If you or a loved one is a tennis beginner and looking for a good tennis coach, here’s basic guide about how to go about that process.
Finding the best tennis coach for a new tennis player does not have to be difficult. You need to find:
- A tennis coach who is skilled and has a good reputation with beginners.
- A tennis coach who is in close proximity to you.
- A tennis coach who is kind and patient, with excellent motivational skills.
- A tennis coach who comes with recommendations.
While we do not suggest you agonise over choosing a tennis coach, you do want to make sure that the first experience your child, or yourself, has with a tennis coach, is a good one. You want a beginner tennis player to be passionate about tennis, and this passion can come with a good coach.
So, how do you find that fabulous tennis coach. Let’s look a few ways.
It might be odd that we are putting this first, but it is important.
A beginner tennis player is probably quite young. They don’t want to spend an hour in the car travelling to a tennis lesson and another hour travelling back again.
A tennis coach at a nearby club is the ideal option, and one that you can walk to is even better! Of course once a player improves, and is even playing in tournaments, then you might consider travelling to a really good coach.
But keep it simple to start. Find a coach that is nearby.
Chat to other people in your neighbourhood who use tennis coaches. Get recommendations and find out who they like, and why.
You can also use the internet to do research and look at the online reviews.
If you have a sports club down the road from you, and they have tennis courts, go and watch a few tennis sessions or tennis lessons. You can chat to the coaches, or coach, and find the coach who you feel comfortable with, and who you know will make your beginner tennis player feel comfortable too.
Coach With a Good EQ is Important
Again, you might find it interesting that we are mentioning a whole lot of things BEFORE we get to skill.
Obviously skill is important. But you want a tennis coach who is going to make the beginner player feel confident and motivated.
You do not want to scare anyone away from tennis. A tennis coach for a beginner needs to be encouraging. Not all beginners are good with a racquet and a ball. Some motivation and encouragement, and a lot of patience, is vital.
Here we are at skill. A tennis coach should have certificates, have done a tennis coaching course of sorts, and perhaps even have a sports management or sports psychology behind them.
For a beginner player, you don’t need to cross question your tennis coach on his certificates, but you do need to know that he or she is a qualified tennis coach.
A tennis coach should be a decent tennis player and have skill, but they need to know how to share these skills. Watch a lesson or two, before you make a decision.
Join a club
Private tennis lessons are great for a beginner tennis player but not everyone can afford private lessons, and also, there is something really lovely about playing with other beginners and building a new community or team.
There are many beginner tennis leagues, and of course if you are at school, you could join the beginner tennis sessions there.
Group tennis lessons are great, not just for the new tennis player, but also for the parents. You may just end up spending an hour or two a week at the tennis courts. You will want like-minded parents to talk to. Look into the local tennis clubs near you.
Getting to Know your Tennis Coach
You don’t need to have tea with the tennis coach you choose, and you don’t need to have the same world view, but you do have to be on the same path when it comes to your child and his or her needs.
Talk to the coach before you sign up for lessons, and make sure that this is the person you feel you can trust with your child and his or her sporting prowess.
A few questions you can ask, but bear in mind you should ask these BEFORE lessons begin:
- Do you coach beginners?
- What age group do you prefer coaching?
- Are lessons private or do we have the option of group lessons?
- Can my child practice here, between lessons?
- Do you also practice experienced or even professional players?
- Do you have an USPTA certificate?
The certificate question could get awkward and to be honest, if your child is a real beginner, you may just want a coach who is really good, even if he or she has done another kind of tennis coaching certificate. The levels of a tennis coach become more important only as the player becomes a better or more competitive tennis player.
Obviously you are going to find out the cost of tennis lessons. These vary hugely. Beginner tennis lessons, like any tennis lessons, can be costly. It depends on where you live, the area, and of course, the desirability of the coach. Group lessons are less expensive, so don’t forget to do a price comparison between private and group lessons.
Does the Tennis Coach Use Tennis Training Aids?
This is not a dealbreaker but if your child is young, he or she might quite like games that include bright orange cones, tennis ladders, giant fun tennis balls, or any tennis training aid that makes the game easier to learn and fun at the same time.
Ball machines are great, and almost all tennis coaches use them, but for the beginner player, ordinary tennis aids, such as tennis donut sets, a tennis grip trainer or a tennis serve doctor, are all helpful tools.
Talk to the Tennis Coach about your Child
If your child has any specific sensitivities, brief the tennis coach in advance. Perhaps your child is extremely gifted, or maybe he or she has a few learning difficulties. Prepare the tennis coach so if there is a difficulty on the court, the tennis coach can recognise it. You don’t have to go into too much detail, just what makes you comfortable. You can also tell from your tennis coach’s reaction, how good his or her EQ is.
There are a few other obvious things to do when finding a tennis coach. Make sure the tennis coach can actually play tennis! It has been known to happen.
Find out about missed lessons and how these are made up. Ask if the coach has had any beginner tennis players who have made it to competitive tennis.
And remember, if something is not working out, talk to the tennis coach. It could be something that is easy to rectify. If the player is hating tennis, hopefully not, chat to the coach. Make the necessary changes. And more than anything, always be encouraging.