The best way to find a good tennis coach is almost always word of mouth. If you do not have that opportunity and tennis is a new adventure to you, take trial lessons from 3 different coaches within your vicinity and see what works for you. Most clubs and coaches have promo rates—ask. Some let you sit in on a group lesson and get a feel for it. Does it sounds a little like the dating scene? Absolutely! The concept is quite similar. If you are going to invest time, money, and sweat, you deserve a good result out of it!
3 Important Things to Look For in a Trial Group Lesson
1. Is the Pro-Player ratio effective? 4-6 players per pro is a good ratio that allows everyone to hit enough balls in 1-1.5 hours.
2. Do the drills involve everyone? Waiting on the sideline for too long for any reason besides drinking water, watching demonstrations, or asking questions is counterproductive. Pros are trained to run dynamic, involved, productive, and challenging classes within reason for an entire session.
3. Is the pro giving loud and clear vocal and visual feedback and demonstrations?
3 Things to Look For in a Trial Private Lesson
1. Introduction of new concepts and techniques should always start from the very basics—your A-B-Cs and 1-2-3s. Good fundamentals make for a solid foundation for your game. There are no shortcuts!
2. At least for the trial lesson, request to work on an area of weakness and see whether or not the coach will have impactful results within the session. It is a reasonable expectation.
3. The class should be peppered with demonstrations, vocal and visual encouragement. It is, after all, an active sport!
At the end of the lesson, see whether or not you can distinctly recognize the “Introductory Phase”, which involves explanations and demonstrations, the “Practical Phase”, which involves drilling and feedback, and the “Reinforcement Phase”, which typically involves fun games that require you to use your newly acquired skills.
Good luck finding a great coach!