When looking for a private tennis coach, how do you know you’re choosing the right one? With thousands of highly qualified instructors across the country, the task of selecting a coach that perfectly suits your tennis needs can seem daunting. What’s the best way to narrow down your search and figure out exactly the kind of coach you’re looking for? MyTennisLessons recommends asking yourself the following questions before you begin your search process.
What is my level?
Determining your level is the first step toward finding the perfect coach for you. Different instructors specialize in teaching different levels, while others have experience working with beginner, intermediate and advanced players, but have specific teaching styles. Age is also an important part of playing level. A 5-year-old beginner requires very different instruction than a 50-year-old beginner. Coach Raynee in Atlanta, Georgia, for example, became passionate about teaching young players after introducing her 5-year-old to tennis, and is now PTR certified to teach 12-and-under players. She might be a better fit for a youth beginner, while Coach Todd in Miami, Florida, prefers teaching intermediate and advanced adults through fitness and match strategy. Choose the right coach for you by understanding each instructor’s teaching background and preferences.
What are my goals?
Knowing your goals before you look for a coach will help you determine who can best help you achieve those goals. Are you trying to correct a stroke or perhaps completely change your playing style? Is your objective to improve your level for recreational play? Or are you a junior player trying to develop your game for the highest level of competition? Whether focused on short- or long-term goals, spend some time thinking about how a private coach could best serve you. If your aspiration is to become a player on the pro tour, perhaps Coach Mariano in Dallas, Texas, the 2005 French Open finalist and former no. 9 in the world, is the right coach for you. If you’re playing for recreational purposes, Coach Brody in San Antonio, Texas, says, “My goal is to get [you] interested in this lifetime sport in a fun-filled atmosphere.” Get the most out of each lesson by determining the coach who can help you fulfil your goals.
What do I want to get out of each lesson?
Once you’ve established your personal goals, pinpoint what you want to get out of each lesson so that you can realize those goals. Each instructor has expertise in various aspects of the game and has developed his or her own teaching style. If your goal is to play tennis at the college level, perhaps your focus each lesson should be on match play. Former top Division III college player Coach Diana in Boston, Massachusetts, teaches students by acting as a hitting partner. “Whether you need a couple of hours of set play and tiebreakers or to hit a bunch of groundstrokes,” she says, “I have the competitive training and consistency to cater to your tennis needs.” Make sure each lesson gets you closer to your goals by finding a coach whose experience and skills meet your needs.
How do I learn best?
Just as each coach has a different teaching style, each student has a different learning style. Knowing your learning style and under which conditions you work best will help you find a coach whose style matches your own. Are you a visual learner? Coach Jacklyn in Miami, Florida, often uses video demonstrations to accompany a lesson. Are you an auditory learner? Coach Neil in Cincinnati, Ohio, says, “I give very positive feedback with high-intensity and energy throughout the lesson.” Recognizing how you work best will help you find a coach who can maximize your potential.
If you’re beginning the search for a new tennis instructor, don’t forget to ask yourself these questions. Finding the right coach starts with recognizing your personal needs.