View Full Version : learning to play tennis...
12-18-2004, 01:36 PM
did you or do you get tennis lessons? if not, how did u learn to play tennis?
12-18-2004, 01:56 PM
I went to my local park and participated in tennis clinics with other players around my ability level. A clinic is where one coach is matched with about six players; it's basically a one-on-six lesson where you participate in drills and games. I've had maybe four one-on-one lessons in 12 years. Maybe that's why I'm not a pro, hmm. Tennis lessons are definitely a good use of your time and effort granted you have the money to pay for them. Other than that, I watched tennis on television and read Tennis and picked up on mechanics while doing that.
First went out and hit when i was like 14 with no instruction at all. Did that for about a year. I then took like 6 private lessons with my brother where i was taught basic grips and classic style swing and serve at about age 15. Then I just played all the time for about 2 years.
After a 15 year break I started playing again regularly about 2 years ago. Before I started competitive play I paid $45-50/hr for lessons. They weren't worth it IMO. I found studying technique on my own through internet/books, video and practicing these techniques much more valuable and much less costly.
12-18-2004, 05:53 PM
Never had a lesson. I Started playing with a friend when we found it difficult to get enough people to play basketball, baseball, or football.
12-18-2004, 06:47 PM
Never took a lesson at all. Just played and watched pros in an attempt to emmulate. Upon failure of emmulation, I would just mess around with what I saw to make it work and feel comfortable.
12-21-2004, 05:05 PM
Lessons, from 14 yr. onward. from some very good people. Iwas fortunate. My biggest helper outside of that was the practice wall would hit it for hours .
12-29-2004, 12:45 PM
Lessons are the only way to truly learn how to be an advanced player. I would like to hear from 5.0+ players that learned to play without taking lessons. It's nearly impossible to learn the advanced techniques (kick serve?) without lessons from a good teaching pro. As well, you need self-practice (wall, empty court to practice serve with a lot of balls and targets set up), and opponents - usually people at about your own skill level. There is no substitute for lesssons. Tennis is not as simple as ping-pong/babminton - simply knocking the ball around senselessly will not improve your skill. It takes effort, serious concentration, and daily practice to learn properly. As well, you MUST get a decent racquet to learn how to play. By decent I don't mean oversize, light, supergizmoultrapower type racquets. I mean decent in that you should not even be able to get the ball over the net when you first use it. Wooden racquets are best - or at least something less than 95 square inches. Using a racquet like this will promote proper mechanics and you will know when you are doing something correctly. Big, powerful racquets will stunt your development. You have to learn the rules. Even the hackers at the 2.0 - 3.5 level generally only know the basic rules. You should get yourself a rule book and read it - particularly the Tennis BC rulebook. Next time you watch a match on tv, why not look at the way the pros hit instead of the ball? You can learn a lot by observing the technique of the pros (they wouldn't be pros without good technique). Tennis is a skill - it takes years of refinement and fine tuning - to learn you have to learn how to do everything in the game. Hit a flat serve, kick serve, slice serve, forhand cross-court, down the line, inside out - same for backand. How to slice the ball, hit a dropshot, lob, passing shot, etc and do each one effectively at the right time in a match. Each skill requires a separate private lesson at the very minimum. Beware of bad teaching pros - many will take your money and give you little in return. Self-practice might seem a good place to start but all you will do is solidify bad technique. Most importantly (since I am a coach myself) - SEE THE BALL UPON CONTACT! - - if you are playing tennis, is you don't see the ball hit your racquet, chances are that you will mi****. Anyway, I learned the game through countless private lessons and hitting/drill sessions - they pay off.
12-29-2004, 01:02 PM
learned from my dad; actually still get pointers from him 10+ years later. but never a paid lesson from any other coach. along the way other people have helped out my game as well but for the most part i typically chalk up my learning to experience/losing and hitting the wall.
12-29-2004, 01:03 PM
Athleticism plays a huge role. I took many tennis lessons as a junior, and am now a strong 5.0.
Golf, however, is what I've learned on my own. I was a 2 handicap (5.5+ tennis equivalent) at one time without ever having taken a lesson. Just from watching the pros and practicing what I "thought" they were doing. Pretty soon I got efficient in the way I was swinging, even if it wasn't always textbook.
12-29-2004, 01:29 PM
I started playing with some friends in the summer of 2003. I also took a beginner's class in college during the spring 2004 semester, but the instructor who was a great guy, didn't teach me anything because it was a beginner's class. The class was taught how to hit with an efh grip and a closed stance, but the instructor was very cool with me using a sw grip and an open stance because he realized I got used to modern tennis by the time I took his class. That was and easy A btw.
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