Intercollegiate Tennis Association

The Language of Coaching - Nick Winkelman

June 1, 2020

Nick Winkelman is the former director of education and training systems for EXOS, formerly known as Athletes Performance. There he supported, NBA, national sports organizations and the military. He is currently the head of athletic performance and science for the Irish Rugby National Team who are ranked No. 4 in the world. He is an internationally recognized speaker on human performance and coaching science.

In this podcast, Nick takes us through the coaching loop, why cueing is so important for tennis players and especially for those returning from injury or a long break, why coaches should learn to speak less to their athletes during training and competition along with more information that is valuable to college tennis coaches.

Nick has graciously offered ITA Member Coaches a 20% discount for his book The Language of Coaching through June 30, 2020. Visit, click the "order now" button and provide the discount code: TLOC20.

Key parts of this conversation have been marked for your listening convenience:

  • 01:51 - Tell us about "the coaching communication loop!"
  • 07:08 - What are the differences between internal and external focus?
  • 17:54 - Tell us about the continuum of "Coaching Cues."
  • 32:00 - What are your thoughts on the power of simplicity?
  • 33:54 - What advice do you have for coaches to take a step back from giving your players all the information during a game (communicating too much)?
  • 45:43 - When you're preparing for a coaching session - are you already thinking about your analogies you're going to share with your players or are you catering your analogies to each player?
  • 51:20 - Talk about cueing during athletes returning from injury.
  • 56:30 - Would you encourage coaches to share Rob Gray's work with their strength and conditioning coach and athletic trainers?
  • 58:15 - Are cues only good for improving movement or do they do something else?

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