We are introducing and expanding tennis through our tennis programs in the community for players of all ages and abilities with a particular focus on junior tennis development. This is because that is where I started out in my teaching. However, the adult player has not been forgotten. We offer many avenues for adult players to improve their tennis as well. The difference in teaching adults versus children as that with children I focus on teaching more on proper technique and strategy, which will
carry them a lot farther in their tennis careers.
With adults, I focus not so much on technique as strategy because the adult player is probably a little more goal orientented. Driven towards match play and less about the technique and how to get there. Besides that, adults have more than likely learned some bad habits or have taught themselves tennis which can be changed, but it often takes more of a time commitment than they are able to overcome. There is a delicate balance between winning with what skills one currently has and perhaps adding some technical advice that will help them along the way.
Along those lines come the overall reason or reasons that an individual has decided to play the game. Some just want the exercise aspect which tennis provides. Others may be looking for ways to improve so that they can play tournaments or participate in a league. Still others may look at it as a social thing, a way to meet other people or players.
I say that tennis meets all of those and more. Tennis teaches you a lot about yourself even as an adult. It has and continues to teach me about myself and about others, even as a coach, just in a different light.
I see individuals go through some of the same things as a player that I did.
Tennis can be a frustrating game to learn. But, if a player can get proper instruction and realize that the time spent in learning will not be lost, the rewards can far outweigh the frustrations.
I beleive that in order to become better at tennis you are going to have to hit a lot of balls. I can remember spending hours just hitting against a wall. I would play a game with my self where I would see if I could first hit 25 balls in a row without missing. As a beginner that was not as easy as one may think. But, in time, I would test myself up to 100, 200, 300, and further. What this did is that it first of all increased my timing. Next, it increased my stamina, and finally, it solidified my footwork to the point that I was competitive with players that had been playing far longer that I had been playing. Now, I am not saying that this method woulud necessarily work for every player, I am just saying that this is what worked for me. I believe that this method worked because I wanted to learn tennis very badly. It was definately a challenge to me to be able to hit the ball wherever I wanted. Playing matches came later on and being self-taught it was the thing that kept me playing, along with taking lessons for quite a while.
These days as a coach, I try to cut the time down that a player has to learn the sport. I do this by teaching them the proper technique and footwork, so that it will be easier for them to have immediate success. In today's society, we want things fast and we want instant gratification. Therefore, the training methods that I use, especially for adults will take them to different levels faster. Now one may ask, where did you learn this from I would have to say that after playing and taking lessons and watching tennis for so many years, I have learned what does and doesn't work.
It has been said that "life is a journey". If that is true then tennis is even more of a journey because of its ups and downs while playing. I can remember one of my students who was just learning to play. She was very depressed with her game because she was not playing well that day. I told her that this is a part of playing and every tennis player goes through it. But, I said to her, we don't play tennis because of those days, we play for the days when we feel like we just can't miss!
Tennis is a journey to lasting satisfaction, taking one step at a time!