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A tennis instructor, sometimes called a tennis coach, is someone who teaches other people how to play tennis. Like any other sport, a great deal of practice is required to truly excel at tennis, but a tennis instructor is able to impart the basics of the game to a new player. A tennis instructor might also help a seasoned player refine his or her form to play better and provide an external look at how a person plays. This can help a person see flaws in his or her game that might otherwise go unnoticed by the player.
Most instructors will focus on the footwork of the players first, teaching a new player to usually stay on the balls of his or her feet to allow the player to move around the court easier. The instructor will also teach the student how to properly grip the racket for different shots such as forehand, backhand, and serving. Many instructors will also work with a student by hitting balls to him or her in different ways to give the student plenty of practice with changing his or her grip to accommodate the different swings and by running drills to practice moving around the court.
Some larger country clubs or athletic establishments that require a fee for membership may keep one or more tennis instructors on the staff to act as a tennis teaching pro. This tennis instructor will be available to help members improve their playing, and he or she will typically be someone who played professionally or semi-professionally. While not everyone will be looking to play tennis competitively, many players may still find benefits in getting some basic coaching from such an instructor.
The pay for a tennis instructor is typically based on the establishment he or she is working at and the level of expertise the instructor has. For example, an instructor might work freelance and hire his or her services out to private individuals for lessons. This would likely be easiest for an instructor who either played at a high level or has coached other players to become professional athletes recognized by enthusiasts of the sport. While an instructor working in such a way might be able to charge higher fees than one employed at a specific establishment, he or she would also not have the reliable pay of someone hired on at a country club or resort.
Experience is a major factor when a considering tennis instructor's salary. Someone with a reputation for excellence will be able to charge more for his or her services. As in any other athletic field, having trophies or medals to indicate wins at a higher competitive level will allow an instructor to charge more and find more clients. Just as a coach for Olympic athletes builds a reputation on the success of his or her students, a tennis instructor similarly builds his or her name on the performance of the tennis players he or she coached.
I had friends in high school and college who taught elementary students and worked at camps. At that level, it doesn't take much to be a tennis instructor. Past that, though, it can be pretty difficult to get hired by a fitness club, let alone to be good enough to freelance yourself, unless you have a lot of experience and have won something in college or beyond.
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