Jason Harnett on coaching wheelchair players

By: Nina Pantic & Irina Falconi | June 23, 2020

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With over 20 years of experience, the USTA Head Coach shares how he got into wheelchair coaching as an able-bodied player.

"I think as a wheelchair coach you have to have some comfort of being in the chair and understanding mobility patterns, understanding chair set up. That takes time."

USTA Wheelchair National Manager and Head Coach Jason Harnett is on the show this week to talk wheelchair tennis. Harnett has coached wheelchair athletes for over 20 years, and guides the World Team Cup and Paralympic squads.

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Recorded before the COVID-19 outbreak, this episode is available to watch on YouTube and Facebook.

Wheelchair tennis has been in the news recently after the US Open cancelled the 2020 event. Amidst backlash, some options are being discussed to hold a possible tournament after all. While the USTA just made significant changes to the Player Development department, Harnett and wheelchair tennis remain a huge part of the organization's efforts to grow tennis. 

Harnett on court with a player at the USTA National Campus in Lake Nona, Fla. 

Harnett shares how he got into coaching wheelchair tennis and what it's like to be an able-bodied coach and player in his field. He dives into some of the issues facing wheelchair players while recognizing how far the sport and its star athletes (like David Wagner, Dylan Alcott, Mackenzie Soldan and Shingo Kunieda) have come.

The views, information, and/or opinions expressed are solely those of the podcast creators and do not necessarily represent those of The Tennis Channel, Inc., its affiliates or subsidiaries.