One of the best parts of working with a private tennis coach is that you have someone to motivate you and help you achieve your desired goals. But if you truly want to get the most out of your tennis lesson, it’s up to you to come prepared, work hard and go the extra mile (perhaps literally). Whether you’re taking tennis lessons for a fun cardio workout or because you want to develop your game for competitive play, it’s up to you to maximize your time on the court. Make the best of your tennis lesson with these tips.
Your tennis lesson should be something you look forward to, not a part of the day you’re dreading. It sounds simple, but make sure you’re excited for your tennis lesson by being prepared. Schedule the lesson at the time of day when you have the most energy (e.g. if you’re not a morning person don’t schedule a 7 a.m. lesson just because it fits in your schedule). In addition, make sure you eat a healthy meal or snack before you exercise. And don’t forget to stay hydrated!
You might assume that your tennis coach knows best, but he or she isn’t a mind reader! Remember, it’s your lesson, so don’t be afraid to request certain drills or take the lesson in the direction you want it to go. Instructors want to tailor the lessons to your interests and needs, but they won’t know what those are unless you speak up. Have in mind certain aspects of your game you want to work on — if you let your coach know before the next lesson, he or she can spend some extra time thinking of lesson plans that meet your requests.
How frequently do you go an hour without looking at your cellphone? Your tennis lesson is the perfect time to turn off the technology and focus on something fun! Those who are checking their text messages every water break don’t exactly have their head in the game. In addition, studies have shown that multitasking affects your ability to learn, so wait until after you’ve mastered a topspin serve before you respond to that work email.
Do it right
The first time you try something new on the tennis court — whether it’s a continental grip on a volley or dropping your racket head lower on your forehand — it’s bound to feel unnatural. But don’t resort back to your old habits just so that you can hit the ball over the net. Lessons are the time to refine your game and make mistakes. During your lesson make sure you’re using the correct form. With practice, those uncomfortable adjustments will lead to significant improvements in your game.
Up the intensity
Your coach can yell, motivate and praise you throughout the entire lesson, but ultimately, it’s up to you to find the self-motivation to push yourself to the next level. Only you know the fastest you can run and the longest you can go without stopping. As cliché as it sounds, give 100 percent on the court: it will leave you feeling better after your lesson along with improving your speed, endurance and overall tennis game.
Ask for more
Sometimes coaches will give you a “homework assignment” after your lesson such as supplementary exercises or more court time. But if he or she doesn’t, make sure you ask for one! Cardio workouts, running and weightlifting can help significantly improve your game and you don’t need a partner to practice some more serves or hit a few balls against a wall.
Getting the most out of your tennis lesson is about you. Don’t forget to keep these tips in mind as you prepare for your next lesson!