Max The Tennis Pro- Your Santa Monica Tennis Trainer for Santa Monica Tennis Coaching and Venice Tennis Coaching
A GOOD PLAYING SCHEDULE INCLUDES:
1/3 OF YOUR PRACTICE AGAINST PEOPLE BETTER THAN YOU.
It inspires you to get better and you may learn some things from them. However, if you play all your matches
against people who are better than you, then you are just practicing losing.
1/3 OF YOUR PRACTICE AGAINST PEOPLE AT THE SAME LEVEL AS YOU.
It teaches you competitiveness and how to play under pressure.
1/3 OF YOUR MATCHES AGAINST PEOPLE AT A LOWER LEVEL THAN YOU.
It gives you practice winning as well as being on the offensive. often times, there is more pressure when you are
playing someone you know you can beat. It takes experience to learn how to be the dominating player.
WHEN YOU FEEL LIKE YOU’RE OFF
If you’re missing, it's always a safe bet to put a ton of margin-of-error on your ball until you get your groove back: Hit it really high with as much topspin as possible. Get consistent. Find your groove and then when you feel confident again, bring it down a bit (drive more and lower over the net) but only on the appropriate balls such as the balls that are shorter (You’re inside the baseline) and are above net height. Other balls where you're not in as good a position, hit with plenty of arc and spin, with the goal of just neutralizing the point, as you should be doing anyway when you're in a bit more trouble.
It's so important to get the good basics from the start. It takes exorbitantly more time and effort to change a bad habit than it does to ingrain a good habit from the beginning. Once those good habits are in there, every time you play, you will be improving and grooving those basics, even without a pro present. That can really cut down on the time (and $) it takes to get to a nice level. In the long run, an inexpensive pro could, quite possibly, cost you more time, money and frustration and, ultimately, stunt the upper level which you could achieve.
THE DANGER OF GROUP LESSONS
Group lessons are great for repetition. You get to hit a ton of balls.
Unfortunately, if you don't already have sound technique, then you are simply lodging the bad technique deep into your brain where it will take 10 times as many repetitions of the correct technique to counter it. In that light, large group lessons can have the potential of being the single most destructive force to a good tennis game.
Usually there are 6-10 people in a group lessons. In this situation even a very good coach can't spend enough time with each person to make the corrections needed to ensure proper technique and concepts. The coach is then relegated to doing drills that keep people moving and hitting a lot of balls. So now whatever bad habits each player has are drilled into their heads and cemented. Correcting a bad habit that's been locked into the muscle memory takes 10 times longer for me to correct than simply teaching the correct technique in the first place.
Exacerbating the situation is the fact that it's usually not the best pro's teaching the group lesson. Usually it's someone being paid a low fee by the head pro, the club or the city thats organizing the lessons.
The one positive thing about group lessons is that you do get to hit a lot of balls. If you already have good technique, this is fantastic because then you are getting the repetitions you need to groove and lock in those strokes. So in order to make the most of group lessons it makes a lot of sense to take even one or two private lessons beforehand to run through proper technique on each stroke which you can then groove during the group. A lot of people have this reasoning inverted. They take the group lessons first, figuring they'll take private's afterward when they get better and then the private instructor spends all their time having to undo the damage that's been done in the group lessons. Infinitely more effective the other way around.
I'm the guy that focuses on the good technique in the first place. I won't teach a group with more than four people and, even then, it's always easier, faster and more successful for me to convey correct technique in a one on one situation where I can hone in on the specific learning style of the individual.