Favorite trait or practice of teaching pro?

kingcheetah

Hall of Fame
I'll be starting a new side job as a teaching pro for individual and group work (I've coached high schoolers and some adults before, am a classroom teacher, and am PTR certified, but it'll be my first "teaching pro" gig) I'm curious what traits or practices of a teaching pro in either private lessons or small groups were your favorites?
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
Older male students: Use Federer and Sampras examples. Also use analogies from baseball, football and golf and quotes from the coaches of those sports.

Younger students and female students of all ages: Use Nadal examples. Avoid useless references to other sports and the useless quotes of their coaches.

Don't show signs of your age if you are an older person. Mentions of Borg, McEnroe and Navratilova will not cut it anymore except maybe with the oldest of your students. Don't tell tennis stories that show your age - like about the last time you met Roscoe Tanner in person.

Picking up all the balls on the court yourself after a set of drills is a great trait to have but probably impractical.

Always make sure that stray balls are moved away from near the students. Quite crucial for older students for whom one fall can kill their tennis aspirations.
 

5263

G.O.A.T.
I'll be starting a new side job as a teaching pro for individual and group work (I've coached high schoolers and some adults before, am a classroom teacher, and am PTR certified, but it'll be my first "teaching pro" gig) I'm curious what traits or practices of a teaching pro in either private lessons or small groups were your favorites?
PTR teaching format is quite good Imo, but the technique info is lacking. Updating that where you can and being upbeat are my suggestions.
 

heninfan99

Talk Tennis Guru
Here's what to avoid doing:
Don't Check your phone during lesson multiple times unless student is picking up balls
Don't Tell me you'd rather be a writer and can't wait to be done with tennis for good
Don't Regularly ask to change lesson time 1/2 hour before original start time
Don't Be shocked when I defeat your high school protege player
Don't Teach forehand/backhand grip structures of bygone eras
Don't Lie about your own playing level

All the above is real. Hope this helps 8-B
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
Must do: At frequent intervals, do mention that you were a promising junior player who was about to walk on to college with a tennis scholarship, but decided that helping other people improve their tennis was your true calling.

Something that I would not suggest but plays very well to an older male crowd: subtly hint that female tour players are not really good and have wrong technique. Makes the crowd feel really good about themselves.
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
PTR teaching format is quite good Imo, but the technique info is lacking. Updating that where you can and being upbeat are my suggestions.
It is amazing that after so many decades, the two biggest teaching bodies in the US (and both with some global outreach) still have not merged due to ego and power issues. From the outside, it seems ridiculous that either the PTA or the PTR has some secret sauce which they cannot share or that their "methodology" differences really matter.
 

kingcheetah

Hall of Fame
PTR teaching format is quite good Imo, but the technique info is lacking. Updating that where you can and being upbeat are my suggestions.
They do have good lesson progressions... I did the Performance camp so it's slightly different in structure in that you begin with competition to assess what a player's needs are, rather than just assessing strokes with drilling. I'm going to steal some things that were used at the Real Club de Tenis 1899 (Where the Barcelona 500 is)-- I did two weeks there when I was a junior, amazing facility.
 

ZanderGoga

Semi-Pro
If you can, be hot. The occasional ex-D1 Sharapova wannabe running the show is the only reason I've ever found for taking part in a clinic. And fantasies about the tennis instructor are why the huge preponderance of middle aged housewives (your biggest potential demographic, by a factor of a million) bother joining them.

If you're naturally homely, I dunno. Maybe give away stickers or something.
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
Don't teach them too much at once lest they never come back.

Never mention this forum or the availability of thousands of free tennis coaching videos. Never mention paid online instruction sites either.
 

5263

G.O.A.T.
It is amazing that after so many decades, the two biggest teaching bodies in the US (and both with some global outreach) still have not merged due to ego and power issues. From the outside, it seems ridiculous that either the PTA or the PTR has some secret sauce which they cannot share or that their "methodology" differences really matter.
well seems they are coming together via the usta now....we will see
 

Fairhit

Professional
From my experience and what I like about a teaching pro.

If you have to correct technique, acknowledge the good things and offer the pros to executing the correction.

Forget about your phone during lessons.

Try to acknowledge that people have different techniques, don't try to homogenize everyone's technique.

Talk to your students, try to work on aspects they want to work on.

Don't be a glorified ball machine.

Be serious but approachable.

Always find good things to say but don't be patronizing.

Ask your students what techniques would they like to have, don't judge them if they want to play like they favorite player, try to show them the pros and cons but let them make their own informed decision.
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
well seems they are coming together via the usta now....we will see
When the USTA decided to mandate new teaching standards, the USPTA came on board at once. USPTR held off for longer, negotiating with the USTA. Then last year, the PTR was accredited in a hurry.- I suspect because of the loss of teaching jobs due to the pandemic, more delaying didn't look good.

I don't see how that means they are coming together. They were forced to agree to some common teaching mandates, that is all.
 

kingcheetah

Hall of Fame
When the USTA decided to mandate new teaching standards, the USPTA came on board at once. USPTR held off for longer, negotiating with the USTA. Then last year, the PTR was accredited in a hurry.- I suspect because of the loss of teaching jobs due to the pandemic, more delaying didn't look good.

I don't see how that means they are coming together. They were forced to agree to some common teaching mandates, that is all.
I'm neutral on it, but the USTA also has plenty of its own issues to manage.
 

dkmura

Rookie
Agreed^^ One quality I've appreciated from observant pros is they take time somewhere in their lessons to notice a strength in each student's game that is worth building around. This positivity also extends to weaknesses that can be improved in phases. Encouragement builds confidence.
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
Have you decided if/how many props you are going to use? Cones and rings? Don't overdo it, though. I know a pro who fills the court with these props another pro remarked that it is not the way to teach.
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
Two basic requirements of a teaching pro:

Should not need to run to the bathroom frequently
Should be able to remember faces and names of students, and their parents if juniors
 

kingcheetah

Hall of Fame
Have you decided if/how many props you are going to use? Cones and rings? Don't overdo it, though. I know a pro who fills the court with these props another pro remarked that it is not the way to teach.
I like targets for hand-fed things, but I try to keep the number relatively low (usually safe groundstrokes and then an angled one for inside out forehands) I agree that some people have a tendency to litter the court with every cone, dot, line, hula hoop, or other prop they can find and it feels unrealistic.
 

nyta2

Professional
I'll be starting a new side job as a teaching pro for individual and group work (I've coached high schoolers and some adults before, am a classroom teacher, and am PTR certified, but it'll be my first "teaching pro" gig) I'm curious what traits or practices of a teaching pro in either private lessons or small groups were your favorites?
everyone's posted alot of good ideas... but i'll suggest something from a different perspective.
Be picky about who you students are, and fire them if needed (ie for not doing "homework")...
I think all coaches go into coaching with a great attitude and vision of making everyone they teach, eventually a 4.0+ player.
but over time you realize that the great information your imparting is going to waste, because as well all know you need to combine knowledge with effort... but there are MANY/MOST students that will not go practice
so over time you get jaded, and presume everyone is like that, so you end up trying less and less (because it's draining spending you time reteaching the same thing over and over to a student that doesn't practice... and is really just there for attaboys and/or an ego boost).
i know at least one, very established coach, that is extremely picky about choosing students, and will often fire them if they aren't doing what they are asking them to do, that said, when he's on the court with you, he's fully invested in you, and you feel it.
i generally go out of my way to give students every reason not to go with me... like stating my expectations about "homework".
that said, it can be hard to turn people away, especially if you have bills to pay...
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
everyone's posted alot of good ideas... but i'll suggest something from a different perspective.
Be picky about who you students are, and fire them if needed (ie for not doing "homework")...
I think all coaches go into coaching with a great attitude and vision of making everyone they teach, eventually a 4.0+ player.
but over time you realize that the great information your imparting is going to waste, because as well all know you need to combine knowledge with effort... but there are MANY/MOST students that will not go practice
so over time you get jaded, and presume everyone is like that, so you end up trying less and less (because it's draining spending you time reteaching the same thing over and over to a student that doesn't practice... and is really just there for attaboys and/or an ego boost).
i know at least one, very established coach, that is extremely picky about choosing students, and will often fire them if they aren't doing what they are asking them to do, that said, when he's on the court with you, he's fully invested in you, and you feel it.
i generally go out of my way to give students every reason not to go with me... like stating my expectations about "homework".
that said, it can be hard to turn people away, especially if you have bills to pay...
It is not a good strategy with adult students, many of whom work for a living. You really should not expect an ER surgeon to be doing tennis homework after the couple of hours he gets to play tennis and take a lesson just to keep in touch.
 

nyta2

Professional
It is not a good strategy with adult students, many of whom work for a living. You really should not expect an ER surgeon to be doing tennis homework after the couple of hours he gets to play tennis and take a lesson just to keep in touch.
i'm perfectly fine not taking on that student.
that said, i'm not trying to fill a 40h week, and just fine working with just a handful of select students.
a big part of the satisfaction i get from teaching, is seeing a student progress...
i will have significantly less energy to work with someone not making progress (eg. because they are just making the same mistakes over and over due to lack of practice)
OR let's say they are not getting better because i suck as a coach... then clearly i'm not offering them any value. end result is the same, we end the relationship so we can move on and find someone more appropriate for the offering/need.
 
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kingcheetah

Hall of Fame
everyone's posted alot of good ideas... but i'll suggest something from a different perspective.
Be picky about who you students are, and fire them if needed (ie for not doing "homework")...
I think all coaches go into coaching with a great attitude and vision of making everyone they teach, eventually a 4.0+ player.
but over time you realize that the great information your imparting is going to waste, because as well all know you need to combine knowledge with effort... but there are MANY/MOST students that will not go practice
so over time you get jaded, and presume everyone is like that, so you end up trying less and less (because it's draining spending you time reteaching the same thing over and over to a student that doesn't practice... and is really just there for attaboys and/or an ego boost).
i know at least one, very established coach, that is extremely picky about choosing students, and will often fire them if they aren't doing what they are asking them to do, that said, when he's on the court with you, he's fully invested in you, and you feel it.
i generally go out of my way to give students every reason not to go with me... like stating my expectations about "homework".
that said, it can be hard to turn people away, especially if you have bills to pay...
A nice perk of this gig is that it is a secondary job, so I can control my schedule better and don't need to try and fill every week's schedule to keep my house. I agree as far as jaded coaches, some are just a combination mediocre ball machine/unlicensed therapist for people to talk at. There are also some players that don't actually listen to coaching, but are very particular about the coach they work with, insisting that they work with someone that has coached collegiate or professional players when they are a 3.5.

With my high school players, my demeanor is pretty mellow, but I'll tell them the truth. Again, some are very receptive to coaching and will work to hone their skills, and they get more energy from me than players that aren't trying to implement positive changes to their game. That said, I'll also be coordinating a few adult events/in house leagues, with potential for commission, and I'm fine being bubbly if it means making the events a success.
 
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