Intercollegiate Tennis Association

Team Energy - Adam Steinberg

June 26, 2020
Adam Steinberg has covered a lot of ground during his college coaching career and has learned much along the way. His started at St. John's University before moving to Northwestern to become the assistant coach under Paul Toricelli. He was then named the head men’s coach at the University of Alabama before moving on to Pepperdine and now finds himself at the University of Michigan.
Adam has a string of outstanding accomplishments including the 2006 NCAA team title during his 13 year tenure at Pepperdine. 
In this episode we discuss why Adam moved from a head coaching position at St. John's to the assistant position at Northwestern, his NCAA title prediction in his interview at Pepperdine and how he helped turn that prediction into a reality. We also spend a lot of our time discussing his coaching philosophy and the high energy culture he creates wherever he goes. 
Key parts of this conversation have been marked for your listening convenience:
  • 01:54 - Why was the decision to go from a head coach to an assistant coach a good decision for you?
  • 07:21 - How do you think you were in a better position when you made the transition from head coach to assistant coach to head coach again?
  • 09:37 - Did you really promise a National Championship in 4 years when you were interviewed for the head coach position at Pepperdine University?
  • 11:55 - How did you build your program and know that your team was in a position to win the title?
  • 15:29 - Were there any specific weaknesses you felt like you needed to "drill" in to?
  • 17:26 - How do you help facilitate leadership with your team?
  • 21:13 - Where does your high energy philosophy stem from?
  • 26:18 - How do you establish a culture of energy, especially with a new program?
  • 30:58 - How do you identify players who fit into your high energy culture?
  • 33:47 - Are there any specific questions that you use to help you identify the players that fit your culture?
  • 37:54 - How would you help to encourage a coach to find their identity and build values?
  • 41:43 - How do you go about showing your players that you care about them first and foremost as a student and person and then an athlete second?
  • 45:30 - What is a book that has made a major impact on you as a coach?
  • 46:35 - What is your favorite drill?
  • 48:00 - What would you say is one thing that you have changed your mind on in life or in coaching in recent years?
  • 50:37 - What is your favorite quote?
  • 51:54 - What is one lesson you hope your players learn by the time they leave your program?


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