Private Lessons VS Squads
Parents and Players,
During Evolve’s early days, there has been a constant push to have as many private lessons as possible with a particular Coach. And whilst this is very good for business and the overall morale of our coaches, the time came where Directors Scott & Ryan believed things needed to change, specifically for our green & hard ball tournament players. We just were not doing them justice.
Now firstly & foremost – is a private lesson important? Most Certainly. However, this lesson should be focusing on key areas such as technique, speicific game plans, goal setting, tournament planning etc… this lesson should ‘not’ be about beating the coach or having a hitting session with the coach. Whilst this might be acceptable for Hotshot, casual or adult tennis players – having an extreme number of private lessons weekly with a quality coach is an unrealistic scenerio for most of our aspiring juniors. Lets be honest, when was the last time your child stepped on the court and had the exact same ball hit back and forth to them? same speed, comfortable height and spin?
To quote a recent article on junior tennis players, and becoming succussful outside of their private lesson time: read below and see how much this little test applies to your child?
When was the last time my child asked me to:
- Get to training early so he / she could warm up and prepare before going on court.
- Asked if they could go to the courts and hit some serves.
- Rang another player and asked for a hit.
- Organised some practice sets.
- Did extra physical work at home. Stretching / running / movement / strength
- Watched tennis matches on TV
- Stayed behind after losing in a tournament to “Watch” more matches.
Now you may ask why this is important? its important to see exaclty how motivated your child is, one of the main keys to improving in any sport. And this self motivation is exactly what is required during a match. Unfortunately a lot of kids miss this key ingredient, and soley rely on their private coaching to help them out when times get tough. This is rarely the case.
This is the single most important reason why squad sessions need to be the core of practice in an asipring players weekly schedule. They are real world situations, and give the best opportunity to work on what tournament tennis is really about.
Something that also goes unnoticed between Private vs Squads is the interaction between player and parent. Whilst this might seem like a good idea during a private lesson, this is practially out of the question during a squad. Once again leaving the student to self motivate & develop by themselves – another ‘real world’ tournament scenerio.
Here is a very valid point from our previous NSW State Coach – if private lessons are so important why is it that the Tennis Australia National Academy programs consist almost entirely of squad lessons and they generally farm the private lessons back to the private enterprise coaches. If private lessons were so important why would they not want to do them themselves.
The Challenge we see ahead is having our players become accountable by focussing on the things they are being asked to work on by a coach while they are not with a coach. When they start to do this then you may start to see where the magic really is.
From term 3, 2017 our schedule will incorporate some of the strongest squads on the Northern Beaches… and at the end of the day we are doing what we believe is best for our Juniors to exceed at a tournament level. Competing on weekly basis with a variety of different players in situations that may not always favour them can only make them stronger.
For further information regarding this topic, contact Ryan or Scott here firstname.lastname@example.org