PDA

View Full Version : Should I pay pre-paid packages for tennis lessons or just pay once each session?


firstblud
07-26-2009, 09:03 PM
I took lessons 2 years ago when I started out with an instructor. For the first lesson, I felt that I learned a lot, so I paid up front a lump sum that would save me a bit of money (like $10 per session) for 8 weeks.

however, by like the 5th lesson or so, I felt that the returns I was getting from each session was dwindling and I was not really getting much out of it. perhaps it's the nature of getting tennis lessons, it could be me learning slower, or it could be the coach not being too helpful and seeing me as a cashcow.

What do some of you guys do for lessons? Do you pay a package up front or do a pay as you go type of deal? Pros/cons to this that you've observed?

to coaches, please don't feel shy to give your honest opinion :).

edit:

update 1:

took lessons a few days ago and told him my forehand and serve need work and that i told him to teach me as if i'll be coming back as a regular. he first drilled me a few balls to inspect my current forehand. he said that i hit only the open stance and that it was something that the pros use, but that it'd be better for me to learn the neutral stance forehand (i thought it was closed at first). also he noted that i do a lot of skipping/shuffling to balls when i could just be taking steps instead (better for my balance and awareness of my racket take-back position). he said my swing is fine and that the biggest thing i need to work on to improve my forehand is my footwork, so he drilled me a lot on split step and movement exercises.

he also noted a few quirks in my swing, like how i occasionally take an extremely slight pause early into my swing, which takes away from some of my power; he notes it's because i swing too early and need to be patient and wait. also, to my surprise, he said my left arm extension on the forehand should be more extended; i did not realize this! apparently i have a huge bend in my left arm that looks funny (my friend took a video of me) and really was't done correctly.

at the end of the lesson he asked if i would take the package. i politely declined, but i said i will certainly come back against next week. my homework assignment was to practice the toss by putting the racket on the floor and tossing the ball at a 45 degree angle from me and making sure it lands in that area on my strings.

so far i like the guy (obviously) and he seems to know his stuff. a few things I question i come to this forum to verify what he says, and he's been pretty much spot on more or less. well worth the $50 for a first lesson!

Bud
07-26-2009, 10:16 PM
Pay by the lesson until you know you like the instructor and the instruction is helping your game.

Solat
07-27-2009, 02:13 AM
pay for a block and tell your coach what you want to achieve in that block, it gives the coach a really good structure to set up lesson planning. If a client is wishy-washy about how often they come it is hard to coach them effectively.

for example if i assess you as needing work on your FH topspin, your whole BH and your 2nd serve then you come for a lesson and i don't know if you are going to continue on then i try to give a little help to each area. I can't go into detail in any area and spend all lesson on one aspect, since then you leave not having worked on the other two strokes. You might not come back. Therefore I cannot be as effective as a coach, next lesson you do come back we review what was done and build a little bit on. Also what if you have a bad day, by locking in a block of lessons you force yourself to get past it and keep working, if you play it on and off then you can use a bad lesson as an excuse to stop.

However if i know i have 8 weeks i can plan to spend x amount of time on this, then z amount of time on that, knowing how much time each aspect needs. I find I am a much more effective coach when I have an idea of lesson time available. To the point where I will actually set monthly tasks and programs for clients who have a lesson every week, its good for player and coach to be on the same page and same timeline

PimpMyGame
07-27-2009, 02:31 AM
I'd say per per lesson. Unless you like paying up front and removing the carrot.

I paid up front for four hours of coaching and just about managed to perfect the fist pump.

Cindysphinx
07-27-2009, 03:37 AM
I'd say per per lesson. Unless you like paying up front and removing the carrot.

I paid up front for four hours of coaching and just about managed to perfect the fist pump.

I pay per session, $60/hour.

I don't like paying for anything up front. Then I am constantly trying to remember what I've paid and what I am owed. Who needs it?

Cindy -- whose pro has one older female client who takes a lesson every weekday morning and who wonders what kind of deal she must be getting

Sublime
07-27-2009, 04:47 AM
I agree with solat, do the block, especially if you can save a few dollars.

Depending on where you are in your game, you may know better than the pro where you need help. For instance you may struggle with mid court overheads, volleying specific kinds of balls, or inside out forehands. It would take even a very observant pro a while to figure that out.

So if you don't have a mental laundry list of your weaknesses make one and have it ready when you agree to do the block. Then the pro has some time to think about what to do to help you.

crystal_clear
07-27-2009, 06:24 AM
I pay per lesson. My instructor made a 10- week plan for me to work on different shots.

Bungalo Bill
07-27-2009, 08:43 AM
I took lessons 2 years ago when I started out with an instructor. For the first lesson, I felt that I learned a lot, so I paid up front a lump sum that would save me a bit of money (like $10 per session) for 8 weeks.

however, by like the 5th lesson or so, I felt that the returns I was getting from each session was dwindling and I was not really getting much out of it. perhaps it's the nature of getting tennis lessons, it could be me learning slower, or it could be the coach not being too helpful and seeing me as a cashcow.

Where you practicing? A lesson simply sets you in the right direction for you to practice what you have learned in the lesson.

When you learn something in a lesson, unless you have more to learn like serves, volleys, etc...the lesson starts to work in repetition drills. This is simply drills that take what you learned and repeat it over and over again for you to engrain things. You may feel you are not "learning" anything at this point. However, you are because the coach should be watching you perform and making adjustments as you groove the technique.

What do some of you guys do for lessons? Do you pay a package up front or do a pay as you go type of deal? Pros/cons to this that you've observed?

to coaches, please don't feel shy to give your honest opinion :).

You guys got to practice what you learn in a lesson. If you don't you are throwing you money away. I doubt the coach is seeing you as a "cash cow". I would not pay for something ahead of time though. However, the discount is a nice thing to offer. I would ask him why you felt you learned a lot in the beginning and dont feel you are learning a lot now. It could be the way he structured his lesson and he is just trying to automate what you learned in previous lessons.

firstblud
07-27-2009, 09:33 AM
i guess in terms of practice, i just hit with friends on weekends, but they are not like good at rallying (i'm not good myself), so i guess it's sometimes difficult to work on strokes. on weekdays, i sometimes might not even get a chance to hit a ball because there's no open courts after I get home from work around 7 PM, but usually I get one session in during the weekday (outside of the one weekday I would use for lessons)

but in terms of real formal practice, I don't have a ball machine or a real good hitter who can feed me balls to work on what I learn from a lesson.

Bungalo Bill
07-27-2009, 10:22 AM
i guess in terms of practice, i just hit with friends on weekends, but they are not like good at rallying (i'm not good myself), so i guess it's sometimes difficult to work on strokes. on weekdays, i sometimes might not even get a chance to hit a ball because there's no open courts after I get home from work around 7 PM, but usually I get one session in during the weekday (outside of the one weekday I would use for lessons)

but in terms of real formal practice, I don't have a ball machine or a real good hitter who can feed me balls to work on what I learn from a lesson.

Are you a working man? Family? Not there yet?

I can tell you this, there has to be a balance with taking a lesson and engraining what you learn. If you don't make a living off of tennis (and it looks like you don't) then you have to find time in your week to get soem practice in.

There is wall hitting, ball machines, calling up someone to hit with. Maybe it is time to expand your group of tennis players. There is someone like you in the same boat as you are that desires to practice near you. Unless you live in Timbuktu.

The point is this. If you are looking for lessons to make you a better tennis player, you are looking into the wrong area as a whole to make you better. Lessons are lessons, they are not the Holy Grail. Take computer training for example. When you take computer training on software are you instantly an expert? No, you need to use the software to get better with it. The same is with tennis. You have to set aside some time to practice what you learned.

You might be able to use some of your lesson as practice. This means that some of your lesson will be used to engrain what you learned in the lesson or from previous lessons. You are in a way paying your instructor to be a hitting partner as well and there is nothing wrong with that.

When I taught lessons, I did not teach them conventionally. My tennis lessons were part lesson and practice. The lesson was intertwined in the practice and I built your stroke through key areas while you drilled. Coaching advise was given as you completed the drills. Your footwork was incorporated in it as well. So no matter what, at the end of the lesson, you felt you either learned a lot, got an excellent workout, or both.

Talk to your coach about it and let him know your dillemma with finding players to practice with. You might be able to share a lesson and then he can have you both play out points or work on something together.

There was a time when I had two players (one on each side of the court) rally over a rope while I was near the net post critiquing their stroke or stopping the drill and emphasizing something.

Be creative, you can get it done.

firstblud
07-27-2009, 07:00 PM
appreciate the feedback from you all...

i guess i'll go with my gut and not pay up front for a discounted package. it's not that much anyway.

initially i was torn on whether i should ask him to focus on something specifically, like get more consistency on my forehand and/or help me get a reliable serve, but I think I will tell the instructor to teach me as if I were to take several more lessons in the future, so he doesn't try to force too much into a lesson and we both lose.

RedWeb
07-27-2009, 07:21 PM
I paid for 10 lessons up front and now fear not getting the final 5 because the pro just got fired from the club where he worked. I had to call him on his personal number several times before I got him to respond and now things are a little up in the air, but hopefully it will work out. I'll be a little more careful in the future for several reasons including the one I just stated.

firstblud
07-27-2009, 08:00 PM
I paid for 10 lessons up front and now fear not getting the final 5 because the pro just got fired from the club where he worked. I had to call him on his personal number several times before I got him to respond and now things are a little up in the air, but hopefully it will work out. I'll be a little more careful in the future for several reasons including the one I just stated.

wow that sucks to hear. i hope they don't try to screw you by replacing your old pro with a new one and expect the new one to smoothly pick up where you left off.

Cindysphinx
07-28-2009, 03:55 AM
Ask the pro for the names of a couple of his other students who are your level. Then you'll have practice partners, hopefully ones who are working on the same things you are.

Regarding what to work on, I would suggest that you first tell the pro what you think needs work and then after he sees you hit, ask him what he thinks needs work. I first went to my pro wanting to improve my BH. I believed my FH was fine.

He watched me hit and told me that my BH mechanics were actually much more solid than my FH mechanics. I took his word for it, and it turns out that he was right.

One other last bit of advice. I have friends who want to take lessons but who don't have the money for a lot of lessons. So they tend take a lesson or two and try to work on a dozen things. Afterward, they will tell me that the pro gave them this or that good tip or correction. But to my eye, nothing has changed about their game because they tried to fix so many things that they actually fixed nothing. It's one thing for someone to tell you something you aren't doing correctly (say, stepping into a volley), but it is quite another to drill it so that the bad habit actually changes.

So I think it works best if you only have limited money for lessons to pick one thing and work on it until it is well and truly fixed.

Steady Eddy
07-28-2009, 09:42 AM
You're essentially playing a "zero-sum" game with your pro here. So why would he be willing to give you this discount? Is he just giving money away? His experience must be that people lose interest in his lessons and quit taking them. He'll make more offering the discount because then you'll have already paid for lessons from him that you don't want. But how is that a deal for you? Remember, you can't both come out ahead with this discount. Who's the loser? Also, read the following post. There's also more risk to you anytime you prepay. I like the simplicity of you pay each time. Just stick with that.

I paid for 10 lessons up front and now fear not getting the final 5 because the pro just got fired from the club where he worked. I had to call him on his personal number several times before I got him to respond and now things are a little up in the air, but hopefully it will work out. I'll be a little more careful in the future for several reasons including the one I just stated.

Bungalo Bill
07-28-2009, 01:54 PM
You're essentially playing a "zero-sum" game with your pro here. So why would he be willing to give you this discount? Is he just giving money away? His experience must be that people lose interest in his lessons and quit taking them.

His experience must be? How do you know? Did you analyze his books? Interview the students? Have you sat and observed his coaching ability?

Many coaches to help a student see the benefits of taking lessons, use the discount approach for a series of lessons for various reasons including keeping the student going through several lessons instead of just one.

Some players "try" lessons and may test it once or twice to see if it is something they want to do. In the sport of tennis, and since repetition is a huge tool for learning, often one or two lessons is not enough for a player to see the benefits of taking a lesson. When a student doesn't see the benefit in a short time, they may view taking lessons as bad or a ripoff.

There are many situations where students are more of the problem in a lesson than the coach. Preconceived ideas, misinformation, jumping to poor conclusions as to what lessons provide, etc...

He'll make more offering the discount because then you'll have already paid for lessons from him that you don't want. But how is that a deal for you? Remember, you can't both come out ahead with this discount. Who's the loser? Also, read the following post. There's also more risk to you anytime you prepay. I like the simplicity of you pay each time. Just stick with that.

Taking a lesson should not be viewed as a "deal". Taking lessons is about setting realistic goals and using lessons, practices, etc...to acheive those goals. If you beleive you can acheive those goals with our without a coach - great! However, not every lesson is going to have discoveries that excite you into thinking that you have "arrived". Many lessons are simply repetitive and have introductions in other areas. A student may have a good base of knowledge already and little discovery to be made in the lesson.

And it is possible for both to come out ahead. Coaches don't just get rewarded by money for their exchange of knowledge and insight. They also get rewarded by seeing their players improve. For me, that was the biggest reward.

I think for a player that supposedly has played as long as you to think that a coach is only interested in trading a lesson for money is reducing things to an insensitive robotic system. Many coaches care deeply for their students but also need to pay their own bills and it could very well be that the coach wants his students to stick to lessons to see th ebenefit they can derive that may exceed the money paid. I have only met one coach that didn't want to go the extra mile for their players/customers.

Finally, teaching lessons is a tough job that is hard on the body and has a lot of risk. To make this coach look like some shiester that is interested in getting "more out of the deal" is a bit ridiculous to me.

For coaches to offer their time to teach students how to play tennis should be viewed in higher respects than just "some deal going down."

Cindysphinx
07-28-2009, 02:04 PM
Yeah, but . . .

Teaching tennis for hire is a job, a profession, a way of paying the bills. It is a business.

I have total respect for what tennis pros (and piano teachers, and SAT tutors, and anyone who teaches something to someone for money) do. But let's not kid ourselves. It is a business, not a calling.

If the pro is offering a multi-lesson discount, he is doing it for the same reasons any other businessperson would: Because there is value to having a bird in the hand, because it can be good marketing to get someone started on and invested in the service so they will keep coming back, because it can close the deal when the student is considering hiring the competition instead. There is nothing wrong with that at all.

I find it hard to believe that tennis pros offering a multi-lesson discount are doing it for altruistic reasons. Nor should they.

But yes, it is quite possible for both to come out ahead, as both obtain a different benefit from entering into the multi-lesson discounted deal.

Cindy -- who thinks she ought to be receiving a volume discount by this point

Bungalo Bill
07-28-2009, 02:16 PM
Yeah, but . . .

Teaching tennis for hire is a job, a profession, a way of paying the bills. It is a business.

Of course it is a business. However, it is a business that you want your customers to be glad they do business with you. And taking one lesson doesn't always determine the benefits of taking lessons over a longer period of time. It is up to the business owner to educate their customers in realizing this. And by doing so, you need to provide an offer for them to try your offer. Absolutely nothing wrong, illegal, incorrect, sinester, crooked, criminal, or anything else that places a negative tone on this way of earning a living and offering their products and services to the public.

Taking a lesson is not just about you paying money and him delivering a speech or a couple of tips. It should be the beginning of a business relationship in which both parties benefit.

It isn't just "some deal" and only one benefits.

I have total respect for what tennis pros (and piano teachers, and SAT tutors, and anyone who teaches something to someone for money) do. But let's not kid ourselves. It is a business, not a calling.

Not true. It is a business and can be a calling to that business. To discount the heart of a tennis pro as some impersonal business deal is not only insulting but a bit cold.

If the pro is offering a multi-lesson discount, he is doing it for the same reasons any other businessperson would: Because there is value to having a bird in the hand, because it can be good marketing to get someone started on and invested in the service so they will keep coming back, because it can close the deal when the student is considering hiring the competition instead. There is nothing wrong with that at all.

Now, I can tell you have never taught a lesson. Again, there is the business side to it, which I have mentioned above, however, to discount the human side of it is shortsighted and too simplistic.

Any coach worth their salt wants to see their product and service benefit the recepient of that product and service, otherwise they go out of business. To view tennis coaching only from the bottom-line is just out there for me. A good coach sees that his product and service come first and if he manages his business right, in turn, he will reap the benefits as well. There is absolutely nothing wrong with coaches earning money for a living.

However, to dismiss other intentions, outcomes, benefits, interest, and satisfaction to just a bottom-line shows me people around here have no clue what tennis coaching is really about.

I find it hard to believe that tennis pros offering a multi-lesson discount are doing it for altruistic reasons. Nor should they.

Really? I did. Why not? Is it wrong to offer discounts on a product or service if a person pays ahead of time? You just told me it is a business. That means there is marketing, financial management, Q&A, operations, training and development, revenues, expenses, liabilities, and assets.

If you dwindled everything down to a business, a person running a business can do whatever they want to market and promote their business.

And doing so, doesn't always have cold hard bottom-line reasons for doing it either.

But yes, it is quite possible for both to come out ahead, as both obtain a different benefit from entering into the multi-lesson discounted deal.

Cindy -- who thinks she ought to be receiving a volume discount by this point

Of course it is possible for both to benefit. This isn't a win-lose setup. I beleive it is an honest effort to earn a living and provide a benefit to the player.

firstblud
07-28-2009, 03:03 PM
i'll plead guilty that i initially felt that a tennis instructor is more business driven than anything else to give tennis lessons at a hefty premium, but BB's posts kind of changed my view. it definitely takes a high degree of passion/drive to want to teach someone tennis for a living. For someone to teach tennis for a living and NOT have this inner desire to see his/her student grow sounds more like torture.

Steady Eddy
07-28-2009, 03:12 PM
Finally, teaching lessons is a tough job that is hard on the body and has a lot of risk. To make this coach look like some shiester that is interested in getting "more out of the deal" is a bit ridiculous to me.

For coaches to offer their time to teach students how to play tennis should be viewed in higher respects than just "some deal going down."
I don't mean it that way. I believe that many pros DO care about their students and love tennis. 'Cause there are easier ways to make money. But let's remember, the OP wants to hear people's 2 cents, he didn't demand qualifications, and I gave mine.

I'm recalling a few years ago when a bought a lawnmower and paid for a warranty that included a springtime tune-up. Spring came, and I drove by a place that offered lawnmower tune-ups for $15. I thought, "That's cheap, but I'll go with my warranty." The store with my warranty charged me $30. They said 'parts aren't free' or 'labor isn't free', but acted like I was stupid because I didn't understand what I'd paid for. (They always know the fine print better than you.) Since then I've decided not to pay in advance, but pay when I need it. This goes for: warranties, insurance when you rent a car, (generally, try to self-insure as much as possible), club membership plans, long term subscriptions, etc. It's so much easier to get someone to work for you if you promise them money. But someone who already has the money, is only irratated when YOU show up asking them to keep their promise. It's too bad about that guy who paid for 10 lessons and only got 5. It doesn't happen that way every time, but why take the chance?

Cindysphinx
07-28-2009, 03:35 PM
Of course it is a business. However, it is a business that you want your customers to be glad they do business with you.

No disagreement here.

My point is that tennis instructors are in no way unique in this respect. The same can be said of other professionals who provide a service. Architects. Lawyers. SAT tutors. You want your customers to be glad they do business with you.

And you want your customers to succeed and walk away happy. Anyone who doesn't care whether their customer succeeds will probably not do an especially good job and not go the extra mile. Failure to care is also quite soul-deadening for the professional also.


And taking one lesson doesn't always determine the benefits of taking lessons over a longer period of time. It is up to the business owner to educate their customers in realizing this. And by doing so, you need to provide an offer for them to try your offer. Absolutely nothing wrong, illegal, incorrect, sinester, crooked, criminal, or anything else that places a negative tone on this way of earning a living and offering their products and services to the public.

Correct. There is nothing wrong with offering a discount or an incentive, as I said earlier.

Not true. It is a business and can be a calling to that business. To discount the heart of a tennis pro as some impersonal business deal is not only insulting but a bit cold.

I guess it depends on what you mean by "a calling." To me, a calling is something like going into the priesthood, a revelation where you decide that a certain profession or way of life is for you.

Many of us who pick a career path do it for a reason: We think we'd be good at it, we can't think of anything else for which we are better suited, we think we would enjoy it. Tennis pros are no different, are they?

Now, I can tell you have never taught a lesson. Again, there is the business side to it, which I have mentioned above, however, to discount the human side of it is shortsighted and too simplistic.

No, I have never taught a tennis lesson or much of anything else. I lack the patience for it.

My point is that tennis is a business, but that tennis pros aren't much different than others who teach or provide a service for the benefit of a client, that's all.

Cindy:

I find it hard to believe that tennis pros offering a multi-lesson discount are doing it for altruistic reasons. Nor should they.

BB: Really? I did. Why not? Is it wrong to offer discounts on a product or service if a person pays ahead of time? You just told me it is a business. That means there is marketing, financial management, Q&A, operations, training and development, revenues, expenses, liabilities, and assets.

When I say tennis pros are not offering discounts for "altruistic reasons," I mean that they are not involved in altruism (that is, acting out of concern for the welfare of others). They are, as you correctly note, running a business and all that this entails. It is good for business to bring in new clients and get them to stick around long enough to enjoy the benefits of the business relationship. This is business, not charity.

My own profession is one where discounts are offered sometimes. When I was working, I cared deeply about achieving good results for my customers. I wanted the best for them. I felt that my profession was the ideal one for me, my skill set and my temperament. But it was still most definitely a business -- for profit.

Bungalo Bill
07-28-2009, 08:36 PM
No disagreement here.

My point is that tennis instructors are in no way unique in this respect. The same can be said of other professionals who provide a service. Architects. Lawyers. SAT tutors. You want your customers to be glad they do business with you.

And you want your customers to succeed and walk away happy. Anyone who doesn't care whether their customer succeeds will probably not do an especially good job and not go the extra mile. Failure to care is also quite soul-deadening for the professional also.

Correct. There is nothing wrong with offering a discount or an incentive, as I said earlier.

I guess it depends on what you mean by "a calling." To me, a calling for some purpose and that purpose can be fulfilled while teaching tennis on a court.

Many of us who pick a career path do it for a reason: We think we'd be good at it, we can't think of anything else for which we are better suited, we think we would enjoy it. Tennis pros are no different, are they?

No, I have never taught a tennis lesson or much of anything else. I lack the patience for it.

My point is that tennis is a business, but that tennis pros aren't much different than others who teach or provide a service for the benefit of a client, that's all.

Cindy:

BB:

When I say tennis pros are not offering discounts for "altruistic reasons," I mean that they are not involved in altruism (that is, acting out of concern for the welfare of others). They are, as you correctly note, running a business and all that this entails. It is good for business to bring in new clients and get them to stick around long enough to enjoy the benefits of the business relationship. This is business, not charity.

My own profession is one where discounts are offered sometimes. When I was working, I cared deeply about achieving good results for my customers. I wanted the best for them. I felt that my profession was the ideal one for me, my skill set and my temperament. But it was still most definitely a business -- for profit.

Again, of course it is a business. We have established that indirectly in posts before you decided to chime in. Now you are arguing with me which will be futile for you. You have not been on the other side of the equation and therefore have no experience except to state the obvious.

And a calling? Well people can be called to a higher purpose while they make their tents teaching tennis.

And since you stepped in the middle of this and are now debating me on business, callings, and tennis marketing, and coaching, I will make my point as follows:

Just because a player is not getting the "wow" effect in every lesson and th lessons become more "repetitious" at times and just because a coach markets his business in the way he wants does not mean he is running a scam which was implied.

Good coaches are not running a scam were they are only interested in making a dime off of you and giving nothing back in return. Our great country is setup in captialism and coaches in America have every legal right to make a profit in their coaching business without being considered as ripoff artists, scam artists, peddlers, thieves, and snakes, to every player that takes a lesson and cries that the lesson didn't change them into Rodger Federer overnight.

I personally don't know one coach that enters this business only to make a buck off of you. I am sure they are out there just like there are business men willing to take Enron down and ripoff millions of people. However, it is hardly a representation of the many.

And evaluating the quality of the service and product is different than labelling a coach as a ripoff artist only looking out for himself. That is a very careful and fine line people need to walk.

I know many, many coaches that painstakingly endure knucklehead players that take them for granted when their true hearts desire is to further this game and make you a better tennis player.

And I could care less what any of you think about it because few of you are coaches or will ever be coaches. You have no clue what it is like to put your balls on the table and have to scrap for lessons with nitwits that don't show and never call when they know they can't make the lesson. You have no idea what teaching lessons does on your body, the risk you take cancelling your lessons due bad weather or anything else.

Shame to those that think this coach was running racket or in it only for his bottom-line and he was trying to turn a deal for his own benefit. It is bogus.

crystal_clear
07-28-2009, 08:49 PM
appreciate the feedback from you all...

i guess i'll go with my gut and not pay up front for a discounted package. it's not that much anyway.

initially i was torn on whether i should ask him to focus on something specifically, like get more consistency on my forehand and/or help me get a reliable serve, but I think I will tell the instructor to teach me as if I were to take several more lessons in the future, so he doesn't try to force too much into a lesson and we both lose.

I suggest to have one or two trial out lesson first to see if you like the instructor or not. Then ask him/her to evaluate your skills and what he can do to help you. I think one or two lessons won’t do the magic. At least 10 lessons in a row might be able to change a bad habit or learn a new trick. Also a lesson plan is very helpful. It is better to pay per lesson since a quality full price lesson is worth than a discount lousy lesson.

crystal_clear
07-28-2009, 08:54 PM
I think Bungalo Bill is a good coach and I believe he didn't make any profits from posting here. :D However it doesn't mean that alll coach are good. I have both good and bad experience with coaches. People are very different...

Bungalo Bill
07-28-2009, 08:57 PM
I think Bungalo Bill is a good coach and I believe he didn't make any profits from posting here. :D However it doesn't mean that alll coach are good. I have both good and bad experience with coaches. People are very different...

And so are players. ;)

Cindysphinx
07-29-2009, 03:41 AM
Um . . .

I really don't have an argument with you, BB. If you go back and read my posts and yours, you will see that we agree on many points. I don't know what I could have possibly done to set you off like this, but here we are.

As for me "chiming in" and "stepping into the middle" of this thread, I would say that this isn't my thread and it isn't your thread. It is a thread on a discussion board where anyone ought to be able to offer their opinions and experience without having it suggested that they are trespassing. I don't see how it is at all productive to be dismissive of someone's contribution.

And yes, you can pull rank on me if you want. You teach tennis, I don't. Got it. But in a way, I could pull rank on you: I take lessons and have done so for quite a while. Therefore I have a perspective on this that you may not have had in a while.

Maybe that means my experiences and perspective may have something of value to the OP? If not, fine. But I would think that is for the OP to decide.

Best to you, BB.

Steady Eddy
07-29-2009, 06:53 AM
And I could care less what any of you think about it because few of you are coaches or will ever be coaches.
Then why these lengthy rebuttals? Protesteth too much?

As for me "chiming in" and "stepping into the middle" of this thread, I would say that this isn't my thread and it isn't your thread. It is a thread on a discussion board where anyone ought to be able to offer their opinions and experience without having it suggested that they are trespassing.
That's what I thought too! One can even voice a mistaken position here, can't they? Let's drop the "How dare you even speak!", stuff. There are posts you'll disagree with. So you get to show why you disagree. It's no big deal.

Bungalo Bill
07-29-2009, 07:07 AM
Then why these lengthy rebuttals? Protesteth too much?

Because I disagree with your response that implied the coach was a con-artist or scammer. You have no idea what you are talking about and you did not consider the information or the position I provided.

I provided my take on things which definetly painted a different picture. Perhaps, you errored in implying that the coach was a scam artist or was lookiing to take advantage of his players. And for that you should apoligize because their are thousands of readers that could take your information to heart and put a black mark on coaches in general.

That's what I thought too! One can even voice a mistaken position here, can't they? Let's drop the "How dare you even speak!", stuff. There are posts you'll disagree with. So you get to show why you disagree. It's no big deal.

Again, you can post and provide your half-baked responses to your hearts delight. You can paint a coach as a criminal or a scam artist. You can do whatever you want. Just know that I can too. However, it may not be clear to others that you provided a half-baked negative response. It isn't to me. And since I also read posts here, regardless of my knowledge in tennis, a half-baked response on a subject that I know a lot about is going to get a response from me.

Steady Eddy
07-29-2009, 03:47 PM
...Because I disagree with your response that implied the coach was a con-artist or scammer.

...Perhaps, you errored in implying that the coach was a scam artist or was lookiing to take advantage of his players.

You can paint a coach as a criminal or a scam artist....
One what post do I say tennis instructors are: con-artists, scammers, scam artists, or criminals?

Bungalo Bill
07-29-2009, 04:03 PM
One what post do I say tennis instructors are: con-artists, scammers, scam artists, or criminals?

Right here pal...

"He'll make more offering the discount because then you'll have already paid for lessons from him that you don't want. But how is that a deal for you? Remember, you can't both come out ahead with this discount. Who's the loser?

My post countered this response. This information implied that the coach was taking advantage of something and the service or product in return was inferior thus promoting a business dealing that was a scam or a ripoff or one that only benefited the person taking the money.

My post countered your response and explained that the series of lessons the coach was offering was because of other reasons. It also does not mean by offering a discount it creates a WIN/LOSE situation.

Many times the issue isn't the coach instead it is the player.

Why don't you do me a favor? If you are going to provide your insight on something at least know what you are talking about. Otherwise, don't write.

Steady Eddy
07-29-2009, 04:28 PM
On what post do I say tennis instructors are: con-artists, scammers, scam artists, or criminals?
Right here pal...

"He'll make more offering the discount because then you'll have already paid for lessons from him that you don't want. But how is that a deal for you? Remember, you can't both come out ahead with this discount. Who's the loser?

The words: "con artist" "scammer" "scam artist" or "criminal" are absent. Maybe you FEEL this constitutes as much, but if you have to exaggerate what I said to make your point, apparently, what I really said isn't strong enough.

Why don't you do me a favor? If you are going to provide your insight on something at least know what you are talking about. Otherwise, don't write.
I'll continue posting on this board as I see fit, and as long as my posts follow the rules and guidelines. I will state that I'm not going to post on this thread anymore as I think it'll just be more of "Is so!", "Is not!" kind of talk. To sum up; the OP wondered if paying in advance for a package of tennis lessons is a good idea. My OPINION is that it is not a good idea. Sorry if that offends you. IMO that hardly means that a pro offering such a deal is a criminal.

conditionZero
07-29-2009, 05:16 PM
...for that you should apoligize because their are thousands of readers that could take your information to heart and put a black mark on coaches in general.


Maybe not thousands.

Bill, I think you did more to tarnish the image of tennis coaches than anyone else here. You're being very condescending to the very type of people who keep teaching pros in business.
How can you say (and I'm just paraphrasing here) that Cindy or Eddy should stay out of it because they're not coaches, so they don't know what they're talking about?
(I realize that's not exactly what you said, but trust me, that's how it came off to a casual observer.)
Who better than those who use teaching pros to judge teaching pros?
I would think they'd have a much less biased viewpoint.

mlktennis
07-30-2009, 12:51 PM
I'm a newbie and will prob also get 'reprimanded' but here goes-

BB- teaching is truly a calling, and as someone in the teaching profession I can say no one actually starts to do it for the money but can we agree that many get burned out from it over the years? It is in many times a thankless task, with many thankless and inconsiderate people. This takes a toll on the teacher- burn out- and yet many still go on teaching for whatever reasons. Many bad teachers, doctors, lawyer, and yes even some tennis instructors that started off with the most noble of intentions and somehow life just gets to them.

No one is calling anyone a scam artist but you are obviously too involved -pro teacher side- and are not reading this thread objectively.



My humble newbie opinion.

mlktennis
07-30-2009, 01:00 PM
just for the record I have ranted on many occasion - pro teacher/ instructor/ service provider side b/c truly there are just toooo many people out there that think b/c they pay a few bucks for a service, that you should be their slaves.

The op was asking for prepay lessons and somehow here we are. My take? I have no idea, I'm too cheap to take lessons... prob why I stink at this game!

Cindysphinx
07-30-2009, 01:39 PM
I'll say this for BB (whom I have never met and know only through his posts on this topic!): I would certainly want any pro I used to be as passionate about teaching as BB.

I have seen more than one pro "phoning it in." You can tell they just don't give a fig whether the student gets better. They won't make even the most obvious corrections, or encourage the student to try something new. I understand why that happens, of course. But I think it laudable that BB still has it in him to try.

So. We're all friends again. That's nice, eh? :)

Bungalo Bill
07-30-2009, 03:12 PM
The words: "con artist" "scammer" "scam artist" or "criminal" are absent. Maybe you FEEL this constitutes as much, but if you have to exaggerate what I said to make your point, apparently, what I really said isn't strong enough.

Exaggerate? You dont even know what the business issue is about!!! I countered your post to what is most likely happening with the way this coach structured his business.

Exaggeration is when you paint or imply a coach as a scammer trying to create a win/lose situation with his student. Or a business with their customer.

You dont get that do you?

And if you will learn how to read, I said that your comments IMPLIED that the coach was creating a win/lose situation by the way he structured his business.

Any business that sets up a win/lose situation with their customers should be questioned right? And where does that questioning lead to? Nowhere?

If your nonsense out to its logical conclusion, then all you can come up with is that you are implying that the coach is somewhat shady in the way he conducts his business.

I'll continue posting on this board as I see fit, and as long as my posts follow the rules and guidelines. I will state that I'm not going to post on this thread anymore as I think it'll just be more of "Is so!", "Is not!" kind of talk. To sum up; the OP wondered if paying in advance for a package of tennis lessons is a good idea. My OPINION is that it is not a good idea. Sorry if that offends you. IMO that hardly means that a pro offering such a deal is a criminal.

Right, and I will continue to post as I see fit.

I posted to balance your post because of the implications your post painted the coach as a scam artist or a swindler trying to get the better out of the, what did you call it, "deal".

Bungalo Bill
07-30-2009, 03:28 PM
Maybe not thousands.

Bill, I think you did more to tarnish the image of tennis coaches than anyone else here. You're being very condescending to the very type of people who keep teaching pros in business.

Oh geez, not another little one. Please spar me with your little remarks.

Go cry me a river.

How can you say (and I'm just paraphrasing here) that Cindy or Eddy should stay out of it because they're not coaches, so they don't know what they're talking about?

Well, Cindy should stay out of it because she wasn't dealing with the issue.

SteadyFreddie shouldn't have commented because he has no clue what he is talking about regarding discounts and marketing a tennis business. He not only painted a negative picture to the OP who happens to be a student to the coach, but he also implied he somehow got the better of the deal which in my opinion is somewhat of a scam.

So what is better Einstein, painting a negative picture to the student of his coach? Or painting a different side to it that puts the coach in a better light because I do know what I am talking about?

You tell me what ruins coaching chump.

(I realize that's not exactly what you said, but trust me, that's how it came off to a casual observer.)
Who better than those who use teaching pros to judge teaching pros?
I would think they'd have a much less biased viewpoint.

DUDE!!!! I don't fricking care!!! I provide thousands and thousands of posts on advice, instruction, tips, stroke analysis, direction, coaching tips, drills, and on and on.

I don't care about people like you. I only care about the people that want to learn!

I care about the people that post their videos and are seeking honest no nonsense feedback. I am not afraid to tell them their footwork sucks. I am not afraid to tell them to move their *** or I will kick it!

I only have two goals:

1. Provide the best no nonsense advice I can possibly give.

2. Help balance the lousey advice given here and support the coaches here that I believe know their stuff.

If a nitwit comes in here and paints a players coach as a scammer or a con artist, what the hell is worse? Me providing an honest direct and solid post that may "offend" the nut? Or the guys post that painted negative information so now the student doesn't view his coach the same and probably will lose interest in taking lessons fearing he is getting ripped off? Or worse spread rumors about the coach in his area that he creates a "win/lose situation?

PLEASE TELL ME WHAT IS WORSE!!

Do you really think I am worried about what the hell you think? Or the little few that happened to get their butts kicked by me for giving out lousey advice or misdirection and me debating their little world?

My gosh man, I have over 10,500 posts on this board alone. The previous TW board I have another couple thousand. Do I make money from you? Do you pay me? If you don't pay me then I can tell you or anyone else here whatever I want! Just as you can tell me!

My post stands.

Bungalo Bill
07-30-2009, 03:42 PM
I'm a newbie and will prob also get 'reprimanded' but here goes-

BB- teaching is truly a calling, and as someone in the teaching profession I can say no one actually starts to do it for the money but can we agree that many get burned out from it over the years?

Of course, many get burned. It is just like any business. Enron burned thousands, our Federal Goverment - millions. haha

It is in many times a thankless task, with many thankless and inconsiderate people. This takes a toll on the teacher- burn out- and yet many still go on teaching for whatever reasons. Many bad teachers, doctors, lawyer, and yes even some tennis instructors that started off with the most noble of intentions and somehow life just gets to them.

Separating the product and service from the way a person structures his business is appropriate. As I said above, if a coach offers an inferior product, then he won't be in business long. However, this does not mean that as soon as a player starts to cry about his coach, and has agreed to do business a certain way, that the coach is a crook and created a win/lose situation for the student.

It is easy to point the finger at the coach when one has never taught tennis or ran a tennis business.

Do me a favor, take the time to read my post regarding the way this person marketed his business. Pretend I don't have any emotion in it and read it for what it is. You will find that my position is very justifiable and it is possible the Steady Eddy's implications are largely negative and fear-based vs. looking at it from both the players and the coaches perspective.

Because I have and still do coach tennis, I can take both sides and I do not jump to the conclusion that something shady or a win/lose situation is setup.

For goodnesssakes, the player signed up for a series of lessons. He had to see the value in doing so. The coach offered a discount for it. The coach could very well be viewing this from the perspective that many students "try" a lesson once and if it didn't provide the Holy Grail, they bad mouth coaching and lessons all together.

No one is calling anyone a scam artist but you are obviously too involved -pro teacher side- and are not reading this thread objectively.

I didn't say anyone was. I said that the post IMPLIED that. A win/lose situation, who is getting the better deal.

Wake up man or shutup. Either one is fine with me.

My humble newbie opinion.

Humbly? lol

Learn to read.

conditionZero
07-30-2009, 04:19 PM
Oh geez, not another little one. Please spar me with your little remarks.

Go cry me a river.



Well, Cindy should stay out of it because she wasn't dealing with the issue.

SteadyFreddie shouldn't have commented because he has no clue what he is talking about regarding discounts and marketing a tennis business. He not only painted a negative picture to the OP who happens to be a student to the coach, but he also implied he somehow got the better of the deal which in my opinion is somewhat of a scam.

So what is better Einstein, painting a negative picture to the student of his coach? Or painting a different side to it that puts the coach in a better light because I do know what I am talking about?

You tell me what ruins coaching chump.



DUDE!!!! I don't fricking care!!! I provide thousands and thousands of posts on advice, instruction, tips, stroke analysis, direction, coaching tips, drills, and on and on.

I don't care about people like you. I only care about the people that want to learn!

I care about the people that post their videos and are seeking honest no nonsense feedback. I am not afraid to tell them their footwork sucks. I am not afraid to tell them to move their *** or I will kick it!

I only have two goals:

1. Provide the best no nonsense advice I can possibly give.

2. Help balance the lousey advice given here and support the coaches here that I believe know their stuff.

If a nitwit comes in here and paints a players coach as a scammer or a con artist, what the hell is worse? Me providing an honest direct and solid post that may "offend" the nut? Or the guys post that painted negative information so now the student doesn't view his coach the same and probably will lose interest in taking lessons fearing he is getting ripped off? Or worse spread rumors about the coach in his area that he creates a "win/lose situation?

PLEASE TELL ME WHAT IS WORSE!!

Do you really think I am worried about what the hell you think? Or the little few that happened to get their butts kicked by me for giving out lousey advice or misdirection and me debating their little world?

My gosh man, I have over 10,500 posts on this board alone. The previous TW board I have another couple thousand. Do I make money from you? Do you pay me? If you don't pay me then I can tell you or anyone else here whatever I want! Just as you can tell me!

My post stands.

Wow. You sure told me.

Congradulations on you 10,500+ posts. If you're only counting useful posts you can go ahead and subtract the last three or four.

mlktennis
07-30-2009, 08:34 PM
wow, anger-ree you are BB. I try post better next time. I triing learnering to reed.

I too post wat I wanting. You take yur Blood pressure meds beefour yu have a stroke.

Sorree, I need to leern to rite too. :(

firstblud
07-30-2009, 08:53 PM
just posted an update in the OP - so far so good with lesson 1

well worth the premium for slow learners like me so far :)

crystal_clear
07-31-2009, 04:41 AM
just posted an update in the OP - so far so good with lesson 1

well worth the premium for slow learners like me so far :)

Good for you~ It is very important to practice after lesson and make the money even worth.

Bungalo Bill
07-31-2009, 06:44 AM
I took lessons 2 years ago when I started out with an instructor. For the first lesson, I felt that I learned a lot, so I paid up front a lump sum that would save me a bit of money (like $10 per session) for 8 weeks.

however, by like the 5th lesson or so, I felt that the returns I was getting from each session was dwindling and I was not really getting much out of it. perhaps it's the nature of getting tennis lessons, it could be me learning slower, or it could be the coach not being too helpful and seeing me as a cashcow.

What do some of you guys do for lessons? Do you pay a package up front or do a pay as you go type of deal? Pros/cons to this that you've observed?

to coaches, please don't feel shy to give your honest opinion :).

edit:

update 1:

took lessons a few days ago and told him my forehand and serve need work and that i told him to teach me as if i'll be coming back as a regular. he first drilled me a few balls to inspect my current forehand. he said that i hit only the open stance and that it was something that the pros use, but that it'd be better for me to learn the neutral stance forehand (i thought it was closed at first). also he noted that i do a lot of skipping/shuffling to balls when i could just be taking steps instead (better for my balance and awareness of my racket take-back position). he said my swing is fine and that the biggest thing i need to work on to improve my forehand is my footwork, so he drilled me a lot on split step and movement exercises.

he also noted a few quirks in my swing, like how i occasionally take an extremely slight pause early into my swing, which takes away from some of my power; he notes it's because i swing too early and need to be patient and wait. also, to my surprise, he said my left arm extension on the forehand should be more extended; i did not realize this! apparently i have a huge bend in my left arm that looks funny (my friend took a video of me) and really was't done correctly.

at the end of the lesson he asked if i would take the package. i politely declined, but i said i will certainly come back against next week. my homework assignment was to practice the toss by putting the racket on the floor and tossing the ball at a 45 degree angle from me and making sure it lands in that area on my strings.

so far i like the guy (obviously) and he seems to know his stuff. a few things I question i come to this forum to verify what he says, and he's been pretty much spot on more or less. well worth the $50 for a first lesson!

Perfect! That is exactly what I thought.

The coach is not offering a discount to get away with something or create a WIN/LOSE scam on you.

He is trying to show and promote that taking one lesson from anyone will not revolutionize your game like many players think and end up getting a bad taste in their mouth. Many times lessons get a bad rap from players that couldn't transfer what was taught in one lesson to the court. So they think it was a "waste of money."

Remember undoing bad engrained habits, training, and skill development take time. It also sounds like this coach hit a major area which I am somwhat surprised because many coaches only look at the upper body and that was your footwork.

If you can afford it, stick out and drill drill drill. Don't be afraid to tell your coach the direction you want to go in, the goals you have, and what you believe your strengths and weaknesses are. Also, be open minded to his suggestions because he is the one looking at things you can't see.

You are building a relationship with your coach, so go for it.

Bungalo Bill
07-31-2009, 06:50 AM
wow, anger-ree you are BB. I try post better next time. I triing learnering to reed.

I too post wat I wanting. You take yur Blood pressure meds beefour yu have a stroke.

Sorree, I need to leern to rite too. :(

Angry? Try being blunt and not putting up with your nonsense.

Bungalo Bill
07-31-2009, 06:50 AM
double post

Bungalo Bill
07-31-2009, 06:50 AM
triple post

Bungalo Bill
07-31-2009, 06:50 AM
double post

Bungalo Bill
07-31-2009, 06:50 AM
double post

Bungalo Bill
07-31-2009, 06:50 AM
triple post.