Podcast - Frank Giampaolo

Every tennis player is looking to reach their maximum potential. All the talent they possess, skills they’ve honed, and hard yards they put into being their absolute best lie in wait as they take the tennis court for a match. But all too often that same talent fails to emerge when it matters most. Frank Giampaolo knows the hindrances that prevent a highly skilled individual from doing what they do best when it matters the most. The mental side of tennis, often overlooked, has become his life’s passion.

On this episode of the Podcast with Kamau Murray, Giampaolo explains what players can do to overcome these challenges, and how coaches can prep their students to achieve peak performance under the bright lights.


Giampaolo has worked with several of the nation’s best young tennis players, and he has seen firsthand that talent is not what separates those who achieve their pro dreams from those that come up short. Managing emotions, dealing with mental challenges, and staying grounded when the pressure mounts are tests that can derail even the most gifted athletes. But with proper tools and practice, tennis players can avoid letdowns and let their racquet do the talking.

“A big key is that ability to reset, which means our athletes have to practice the in-between point routines, not just the hitting but the thinking part,” Giampaolo told host Murray.

“A lot of the players that we work with, it’s not stroke related, but it’s calming themselves down enough so they can actually think and problem solve.”

One of the strongest topics covered in this conversation is the pursuit of perfection—and how in tennis, that can actually be very detrimental to a player’s development. Giampaolo identifies it as a life trait that many driven and gifted people have, which on the surface is clearly not a bad thing. But in the context of tennis, he favors the chase of excellence over perfection.

“Try to be excellent today, don’t worry about being perfect. You’re going to miss some shots,” Giampaolo tells his students. The coach and author also highlighted why coaching in it’s best and most successful form is a collaboration: “If we ask them what to do, it creates the environment where they’re problem solving. And if we keep telling them what to do, sometimes it hurts their ego and they don’t want to listen.

"So I don’t think telling is the right idea, I think asking is a great way to get a person who is more of a perfectionist to look deeply and come up with their own answers. Because ultimately it has to come from them anyways.”

Hear more from the Tennis Channel Podcast Network.