Good/bad coaching technique?

Znak

Professional
Question for any coaches on here/ players that have been part of group lessons. I have only taken lessons in France and the mindset of my instructor would be to teach one or two technical apsects, run us through them with drills, etc. And then give us immediate feedback while going through the exercise. Then we'd finish off with service games. It'd last about 2 hours total.

I just started up a new class here in Toronto, and I figured it'd be the same, as I did some research on coaches and he seems decently reputable. But his strategy is just to run us through play drills with no setup of the lesson, no goals or technique explained. Just "okay run here hit a forehand inside out" or "volley on approach" and we're running through scenarios without any correction if we're doing anything bad or good for an hour. I asked him if we'll be doing anything technical and he said that's for his private lessons only...

Is this normal or to be expected? Thanks.
 

ChaelAZ

Legend
I got spoiled with having some good coaches and learning from them in how to actually improve and modify techniques and behaviors. For me a lesson would include at least a few minutes of discussion to get players thinking and to outline what is going to be learned/practiced and why. Then it is a few runs through of demonstration before getting into maybe 2 or three drills that give practice to the technique and situations where it can be applied. Usually that kind of drills goes for 30-40 minutes. Then you do setup where players learn to incorporate the technique or recognize the situations for use in match play.

Things I have learn make a bad coach (to me at least):
  • Tries to work on everything all the time
  • Talks too much
  • Doesn't take time to make specific corrections for player but only mutters general things like, "brush up" or "Use your footwork"
  • Does too many different drills
  • Cannot demonstrate properly what they are trying to teach
  • etc
Sounds like you are in a cardio tennis class more than a lesson class.
 

PMChambers

Hall of Fame
Seems normal from my experience. If you want real coaching pay for real coaching. Group coaching if not at a clinic is more about fun. Don't expect a limo ride on a bus
 

FiReFTW

Legend
Maybe your technique is already flawless on peak federer level OP and theres no feedback anyone can give you lol!
 

heninfan99

Talk Tennis Guru
Question for any coaches on here/ players that have been part of group lessons. I have only taken lessons in France and the mindset of my instructor would be to teach one or two technical apsects, run us through them with drills, etc. And then give us immediate feedback while going through the exercise. Then we'd finish off with service games. It'd last about 2 hours total.

I just started up a new class here in Toronto, and I figured it'd be the same, as I did some research on coaches and he seems decently reputable. But his strategy is just to run us through play drills with no setup of the lesson, no goals or technique explained. Just "okay run here hit a forehand inside out" or "volley on approach" and we're running through scenarios without any correction if we're doing anything bad or good for an hour. I asked him if we'll be doing anything technical and he said that's for his private lessons only...

Is this normal or to be expected? Thanks.
Yes. It's the North American way. Sometimes you can sneak in a question but you don't want to slow down the group too much.
 
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sureshs

Bionic Poster
Question for any coaches on here/ players that have been part of group lessons. I have only taken lessons in France and the mindset of my instructor would be to teach one or two technical apsects, run us through them with drills, etc. And then give us immediate feedback while going through the exercise. Then we'd finish off with service games. It'd last about 2 hours total.

I just started up a new class here in Toronto, and I figured it'd be the same, as I did some research on coaches and he seems decently reputable. But his strategy is just to run us through play drills with no setup of the lesson, no goals or technique explained. Just "okay run here hit a forehand inside out" or "volley on approach" and we're running through scenarios without any correction if we're doing anything bad or good for an hour. I asked him if we'll be doing anything technical and he said that's for his private lessons only...

Is this normal or to be expected? Thanks.
Yes it is the usual case in US. The goal is to make more money than coaching one person for the same time. Coaches make up ridiculous drills and by the time all the students have figured out what to do, time for next drill. Then pick up the balls. No fundamental aspects of the sport like grip or swing are corrected. The feedback is quite useless. It is for kids and adults who just want to have some fun and silly tennis instead of doing nothing. And to be frank, many adults like the idea of spending much less money and running only 1/4 of the time compared to a serious one-on-one lesson, so sometimes it is a good match.
 

Nellie

Hall of Fame
I find that most group session are to provide lots of repetitions and not to offer direct coaching to the individuals, except for minor comments that are generally applicable to all group members (such as to prepare earlier). Otherwise, different advise is applicable for different players. I have seen some sessions related to specific shots, like a serve and volley clinic, where there is a general skills discussion beforehand
 

Znak

Professional
For me a lesson would include at least a few minutes of discussion to get players thinking and to outline what is going to be learned/practiced and why. Then it is a few runs through of demonstration before getting into maybe 2 or three drills that give practice to the technique and situations where it can be applied. Usually that kind of drills goes for 30-40 minutes.
Yeah exactly! That's sort of what I was anticipating.

Seems normal from my experience. If you want real coaching pay for real coaching. Group coaching if not at a clinic is more about fun. Don't expect a limo ride on a bus
I'm not expecting much to be honest, but some feedback from the coach would be great. I can run around in my own time — I don't need to spend $200 to do that.

Maybe your technique is already flawless on peak federer level OP and theres no feedback anyone can give you lol!
Hahah I am playing Federer next week, so you could be onto something...

No fundamental aspects of the sport like grip or swing are corrected. The feedback is quite useless. It is for kids and adults who just want to have some fun and silly tennis instead of doing nothing
That's the impression I'm getting. Bit of a shame, there's potential to do some good in these classes...
 

Znak

Professional
If I set up a group practice say they’re playing half court, one is feeding and coming to the net behind the feed. I’d want to try and feed back individually to everyone, maybe jump in and demo it for someone to give an example of what I mean, or if they’re doing a good job maybe just ask a question before we move the drill onto something else.

That’s my take on group lessons, is it’s individualised feedback with everyone typically doing the same thing or some variation of the same thing, whether that’s a live drill which is my go to option 98% of the time in adult group or if it’s a basket.

Other coaches don’t neccaserily have that same philosophy but I’m not doing it because it’s a group and you need to pay me more for that isn’t an adequate justification as far as I’m concerned. If they can give a good reason to not give individual feedback or why the don’t on the basket drill then that’s entirely different but this guy sounds like he’s at it.
You're doing some good work @MethodTennis that's exactly the kind of group stuff I'm looking for. But I guess you live you learn, maybe I'll get lucky on my next coach or at least I'll ask more questions ahead of time.
 

MasturB

Legend
In groups it's hard to take each player individually to work on technique.

Unless you are doing a one sized fits all technical adjustment for everyone. Otherwise each player learns differently so you have to really take someone aside sometimes. And in groups it's just hard to do that.

Otherwise as a coach if I'm on one side of the net I usually help whoever is closest to me in the drill and rotate so I can try to help everyone at least once.
 

Kamono

New User
I live in Japan.That is a common problem here,too.I don't go to tennis school tennis coach don't give students any advice.
My coach give us 15 minutes private time and give us some advice in 120 minutes,and I can ask tennis coach questions .
 
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