Taking tennis classes
There is probably not a town in the United States where you cannot take tennis classes. There is also probably not a town without public tennis courts, and a tennis club that will organize games, tournaments and tennis lessons. The classes will be available for individuals and for groups, and will be available for all ages and skills levels.
As tennis is a great competitive game, helps to keep you fit and trim, and opens the door to new friendships and social possibilities, what is there not to like?
So, what to look for when considering tennis lessons?
First of all, check with your local parks and recreation department. Not only will they have a list of all the tennis courts in the area, with the facilities on offer, they will also have a list of accredited tennis coaches. The United States Tennis Association, USTA, is the organization that runs US tennis and it sponsors a free program called Tennis Free For All that encourages people of all ages to take up the game. Your local city or town authority will put you in touch with the USTA, if you want to take advantage of this or any other of their programs, and in fact local authorities usually have some affiliation to the association for the running of tennis facilities and the engaging of instructors.
There are two principal organizations that exist for certified teaching professionals. These are (USPTA stands for) the United States Professional Tennis Association plus ((USPTR stands for) the United States Professional Tennis Registry.
Both of these organizations has a referral service for players in search of instructors, and both conduct serious and stringent certification programs to ensure their members are qualified to teach tennis. In other words, certification from either of these bodies is as close as it gets to a guarantee that an instructor is a professional.
Tennis lessons are for everyone, not just for those who are into fiercely competitive tennis. Even if you are simply playing for the fun and the exercise, an instructor will understand what you will want and will help you get the most out of your game, improving your skill level and giving you the confidence to take on players you may have considered to be above you. There is also no need to take private lessons if you are a beginner, and perhaps a little shy of your abilities.
Group tennis lessons are good for beginners, because everyone is starting off and they engender a good team spirit. These programs are usually given in series by a tennis pro, and a typical course would be a series of six lessons, given on set days and times over the course of three or four weeks. Each lesson will last for 60 or 90 minutes, with the ideal size being about six or eight players – just enough for individual attention from the instructor.
If you are taking private one-on-one lessons the fee will of course be higher but you will have the instructor’s undivided attention.
Whatever you decide, you are beginning a very satisfying and healthy new interest.