idea has driven my thinking, research and teaching for over two decades now. It is my hope that this project, the Tennis Center for Performance Research, will be a step toward a different, perhaps more sophisticated, approach to developing tennis players. History will be the judge but either way what I’ve learned along this journey is fascinating and should be enlightening to many I believe. From developmental theory and approaches, to instructional methodology and content, to application of Sport Science, to the use of advanced technology, and finally to insights from our specialists, this blog will assess where we have been but mostly what is possible in tennis player development. I hope you will come along for the ride. Brian

TCPR Knowledge Base Categories

  • About TCPR
  • TCPR Perspectives
  • Stroke Biomechanics
  • Fitness & Movement
  • Sport Science
  • Sport Medicine