Tennis is an exciting sport with simple rules and a challenging playing field. It's also a demanding sport, requiring full engagement of the mind and body. And it's great exercise to boot. Whether you're just learning, a decent player with great potential or a competitive tennis player looking for a team to play on, finding a club that is a good fit for you will have a big impact on your game. Here are five tips for finding the right tennis club for you.
It's one thing if you play tennis for sport and for exercise, but quite another if you plan to compete. Competition venues have different types of courts that affect your game, so if you want to get into competitive tennis, you'll want a club that at least has the two main types of courts: hard and clay. Hard courts allow the ball to move faster, while clay slows the ball down and makes it bounce higher. If you want to be competition-ready, you should have your game down on both surfaces.
Who's the Pro?
Most tennis pros are skilled tennis players, but not all are certified teachers, which is a big part of a good pro's job. Before signing up for pricy lessons, you should find out if they're National Tennis Rating Program (NTRP) certified, and then find out what their association and ranking is. You'll also want to find out how long they have been teaching, the ages and levels of play of their students and what kind of clubs they've worked for. Teaching at summer camp is quite different than working for a year-round tennis club.
If you have kids and want to make the club a family activity, then you'll want to make sure the club you choose has a well-developed children's program. Lessons should range from beginner to advanced and in case your kid turns out to be the next Steffi Graf, there are also programs to get competition-ready. Even if there aren't ambitions to go pro, tennis camps are great summer activities for kids who have shown that they have some racquet skills. Not only will this get your kids active but it will give you uninterrupted time to concentrate on your game.
What Else Do They Offer?
Specialty clubs are nice if you're only interested in playing tennis, but a club with more choices may be a better family-friendly pick. As we mentioned before, many community tennis clubs are paired with a swimming pool, which is always great for kids in the summer. Or, if you and your spouse enjoy spending time on the links, there are golf and tennis clubs, too. Most clubs these days have informative Web sites, so you can get good information before setting up an appointment to visit.
As with any membership purchase, price is always a factor. Fortunately, prices for tennis clubs run the gamut. You have your community clubs that consist of private tennis courts, a tennis pro and sometimes a swimming pool that are more on the affordable side. Add more services like golf and restaurants and the price tag will climb some. Prices can skyrocket when you get to the big country clubs that come with a pro shop, all of the amenities and even spa services.
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- "Biography for Steffi Graf." Imdb.com. (July 23, 2011). http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0333750/bio
- "Hiring a tennis professional." Usptafindapro.com. (July 23, 2011). usptafindapro.com/html/How-to-Hire.pdf
- "How to Choose a Great Tennis Pro." Tennislessonsboston.tripod.com. (July 23, 2011). http://tennislessonsboston.tripod.com/how_to_choose_a_great_pro.html
- Richards, Rebekah. "Types of Tennis Courts." Homeandgardenideas.com, March 15, 2011. http://www.homeandgardenideas.com/outdoor-living/outdoor-recreation/courts-permanent-installations/types-tennis-courts
- Stern, Jared Paul. "$15 Million Membership at World's Most Expensive Club." Luxist.com, May 22, 2009. http://www.luxist.com/2009/05/22/15-million-membership-at-worlds-most-expensive-club/