In order to develop a player's tennis to the fullest potential, a combination of these 3 on court components is required:
1. Competition: Match play will provide the ultimate feedback about how your game is progressing. If you didn't win the match, there was one or a number of areas that your opponent did better than you on the day. It's important to acknowledge these areas and start working on them.
2. Private lessons: This is where you spend some time one on one with your coach on the areas of your game that need the most amount of attention. This could be improving upon your strengths and developing your weaknesses.
3. Squads: These are group training sessions with peers of a similar level to where you can work on the areas that you and your private coach decided upon and develop tactical skills, fitness and generally get a lot of repetition of shots with intensity and purpose.
A successful development cycle should work something similar to the below.
1. Compete in a tournament/s and receive feedback on how your game is performing under competitive match play conditions.
2. Work with your private coach on the areas that will help you perform better in competition.
3. Get lots of practice in squads to develop the specific areas that you and your private coach are working on
4. Keep repeating cycle.
If you miss out on one of the above areas it will likely halt your progress significantly and the competition will begin to overtake you.
Private lessons are just one component needed in order to achieve accelerated progress in tennis. A common question that we get asked is: what is the role of private lessons?
The answer: To make you a better player in match conditions.
To elaborate, whatever parts of your game are not performing in competitive match play, are the areas which you should focus on with your private coach.
Common areas to work on with a private coach are:
Fundamental grips, swings and footwork. All of these influence your ability to execute various tactics in matches. If you don't have the fundamentals in place, it's unlikely you'll be able to do what you would like to do with the ball when you want to do it.
The development of the most suitable game-style for your physical and mental characteristics and learning the fundamental tactics of tennis.
Developing strategies for coping under the pressure of tournament play and ensuring positive routines are in place when negative emotions arise.
If you are lacking endurance, speed, power or agility in match play, the coach will work with you through a range of exercises or drills to improve these qualities.
A good coach will have most of the following characteristics:
- Is suitably qualified to coach the student (e.g. tournament players should be coached by tournament coaches)
- Has the best interests of the students at heart and customises messages to suit the students individual learning style
- Regularly provides high quality and specific feedback
- Works on only a couple of components per lesson and focuses on the fundamentals the majority of the time
Look for a coach who also communicates and connects well with the students as a good long term coach relationship is much more effective than moving around from one coach to another.
There are a couple of mistakes that parents can make when it comes to private lessons for their child. They are:
Having multiple private coaches
In almost all cases, a quality coach will provide everything that a player needs for their on court development and will have a long term plan for the students development. Having 2 or more coaches will generally confuse the player which will cause a halt in progress. In this case, less is more.
Valuing private lessons over everything else
For players under the age of 14, private lessons are only one component of development and should be seen as having equal importance to match play and squad training. For advanced tournament players who are technically sound and aged 15yrs or over, the need for private lessons typically diminishes and training volume and tournaments should become more important.
Getting too many lessons
Each lesson, a player should be given between 1 and 3 things to go away and work on. It's the players responsibility to develop these areas before seeing the coach again.
Regular weekly or fortnightly lessons are optimal and multiple lessons per week in some cases can be less effective and more costly to the client.
Consistency is an important aspect of progress. Make sure that if you've booked a regular lesson with a coach, that you maintain your commitment. Regularly cancelling your lessons will likely slow the students progress and will increase the chances of your coach giving your timeslot to another player who will be there every week.
On the flip side, if your coach is cancelling too often, then put them on notice or get a new coach if it continues to happen.
Voyager Tennis Academy is run by a world class coaching team which operates across several sites in Sydney. As we specialise in the development of elite tournament players, we have focused on recruiting coaches who also specialise in this area.
The full time coaching team have all played top level junior tennis, have been coached by some of the most experienced international coaches and many have competed on the professional tour or played Division 1 U.S. College Tennis.
The team has a love for the game and their aim is share that passion and impart their experiences as players, coaches and professionals to students so that they can become the best tennis players and people that they can be.
Find out more about our Voyager Tennis Academy Coaching Team.
If you are looking to book a regular private lesson with a Voyager Tennis Academy coach please follow the steps below:
1. Visit our contact us page
2. Email the Voyager location nearest to you and send an email with: the students name, playing level or national ranking, times you have available and the best contact number to call you back.
3. The relevant coach will give you a call back within 24-48 hours to discuss availabilities and options.
Please note: Many of our coaches are in high demand and may be fully booked. If you can't secure a lesson time, ask to be placed on their waiting list.