Ready to start your tennis journey. Enthusiastic to embark on a journey that only a few select get to complete. Don’t worry I’m kidding, of course, tennis is pretty fun to learn and you can learn it in any amount of time you are comfortable with.
But you may be considering whether to just play with a group of friends or get some lessons in so can get on the fast track to learning tennis. I have done a little bit of research on this and have some practical experience on this issue. I’ll lay down the pros and cons of each, hopefully in an easy to understand manner so it makes that decision easy for you and you can select which one is the best for you in what scenarios.
So, I have been playing tennis for around 13 years. 4 years of which have been with a tennis team coach with a college/university. My upbringing wasn’t in one of the most lucrative of households but it was pretty comfortable. We were never close to broke but were never too rich either. My father was very enthusiastic about tennis and he got me and my brother into tennis too.
Due to us being in a military household we never had a chance to stick to one place and learn tennis in a dedicated setting. We would start lessons in one place and after some time had to move to a place that had no concept of tennis coaching/lessons and had to be left on our own devices which we coped with extremely well, now that I look at it.
My younger played better because he started earlier and was way more athletic than me and we played and learned from each other. He would give me pointers when I started and that was hunky dory for the most part.
My father was more of a hitting partner than a coach but it was all pretty good because he provided us with pretty anything we needed. Tennis Rackets, balls, shorts, dampeners, you name it, he would arrange them for us. He loves the game but has been never too good at teaching it.
I applied for a few universities on academic abilities and one on sports basis. Needless to say that my academics are not my strong point but my tennis was pretty good at this point. I was the finalist in the tournament style of trials that took place. The winner and I were chosen and the next four years I had a pretty good coach who could focus on me because there were only two students for him and we knew what we were doing.
As a beginner, I had very little coaching experience and that too was only for a few months because I had to move to another city which only had a tennis court, not a coach. The coaching was group based because private coaching is very expensive here and we were 10-12 students. I learned a few things, but it wasn’t the best thing in the whole world. The lessons always favored the slowest students in the group but it was pretty fun nonetheless. Made a few friends, played together and had a great time.
Private tennis lessons are all the jazz among the rich because of their flexibility of time and place. They can be arranged in your private tennis court or wherever you prefer. Let’s look at some of the main features when considering private coaching.
How Much Do They Cost
Depending on the area where you live and the popularity of tennis in that area this figure can vary quite a lot. In some of the more tennis-loving and rich areas of NewYork like Long Island, private lessons can go up to $100 an hour including the rent of the court. The coaches at that price point are ex-pros most of the time so the cost might be worth it for you if you are really serious about tennis.
But not every place is like Long Island so the sweet spot for most places in The US is around $40-$50. In The EU and in the UK you can find cheaper lessons and that includes the court rental in most cases too. Always do a bit of a research to find what’s the median price in your respective area and try not to go over that.
When To Get Them
Generally, the best time to get them is probably when you are starting out. Having a seasoned coach teaching you the absolute basics can set you on a great path. Beginners are the most susceptible to learn bad habits and keep on practicing over them to do even more damage.Clocking in a few solid months with a private coach will foster great habits and you’ll understand the how and why of tennis fundamentals.
Sure, it can cost a bit of money at the start but if you just want to play at the amateur level after that then you won’t even need further coaching. You’ll be able to coach yourself essentially without having the need to get any further coaching down the road.
Are They Worth It?
They are absolutely worth it if you are very serious about tennis and want to compete in tournaments and stuff. They are designed for that specific player in mind, so you learn the game efficiently and in the least amount of time possible.
In spite of all the awesomeness of private lessons, they can’t make you anything unless you work for it and you are the type of person who constantly changes hobbies then they are not for you at all. You are better off saving that money for something else in the future.
If you have a bit of disposable income lying around and learn better in a one on one setting then absolutely go for it. It’s by far the better mode of learning tennis in my opinion.
If you have a bunch of friends with you that are all starting out with tennis then this might be an awesome option. You can split the cost among your friends and have a great time learning and bash each other in the process.
How Much Do They Cost
A lot of clubs have a coach that does group or private coaching. Look for clubs that have great coaches in your area and you can ask a few friends to join you. They can cost around $5 an hour per person and if you have a group of 10-12 people then it can be pretty cheap. You can do the math see that sounds awesome to you because it does to me.
Some areas have exorbitantly high coaching prices and even if you get group lessons it’s gonna be too much, if that’s the case then I would advise staying away or moving to a cheaper place in general. But it is an extremely rare case and you should be able to afford some sort of group coaching sessions.
When To Get Them
You can get them both at the beginning stage or at the intermediate stage, but I prefer them when the player has reached some sort of competency in the sport. Because intermediate players understand a lot of the terminologies better than beginners and they can power through group sessions easily.
Beginners can get them if they are tight on budget but they always move at the pace of the weakest player. The coach might have to focus on them more while you might have to wait to get to you. If you can handle the stoppages and the lack of focus for you as an individual player then you can get them.
Are They Worth It?
If you are someone who enjoys learning in a group setting with their friend then this maybe the choice of lessons for you. They are great for the money you can get them at.
They can be slow though, they move at the pace of the slowest player. If you think you can learn faster than the group then they might not be the best for you. They are worth it for people who are on a tight budget. If you think you do not need extensive one on one coaching and can cover the deficiencies yourself then they are a great option for you.