Touring professional coach and motivational speaker Philip Farmer presented the keynote address at the TTCA Convention the weekend of December 9 at Horseshoe Bay Resort.

His appearance was sponsored by Wilson Sporting Goods.

A North-Dallas area resident, Farmer has mentored some of the top tennis players in the world. Most recently, he coached Austin Krajicek, who teams up in doubles with Ivan Dodig, The duo reached the doubles final of the 2022 French Open, and achieved a ranking of No. 6 in the world.  Farmer has also coached Bob and Mike Bryan, among many other prominent players. He recently signed on to coach American singles player John Isner.

Farmer had nothing but praise for the TTCA and the participants at the convention.

“I was really impressed with the whole weekend,” Farmer said. “It was an unbelievable event to experience, with middle school, high school and college coaches coming together. Over 600 coaches got together in Texas to celebrate and improve our skills to help all these kids. The word ‘family’ stuck with me. I don’t think there are as many organizations that stage this big of an event.”

Farmer strongly believes in “adding value to the players’ games at all levels.”

“I try to add more value to the players when they are not hitting the ball,” Farmer explained. “Half of the time in singles we are not hitting the ball. In doubles, every time someone who hits the ball, there are three other players who are not hitting.

“I try to get the players to use their eyes and vision as a weapon to see the play better. I try to improve their footwork and balance, court position, and anticipation.”

He pointed out that players come from different backgrounds and experiences.

“For me,” Farmer said, “the most beautiful gift of coaching is learning how to get your message to them where it clicks, as every player is unique. Coaching is such as great gift and privilege!”

Convention participants were treated to on-court presentations, as well. Farmer continued his message of developing the “whole player.”

“Tennis has so many different layers to it,” Farmer said. “I encourage coaches to develop players as if they have a ‘tool belt’ around their waist, such as a carpenter. Having many different tools, I still want you to develop the ‘screwdriver’ and the ‘wrench,’ and other tools so they can learn to use them in certain situations.

“Although some ‘tools’ may not be your favorite, having the ability to use them will really help players to develop more confidence. They start to become a more complete competitor.”

On a technical side, Farmer focused on the punch-lob return and dump volley with Krajicek. He had Krajicek practice these shots thousands and thousands of times. Farmer stressed the importance of using the punch-lob to force the opponents away from the net. He also emphasized hitting the dump volley in the middle of the service box to force the opponents to have to move up and out of their comfort zone from the baseline.

Farmer summarized his philosophy about coaching and the sport of tennis.

“I just love bringing the mental aspect to the game,” Farmer said. “Most of the time, you are out there figuring it out by yourself. The mental part of the game can equip the players to be better problem solvers.”


TTCA Hall of Fame / Coach of the Year Award Winners

Hall of Fame Inductees: 

            Tim Calhoun, Sammie Courington, Bobby Kramer

Special Coach of the Year Awards:

            Carey Caldwell Award:  Garry Kemp – Willis HS

            Ike Groce Vision Award:  Kim Cornsilk – Holliday HS

            Loretta Hrncir Dedication Award:  Terry Hoover – Brownsville Hanna HS

            Jim Longbotham Leadership Award:  Corey Aldridge – Southlake Carroll HS

            Kim Enocksen Integrity Award:  Tyson Stewart – Boerne HS

            Brandon Clark Courage Award:  Manuel Moreno, Jr. – Dobie HS

            Holly Ford Sportsmanship Award:  Gregg Parker – Clear Springs HS

Coach of the Year Awards:

            Middle School Coach of the Year:  Rich Bryan – Abilene Madison MS

            4A Assistant Coach of the Year:  Nolan Pritchard – Uvalde HS

            5A Assistant Coach of the Year:  Wyatt Johnson – Ennis HS

            6A Assistant Coach of the Year:  Karl Burford – Katy Seven Lakes HS

            Private School Coach of the Year:  Steve Gleaves – St. John’s HS

            2A Coach of the Year:  Staci Jenkins – Christoval HS

            3A Region 4 Coach of the Year:  Cynthia Chavez – Robert G Cole HS

            3A State Coach of the Year:  Josh Jones – Peaster HS

            4A Region 2 Coach of the Year:  Cortland Davidson – Van HS

            4A Region 4 Coach of the Year:  Terri Ramie – Uvalde HS

            4A State Coach of the Year:  Darby Norman – Canyon Randall HS

            5A Region 2 Coach of the Year:  Doug Fair – Frisco Centennial HS

            5A Region 4 Coach of the Year:  Jeff Davidson – CC Veterans Memorial HS

            5A State Coach of the Year:  Koby Otto – Amarillo HS

            6A Region 2 Coach of the Year:  Jayson Everett – Tomball Memorial HS

            6A Region 3 Coach of the Year:  Brett Bernstein – Fort Bend Clements HS

            6A Region 4 Coach of the Year:  Neil Grobler – Round Rock HS

            6A State Coach of the Year:  Corey Aldridge – Southlake Carroll HS

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