In this third and final segment of our discussion with highly regarded tennis coach Craig Boynton, we learn more about the coaching profession and possibilities for the future of sports.
If becoming a top ranked tour coach is on your list of dream jobs, Craig Boynton says it’s all in the numbers. “There are only 10 players in the top 10. If every player has one coach, that’s only 10 openings. The advice that I always give to folks looking to take their coaching to the next level is to take an inventory of your relationships with other coaches, players, and agents.
“These are all people who are going to help open doors and give you an opportunity to step on the court or an opportunity to get to know the player. And once you have an opportunity to work with a player, you have to have the goods and help them advance. It’s important for them to feel supported on the court and off the court.”
Once you are a coach, Boynton says it’s important to keep learning about the mind, body, and spirit and how different personalities need to be managed. He noted that he has some medical friends who give him advice and he bounces ideas off other coaches. Even listening to commentators on television gives him insights.
“I am passionate about helping players reach their goals,” he says. Boynton delights in his players’ abilities across the board. For example, Boynton enjoys darts with Hubi (coaching client Hubert Hurkacz) when they’re on the road. ”Hubi and I enjoy competition. We meet each other on the golf course and really enjoy darts one-on-one,” he said. “He’s also very good shooting pool. So when we are on tour, we always try to find a pool hall or a place we can play darts during the week, and we’re pretty competitive with each other. We have a lot of fun competing against each other off the tennis court and appreciating each other as human beings.”
A Clemson alumnus (naturally he was a star player there), Boynton enjoys relaxing from the tour by spending time with his family and watching college and professional football. He’s also a fan of Formula One racing.
While the sports world is on pause due to safer-at-home orders from COVID-19, Craig has used his extra time to enjoy his family and his home in Tampa. He’s staying busy with several home improvement projects. For him, the secret is to having short, medium, and long-term action lists so he is productive in the moment. “I want to be ready to hit the ground running when the time comes and part of that is consistently feeling productive.”
Boynton is optimistic for sports on the other side of the global pandemic, “I hope that we will have more tolerance for each other now because we all went through this together. We’ll have more gratitude for the opportunities ahead of us and we can use our gifts to help someone reach their goals. The things we have taken for granted have been taken away from us and it’s been out of our control.
I have faith in the human spirit, the knowledge of all the smart, creative period working to find a cure and develop creative ways to get us whole when this is over. We will come out on the other side as better people.”