Preparation and theme
How can you be taken seriously as a professional, if your classes are not planned? Have a clear theme and tell the class what it is. Without a theme, your lesson has no impact. A theme can be very simple. For example:-
"Today boys and girls we are going to"…
- read the bounce of the ball/react to a moving ball/catch a falling ball
- learn the names of the different shots
- learn the rules of mini tennis/tennis
- learn the forehand/learn the backhand
- learn how to prepare to face the on-coming ball (ready position, racket back early)
- learn how to use topspin
- read your opponent's shot (balls can come to you with POWER, WIDTH, LENGTH, HEIGHT, SPIN, etc)
- learn how to serve with the correct grip
- get mentally ready to play (rituals, performance vs outcome goals etc)
- learn how to split step
- learn how to move faster - improve shot selection and learn basic tactics (e.g. DEFEND, ATTACK, RALLY etc)
- learn about serve and return of serve
- concentrate on approach and volley (include smash)
StructureFollow this simple plan for clarity of purpose. Be demanding of the children - they have come to learn, not to be entertained.
- Say hello and warm up (five minutes)
- Introduce the theme (two minutes) and then demonstrate!!!
- Assess their knowledge/ability to do it (five-six minutes)
- Teach them how to improve - demonstrate what you want them to do and set up an exercise to reinforce the improvement (15 minutes)
- Progress or regress - can they do it? If yes, show them something to progress. If no, demonstrate the teaching point again.
- Develop into a match situation if possible, or continue developing the theme (10-15 minutes)
- Finish with a fun game (10-15 minutes)
- Tell them what they have just learnt. Set homework for next lesson. Tell them what they are going to do next lesson.
- Make sure the parents hear all this! They are the ones who pay your wages!!
What are your personal standards like? From now use these professional standards:-
by Jim Edgar
- Clean and tidy appearance
- Tracksuit must be worn
- No mobile phones on court
- Collared shirts to be worn
- Shirt tucked into shorts
- Arrive at the arena ten minutes before your lesson
- Do not sit down during lessons
- When coaching Juniors, do not leave the court for any reason except in an emergency
- Take a register of classes for all group lessons
by Jim Edgar