Exclusive: Former coach of Dan Evans believes there is too much pressure on young players
The former coach of Dan Evans believes that parents of upcoming players are putting their children under too much pressure to become the next big thing.
David Felgate became Evans’ coach after Wimbledon in 2018, and helped him from outside the top 300 to the cusp of the top 50 after returning from a doping ban.
The two parted ways in September of 2019 due to seeing ‘a few things differently’, but there were no hard feelings according to Dan Evans.
In an exclusive interview with Tennishead, Felgate has spoken of the changes he has seen in tennis, both good and bad, over his many years working in the sport.
“If I look over the years, more at the amateur game, players used to travel and be good and progress through the various levels – club, country and international. I see so many players and parents asking does my son/daughter have a chance to be a top pro and I think I heaps a lot of pressure on a youngster.”
Tennis is almost non-stop throughout the year, with even the off-season being filled with exhibition tournaments. Felgate said this has been a noticeable change through the years with events of all different levels taking place across the world, on a weekly basis.
“There are so many tournaments now, so there are so many more ranked players. International tournaments going throughout the world, which has been the work of the ITF to put all of those tournaments on.”
Off the court Felgate has seen some big changes too, with social media playing a big part into how tennis players are viewed, “Back in the day we didn’t have Twitter and Instagram and so much media, so people just got on with their tennis whereas now there is a little bit of over analysis and questioning every decision that is made.”
Felgate is a former professional tennis player, with a top ranking of 301, and has a career highlight of playing against Ivan Lendl on Court One at Wimbledon. Following retirement, Felgate moved onto coaching and has had long stints with the likes of Tim Henman, and Donna Vekic. He now heads up the JTC Tennis Academy with ASICS as their clothing and shoe sponsor.
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