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-   -   Group Classes - Yes or No (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=448718)

slowfox 12-20-2012 08:27 PM

Group Classes - Yes or No
 
What's your take on group classes? Cardio tennis, bootcamps, live ball drills, drill play, or just plain ol' group lessons - Are they worthwhile?

Some folks in my area have told me that these classes are super fun, but people don't really learn anything. One guy told me he paid $30 for a 1hr group class, 8 players in the group, they lined up and took turns hitting balls fed to them. This guy even counted how many balls he got to hit during this hour. Turned out to be around 35. That's almost a buck a ball..!

Any feedback is much appreciated. Thank you all very much.

NLBwell 12-20-2012 10:39 PM

Depends on how good the instructor is. My friend who I used to take drills from would feed a 5-shot drill and have 3 people in the drill at the same time - starting, middle, and final shot. Some very fast and complex feeding patterns.

TennisCJC 12-21-2012 06:49 AM

I have mixed feelings toward group lessons. Some team lessons concentrate more on strategy than technique - I think technique should come before strategy. But, I have been to camps (3 hours a day for a week) put on my D1 tennis coaches that were good - very intensive drills to honed strokes and fitness.

I have not tried this but if you get 3 or 4 friends to form the group and you tell the pro what you want to get out of the lessons, it might be very beneficial.

Frank Silbermann 12-21-2012 09:59 AM

Where I live group lessons are about $10/hour with lots more than 35 balls hit. Private lessons are $60/hour, so group lessons are my only option.

In D Zone 12-21-2012 10:58 AM

Yes and No
 
'Yes' - for learning the basics, understanding the fundamentals, Strategics, drills and socializing (meet new players).

'No' - you don't need to register for every sessions ; you don't want to get overloaded with activities without really retaining or mastering a skill.

To improve:
1. You need to have a regular or multiple (even better) hitting partner.
2. Play with a player that is higher level or better than you (allows longer rallys which helps your strokes to be consistent).
3. Have a plan - each time you go the court (aside from playing a match) work on the drills you learn from the class (again repeatition is the key). Don't just get on the court to just kill every shot - alternate you drills to work on consistency, control and footwork.

Of course, there will times its best to be on a private lesson to help hone / improve your skills.

F. Perry 12-21-2012 11:55 AM

I did a cardio tennis class ($15 per) and it was good exercise, certainly well over 100 balls an hour, but more about running around than tennis. A good winter option where I live, indoor courts are $40/hour. I now do a drill class which is a lot of hitting, working on specifics, some instruction. For where I am I think it's the best option when it's too cold outside to play.

syc23 12-21-2012 01:51 PM

I've done classes and it can be hit or miss. As you improve, you really won't benefit hitting 1/2 balls then going back to the end of the queue as it can be difficult to form a hitting rhythm.

Getting a bunch of people together and hire a coach and agree what to pick up beforehand sounds better. However, it's even better to find a better player as a regular hitting partner for co-operative hitting and games. I get 1-2-1 lessons for when I want to work on technical aspects of my game. Best compromise.

Coach Chad 12-21-2012 02:41 PM

Depends on how big the group is; and how good the instructor is.

JW10S 12-21-2012 02:51 PM

I conduct a fair number of group clinics and they can be very effective if 1.) the players in the group are of similar playing ability. 2.) the pro in charge keeps things moving. 3.) Live ball drills are used. 4.) a competitive aspect is built in. My group clinics focus strongly on live ball and point play and I find in many ways that in group clinics I can get players to do what I want them to do without just telling them to do it sometimes more easily than in private lessons. I can set up situations in the group live ball sessions that show players what works and what doesn't work both technically and tactically which I find is more effective then just telling them what works and what doesn't. Also my group clinics are run at a fast pace so things keep moving and everyone gets a good workout. I don't like having players standing in lines--you lose them then.

But I have seen some pretty horrible group lessons as I travel around. Group lessons that are slow and where only dead ball feeds are used are pretty much a waste of time.

Wegner 12-21-2012 04:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JW10S (Post 7074037)
I conduct a fair number of group clinics and they can be very effective if 1.) the players in the group are of similar playing ability. 2.) the pro in charge keeps things moving. 3.) Live ball drills are used. 4.) a competitive aspect is built in. My group clinics focus strongly on live ball and point play and I find in many ways that in group clinics I can get players to do what I want them to do without just telling them to do it sometimes more easily than in private lessons. I can set up situations in the group live ball sessions that show players what works and what doesn't work both technically and tactically which I find is more effective then just telling them what works and what doesn't. Also my group clinics are run at a fast pace so things keep moving and everyone gets a good workout. I don't like having players standing in lines--you lose them then.

But I have seen some pretty horrible group lessons as I travel around. Group lessons that are slow and where only dead ball feeds are used are pretty much a waste of time.

Right, JW. Some coaches have awesome clinics, lively, interesting, practical, educational, and the like. A few aren't so good. It would be really interesting if a respected coach, like Wayne Bryan, who does so many entertaining clinics, published a book or manual on them for coaches. I bet a lot of coaches would like that.

CoachingMastery 12-21-2012 09:10 PM

Unfortunately, a great number of pros don't know how to structure a group lesson so that it meets two criteria:

1. It provides understanding of how a shot, stroke, technique, strategy, etc., should be executed within the capacity of the groups' abilities

2. It creates a means in which each player has ample opportunity to replicate said shot, stroke, technique, strategy, etc. in a way that the player moves closer to success in such replication.

Obviously, there is much more to successful group lessons: personality, equipment, space, etc.

I always enjoyed group lessons far more than private lessons. I loved large groups, even taught a single group lesson of 75 players on one court. Loved the challenge of meeting the needs of such diverse groups and having them leave the court feeling like they not only had a great time, but that they sincerely learned something that moved them closer to playing at their potential.

Anyone looking to see how I successfully ran such programs, (in addition to coaching one of the all-time most successful tennis teams in the U.S.), can read my 400 page, "Coaching Mastery" which also recounts my father's success of creating a team that won 399 consecutive team league matches in Southern California. (The book is a top-seller here at Tenniswarehouse.com)

Clinics can also provide the opportunity to see how others hit, (good and bad), and allow you to evaluate yourself within such criteria.

Bagumbawalla 12-22-2012 01:25 PM

Obviously, if the instruction, information, co-ordination, and overall concept of the gorup presentation is poor- then you don't need to ask this question- do some research and stay away from those group things that get bad feedback.

Say, on the other-hand, the lessons and presentation are excellent-- then, still, the answer to going with a group situation is up to you- and must be based on your own personal likes and needs.

Go with a group thing if-- one of your reasons for playing tennis is to meet others and you enjoy the socializing- if you want a sort of introductory experience to a variety of things, if you have a hard time finding hitting partners, if you want to "check out" the instructor before commiting to individual (more costly) lessons, if being with people inspires you to do better than practicing alone.

Go with a more individual approach if- you can afford it, if you dislike the hustle-bustle of crowds, if you are self-motivated, if you are beyond the basics and want to concentrate on specific issues in your game.

sureshs 12-22-2012 01:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by slowfox (Post 7073038)
What's your take on group classes? Cardio tennis, bootcamps, live ball drills, drill play, or just plain ol' group lessons - Are they worthwhile?

Some folks in my area have told me that these classes are super fun, but people don't really learn anything. One guy told me he paid $30 for a 1hr group class, 8 players in the group, they lined up and took turns hitting balls fed to them. This guy even counted how many balls he got to hit during this hour. Turned out to be around 35. That's almost a buck a ball..!

Any feedback is much appreciated. Thank you all very much.

Group classes are good for cardio tennis from what I have read. That is because the emphasis is on exercise and the group setting keeps you motivated. Think of it as an exercise class.

Group classes are sometimes the only way to get in some tennis if you are on vacation. It is an opportunity to get court time, some tennis, and meet a few people with whom you can play singles later. I have done that in the past and will be doing so next week.

Group classes can be useful for total beginners who are testing the waters.

Otherwise, no. They are a waste of time. Most of the time is spent on running pointlessly or picking up balls. They can also be dangerous, due to players taking swings without looking who is around, and because of stray balls. Some of the "drills" are so full of contrived rules that by the time everyone understands what to do, drill is over.

3fees 12-22-2012 04:50 PM

Group Classes you opened the door.

Yes, Obviously you peeps don't understand group classes , Junior High,High School,Jr College, College are all group classes by a teacher, Here almost all pro's come from group classes, learning from 5 + is done by group lessons, its what you do with what your taught that makes you,,wake up and smell the coffee. also extra credit of doing something on your own merits works...


Drop in clinics are okay, you can learn there too, not all teachers ect will be to a persons liking.
:mrgreen:

Mick3391 12-22-2012 05:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by slowfox (Post 7073038)
What's your take on group classes? Cardio tennis, bootcamps, live ball drills, drill play, or just plain ol' group lessons - Are they worthwhile?

Some folks in my area have told me that these classes are super fun, but people don't really learn anything. One guy told me he paid $30 for a 1hr group class, 8 players in the group, they lined up and took turns hitting balls fed to them. This guy even counted how many balls he got to hit during this hour. Turned out to be around 35. That's almost a buck a ball..!

Any feedback is much appreciated. Thank you all very much.

I'm probaly the minority position here, but I think they are a waste of time, they are why we have guys spending tons of money are are very low ranked skill wise.

One hour? Is that a joke? I play with my son for 6 hours, we come back next day for 4, then 3 more, not all the time but you learn what works and what doesn't.

Maybe it's just I never had a teacher, just a old wood racquet and had to survive, and I did, and got better, and better, MY STYLE IS MY STYLE, I'm not doing someone elses style.

IMO, you should be taught, "Heh, hold it western, continental, or eastern", aside from that tennis is an extension of your mind unto a racquet to do a specific purpose, this can't be taught, practice and doing your own thing is what works.

I will tell you, teaching my son shows me how much I don't know about what I do, it's not rehearsed, it's not something taught, it's just me expressed, the glory of tennis

F. Perry 12-22-2012 09:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mick3391 (Post 7075483)
I'm probaly the minority position here, but I think they are a waste of time, they are why we have guys spending tons of money are are very low ranked skill wise.

One hour? Is that a joke? I play with my son for 6 hours, we come back next day for 4, then 3 more, not all the time but you learn what works and what doesn't.

Maybe it's just I never had a teacher, just a old wood racquet and had to survive, and I did, and got better, and better, MY STYLE IS MY STYLE, I'm not doing someone elses style.

IMO, you should be taught, "Heh, hold it western, continental, or eastern", aside from that tennis is an extension of your mind unto a racquet to do a specific purpose, this can't be taught, practice and doing your own thing is what works.

I will tell you, teaching my son shows me how much I don't know about what I do, it's not rehearsed, it's not something taught, it's just me expressed, the glory of tennis

Are you serious? Do you really think the pros you slobber over got where they were without a ton of instruction? That they just went out and hit until they discovered their strokes? That is so ridiculous. Every pro would have a pancake serve. If you have terrible form and you just practice, practice, practice, you're just going to solidify that terrible form. You're supposed to take the one hour lesson--I can't believe I'm explaining this--and apply it to your game over the subsequent, yes, four, five and six hours, to your game in general. While lessons can definitely be a dead-end--cardio classes help your fitness, not necessarily your tennis--a good pro can and should help you lift your game.

You're seriously telling me you're a 6.0 and you got there by teaching yourself tennis? Are you like a self-rated guy who guesses he's a 6.0 from a few pick-up games, or what? I teach at a Div. I university on the east coast, and the top guys on the team are 6.0. They were recruited for tennis, and many of them are not from the U.S. I can guarantee you these guys did not get to this level by banging around dead balls for hours and hours at the city courts.

zapvor 12-22-2012 09:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by F. Perry (Post 7075718)
Are you serious? Do you really think the pros you slobber over got where they were without a ton of instruction? That they just went out and hit until they discovered their strokes? That is so ridiculous. Every pro would have a pancake serve. If you have terrible form and you just practice, practice, practice, you're just going to solidify that terrible form. You're supposed to take the one hour lesson--I can't believe I'm explaining this--and apply it to your game over the subsequent, yes, four, five and six hours, to your game in general. While lessons can definitely be a dead-end--cardio classes help your fitness, not necessarily your tennis--a good pro can and should help you lift your game.

You're seriously telling me you're a 6.0 and you got there by teaching yourself tennis? Are you like a self-rated guy who guesses he's a 6.0 from a few pick-up games, or what? I teach at a Div. I university on the east coast, and the top guys on the team are 6.0. They were recruited for tennis, and many of them are not from the U.S. I can guarantee you these guys did not get to this level by banging around dead balls for hours and hours at the city courts.

haha yea. i mean i have met some decent players that are at a level where they can win a lot of matches, but when you watch them its very obvious they learned on their own, and not via a 'teaching pro' method

Ryoma 12-23-2012 04:15 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by F. Perry (Post 7075718)
Are you serious? Do you really think the pros you slobber over got where they were without a ton of instruction? That they just went out and hit until they discovered their strokes? That is so ridiculous. Every pro would have a pancake serve. If you have terrible form and you just practice, practice, practice, you're just going to solidify that terrible form. You're supposed to take the one hour lesson--I can't believe I'm explaining this--and apply it to your game over the subsequent, yes, four, five and six hours, to your game in general. While lessons can definitely be a dead-end--cardio classes help your fitness, not necessarily your tennis--a good pro can and should help you lift your game.

You're seriously telling me you're a 6.0 and you got there by teaching yourself tennis? Are you like a self-rated guy who guesses he's a 6.0 from a few pick-up games, or what? I teach at a Div. I university on the east coast, and the top guys on the team are 6.0. They were recruited for tennis, and many of them are not from the U.S. I can guarantee you these guys did not get to this level by banging around dead balls for hours and hours at the city courts.

Would love to see the folks here criticizing your techniques.

CoachingMastery 12-23-2012 12:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mick3391 (Post 7075483)
I'm probaly the minority position here, but I think they are a waste of time, they are why we have guys spending tons of money are are very low ranked skill wise.

One hour? Is that a joke? I play with my son for 6 hours, we come back next day for 4, then 3 more, not all the time but you learn what works and what doesn't.

Maybe it's just I never had a teacher, just a old wood racquet and had to survive, and I did, and got better, and better, MY STYLE IS MY STYLE, I'm not doing someone elses style.

IMO, you should be taught, "Heh, hold it western, continental, or eastern", aside from that tennis is an extension of your mind unto a racquet to do a specific purpose, this can't be taught, practice and doing your own thing is what works.

I will tell you, teaching my son shows me how much I don't know about what I do, it's not rehearsed, it's not something taught, it's just me expressed, the glory of tennis

You are definately entitled to your opinion based on your personal experience. Mine is quite different, however.

First of all, I've ran across hundreds of players that believe as you do; almost everyone of them failed to reach their potential because when you are truly self taught you work on things that create immediate "success" and you try to build on that. Unfortunately, most methods, (unless you studied what truly successful players who do reach their potential do), that allow a player to meet some level of early success, (hitting the ball over the net, towards a target within a certain criteria of speed), seldom allow the player to progress to higher levels of skilled play. (Without making significant modifications in their swing.)

I've taught thousands of players who come to me from your exact mentality who complain that they not only can't get any better, (even as they know they have the ability to get better), but constantly are getting passed up by those players they used to beat. (IE: players who first developed a foundation of skills the typically don't feel all that comfortable or confident at the beginning.)

There are many exceptions...however, they are exactly that. I once had a coach in the southwest whose kid that was 'self-taught' by his dad who went out, like you, hit thousands of balls to his kid, (believing that they will excel, somehow, through attrition), and claimed he was a top player in that area. Well, I took that kid to So. California to play some of my kids who were taught through specific training: the outcome of one particular match:

6-1 for the Calif. kid

When the southwest kid asked "Is that your #1 player?" I calmly replied, "Yes, he is #1 Junior Varsity."

This "top" kid in the southwest wouldn't have even made my JV team, let alone my varsity.

This is also just one example...but, I honestly don't know a single truly top-ranked kid, college player, or even a top club player who didn't take lessons and/or study the game as I've described.

I would certainly not risk wasting a kids potential talent by "HOPING" he mastered the various stroke components through some osmosis or attrition of simply saying, "I am only going to do it MY way."

Ironically, those players who are taught correctly actually have a better chance at developing their OWN game because they don't possess poor form that MUST be compensated later. I've found in 35 years of teaching that students that are indeed 'self-taught' seldom have the means to do MORE with the ball...conversly, they often find themselves having to accomodate their unconventionality through limiting their strokes or game in some way.

But hey, they can claim "I'm doing it MY way!"

sureshs 12-23-2012 07:21 PM

Kids should always learn properly by taking lessons.

For adults, the jury is out.


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