A Brief Chat With Ismael – Founder, IMS Tennis
We had a brief chat with Ismael Macia Serrano, founder of IMS Tennis – a Singapore-based tennis academy promulgating the Spanish Training System – who is also an Entreseller. He shared with us his background and some tennis thoughts from the perspective of a coach. Read (or scroll) to the bottom to get some tennis tips!
What inspired you to start coaching?
My cousin was the first one who I was inspired by to become a player and after a tennis coach. He was the hitting partner of Juan Carlos Ferrero (ex number 1 in the world) when I was very young, and I was fascinated when I saw him playing with him, my idol since I was a kid. When I was a teenager I knew it was almost impossible for me to become a professional player so I already decided I wanted to become a tennis coach, like my cousin, following his steps. So I would say he has been like my mentor.
What is your biggest motivation to coach?
My biggest motivation to coach is to continue practicing the sport from another perspective. I want to transmit the passion I have for tennis to the player and try to reach his/her maximum performance possible.
What is your perfect student like?
The perfect student doesn’t exist. But if I would have to define it, it will be someone very motivated and engaged in the process of learning. Someone that trust the coach and try to absorb the knowledge and apply it in every training and match.
What is your coaching style?
I would say my coaching style is professional, I adapt the lesson to the level of the player and his/her needs. I’m passionate and very intense on court. I’m an involved active coach.
How do you measure progress in your students?
There are a few ways that you can measure the progress of the students. There are different tests where you can measure quantitatively and qualitatively the progress technically, tactically, physically and mentally. One drill that I use a lot to see the improvements of the player is to see how many balls he/she can rally with me in a row, without any mistake. It’s a simple drill, working on consistency, that allows the player and the coach as well to see very easily the progress of the consistency of the player.
You can measure the progress as well looking the results in matches. Although personally I don’t always like this because a result in a match also depends on the performance of the other player.
One interesting fact/thing that happened during your tennis career or coaching career
I am able to travel all around the world thanks to tennis. I have been able to work in 3 different continents as a tennis coach. I have been working in several world-known Academies with good players and that helped me to be where I am right now. The most interesting thing is to see the different kind of players you can find in every different country. Every player is different and special, and that makes my job unique.
Any tips to share with players (any level) who want to improve?
First of all they have to understand that tennis career is a long process and they have to respect that, they should have short term, mid term and long term goals and working every day on those goals with the coach, trusting the coach and the whole team, they will reach them progressively.
Also they must have certain values that are very important to be able to improve and succeed. Talent is not all. You need to put effort in the training, you need to have respect and discipline for the sport and the coach, you need to work hard every day. Your goal should be to try to be the best version of yourself every day, that’s the key for improvement.