when is the right time to start taking lessons by a pro for a beginner?

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by dominikk1985, Oct 17, 2013.

  1. dominikk1985

    dominikk1985 Legend

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    What do you think is the best? starting to take lessons right away or first play for a year or so and then correct the errors?

    I think starting right away is the best thing. many players start to hack away and then take some lessons when their strokes are already wrong which is hard to correct.

    of course taking lessons the first time you touch a racket is a waste of money too because you won't be familiar enough with the bounce of the ball of the court and racket to learn mechanics. the racket will flop all over the place and you will not be able to create a remotely solid bounce of the strings (which is the most important thing and needs to be learned before you can worry about actual swing mechanics)

    so I think the best would be just hacking away for like 5-10 times which is enough to learn controlling the rackethead and the bounce but not enough time to engrain bad habits and then immediately take lessons to learn the correct strokes.

    what is your take on that?
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2013
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  2. Crisp

    Crisp Semi-Pro

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    Go to a pro from the start. You don't get on the wrong train when you are trying to go somewhere you get on the right one from the start. A good coach will set you off in the right direction for your tennis journey, no sense needing to 'change trains' so to speak a couple of months in.
     
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  3. user92626

    user92626 Legend

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    Isn't money the biggest factor?

    If I could spent on lessons like I do on ice cream, I'd go for them in heart beat. Unfortunately, one hour with them is worth a week of grocery for me. :)
     
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  4. WildVolley

    WildVolley Legend

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    Ideally. No question in my mind that you should take lessons the very first time you pick up a racket.

    The best way to learn is to start with the right grips and the right stances from the first time you try to hit a ball with a racket. My serve has always been a strength because I had lessons early after I started playing and I was shown the continental grip and proper swing pattern.

    Also, you're wrong to assume that some players can't hit a ball the first time they pick up a racket. I grew up throwing balls around, hitting things, and running around as a kid. I could hit a ball the first time I picked up a racket, though I wasn't a small child at that point.
     
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  5. dominikk1985

    dominikk1985 Legend

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    I could hit a ball right away too but I was about 14 when I started. I would fool around with my brother for several weeks and then very quickly got some good coaching which paid off in me learning good strokes.

    I actually think fooling around with balls and rackets for some hours first before you learn any grips and techniques is a good thing. I would even start just bouncing the ball up and down with the racket like this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ms7-bsfVBec before I start hitting).

    I don't think it makes sense to learn grips and swings before you master the bounce of the ball. this playing around can be done without a coach too and will save the kid some frustrations.

    the mind needs to be free before you learn motions and you can only do that if you do not worry to much about the bounce of the ball.

    but after a few hours I would definitely switch to a coach.
     
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  6. Tamiya

    Tamiya Semi-Pro

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    really depends on what your goal is

    if its only "social tennis" & you're no worse than fellow players, no need

    unless of course the coach is really good looking... ;)
     
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  7. cjs

    cjs Semi-Pro

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    Earlier the better before you learn bad habits and bad techniques that have to be unlearned.
     
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  8. CoachingMastery

    CoachingMastery Professional

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    If you understand that the hardest thing for a tennis player who has started "Playing" tennis, (competing, socially or school or club ladder, etc.), to do is to change patterns they have started using.

    I don't know anyone who picks up a tennis racquet and says, "Gee, I'd like to play tennis but I really don't want to be any good."

    Thus, in theory, anyone who wants to see how good they can get at the sport would be better off learning methods that will allow them to reach their potential; their potential is determined by their desire, dedication, drive, discipline, determination and Sacrifice, (The "5 D's and one S" I talk about in my book). Qualified tennis teaching professionals should be able to help you avoid the mistakes of learning patterns that would otherwise have to change for higher levels of skilled play to be possible.

    So, it might be more about the money than the level of play expected. (Unless, of course, you really do just want to suck at the sport...then it won't matter!)
     
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  9. Ash_Smith

    Ash_Smith Hall of Fame

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    When is the right time..? From day one.
     
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  10. Moz

    Moz Hall of Fame

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    I recommend doing it my way - spend 5 years getting pretty good at doing it wrong and spend another 5 years (and counting) trying to fix it.
     
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  11. Mrnoital

    Mrnoital Banned

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    You don't need to pay top dollar from a pro at the academy. Put an add on Craigslist. I pay for private lessons one day a week from a pro at my local academy for my daughter which costs $65 but she also takes lessons from her HS coach (former D1) for $20 an hour. She has also taken lessons in the past from 5.5 players for $20-$25 an hour. The problem with the academies is that you are paying for court time as well as the lesson but I've seen some of the pros from the academy giving lessons on public courts. Also clinics are a fantastic way to get lessons and play matches for cheap.
     
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  12. 10s talk

    10s talk Semi-Pro

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    Where do you live ?

    Group clinics are a good idea. As well as YouTube has plenty of good (free ) information.
     
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  13. Mrnoital

    Mrnoital Banned

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    Up until last week my daughter was taking private lessons four days a week from a guy with his own indoor court. That lasted almost 10 months but we moved on due to different philosophies.The challenge now is to keep my daughter playing through the winter. Between her lesson, matches, clinics and tournaments she'll get 4 days a week on the court.
     
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  14. fuzz nation

    fuzz nation Legend

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    Exactly! Tennis is not really an intuitive sport and the vast majority of the folks who take up the game can't develop decent mechanics, etc. on their own. Without any foundation, a newcomer will employ whatever compromises in their movements and swings to get the strings to the ball. That's a recipe for stagnation and frustration.

    With a little awareness and understanding of better habits learned early on, lots of newer players can use that foundation to work in a better direction.
     
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  15. corbind

    corbind Professional

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    A guy has an indoor court at his home? Tell more!
     
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  16. Mrnoital

    Mrnoital Banned

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    His 32 years old, Lives in a 24,000 s/f home, has an indoor tennis court heated and airconditioned. He took seven years off of high school and is currently in medical school. His father is a practicing kidney specialist.

    He has a passion for tennis, is a highly regarded player and gives lessons for just enough money to cover overhead for the building. He does not do it for money, He does it because he wants to give kids who can't afford to pay $65 an hour a chance to learn real tennis. It's a very honorable and noble thing to do but it comes at a price that is not monetary. He is very strict and very peculiar and not the easiest guy to like. He was also a walking contradiction, one example is complaining about people who do not recycle but yet living an a house that requires ten times the energy of an average 2400 s/f house.:confused:

    He has taught most of the better high school players at one time or another. We lasted 9-10 months with him, Some of the others lasted only a couple of months and a handful a few years but they all seem to leave eventually. We wished him the best, no hard feelings but we are happy to move forward.
     
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  17. Jay_The_Nomad

    Jay_The_Nomad Professional

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    Does the beginner have some basic ball sense and acceptable hand eye coordination?

    If yes, than start coaching immediately.

    If no, then hitting around to improve the above might be better value for money.
     
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  18. TomT

    TomT Hall of Fame

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    I guess it depends on how you approach the hobby. For me, part of the fun and challenge of it is doing it on my own, without coaching. It is, after all, just a hobby. Of course doing it without a coach will probably take a lot longer to learn correct ways of doing things, and there's also the possiblity of getting lazy and allowing yourself to continue bad habits, or 'plateauing', or getting in a rut that you can't get out of.

    Come to think of it, I do have coaches/instructors, lots of them, at TTW, YouTube, etc. Just not an in person coach. :)
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2013
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