PCA Development Zone®

Resource Center

Dick Gould On Removing Pressure To Win

Dick Gould On Removing Pressure To Win

Share This Resource

Dick Gould (@Dick_Gould), a PCA National Advisory Board member, is the winningest coach in Stanford men's tennis history, taking 17 NCAA titles in his 38 seasons. Under his guidance, former players have excelled with 9 reaching the top 15 in ATP world singles rankings and 50 becoming All-Americans. His former players have also captured 13 grand slam championships and 10 NCAA singles championships.

In this video, Gould explains how adding pressure to the game takes the fun out of sports for kids. At the beginning of his career, winning was the main focus, which added a lot of pressure. Seeing kids “practicing without smiles or laughter” convinced Gould that his focus shouldn't be only on winning.

There is a lot of power in positive reinforcement, having fun, and helping players set realistic goals to achieve for themselves; winning should never be the only goal. As Gould said, “You might have an undefeated season, but you still can be better than you were."