So you want to get started with tennis lessons and step one is finding a good instructor…
I know, step one is hard.
When selecting a tennis professional that’s right for you there is a lot to be considered, but don’t worry I’m here to help. Below are the most important things to consider when hunting for your perfect instructor.
Don’t Be Fooled By An Impressive Playing Background
When evaluating a tennis professional, don’t be fooled by an impressive playing background alone. Just because you had personal success with tennis doesn’t mean you’re cut out to teach it. While a successful playing background usually indicates strong knowledge of the game, in order to be an efficient tennis professional you must both understand the game and have the ability to teach it.
Teaching, just like playing, gets better with practice. An instructor with many years of experience has seen and fixed a lot of different problems and has a proven game plan for when they see these problems again in the future.
When taking a lesson from an instructor with minimal experience you might get what I like to call “guinea pig syndrome.” Good players with minimal teaching experience tend to use more of a trial and error procedure when fixing problems simply because they’ve never seen them before. This style of “guess and check” teaching will oftentimes leave the student feeling like a guinea pig in an experiment.
Over time as the professional sees a broader range of problems and works through his trial and error procedure to fix them, he becomes more efficient in solving a variety of problems when faced with them again. In other words he becomes a more experienced tennis professional. Five years of teaching is a good bench mark for experience.
Fortunately there are some steps aspiring tennis professionals can take to expedite the learning process of how to be a more efficient instructor. The United States Professional Tennis Association (USPTA) and the Professional Tennis Registry (PTR) are the world’s two biggest associations of tennis professionals.
A certification from one of these two organizations indicates that a professional has been trained to teach and that a well renowned organization is willing to not only endorse their teaching skills, but to provide millions of dollars in on-court liability insurance to back the quality and safety of their lessons. When a legitimate organization endorses and trusts a professional with the responsibility of teaching a safe and productive tennis lesson, it’s a safe bet that you can too.
Although a sound knowledge of the game, experience, and a certification are all parts of a successful resume, personality plays an equally important role in a tennis professional’s success. The ability to identify with a student on a personal level is a skill that helps to break down the barriers of communication and makes it easier for the student to learn.
An instructor that can put their student at ease in a fun and relaxed lesson environment is typically more successful in relaying information. Admittedly, this is a skill set that you may not be able to evaluate before your first lesson, but if you quickly realize there’s no chemistry and it’s affecting your learning progress then its time for a change.
So What Now?
Now you know what you’re looking for, but you might be saying to yourself, that doesn’t sound easy. And it’s not. In fact, our research shows that only about 23% of tennis “professionals” are capable of delivering the on court experience that you’re after. So how do you find one of these amazing instructors?
I created PlayYourCourt six years ago to solve this problem for you.
How did I do it? I setup a rating system just like Amazon or Yelp and if my students had a mediocre experience they wrote about it for all to see.
Fast forward six years, PlayYourCourt is open nationwide and I’ve done all the heavy lifting of vetting out the best pros in the country for you through our rating system. Of the nearly one thousand tennis pros I’ve hired in the last six years I’ve weeded out over 700 duds.
Today I only offer you pros that consistently deliver an amazing experience every time they walk on the court. Experienced, certified, knowledgeable, patient tennis instructors that will get you started on the right foot.
Don’t take my word for it, give us a try.
Or give us a call at 301-575-6112.