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Coach Claudio Pistolesi Says Empathy Key to Great Coaching

“Remember this word: empathy,” Italian coach Claudio Pistolesi told attendees of a CrowdVIEW Live event Wednesday, March 24, on the TennisOne App. “Empathy is from Old Greek and means one is with the emotion of the other. A player will grow as a person with the coach, and the coach is growing as a person with the player. It is mutual.”



Pistolesi, 53, will share his philosophy of coaching top players using storytelling, empathy and relationship building, during Thursday’s Day 1 session of the World Tennis Conference. taking place March 25-28. The event is designed and organized by the Global Professional Tennis Coach Association (GPTCA) and Segal Institute.


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Pistolesi is a former pro who hit an ATP singles ranking of No. 71 in August 1987. The Italian took over the coaching duties for Swede Robin Soderling last December 2020. He also coached Japan’s Takao Suzuki from 1997 to 2007.


“My philosophy is you start from scratch at the beginning of the player-coach relationship,” Pistolesi explained during the CrowdVIEW Live event. “When someone asks me to coach, I always wait and see if I deserved to be asked. It puts you in a strong position (as a coach) if you are not looking for anything. They (the players) are looking for you.”


Once contacted by the player, Pistolesi questions himself on whether he could actually help the player.


“You have to ask yourself if you can really help this player,” Pistolesi said. “You know this is going to be a trial time. I did the trial time with Soderling over four or five tourneys, six or eight weeks. You want time to know each other and make some rules and find out what is the need.”


Starting from scatch helped Pistolesi know the former two-time French Open singles runner-up Soderling’s needs and contribute effectively to his growth as a tennis player. Pistolesi is also working as the Director of JTCC Bolles in Jacksonville, Fla., and will bring his unique perspectives to viewers of the World Tennis Conference.


Registered viewers of the virtual conference will be also able to learn from six-time Grand Slam champion Boris Becker. The German star, who formerly coached world No. 1 Novak Djokovic, will hold a 40-minute online session on Thursday, March 25, to offer tips on strategy and creating powerful tennis strokes.


“The lineup of coaches presenting at this conference is impressive, and includes coaches from the world’s top six men’s players,” said Kristin Geer, CEO the TennisONE App. “Over the four days, viewers of the conference will be able to watch top instructors and learn the techniques they use to take players to the top.”


Alberto Castellani, GPTCA President, mentioned that the “WTC is the first-ever conference with such a high level of high-performance tennis coaches involved. It’s great to be able to put on such an amazing list of speakers who have worked with so many tennis champions world-wide.”


All of the conference sessions will be archived for later viewing. Conference attendees will have access to all the video sessions for 30 days after the conference ends through the TennisONE App.


Headliners include Toni Nadal, who is the opening presenter on Thursday, March 25, and will discuss “the principles and values to develop from the beginning” of a player’s journey.


A full four-day pass is available for $110, while individual days are offered for $45 each day. A Headliners pass for $60 is also available.

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