When it’s time to get youth players started with their first tennis lesson, you may be faced with a difficult decision: private or group lessons? While group lessons provide a social atmosphere, if your child is serious about developing his or her tennis game, consider signing him or her up for private lessons instead. Here’s why.
Get personalized lesson plans.
In a private lesson, the instructor can tailor plans to work on the student’s strengths and weaknesses. Let’s suppose your daughter is struggling with her backhand. In a group lesson, the instructor would spend a portion of the lesson working on backhands and give your daughter some pointers on how to improve hers, but wouldn’t be able to shift all the focus to her and forgo the other players’ needs. In a private lesson, the instructor could spend the entire session working on backhand technique and have the stroke looking better in no time. Private lessons allow for customization so that improvement happens more quickly.
Expect more movement.
One-on-one sessions give the player the opportunity to hit more balls. When doing drills in a group lesson, players must take turns on the court, so there’s a lot of standing in line. In a private lesson, students may be required to hit an entire basket of balls without stopping — there’s no standing around. Constant movement in practice will help your child improve his or her speed and endurance, two qualities that are necessary for competitive players to possess. Practice sessions will be more rigorous and emulate match play when working with a coach privately.
Have in-depth discussions.
Having a private coach allows the player to ask as many questions as he or she wants. With other students on the court, constantly stopping the drill to ask about form or mechanics can be discourteous. But when there’s only one person on the court, it’s that person’s time to use however he or she sees fit without worrying about disturbing the class. In addition, if your child is hesitant to ask questions in front of friends or peers for fear of being judged, private lessons alleviate that worry. With one-on-one coaching, questions and discussions are encouraged.
Lose the distractions.
With private coaching, there’s no distractions. Let’s face it: when kids are with their friends, sometimes a serious task can become not so serious. One missed ball suddenly becomes the joke of the lesson and soon everyone is laughing and no one is focused. Playing tennis with peers is healthy, don’t get us wrong. Group play makes tennis fun for kids and develops their love for the game. In order to maximize player development however, only taking group lessons may hinder competitive ambitions. Stay focused on personal goals with a private coach.
Make lessons more convenient.
Private lessons allow for flexibility because there’s no coordinating schedules. A group lesson or clinic that students can join might meet at a set time every week, but with a private instructor, scheduling lessons is only dependent upon the player’s and coach’s schedule. If your child is involved in several activities or if your schedule varies each week, having flexibility with lesson meeting time is essential. Private lessons give parents that convenience.