As a tennis coach, the first lesson with a new student is crucial for establishing a connection and setting the tone for future lessons.
I have found that incorporating a mix of fun and technique-based activities in the first lesson helps to engage the student and lay a strong foundation for their future progress.
Before beginning the lesson, take the time to get to know your new student. Ask questions such as:
- Why do they want to learn tennis?
- What do they already know about tennis?
- Have they ever played tennis before?
- Do they have a favorite pro player?
The answers to these questions will provide insight into the student’s motivation and level of experience and will help you tailor the lesson accordingly.
When introducing yourself to the student, keep it simple but enthusiastic.
Let them know your name and how long you have been playing and teaching tennis.
Express how excited you are to have the opportunity to introduce them to this sport.
To structure the lesson, here are a few key elements to include:
- Court dimensions and line names
It is important for new players to learn the names of the lines, such as the baseline, singles side lines, and service lines. This will help them navigate the court and follow instructions.
- Racquet basics
Explain the different parts of the racquet, including the head, neck, and handle. You can also introduce basic grips without getting into too much detail.
- Hand-eye coordination drills
These will test the student’s physical skills and help them become more comfortable with the racquet.
- Forehand groundstroke technique
This is one of the most basic strokes in tennis and is a good starting point for beginners. Demonstrate the proper technique and then have the student practice the stroke through drills and fun games.
Throughout the lesson, it is important to keep it fun and engaging while also focusing on technique.
Encourage your student, regardless of age, and praise their efforts.
For children, consider providing a small gift at the end of the lesson, such as stickers or candy, to show your appreciation and encourage them to continue coming to lessons.
For adults, pay attention to their needs and interests, and incorporate drills that challenge them and provide a good workout.
By focusing on both technique and fun in the first lesson, you can establish a strong connection with your new student and set them on a path toward success in the sport of tennis.