Friday, June 22, 2007

Expanding the coach horizons

With the exception of a French Open trophy, Roger Federer certainly seems to have it all.
Success? Check.
Money? Check, please.
Girlfriend/manager? Yep.
Loyal, supportive coach always available for a tip or two? Um, no.
Since he dropped coach Tony Roche a few months back, Federer's beenriding solo. With Wimbledon, arguably the most prestigious Grand Slam, coming up, he sure could use someone to swap strategies with.
There have been a few names bandied about, like Darren Cahill, AndreAgassi's former coach, but perhaps Federer limits himself by not looking outside of tennis for a coach. Why, he could consider:
1. Phil Jackson: This could be the Dream Team. Federer's got a near-perfect game already, and Jackson only chooses basketball teams whoare championship ready. Federer could be Phil's Michael Jordan, or Kobe Bryant -- without the "Trade Me!" banter. All Federer would haveto do is relocate to a big city with bright lights, and Jackson'sright at home.
2. Butch Harmon: Imagine the look on Federer's face when one of golf's best-known swing coaches says to him, "Kid, there's a hitch inthat forehand. We're gonna hafta start all over again." Of course, hecan follow that up with, "Hey, it worked for Tiger." The bad news: Phil Mickelson hired him, and he just busted up his wrist.
3. Bill Parcells: In order to beat Rafael Nadal, Federer's going toneed a coach who can motivate him emotionally. Parcells might be abit unconventional and abrasive, but he can bring out the best in his players, even while he's occassionally assaulting their masculinity. Well, there's something else. Parcells likes control. In fact, heonce complained, "They want you to cook the dinner, at least they ought to let you shop for some of the groceries." Translation: if hetells you to stop serving-and-volleying, Roger, well, you're going tohave to stop serving and volleying.
4. Billy Donovan: Here's a college basketball coach who's had great succeess success at that level. Can he "go pro?" No one knows. Not even Donovan.

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