How to find a good coach?

tennishabit

Hall of Fame
Here is my severely tunnel-visioned take on coaching recreational players.

I remember my university admission exam. It was a mixture of all disciplines. Athletics, gymnastics, basics of almost every game. It all came astonishingly easy to me, except one thing, stupid swimming.
That was the one discipline I actually had to train for to even be within the limits. And even with the training, I finished hundreds of places bellow the top scorers.
I am just not a water creature. I have not set foot into the pool ever since. Never for a second have I thought about hiring a professional or devoting thousands of hours and dollars to becoming a better swimmer.

There are thousands of sporty endeavours out there. Inevitably, you will be good at one of them. It continues to fascinate me with how much masochism people are engaging in something they clearly have no talent for.
I would even go as bold as saying that if your average 4.5 tennis youtuber does not seem laughably terrible to you, you have very little chance of ever being any good at this.
Now you can either accept it and go have fun on the court, which is perfectly ok with me, or you can forever keep paying someone to work on your pronation and elbow separation.
spot on m8, lolololololol 'pronation and elbow separation' n dat's why 1/2 of the 'tennis players' have/had well cooked tennis/golf elbows for dinner all the time..........read dat from an research journal a few yrs ago.:-D:-D:-D:-D:-D:-D:-D:-D:-D:-D:-D:-D:-D:-D:-D:-D:-D.................
 

J011yroger

Talk Tennis Guru
Let's attack this problem backwards.

Why would a good coach want to work with you?

In coaching, full time is over 25 hours a week, once you get up over 35 hours it begins to hurt to exist.

At my busiest times of year I am over 70 hours/week, 40-45 hours of privates, 10-15 hours of groups/clinics, plus court maintenance, running a club, blah blah blah.

May/June I would get to my country club 7-8am, and finish at the academy 8-9pm most days.

If you are a normal adult working a 9-5, then you probably want lessons at prime time for juniors, or when academies have their programs. If you can take lessons at some dead time like 11am on a weekday you have a better shot.

Let's say you are Joe Average and you came to me right now for lessons, I would try to accommodate you but the only available times would be 7am before you went to work, or if I had one or two weeknights at 8 or 9pm, or if I got a cancellation on a weekend (weekends are packed this time of year because of girls' season absorbs the 3-6pm slots.)

So you are asking a good coach to wake up at 6am to teach you at 7am after they finished work at 9pm and ate some garbage dinner at the only restaurant still open at 10pm and got to bed at midnight, or stay an extra hour after working until 8 or 9pm (cutting into their beer time) or fill a slot that had been blessedly vacated where they might be able to eat something besides choking down a banana while picking up balls.

What do you bring to the table that would cause me to make time for you?

J
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
Now you can either accept it and go have fun on the court, which is perfectly ok with me, or you can forever keep paying someone to work on your pronation and elbow separation.
There is the middle road, which is having fun and also improving by self-study (Youtube videos, this board, and pro matches).

Many people have successfully learnt stuff by watching Youtube videos, be it mathematics or cooking. There will always be people who will say that cooking can only be learned from your grandma who lives in a village in Italy, but others have moved on and learned by themselves from cookbooks and their modern counterpart, the videos. Tennis is also like that.

Your concerns about paying someone are justified. I just checked my club's teaching pro directory. This is a non-profit club operated on behalf of Parks and Rec and annual fee is $300, so in no ways an elite place. The minimum rate for a private lesson is $80/hour. Imagine a married man with 2 kids in a decent but not terribly high-paying job. By any measure, $80/hour is very high for a selfish recreational activity not involving other members of the family.
 

shamaho

Professional
Yes, 10 hours a week is the minimum baseline to correct flawed strokes.
immho and very respectfully but that is simply not true !!

one can reduce that by much by using:
- video recording
- visualization
- honest feedback
- open mind

so I guess most of that 10 hours could be used in visualization :)

I have the solid N=1 study that that can be done and achieved ;-)
 

cha cha

Professional
There is the middle road, which is having fun and also improving by self-study (Youtube videos, this board, and pro matches).

Many people have successfully learnt stuff by watching Youtube videos, be it mathematics or cooking. There will always be people who will say that cooking can only be learned from your grandma who lives in a village in Italy, but others have moved on and learned by themselves from cookbooks and their modern counterpart, the videos. Tennis is also like that.

Your concerns about paying someone are justified. I just checked my club's teaching pro directory. This is a non-profit club operated on behalf of Parks and Rec and annual fee is $300, so in no ways an elite place. The minimum rate for a private lesson is $80/hour. Imagine a married man with 2 kids in a decent but not terribly high-paying job. By any measure, $80/hour is very high for a selfish recreational activity not involving other members of the family.
On the other hand, if money is no object, I can see the appeal of paying for a hitting partner who is consistent, hopefully better than you and will never cancel because they are too tired from work.
 

FiddlerDog

Professional
I have not seen a single adult recreational player become any of the above. So how is this even relevant?
Since a 3.5 will never become ATP, lessons will do nothing for him?
Why do you post on this forum? You will never reach ATP no matter how much you post or watch videos.
 
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tennishabit

Hall of Fame
Let's attack this problem backwards.

Why would a good coach want to work with you?

In coaching, full time is over 25 hours a week, once you get up over 35 hours it begins to hurt to exist.

At my busiest times of year I am over 70 hours/week, 40-45 hours of privates, 10-15 hours of groups/clinics, plus court maintenance, running a club, blah blah blah.

May/June I would get to my country club 7-8am, and finish at the academy 8-9pm most days.

If you are a normal adult working a 9-5, then you probably want lessons at prime time for juniors, or when academies have their programs. If you can take lessons at some dead time like 11am on a weekday you have a better shot.

Let's say you are Joe Average and you came to me right now for lessons, I would try to accommodate you but the only available times would be 7am before you went to work, or if I had one or two weeknights at 8 or 9pm, or if I got a cancellation on a weekend (weekends are packed this time of year because of girls' season absorbs the 3-6pm slots.)

So you are asking a good coach to wake up at 6am to teach you at 7am after they finished work at 9pm and ate some garbage dinner at the only restaurant still open at 10pm and got to bed at midnight, or stay an extra hour after working until 8 or 9pm (cutting into their beer time) or fill a slot that had been blessedly vacated where they might be able to eat something besides choking down a banana while picking up balls.

What do you bring to the table that would cause me to make time for you?

J
gr8 entail from a coach's points of veiw, funny u call it 'attack the problem backwards'. if u'r so busy then u must be a great coach as the buyers of ur service r happy with their improvement n enjoy their tennis. otherwise less n less buyers left n dat's exactly wat's happening right now here in our club...........old clubbers gone or stopped due to aging/injuries n the young 1s tried a few times but no enjoyment. the parents who'r forcing kids to learn tennis found their kids plateaued aft short lifted 'excitement/success', even worse w/ injuries etcetc n realized they'r spending $$$ buying disasters etcetcetc.

the situation's getting worse n worse, road's getting narrower n narrower if there's no solution to tackle the issue. anyway it's crucial to have the real stories from both sides ie from 'seller' n 'buyer'. i'm neither a 'seller' nor a 'buyer' but hate to see more n more tennis courts'r converted to pickleball/basketball/futsal/etcetco_Oo_Oo_Oo_Oo_Oo_Oo_Oo_Oo_Oo_Oo_O................
 
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sureshs

Bionic Poster
Since a 3.5 will never become ATP, lessons will do nothing for him?
It is a cost-benefit tradeoff. Rather high cost ($80/hour) versus marginal or no improvement. You keep ignoring the cost angle and making it seem that the argument is about having tennis lessons or not. Sure if cost is no matter, you can take many tennis lessons a week and make the best of them. You can even live in a tennis resort throughout the year and take lessons every day.
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
gr8 entail from a coach's points of veiw, funny u call it 'attack the problem backwards'. if u'r so busy then u must be a great coach as the buyers of ur service r happy with their improvement n enjoy their tennis. otherwise less n less buyers left n dat's exactly wat's happening right now here in our club...........old clubbers gone or stopped due to aging/injuries n the young 1s tried a few times but no enjoyment. the parents who'r forcing kids to learn tennis found their kids plateaued aft short lifted 'excitement/success', even worse w/ injuries etcetc n realized they'r spending $$$ buying disasters etcetcetc.

the situation's getting worse n worse, road's getting narrower n narrower if there's no solution to tackle the issue. anyway it's crucial to have the real stories from both sides ie from 'seller' n 'buyer'. i'm neither a 'seller' nor a 'buyer' but hate to see more n more tennis courts'r converted to pickleball/basketball/futsal/etcetco_Oo_Oo_Oo_Oo_Oo_Oo_Oo_Oo_Oo_Oo_O................
Same story for Pickleball. There are now many pros coaching Pickleball, while many who play claim that 15 minutes of one-time instruction (mainly about the stupid rules) is more than enough.
 

tennishabit

Hall of Fame
Same story for Pickleball. There are now many pros coaching Pickleball, while many who play claim that 15 minutes of one-time instruction (mainly about the stupid rules) is more than enough.
yeah all abt market economy m8...........if u'v got a good product which helps urself 1st sososo well, sure(sh)ly u'l have buyers:-D:-D:-D:-D:-D:-D:-D:-D:-D:-D:-D:-D:-D:-D..............
 
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FiddlerDog

Professional
what ppl do:?)) 0.00000001% of the ppl:?)) lolololololol m8:-D:-D:-D:-D:-D:-D:-D:-D:-D:-D:-D:-D..............
I see that logic is not easy for you.

Clueless 3.5 players take zero coaching and remain clown players for life. UTR3
Juniors take coaching several days a week and reach UTR10-12.
ATP pros take infinity coaching for life and are the best in the world. UTR16

Now, do you think coaching has an effect?
According to our resident meme, they have zero effect on your skills.
Only on the internet is this kind of nonsense even debated.
 

tennishabit

Hall of Fame
I see that logic is not easy for you.

Clueless 3.5 players take zero coaching and remain clown players for life. UTR3
Juniors take coaching several days a week and reach UTR10-12.
ATP pros take infinity coaching for life and are the best in the world. UTR16

Now, do you think coaching has an effect?
According to our resident meme, they have zero effect on your skills.
Only on the internet is this kind of nonsense even debated.
lololololol m8............mostlikely the 'logic' won't be easy 4 most poasters here n 99.99999 of the world population. anyway atp top300 won't be here wasting time unless retired as they'v got 2 work hard to keep up their rankings n make their ends meet. every1 knows n no secret at all dat only top100 can make $$$ out of it n all the rest just hoping 1 day they can get there lolololol.

only pro here might be coaches n most of them are actually 'coaches' lololololol, basically drop-outs w/ flaws ready to pass onto the kids who won't endup any better. it's pretty hard for some 'coaches' to face it so straight forward n harsh comments like dis but fact's fact otherwise we won't be experiencing so many ppl suffering from tennis rather than enjoying it.

anyway, talk the talk, walk the walk. if some1 hates whatever their 'job's r n cap their hrs/wk n saying >dat will cause suffering...........ok to say dat in order to bargain bit more $$ actually enjoying what they'r doing, they might be good coaches as at least they'r doing the right things not hurting themselves. but if >xxhrs/wk really hurting them, boyohboy u know what kind of 'coaches' they'r lolololololol:-D:-D:-D:-D:-D:-D:-D:-D:-D:-D:-D:-D:-D..............
 
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xlv

New User
Ok. I went to a tennis club as a guest in burb today. Tennis in burb is a totally different thing compared to tennis in city. Now I feel playing tennis in city is a nightmare. I have to wait 40mins on average to get available courts during weekdays' night (probably need to drive 5 miles to find a ****ty court).
* Membership fee of a club in burb is so much lower. It's affordable. No stupid initiate fee. No $70/hr court fee.
* Court is clean plus Balls(Relativity new)/Cart is free to use.
* Lots of youth coach in the club. Much more chance to start a conversation with one of them.
* Even racquet on the wall is cheaper than city WTF!
You guys give me some solid advices to find coaches. I am shocked today.
 

xlv

New User
Let's attack this problem backwards.

Why would a good coach want to work with you?

In coaching, full time is over 25 hours a week, once you get up over 35 hours it begins to hurt to exist.

At my busiest times of year I am over 70 hours/week, 40-45 hours of privates, 10-15 hours of groups/clinics, plus court maintenance, running a club, blah blah blah.

May/June I would get to my country club 7-8am, and finish at the academy 8-9pm most days.

If you are a normal adult working a 9-5, then you probably want lessons at prime time for juniors, or when academies have their programs. If you can take lessons at some dead time like 11am on a weekday you have a better shot.

Let's say you are Joe Average and you came to me right now for lessons, I would try to accommodate you but the only available times would be 7am before you went to work, or if I had one or two weeknights at 8 or 9pm, or if I got a cancellation on a weekend (weekends are packed this time of year because of girls' season absorbs the 3-6pm slots.)

So you are asking a good coach to wake up at 6am to teach you at 7am after they finished work at 9pm and ate some garbage dinner at the only restaurant still open at 10pm and got to bed at midnight, or stay an extra hour after working until 8 or 9pm (cutting into their beer time) or fill a slot that had been blessedly vacated where they might be able to eat something besides choking down a banana while picking up balls.

What do you bring to the table that would cause me to make time for you?

J
Great attack.
I understand a good coach should be extremely popular, that's why so many people find a random guy on court/online app to be their coach. I just want to know if there is a trick to easily find a good coach.
Good coach on my post is not that 'high standard'. I just want to find a coach with experience to improve an intermediate player. As I mentioned before, one of my friend even used more arm after coaching. His coach is a great player but not a good coach.
 

xlv

New User
I see that logic is not easy for you.

Clueless 3.5 players take zero coaching and remain clown players for life. UTR3
Juniors take coaching several days a week and reach UTR10-12.
ATP pros take infinity coaching for life and are the best in the world. UTR16

Now, do you think coaching has an effect?
According to our resident meme, they have zero effect on your skills.
Only on the internet is this kind of nonsense even debated.
totally agree with every word you mentioned in this thread.
I'm that 3.5 player take zero coaching so far. Now I want to do some serious improvement. That's why I'm asking how to find a good coach.
 

FiddlerDog

Professional
Ok. I went to a tennis club as a guest in burb today. Tennis in burb is a totally different thing compared to tennis in city. Now I feel playing tennis in city is a nightmare. I have to wait 40mins on average to get available courts during weekdays' night (probably need to drive 5 miles to find a ****ty court).
Playing in a city is very inconvenient and costly.
It's like trying to become an expert at skiing in the city.

Unfortunately, the odds are that you will not improve your strokes.
It requires 5 days a week for muscle memory to develop.
Just be happy with your game and enjoy your weekly tennis session in the city.
 
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nyta2

Professional
Now I feel playing tennis in city is a nightmare. I have to wait 40mins on average to get available courts during weekdays' night (probably need to drive 5 miles to find a ****ty court).
i lived in NYC for 3y, was tough. even bought a motorcycle partially to make it easier to get around nyc and park near the courts quickly (nowadays i’d probably get an ebike).

a handful of folks in nyc used to just drive up to westchester to avoid the hassle of nyc courts.
 
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nyta2

Professional
Let's attack this problem backwards.

Why would a good coach want to work with you?

In coaching, full time is over 25 hours a week, once you get up over 35 hours it begins to hurt to exist.

At my busiest times of year I am over 70 hours/week, 40-45 hours of privates, 10-15 hours of groups/clinics, plus court maintenance, running a club, blah blah blah.

May/June I would get to my country club 7-8am, and finish at the academy 8-9pm most days.

If you are a normal adult working a 9-5, then you probably want lessons at prime time for juniors, or when academies have their programs. If you can take lessons at some dead time like 11am on a weekday you have a better shot.

Let's say you are Joe Average and you came to me right now for lessons, I would try to accommodate you but the only available times would be 7am before you went to work, or if I had one or two weeknights at 8 or 9pm, or if I got a cancellation on a weekend (weekends are packed this time of year because of girls' season absorbs the 3-6pm slots.)

So you are asking a good coach to wake up at 6am to teach you at 7am after they finished work at 9pm and ate some garbage dinner at the only restaurant still open at 10pm and got to bed at midnight, or stay an extra hour after working until 8 or 9pm (cutting into their beer time) or fill a slot that had been blessedly vacated where they might be able to eat something besides choking down a banana while picking up balls.

What do you bring to the table that would cause me to make time for you?

J
how do stay motivated to play for yourself?
I taught 10h last week and I was burnt and didn’t want to play much more than 5-6h
 

aa2

New User
I see "pros" feeding balls and saying, "good" or "nice" when their students hit with no topspin or shoulder turn, What a waste of $$$. It's even worse when the "pro" is wearing a brace for tennis elbow.

Look for someone who teaches kids with good strokes and pay him/her. Practice what he says and use the ball machine to practice turning your shoulder, hips, and get the stance. Use a mirror to make sure you look they way you think you look. Get a hitting partner once you've got the basics. Skip playing matches until your stokes are better. Just drill and get better. 16% of time in a match is hitting a ball. You'll never get better playing a match. I know what I'm talking about because that is what I did and still do. It works if you do the work but most people won't.
 

tennishabit

Hall of Fame
I see "pros" feeding balls and saying, "good" or "nice" when their students hit with no topspin or shoulder turn, What a waste of $$$. It's even worse when the "pro" is wearing a brace for tennis elbow.

Look for someone who teaches kids with good strokes and pay him/her. Practice what he says and use the ball machine to practice turning your shoulder, hips, and get the stance. Use a mirror to make sure you look they way you think you look. Get a hitting partner once you've got the basics. Skip playing matches until your stokes are better. Just drill and get better. 16% of time in a match is hitting a ball. You'll never get better playing a match. I know what I'm talking about because that is what I did and still do. It works if you do the work but most people won't.
shshsh.............sh don't tell any1 n keep quiet, m8. u'r destroying 'jobs'. lolololololol, manohman:-D:-D:-D:-D:-D:-D:-D:-D:-D:-D:-D:-D:-D:-D:-D................
 

Booger

Hall of Fame
Find some young guy who is way better than you and pay him $25 to hit you off the court every week. That's way better than most coaches, imo.
 

Fintft

Legend
Vacation in Europe or South America, for lessons but also to get an idea what good coaching is (affordable as well).
 

FiddlerDog

Professional
Find some young guy who is way better than you and pay him $25 to hit you off the court every week. That's way better than most coaches, imo.
This could not be more wrong.
I know a 3.5 who only hits with 4.5 and above.
He is still a 3.5
 

AlexSV

Rookie
Look for a coach with juniors who hit well is bad advice. Every coach at our club has juniors who could wipe the floor with me. Most of those coach's revert to 'great shot, low to high, follow through' once they get on the court with adults.

I play mornings, evenings and weekends. So I see them with their prized juniors, the not so great juniors, and their adult students.

You need to shop around, and watch them on court with other classes or lessons. Sort the coaches who go through the motions from the ones who push you to be better.
 
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