How to find practice partners?
I'm curious what others are doing in order to find suitable practice partners
and available time slots for practice?
Being 36 years, with kids (4 and 6 years old), working full time and wanting to
improve ones tennis - which requires a lot of practice. Since most
of the friends are of the same age and situation - I find it quite hard
to find practice partners who has the time to spend more than
occasional time on the courts.
One thing that sort-of works is to try to find people that
can play early mornings, before work - ie play an hour between
7-8 one or two times a week. Only problem is that most
people are rather sleepy at that hour - and then we have the
problem of people that have jobs where they travel around
the country. Playing on evenings is almost impossible
since most people want to spend time with their kids (as
do I :-) and most courts are fully booked (so it's hard to
find a free slot in case one find an occasional partner).
Something ideal would have been finding a younger player
that doesn't have the burden of kids and that to think of. However,
they probably doesn't want to play an old "NeverWas"-player...
(as a contrast to a "HasBeen" :-).
I suggest going to the courts by yourself one morning and watch. Look for someone that you would like to play with and just ask them if they would like to play that morning or another morning. Chances are since they are already there, they prefer playing in the morning also. You just have to have the courage to ask a stranger to play. Don't worry about your skill level. If he or she is cool, then they won't mind playing at least once. It may take a couple of tries, but you should be able to find someone that is a good match for you. If that fails, just give Thomas Enqvist a call - lol.
Consider playing with older guys rather than younger guys. Most of them don't have small children at home and some of them have plenty of felxibility and time on their hands. A lot of them are pretty good, love the game, and can teach you a lot about your's.
Look for courts that have walls or boards to hit against. If someone is using them, see if they'd rather "hit a few balls." Also, college campuses are good, many students have time to play. Look for groups of 3 people, you may be able to get them to play doubles or get one of them to play singles.
You just have to be able to make conversation with someone you see. Talk to them, and it'll come up(make sure you've watched them hit so you know what level they are on). Great advice from everyone else.
Go on Sunday or Saturday mornings when old people play. I find them to be the most willing to let a stranger play with them. Usually, I find that younger people aren't willing to let strangers play with them even if he or she is by him/herself.
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