In an article we posted on how to learn tennis quickly, we mentioned the importance of finding an experienced coach. A coach can help with every aspect of your game. They can tell you the rules and explain the fundamentals, help you with your swing mechanics and footwork, and assist with strategy for competitive matches. But how exactly do you go about finding the right instructor for your situation and your game?
The first thing you’ll want to do is determine what level you might be at as a player. You can usually get by telling a potential instructor that you’re a beginner, an advanced beginner, an intermediate level player, or an expert. One of the cool things about playing tennis is that there is a numerical rating system designed to characterize players based on their abilities. The scale goes from 1.5 (a beginner who’s starting lessons but is still working on the basics) to 7.0 (a world class player capable of professional competition), in 0.5-degree increments.
It can be difficult to rank yourself, but usually if you’re honest you can figure out your number within a stage or two. Once you’ve done that, you’ll be able to quickly explain to a new instructor what level your game is at and how high you’d like to go.
Next comes the actual process of reaching out to an instructor. If you’re fortunate enough to have friends who play tennis or you belong to a club, you might be able to do this within your social network. However, if there isn’t a natural connection to a coach, you may want to take your search online. You can now find a coach that is most convenient for you based on your location, your level of play, and even the specific court (or type of court) you’d like to play on. This can all be done through a simple search function, and can leave you not just with one instructor but with several different options, as well as reviews for each of them from other players.
Once you have a candidate or two, you should have a set of questions ready to ask them. It’s not hard to find a recommended list of questions for tennis instructors, though most of the ones out there are meant for clubs or academies interviewing people for jobs. Still, don’t forget that you are trying to pay someone to help you with your game. It’s perfectly understandable to ask questions about the coach’s background, experience, and techniques. This should help you to narrow down your options and find the perfect coach for you.