How do I select a tennis instructor?

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by majordude, Oct 26, 2009.

  1. majordude

    majordude Rookie

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    My wife and I took a lesson from an on-staff trainer at a local municipal park. How do I know if she is good or if I should put feelers out on someone else?

    Right now I am interested in basics... like the windshield wiper forehand instead of the Eastern grip home run baseball smash I learned in 1981.

    Any guidelines?
     
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  2. Vyse

    Vyse Semi-Pro

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    Wouldn't exactly say the windshield wiper is basic. the eastern forehand is basic
     
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  3. majordude

    majordude Rookie

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    YES! I am advanced!
     
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  4. Shahar26

    Shahar26 Rookie

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  5. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Mmmm, I think word of mouth is the best.

    If you don't know anyone who could make a recommendation, then I guess you have to try some coaches and then decide.

    In my case, I took clinics and met a number of pros that way. I also took private or semi-private lessons with a few pros. Based on that, I picked the guy I thought could help me the best, I've been with him since (3+ years), and I'm happy with my decision.

    There were a couple of things that led me to pick him:

    1. Worked full time for major club. I figured this meant someone on the planet felt he was qualified to teach tennis and wasn't a complete hack. He had been teaching about 10 years, so I figured that was good too.

    2. Didn't seem to be phoning it in. Seemed to give a flying fig about whether I learned something, and was willing to work hard if I worked hard. Phoning it in is a big problem if you are a middle-aged lady looking for a pro, because there are pros out there who honestly don't care. Perhaps you won't have this problem.

    3. Seemed to know how to focus on and isolate one problem at a time and then move on when it has been addressed. Doesn't talk to hear himself talk. A lot of pros seem to fire a barrage of generic instructions at you, but it is hard to focus on a huge number of things at a time.

    That was my experience, anyway. Good luck!!
     
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  6. Camilio Pascual

    Camilio Pascual Hall of Fame

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    It is a good idea to try out several coaches for a few lessons each before making a committment. You will also get several different critiques of your abilities by experts. Practice as much as you can while you are trying out different coaches.
     
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  7. paulfreda

    paulfreda Hall of Fame

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    Pick out three very specific strokes.
    Say for example [or any you have in mind]
    Topspin serve
    Windshield wiper FH
    Backhand slice
    Then take lessons from several well known coaches/pros in your area.
    Ask them each to teach you one of these strokes.
    Then compare.
    Then do it again for the next stroke.
    That should give you a good feel for which pro is best for you.

    Don't let them just feed you balls for an hour.
    Make them get you to continually improve the stroke with better and better [more pace, better placement, more consistency] results.

    After you have selected the right man, then you can let him go thru his routine of
    "here is what I think you need to know to be a good tennis player"
    Each coach has his bias, preferences, specific knowledge, experience and expertise.
    So you want to pick carefully first, then put your trust in him.
     
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2009
    #7
  8. Shahar26

    Shahar26 Rookie

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    That always a good idea, not just for tennis, but for lessons in general.

    Good chemistry with a coach can be just as important as their teaching skill...
     
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