Originally Posted by floridatennisdude
One of the better players in our area pays for almost no coaching. He will play any junior or adult any time on any day. He doesn't have parents that have the means to pay top dollar. But he is such a good kid that several adult players in the area have helped him out. One donated his 4 racquets, another gave him a used stringing machine, a club hired him to work the pro shop, another is paying half of his 2x a week clinic fees. All his mother is left with is tournament costs.
I strongly agree with the above. Years ago when I played more often, I was at or above the level of the majority of the local teaching pros. I would offer to pay them their hourly rate to play a match and get declined again and again. I was always happy to work with the local juniors helping them, giving them equipment advice, strategy advice, playing out tiebreakers. I never took money from anyone and we all did what we did for the love of the game. Plus I have a day job that pays well. A ranked 11 year old may not be good enough competition to play matches with adults but there may be local top players who wouldn't mind mentoring someone just because they love tennis.