For those of you who read this site who are a little unsure as to my motives for having a regular shot at 'tennis coaches', I thought I should clear a few things up. The main reason I don't have any time for these type of people is because many have ruined the future of local tennis clubs through greed.
Many clubs miss out on kids walking through the gate after school to soak up the atmosphere of it all because some greedy bugger is conducting lessons at the school just down the road. Sometimes it's within a mile, sometimes less.
Sure it's more convenient for the consumer to have those lessons either before or after school on school grounds however it is to the detriment of a tennis club and potential future members.
If the tennis club is the ONLY place to learn at then it creates a sense of worth for the club, a place that is looked upon as precious for the sport. School tennis courts do not offer anything except convenience and an easy venue for 'coaches' to place an assistant at to earn anything up to $150 an hour for babysitting, because that's all that happens at school 'coaching' due to the large numbers on court.
Think about it, sometimes 15 or more kids are on a court for an hour paying ten or fifteen bucks a session, nice money if you can get it.
I have stated that some 'coaches' command up to $80 an hour for a private session and that in itself puts the sport out of reach of the everyday player who wants to get better. How is that sort of pricing going to entice people to take up the game ? How many lessons would you expect a beginner to need to take their game up to a reasonable enough standard to play even club tennis ? Or rather how many dollars do you think it would cost ? Why isn't the sport being regulated as far as hourly coaching rates are concerned which puts the sport into an exclusive league all of it's own ?
How is it that guys and girls as young as 18 years of age can look a consumer in the eye and say they are worth $70 or $80 an hour for a lesson that offered not much more than a cardio workout ? Some will argue that their lessons are fun. I could take $50 off that 'fun' session and find 25 other things to do that would be more fun, less expensive and more educational for a kid. Yet people pay it.
I have made a point of saying that some coaches are worth their fees but I say that with some caution because I don't really believe that an hourly rate like that is justified. In saying that however I could find you a coach or two in the City who would not only teach you how to hit a ball well but actually teach you how to play the game in half the time that most others could due to their ability to coach with knowledge, not gimmicks.
I don't really like the whole tennis coaching industry as it is full of people who have no real background in experience yet join the bandwagon of the experienced ones. They get lost in the dust only to appear at a club somewhere down the track with an accreditation certificate that commands a fee that real workers take four hours to achieve.
I am sceptical of the tennis coaching industry because it is not looked after by a governing body that should be doing more to make it affordable. It is a sport of kings, like horse racing, a rich person's past time.
Do I rate myself ? I have been to Europe, seen the game at a high level, played it as high as I possibly could. I got belted by many Frenchmen with big forehands who knew the art of clay court tennis. I played the challenger circuit in Queensland in the late 80's, I have coached for 28 years. Does it give me the right to charge a fee that some take a day to earn ? I think not.
I am back in the pack still learning the way the game works, learning how to teach with meaning, with substance. I don't have my head up my own arse, I don't make the game unaffordable to learn. I suppose that makes me a little different than many who teach tennis.
Happy with that...........