How to Decide on the Right Tennis Coach
If you’re interested in learning how to play tennis, or if you already know how to play but would like to improve your game, one step you can take is hiring a tennis coach. Hiring a tennis coach will give you an opportunity to hone your techniques under the supervision of someone who knows what the right techniques are. After all, self-learning can only take you so far. And even if you had lessons to learn the basics of the game, it helps to have someone on hand to critique your current form and technique so that you can make progress. That said, not all tennis coaches are created equal (and some are downright dodgy), and it’s important that you put a lot of thought into this particular choice, especially because tennis coaches don’t usually come cheap. This is similar to making a small investment, so you don’t want to simply make a random decision.
Here are some points to consider:
What Kind of Backhand Does the Coach Favor?
This is something that you’ll want to find out upfront because it could have a major effect on the coach’s teaching style. The idea here is that you will already probably have a preferred backhand style, either one-handed or two-handed. You will, therefore, want to find a coach who specializes in the style you prefer, to get the most out of your lessons. As far as concrete steps for how to decide are concerned, start by talking to the coach about how he or she teaches the backhand. Also, observe what kind of backhand the coach uses when playing. Many coaches will say that they can teach both styles, but this is like saying a teacher can teach a child to write effectively with both hands too. Technically it is possible, but ultimately the teacher will favor one hand over the other. There’s still something to be gained when you make decision commitments that create the greatest harmony between your play style and that of your coach.
What Kind of Schedule Can the Coach Handle?
Scheduling is another important and practical factor in the process of deciding on a suitable tennis coach. Things will be much easier, of course, if your schedule is quite free and you can commit a lot of time to the training. But if that’s the case, then the chances are that you are jobless and unable to afford a coach in the first place (so why are you evening reading this article?). But many people can only train at certain times of the day or during the weekend, because of work or family commitments. So you need to find a coach who can offer that kind of flexibility to you. Some coaches charge a fee if classes get canceled at the last minute. So if you have the kind of job where you suddenly get pulled into after hour meetings, you really want a coach that can accommodate you. This is also important because training can be hampered if the gaps between your sessions are too long. Also, be wary of coaches who appear to already have a ton of students, and who appear to be rushing their students through each session. To properly learn tennis form, paying careful attention to technique is required, so this is not something that can or should be just be rushed.
What Kind of Personality Does the Coach Have?
The personality of the trainer will also be an important factor when deciding on a coach. Some coaches see themselves almost like drill sergeants and will use a more high pressure, high repetition, and impersonal style when teaching a student. Now, there are some students who prefer this kind of no nonsense approach, but you’ll have to decide if this is for you. Other coaches take a less stressful and more laid-back approach to teaching. Some students would rather have this kind of coach, but other people find this to be less effective for them, and a less efficient use of their time. So you must decide accordingly – in any case, you can always switch coaches out if you find the coach has an unsuitable teaching style or temperament. Unless of course, you signed up for some mega discounted package spanning a thousand sessions of training – then you probably don’t have the option of switching out coaches and may need to adjust your expectations, your temperament, or perhaps quit playing tennis altogether.