Do lessons really help?

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by mentos086, Oct 18, 2009.

  1. mentos086

    mentos086 New User

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    Ok so heres the situation. i started to play tennis last march for my hs team. I got pretty good since then and can beat the kids who have been playin for years. My serves are way faster than their's, my groundstrokes have more pace and spin that them, and i can volley better than most. My dilemma is that i have not taken ANY kind of lessons whatsoever, as i did not see the point of payin $25 an hour when i could just get some varsity platers and hit for a couple hours. The whole thing about it is that when I hit with varsity players, i notice that i can hit harder than them, and run them around, BUT they have an infinite more amount of consistency and can control all of their shots to go EXACTLY where they want it to, while I can merely get an approximation to areas in a fourth of the court. Due to this i am not able to beat these varsity players.

    Alright, so would lessons from an area pro help me out with control and consistency?
     
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  2. USERNAME

    USERNAME Professional

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    Hahahaha! In short, YEAH! Dude lessons will do wonders for ur game, trust me.
     
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  3. volusiano

    volusiano Hall of Fame

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    If you think you're naturally gifted in tennis but still get beat by other trained kids due to consistency and control, then of course lessons will help mold your raw talent into a more effective weapon.

    But you seem to be asking more like "If I'm this naturally gifted, can I just learn on my own and get better and not need any lesson?"

    Maybe, maybe not. You can be naturally gifted, but do you also have a natural ability to self learn? Those are 2 different things. There are a lot of good videos and tips on the internet/every where for self learners. Question is are you a good self learner?

    Another question is what are your goals in playing tennis? If just for fun or exercise, then maybe lessons are not that important. If for competition, then most definitely.
     
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  4. Noveson

    Noveson Hall of Fame

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    Anybody else get what I'm getting at hah?
     
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  5. halalula1234

    halalula1234 Professional

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    it definitely helps with consistency
     
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  6. wyutani

    wyutani Hall of Fame

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    of course. lessons help against poor technique.
     
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  7. cesarmo03

    cesarmo03 Rookie

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    this is my perspective im 100% that those varsity players hit way more faster than you but they prefer to play with strategy and with control kind of a murray play, that just bashing the ball to the other side of the court. They beat u with their brains what that tennis is no? not just raw power.

    Try to think during the game and especially during points.

    So in conclusion: if u have the talent try to pay for some lessons in strategy, mental strength and practice consistency
     
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  8. Blake0

    Blake0 Hall of Fame

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    Lol i know people like you:).

    Heres a couple tips. Take lessons, for fixing/improving technique and shot selection. I used to make some stupid shot selection before..not saying i don't anymore..but just not as much. This is more of a problem with talented kids..they have a ton of shots they can choose from, but end up going for the flashy shots, especially during the first 1-2 years.

    Just don't start getting lazy, because you think you're good. 1 of my friends i know did that, and got whooped 6-2,6-1 (where he was playing for real) in a match and got his ego set up straight.
     
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  9. ZhengJieisagoddess

    ZhengJieisagoddess Semi-Pro

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    take lessons.
     
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  10. raiden031

    raiden031 Legend

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    Except for the dozens of people I've seen at my tennis club who are always on the court taking one-on-one lessons for years yet never seem to get better. I think lessons are a great resource for learning the game, but it is ultimately up to the player if they will really benefit from them. For some players they don't seem to grasp what they are learning so they are essentially wasting their time by following the teaching pros instructions, but then resorting to their old techhnique and strategies every time they play on their own. For other players lessons can result in a huge leap in their game.
     
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  11. ZhengJieisagoddess

    ZhengJieisagoddess Semi-Pro

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    You need to find a teacher that teaches you to troubleshoot your problems when they occur. My teacher makes me tell him what I did wrong when I make a mistake. I don't think I'v emade the same mistake two times in a row when he does this.
     
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  12. Tigerballs

    Tigerballs New User

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    If you can afford all your tennis gear, then take lessons. Most of us can't even afford good sticks, but we try harder to get better through magazines, instruction videos, and watching a lot of tourneys. Point is, there are so many sources to learn from. Since I know I would never be a pro, I decided to save money on lessons and bought the right stick and shoes. THen again, I was #1 Singles and never took a lesson in my life! Maybe I should have left a few bucks at the wall...
     
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  13. GuyClinch

    GuyClinch Hall of Fame

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    ^^^ Lessons aren't guaranteed - but are easily the best way to learn IMHO. Your correct in saying that people take lessons for years and never advance. OTOH many more people play for years and years 100's of hours a year and never advance.

    I think to get the best out of a lesson you need to be a student of the game and have a good mental understanding of it. You should know what you want improved - or what you want to work down to a very specific level. Finally you need to find a decent pro.

    With that approach I was able to improve my forehand and my serve. I might not have jumped levels but I have more fun playing. I only took three lessons this year..

    Like alot of people I have limited funding to throw at lessons so I have to make them count.

    Pete
     
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  14. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Raiden:

    Regarding the idea that people take hours and hours of lessons and never get better . . .

    Maybe so, maybe not.

    Some people never get better, but that is because they aren't taking lessons to get better. They have some other reason for doing it. Some just like the workout. Some find it builds their confidence during matches. Some just like their pro and find it fun. Maybe these players aren't blasting their way up the ratings ladder, but there is no reason they shouldn't keep taking lessons even if they aren't getting better.

    My pro has one female client who is elderly. She takes a one-hour private lesson with him every single weekday. So at $60 an hour, she is popping $300 a week for tennis lessons. Apparently, this is her "me" time. I imagine it gets quite boring for him, but her money is green enough. :)

    Then there are people who take lessons to get better. This is the reason I take them (although I have to admit it is just plain fun to rally with someone who can get the ball back to you consistently, which is hard to find at my level). Even with lessons, I have the same obstacles other people have in trying to improve: lack of practice time.

    Still, I suspect some of my teammates might say I am wasting my money on lessons because I am no better than they are. After all, we are all stuck at 3.5 for the time being whether we take lessons or not, right? I disagree with them because I can tell that I am improving even if they cannot.

    One example is a lady I met about three years ago. She was a 3.5, I was a 3.0. We have both played tennis for five years. I considered her an amazing player. She was crazy fast around the court, and I found it impossible to sustain a baseline rally with her or beat her when she was at net. She has flatly declared that she does not take instruction and does not practice; she wants to spend all of her tennis time playing matches. Meanwhile, I have spent tons of time and money on lessons and practice.

    Fast forward to now: I think I could take her. When we play socially, I no longer feel intimidated by her strokes and I can hit the ball well enough to neutralize her superior agility. I can punish her serve while she struggles to attack mine. I can transition to net, and I can make her miss when she is at net. The reason is that her technique is poor whereas mine is improving. I suspect she would still say lessons and practice are unimportant, but I beg to differ.

    The improvement from lessons can be very subtle and can take a while to manifest itself in match play, but it is usually there.
     
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  15. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Ditto that.

    It is far more fun to stand there waiting to return serve wondering what kind of return you will hit rather than wondering what kind of inexplicable error you will make. The confidence that comes from having worked on your shots makes playing way more fun.

    Of course, it is possible to develop one's shots in other ways (videos), but the instant feedback from a good pro is very valuable.
     
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  16. Nellie

    Nellie Hall of Fame

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    I know people who take lessons who do not improve because they don't want to work hard.

    I know people who work hard and don't improve because their technique is weak.

    I know people who take lessons and work hard and are world beaters.
     
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  17. brado32003

    brado32003 Banned

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    I am a top junior, and YESSSSSS lessons help, after an hour with a guy who played on tour, he raised my game so much.
     
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  18. user92626

    user92626 Legend

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    What I like to know from those who take lessons is: are the lessons potentially like the ones given to pro's (if the students have the potentials)? If not, I would think that all I need is the Internet.
     
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  19. BullDogTennis

    BullDogTennis Hall of Fame

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    what it amounts to is lessons in them self don't help that much. but the on court practice outside of lessons is what makes you good. (unless of course you have a full time coach that always practices with you) a good coach will fix little things you do and tell tell you the best way to play for your game but if you don't practice outside of that you will not get better.
     
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  20. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    I have no idea whether my lessons are "potentially" like the ones given to the pros.

    I would guess they are not. On account of how I am nothing like a pro in terms of knowledge, fitness, sexperience, trength, athletic ability, determination or overall awesomeness.
     
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  21. SlapChop

    SlapChop Semi-Pro

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    I am thinking about taking some lessons to improve specific areas of my game. I think that would be the best way to approach lessons as a way to learn something specific, then put into practice what you learn and practice it on your own.

    My dilemma is whether to buy a ball machine or take lessons. I will probably do both but which should I do first?
     
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  22. Flyingpanda

    Flyingpanda Rookie

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    If your technique is not good, then lessons first before ball machine. A ball machine will help with your timing/consistency. However, if there is something wrong with your strokes, it will make it even worse. Your bad strokes will be so ingrained in your mind that it's going to take a lot of hard to work to untangle them. Think of all the older weekend rec players with wonky strokes.

    Lessons + hitting partner/ball machine is the best way to go. That way you get feedback each week from your lesson on how you're doing, then you can practice and refine off the ball machine.

    As you seem aware of... a ball machine and lessons are two separate things, one should not replace the other.
     
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  23. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

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    If you are teachable, lessons are the most efficient way of giving information. Not the only way, but the most efficient way.
     
    #23
  24. Razda

    Razda Rookie

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    After taking a few lessons over the course of two years, I realize lessons have not given me the best help compared to playing against advanced hitting partners and play matches with them. In a matter of weeks, I have really improved on anticipation, mental toughness and making in-game adjustments. I think playing matches over and over is the best practice.
     
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  25. KenC

    KenC Professional

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    Lessons with a good coach/trainer will save you years in trial and error and help you avoid bad habits that will take a long time to overcome once you realize them.

    I suggest taking a videocamera to your next session and tape 15-30 minutes of your normal playing, i.e., after warmup and when you are in your zone. This way you will see your technique from a trainer's perspective. When you play you don't really see your footwork, your serve mechanics, how fluid your groundstrokes are. Good coaches/trainers are trained to spot defects and offer drills to correct them.
     
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  26. Camilio Pascual

    Camilio Pascual Hall of Fame

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    Taking lessons will save you a lot of development time and you can also learn better how to coach yourself.
    My suggestion: Take about a dozen lessons from a coach. Then try things on your own for a while. Then hire any coach but the coach you had for a half dozen or so lessons, ESPECIALLY if you think you lucked out and got the greatest coach in the world first time around. After this, you will probably know how to proceed, such as getting your original coach back, keeping the new one, getting a 3rd coach, or no coaching for a while or longer.
    Good luck.
     
    #26

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