When Anthony Johnson was just six years old, he started playing tennis at Sportsmen’s. His grandfather, Joe Taylor, is a coach at Sportsmen’s and taught Anthony how to play. He would wake up at 5 a.m. to go to the park and train with his grandfather. It was hard work, but it eventually became a game that he loved.
Coach Anthony has been coaching tennis since he was eight years old. He was a junior coach at Franklin Park Tennis Association until he started at Sportsmen’s in 2019. Anthony helped out with Summer Camp and then began teaching Red Ball clinics. He also coaches Orange Ball and some Tournament Training.
From a young age, Anthony was always very observant. He watched other coaches train and run drills with their students. Anthony has taken what he has learned from his experience and applies it to his coaching technique.
“I try to replicate the drills that I learned that helped me get better. It could be footwork, groundstrokes, really anything that I found beneficial. I’m bringing that knowledge to the table,” he said.
I think that it is good to reflect on what you can work on, but you can’t sit all day with tears in your eyes about one loss. There are more matches to be played…
It is not all just about tennis when it comes to being a coach, especially at the beginners level.
“[The coaches] work on helping them not get discouraged from playing the sport,” he said. “We have to add other building blocks to it to make sure that the kids are having fun. That is the number one rule: have fun. As their skills and game progress, then we start to drill tennis a little bit more.”
This approach stems from his own experience after being discouraged from either a bad practice or match. Coach Anthony dominated the courts in the 10-and-under league. His first loss did not come until the age of 12. He was discouraged and wanted to quit, but with the push to keep moving forward from his coaches, he was able to get back out on the courts.
“I think that it is good to reflect on what you can work on, but you can’t sit all day with tears in your eyes about one loss. There are more matches to be played,” he said.
He is currently working towards his Professional Tennis Registry (PTR) license at Curry College. He is a member of their tennis team and was recognized as Rookie of the week during his match, and recently received recognition for being second all-team.