Thursday, 30 January 2014


As a Tennis Coach you are constantly looking for ideas to make yourself better, after all , the better you are potentially will make your lessons more educational . Even after 26 years of teaching the game I never rest on my current ability as a Coach , the game continues to evolve , why shouldn't we ? One thing that has always annoyed me with this game is the greed as to how it is portrayed , not only with pricing but with times available, take these examples; A recent timetable had the following times for junior sessions ; 9am - 10 am , 10 am -11 am , 11 am to 12 pm , what's wrong with this ? At first glance it all looks fairly easy to digest , but let's look at it realistically, these times are impossible to deliver , from any Tennis Coach on the planet. 
Every time you deliver a tennis lesson the following occurs - Introduction to the format of that day's lesson (2-3 minutes),warm up(5 min),ball pickup(2-3 min) , pupil court allocation(1 min) tuition including grip analysis and drills(30-35 min),drink break(2 min), novelty games(10 min), brief talk with kids on their efforts for the session (2 min). All of this adds up to around an hour , good Coaches need to be on the ball to make this run like clock work . Let's look at down time ; approximately 15 minutes each lesson will be lost due to introduction , ball pick ups, drill explanation , drink breaks and final analysis , with 45 minutes only of actual play , but wait , isn't another group starting on the dot of the next hour? Don't forget someone always wants a new grip or a hat or has won a drink as a prize from the lesson just finished , the drinks fridge needs to be supervised or else  a few 'freebies' may just walk out the gate with the last group.
So at 5 minutes past the hour the next session begins..........
Greed in the sport of Tennis is common , it's how Tennis Coaches make their money , usually with no thought of any value for money , it's simply about how much they can put in their pocket with a minimum of fuss. Take for example the cost of one on one lessons ; Who thought up these rather comical prices and what right does a 17, 18 or 19 year old kid just fresh out of coaching themselves ( who's own game is average and knowledge is minimal) have to charge as much as $50- $60 per hour to an unsuspecting student who knows even less? I forgot to mention though that these 'unqualified' kids actually own a piece of paper that says they have passed a basic learning course , they are now ready to 'impart their knowledge' at rates that an Electrician of 20 years charges.
Now if you want a lesson with the 'Main Man' this will cost you even more as he only wants these lessons , 2 or 3 a day is plenty as he doesn't want to do the group lessons where anything up to 8 or 10 kids at a time will really bump up his takings for the day . He will pay an Assistant $25 or $30 and will pocket as much as $70 for that session that he didn't even offer a word of advice, but his 'Name' is enough to make the public believe it's worth what they are paying. Most of these kids will pay $15 each , not bad value for an hour's tuition , or is that 45 minutes? Nothing wrong with that cost if there are 4 kids on court with a Coach , once it goes over this number then it's simply a 'babysitting' exercise as balls hit per student is minimal .
Tennis Coaching has changed a lot since I was a kid but signs of greed have always been there, some offer great advice and tuition as well as modest rates whereas others are in it for a quick buck and their pricing often gives this fact away.
Tennis takes a long long time to learn , a tough game mentally as well as physically, students and in particular their parents shouldn't have to take out another mortgage for the 'privilege' of learning it..........

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