October 18, 2010

Where, Oh Where, Can I Find A Great Tennis Coach?

This is Part 2 of a series on getting the most from your tennis lessons.

So you've read the first post in this series, Federer Hired A Private Coach - Should You?, and made the decision to put your time and money into private tennis lessons. How will you find the perfect coach to make it all worthwhile? You need to start by coming up with a list of possible pros. Don't just start taking lessons with the first coach you come across. He may be the right coach for your best friend but may be totally wrong for you. Here are some great sources to help you find a tennis coach:

1. Talk to your friends and teammates. This might be the best way to find a good tennis coach. Or it might not. But its definitely the place to start. If any of your friends and teammates are taking lessons, talk to them about the tennis coach they use and what it is they like about him or her. Try to drop in on a few lessons with these pros to see what their teaching style is.

2. Look at the pros at your club or tennis facility. If you're playing on a team or in a league, chances are very good that you belong to a club or other tennis facility that has tennis pros on staff. Take a look at these pros, watch their lessons and see if you can work with them.

3. Use the USPTA's "Find-A-Pro" system. The United States Professional Tennis Association is the world's largest association of tennis-teaching professionals. Among other things, it provides a certification program for recreational tennis coaches. Chances are that a USPTA certfied coach will be a pretty good teacher. You can search for USPTA coaches in your area through the group's on-line "Find-A-Pro" database. Just click here to try it out.

4. Search through the PTR's database. The Professional Tennis Registry is another organization of tennis coaches and teachers. The PTR has four levels of certification, ranging from Associate Instructor to Master Professional. Like the USPTA, the PTR has an on-line database you can access to find a coach in your area. Click here to look for a PTR tennis coach.

5. Try the Internet. This is a source I recommend with some caution. I mean - it's the Internet. Anyone can claim to be a pro at anything. When I looked for pros in my area, I honestly didn't see the name of anyone I recognized. But, depending on where you live, this might be the way to go. Just be sure to ask for references and to visit some lessons before getting involved with a pro you come up with from the Internet.
Want to read other posts in this series? Just click on these titles and find out how to get the most from your tennis lessons:

Part 1 - Federer Hired A Tennis Coach - Should You?
Part 2 - That's this post!
Part 3 - Eenie, Meenie, Miney - Tennis Coach!
Part 4 - Get A Goal And Get More From Your Tennis Lessons
Part 5 - Make Every Lesson Your Best Tennis Lesson Ever!

This post originally appeared on Tennis Fixation's blog page on the Tennis Now website. Click here to read this and other great Tennis Fixation posts on Tennis Now!

© Kim Selzman 2010 All Rights Reserved

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