Atlanta Tennis Instructor

Jeff Michaud is a Atlanta basesd tennis instructor and personal trainer, who can improve your physical condition as well as your tennis game.

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Friday, September 28, 2007

Beginning tennis lessons for the 1.0 level player, 6 week tennis program

Beginning tennis lessons for the 1.0 level player, 6 week tennis program

Beginning tennis lessons for the 1.0 level player (there are 7 levels of skill in tennis with pro tennis players being level 7) 6 week tennis program.

I have people ask me from time to time, what should I shoot for to learn when they start playing tennis. This is a six week program of things that I feel would be important to the new tennis player.

First lesson: Short intro of student ability and expectations, from the instructor short intro and certificates and experience and what I plan to cover both for this session and what I would plan to do for the first six weeks.

Lesson starts with Grip, Eastern hand shake tennis grip for forehand, Continental grip for the backhand.

The first thing that is important is to get the right grip: on the Forehand side you would want to use what is called a hammer grip otherwise known as a handshake grip, stance is side to the court and a little wider then shoulder width a part, wrist back, keeping the wrist back throughout the entire swing which will keep the ball going straight.

I like to start with for the beginning tennis player work on Volley’s about 20 feet apart from the players, for the truly beginner, I do a bounce feed where the tennis ball will bounce once, this is the easiest ball for the beginner to handle. I stress the volley because it is the basis for the basic groundstroke which will come later. For the 1.0 level player I will pretty much stay on this for entire first lesson and into the 2nd lesson

Home work to the Tennis student
1 to 2 lessons per week with a certified instructor
1 to clinics or hitting sessions with as many different players as possible, level not as important as just getting out there. Duration: about 1 to 1.5 hours.
1 to 2 hours per week reading about the game of tennis with special emphasis on rules and scoring.
1 to 2 hours watching tennis either in person or on TV.

Solo sessions works where you don’t have another person to workout with:
I also recommend my clients purchase a tennis ball hopper (about $30 for a ball hopper that holds about 75 balls, used to pickup balls and has legs so that it is convient to the player to grip tennis balls out of and hit. Practice when ever you have time, great to work on skills and meet other players, great strategy to meet other players who are coming out to do the same thing or waiting on partners, don’t be shy about asking other tennis players if they might want to hit either again while waiting for partners or just practicing on there own. If you don’t find a person the best way to practice is start out by working on what the coach worked on during the last sessions. For this example short volleys, this can be done quite well using a tennis wall, just pushing and hitting the ball back to yourself, great for 1 person practice for all kinds of tennis strokes. The wall does get boring after awhile so I would suggest moving to the court practicing ground strokes, forehands and backhands, later serves and overheads, trying to recall what the coach had instructed the player to do.

Practice with a partner
Using the tennis ball hopper, one player is the feeder, feeding the other player the agreed upon shot, for this article: short volleys, but it could be any kind of groundstroke. Having the basket and the balls allows the most consistency for the player to work on one stroke at a time without having to worry about the ball going to both sides and different heights and angles, for the feeder it is very important to put the ball in about the same spot every time, this allows the hitter to work on there stroke without having to change from stroke to stroke. For the feeder it will help that person gain consistency with where there hitting the ball. Each person taking turns being the hitter and the feeder, maybe switching each time the hopper is empty and picked up.

Week 3-6
Start off again with Volleys for about a quarter of the lesson
I would then add a drill called called small ball, this would be at a distance just beyond the service box line working there way back to the base line for both backhand and forehand.
I would introduce the serve for about the last 10 minutes of the tennis practice.

In short the within the first six week session, the player should be able to volley from both the forehand and backhand side, should be able to have a basic forehand and backhand ground stroke. Should have a basic serve and be able to score a game and basic rules of the tennis court and the game.

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