Finding a good tennis coach can be a difficult task as depending on where you live you may be limited to the one at your local club.
However, if you live in a city or if you are willing to travel then your options are likely to be greater.
This article will look at ways to find the best tennis coach near you and at some of the things you should look out for when trying to decide whether a coach can help improve your game.
How to find a Tennis Coach?
Your local club or academy will usually have at least one coach so it is often the first place people look, however you may not be lucky enough to have someone at your local club.
One of the best ways to find out whether the local pro is any good is through recommendations from fellow club players (especially those who are playing at the same level as you) as if they were happy, the chances are you will be too.
If you find that your local pro isn’t a good fit then you may have to go further afield to find someone.
One of the best ways to find one is by using one of the many online directories.
Best Online Directories
You have a number of different options when it comes to finding a coach online including Play Your Court, USTA Pro, MyTennisLessons, and FindTennisLessons, to name just a few.
1. Play Your Court
Play Your Court is an online community that helps connect players with top training professionals, by helping you to find the best trainer for you based on your age, level, and where you live.
More information is available on the Play Your Court website.
2. USTA Pro
USTA Pro is a searchable database of USTA Certified professionals based in the USA.
You can filter the database by the state the coach is based in, their nationality, or their specialization e.g. technique, motivation, nutrition, etc…
More information is available on the USTA Pro website.
MyTennisLessons is a large online directory of coaches based in the United States.
MyTennisLessons has a very professional-looking website and I like how they give a short bio and student testimonials for each of the trainers.
More information is available on the MyTennisLessons website.
FindTennisLessons is another tennis directory that lets you search for coaches in your local area.
More information is available on the FindTennisLessons website.
What To Look For In a Coach?
1. Check their qualifications
You may find this awkward to ask but it is important to find out whether they are certified by the USTA or some other appropriate body.
Being certified doesn’t guarantee that they are any good but at least it is a sign that they have a certain level of knowledge and experience.
2. Find someone with good knowledge and experience
I usually like to see that they have at least three years but ideally more than five years of experience.
3. Look at their own standard of play
Although you can be a better instructor than you are a player, I believe it is a good idea to pick someone that is at a level that you strive to reach.
At the very least, they should be at a 4.5 level or above as if they are at a lower level, then this usually means they have not mastered the core techniques.
4. Find someone that is open to new methods and technologies
One of the best ways to improve your game is by using video analysis of your strokes as it is often hard to know what exactly you are doing wrong when you hit a ball.
Watching your stroke on video can help identify what you are doing wrong with your stroke.
For the above reasons, I believe it is important to select a coach who is open to using technology to improve a player’s game.
5. Find a Coach with a good track record
You should find someone that has a good track record of achieving whatever you are trying to achieve e.g helping a 4.0 player get to the 4.5 level.
If they have a track record of doing this with other players then it is more likely that they will be able to help you achieve it too.