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View Full Version : Are Tennis Lessons worth it?


KrossKourt
10-14-2009, 02:51 PM
I'm 29 and I'm about a 4.0. I want to start playing league tennis next year and want to be good enough to be a solid competitor.

Lately, my forehand's been quite the issue. I'm not sure if I'm thinking about it too much or a combination of things, but it hasn't been as solid and consistent as it was about two seasons ago.

I've never taken a tennis lesson in my life, so I was wondering that maybe taking one or two private lessons could help "re-adjust" somethings I'm unconsciously doing wrong.

Have any of you taken some lessons to improve your stokes? Is it worth it? I was thinking of just saving up for a tennis ball machine, but a ball machine won't tell me what I'm doing wrong. But then again, the repetition of balls could help me.

Any advice or thoughts would be appreciated.

SystemicAnomaly
10-14-2009, 02:55 PM
Mine are...

Flyingpanda
10-14-2009, 02:57 PM
They better be!!

That being said, it really depends. If something is horribly wrong with the fundamentals of your stroke you might need lessons. Ideally you'd do both, lessons to change your strokes, ball machine to get that muscle memory in.

I think that all tennis coaches would agree that lessons aren't a substitute for going out and hitting.

Djokovicfan4life
10-14-2009, 03:01 PM
I love how people think that they should "maybe take one or two private lessons" to fix their strokes. You don't just take a couple lessons and magically become good.

It's worth it if you have a good instructor, but you have to take more than a lesson a two to really get something out of it.

Matt

Hrandyrko
10-14-2009, 03:11 PM
I'm on the bandwagon. I agree with everyone here who responded to the OP.

xFullCourtTenniSx
10-14-2009, 03:15 PM
I love how people think that they should "maybe take one or two private lessons" to fix their strokes. You don't just take a couple lessons and magically become good.

It's worth it if you have a good instructor, but you have to take more than a lesson a two to really get something out of it.

Matt

Actually, you'd be surprised. Even if it's only a half hour, if the coach is good and gives you the right tips, you can make some MASSIVE improvements. HOWEVER, you have to take the effort to implement those improvements in your game as well as perfect it and integrate them into your muscle memory.

If you took more though, then you wouldn't have to worry as much about that because the coach will keep reminding you about it and will focus on ingraining it into your game and muscle memory.

Now, I say coaching isn't as important as drilling. That's the only thing I'd really want from a coach at this point in time (that and maybe a high level hitting partner). I don't care about what's wrong with my strokes. If he has a tip or two to improve them, fine. But I'm mainly focused on the drilling as that gets shots from everywhere on the court into your muscle memory and things become more natural, reducing your unforced errors because of improved consistency. Also, a coach would make sure I practice every shot as much as I need to. Being that I tend to favor certain shots, I don't do that during practice. As a result, some shots tend to fall behind on me.

So if you have someone to drill you, and you're fine with your strokes, forget coaching. Better yet, you're going to get a ball machine!

However, if you have a massive technical flaw or are very unsatisfied with parts of your game you feel you can't correct on your own through extensive practice, get those lessons! I'm already at the point where I'm very satisfied with my strokes and require drilling.

SystemicAnomaly
10-14-2009, 03:16 PM
Truth be know, I've only taken 1 private lesson in my life. Took a lot of college class tennis lessons and a few small group lessons (thru a good Parks & Rec program). However, I'm absolutely certain that I would have gotten further a lot quicker if I had taken more private lessons (and if I had started tennis before I was 21).

DudewithBabolat
10-14-2009, 03:18 PM
ball machine, if you want some lessons, seriously go to a club and ask some great players there, sometimes they will do it for free. I'm 15 and i go to the local tennis club often, i just sit there and watch matches, looking at them and mimicking the moves, i've asked for some pointers before and they're always happy to take 2 minutes to look at my strokes, just don't abuse their generosity is all. If they give you some pointers, it might be nice buy them a drink or something, too.

SystemicAnomaly
10-14-2009, 03:18 PM
They better be! ...

Thnx FP. See you on Fri or Sun?

chess9
10-14-2009, 03:26 PM
Lessons are only worthwhile if you implement them. That means practicing what you are taught. For adults, with low patience levels and little time, this is problematic. Most adults just want to get out and bash balls and complain about how bad their game is!

If you want to improve from 4.0-5.0 for instance, you must stop playing rated matches or tournament matches initially. Get lessons, implement them daily or at least 10 hours or so per week, have practice matches where you employ the lessons learned and don't fall back on your old faults, AND GET FIT. At your age, with a series of about 10-20 lessons, and hard practice, you can move to 4.5 if you can walk and chew gum. If you have some athletic ability-say you were a college athlete in some sport like soccer-then you will probably get to 5.0 IF you learn and practice properly.

Getting lessons is important, but it's only one piece of the puzzle.

Just my humble opinion, and I'm sure I'm wrong as usual and will be told so. ;)

-Robert

Djokovicfan4life
10-14-2009, 03:30 PM
Lessons are only worthwhile if you implement them. That means practicing what you are taught. For adults, with low patience levels and little time, this is problematic. Most adults just want to get out and bash balls and complain about how bad their game is!

If you want to improve from 4.0-5.0 for instance, you must stop playing rated matches or tournament matches initially. Get lessons, implement them daily or at least 10 hours or so per week, have practice matches where you employ the lessons learned and don't fall back on your old faults, AND GET FIT. At your age, with a series of about 10-20 lessons, and hard practice, you can move to 4.5 if you can walk and chew gum. If you have some athletic ability-say you were a college athlete in some sport like soccer-then you will probably get to 5.0 IF you learn and practice properly.

Getting lessons is important, but it's only one piece of the puzzle.

Just my humble opinion, and I'm sure I'm wrong as usual and will be told so. ;)

-Robert

Yeah, my instructor said that he tells his students to forget about match play while they're working on technique. That way they can really get it down without slipping back to their comfortable, but flawed technique in pressure situations.

borg number one
10-14-2009, 03:45 PM
Yes, absolutely. Find a good coach that understands your game. A good fit is very important. It can be difficult to really improve when you are still in essence learning the game without professional guidance. Then, as above posters have mentioned, you must be willing to implement adjustments made by constantly practicing.

Also, don't forget cross training and improving physical fitness (especially stamina/quickness and core strength/stretching), which can be as important or more important than technical stroke adjustments when seeking big gains in terms of your playing level.

xFullCourtTenniSx
10-14-2009, 03:46 PM
Yeah, my instructor said that he tells his students to forget about match play while they're working on technique. That way they can really get it down without slipping back to their comfortable, but flawed technique in pressure situations.

To improve, one must sacrifices wins in the short term to improve and win in the long term. :)

Steady Eddy
10-14-2009, 03:54 PM
No one thinks it's relative to how rich you are? If you are on a tight budget and would need to see a BIG improvement from the financial sacrifice of a single lesson, then maybe not. If you're the type of guy who doesn't even chase a Benjamin when dropped, you'll easily enjoy hitting with a good player who can give you tips about your game. Then there are all the point between these two.

Nellie
10-14-2009, 07:45 PM
You should try a single lesson and see how you feel. I find that most coaches will start you off with the big (essentially show you the correct stroke and compare it to yours) and then work on the small (constant tweeks in your stroke) over time to accomplish the big, with a lot of repeating along the way, because changing one thing always seem to screw up another. With just one or two lessons, at least you could get an objective gauge of where your game stands.

5263
10-14-2009, 08:08 PM
I'm 29 and I'm about a 4.0. I want to start playing league tennis next year and want to be good enough to be a solid competitor.

Lately, my forehand's been quite the issue. I'm not sure if I'm thinking about it too much or a combination of things, but it hasn't been as solid and consistent as it was about two seasons ago.

I've never taken a tennis lesson in my life, so I was wondering that maybe taking one or two private lessons could help "re-adjust" somethings I'm unconsciously doing wrong.

Have any of you taken some lessons to improve your stokes? Is it worth it? I was thinking of just saving up for a tennis ball machine, but a ball machine won't tell me what I'm doing wrong. But then again, the repetition of balls could help me.

Any advice or thoughts would be appreciated.

Absolutely. Especially if you can find an excellent instructor.

I did it at about the same point in life as you. Did a couple of privates, 5-10 semi privates, read some tennis books and drilled with my 4.0 teams. Almost always found something I could take from the sessions and work on til I owned it.

BullDogTennis
10-14-2009, 08:09 PM
YES...simple as that!

crash1929
10-14-2009, 08:23 PM
to the op:
on roger federer's home page he has a section where you can ask him questions and he actually answers a few of them. I was lucky he answered mine.

"Roger is playing better players the best way to improve?"

response from the fed:

"The best way to improve is to find a good coach and to have confidence"

(his quote might be a couple of words off but you get the point)

wihamilton
10-14-2009, 08:52 PM
to the op:
on roger federer's home page he has a section where you can ask him questions and he actually answers a few of them. I was lucky he answered mine.

"Roger is playing better players the best way to improve?"

response from the fed:

"The best way to improve is to find a good coach and to have confidence"

(his quote might be a couple of words off but you get the point)

Heh that's kind of ironic considering he doesn't have a coach.

phoenicks
10-14-2009, 08:56 PM
to the op:
on roger federer's home page he has a section where you can ask him questions and he actually answers a few of them. I was lucky he answered mine.

"Roger is playing better players the best way to improve?"

response from the fed:

"The best way to improve is to find a good coach and to have confidence"

(his quote might be a couple of words off but you get the point)


Heh that's kind of ironic considering he doesn't have a coach.



LOL:), He is not contradicting himself, rather, he's talking about improving technique in this context.

phoenicks
10-14-2009, 08:59 PM
people who doesn't take lesson, most of the time will have some sort of flaw in their technique. but the greater benefit of lesson is in dirlling you, after you got the feedback on your technique, you need drilling to reinforce this muscle memory. who better to drill than a coach? your hitting partner, your friend?? I don't think so.

WildVolley
10-14-2009, 09:12 PM
It really depends on who is giving the lessons. Whoever gives you the lessons should also encourage you to practice your new technique. Without reinforcement, and practice on your part, the lesson won't change your game.

I always credited my quick advancement in tennis to the fact that I played very little before I got lessons. For example, I always served with the continental grip and decent form because I was shown proper technique from the beginning.

GuyClinch
10-14-2009, 09:56 PM
Yes. With a good instructor you will see benefits from even two or three lessons. If one stroke is bothering you - tell that to your instructor so that he will focus on that stroke. When I take a lesson I always say something like. I want to learn to hit a kick serve. Or I want more spin, pace and power with my forehand..

My instructor helped me. Instructors though face a catch-22. If they are too helpful - then perhaps you won't need em. But if they aren't helpful enough ya will of course leave them. :P

Don't think a few lessons will bump you up levels. However you can go from a mediocre 3.5 who feels depressed to a strong 3.5 that feels confident in a few lessons.

Once you get to 4.5 or so though I supsect the improvements are slower..

Pete

heretoserve
10-14-2009, 10:15 PM
Maybe 15 people in the U.S. that can help you play better through actual info and mental stuff(which is important but just keeps you comming back.) 14 not including myself.

volusiano
10-15-2009, 01:21 AM
To the OP, another worthwhile thing you can do beside taking lessons, and is free, is to videotape yourself playing. You can quickly see what you like or don't like but never noticed. This is not a replacement for lessons. But it's another free way to "look at yourself in the mirror" so to speak.

Ken Honecker
10-15-2009, 02:34 AM
I know nothing about lessions but I imagine you get out of them what you put into them. I doubt if you would get more than a couple of hints that might help your game out of a few lessions. Like someone else mentioned a minimum of lessions makes more difference starting out. I did that in golf wanting to make sure I was holding the club right and all that kind of stuff.

As far as the leagues go the whole idea behind them is that it doesn't matter how good you are because you are supposed to be playing people about your level. I do think that if you are having trouble with your forehand you might not want to try a 4.0 league right out of the gate.

sn1974
10-15-2009, 05:15 AM
yes. get a good coach who is focused on form and will teach you things, drill you on them and make you practice them in point situations (with coach other friends or coach's other students).

unless you have a bulletproof repertoire of shots, perfect form and solid strategy that is.

sureshs
10-15-2009, 05:33 AM
Watch the pros on TV and improve your fitness.