14 Teaching Guidelines

1. Greet Each Student by Name:We greet every child and parent by name upon arrival, and send off with a "Goodbye - can't wait to see you tomorrow." We learn names of all children quickly - circle name-repetition game helps. 
Goal # 1: For each child to go home with the idea that they can't wait till tomorrow's or next week's tennis session. All classed start on time!

2. Make Friends: Among the many goals we have, we want the kids to make friends here. It's the big advantage over private lessons. Tennis is, and should be, a social game.

3. Tennis is a Game of Repetition:
The more balls a child hits, the better player the child will be. Our students are as good as our feeds - the better we feed, the better they will return. Success rate is the most important on-court measure of our ability to teach. Our goal is for 50 - 70 percent of the feeds to be returned over the net and between the lines. A low percentage equates to no fun for the student. Too high of a percentage means the student is not being challenged enough.

4. Weather:If has rained before class and the courts are wet, please arrive early, to sweep/roll the courts dry.

5. First Aid and Safety:First Aid Kit is in the trunk of the instructor's car, which must remain unlocked during instruction. If there in an emergency, please call 911. We're about safety and fun, in that order.

6. Effective Instruction: Effective teaching is about this: start where the kids are; evaluate their skills, and then decide where to place them and yourself on court. How far away to feed from, how far from the net the kids should be. Some kids cannot return feeds - they need the ball dropped while you stand next to them. Others might need help swinging the racquet. Create a good mix of drills, games, matches.

7. Guidelines on Feeding: Feeds have to be just right; not to fast, not too slow, not too much topspin, and not too far away. Feed for each child on an individual basis. Challenge, but not so much that the child gets a zero percent return rate. Don't make it so easy that you get a 100 percent return rate. More advanced students need to learn the rules of tennis, how to score matches, tennis etiquette, and singles and doubles strategy - how to cover the court in a doubles match, how to successfully play with a partner, etc.

8. Etiquette:EVERYONE helps with ball pickup, kids do not run in front of others, kids are courteous on court, etc. We teach by example. When a child needs poor etiquette corrected, the staff does this in a gentle, private manner.

9. Serving: The most important shot in tennis, for reasons obvious to us (get your serve in, and it's not returned, then you win the point). Make serving drills a game - get four in the box in a row? Compete with other kids on getting serves in. For smaller kids, serve from service line.

10. Fun Games: King of the Court is a popular game, but it is important not to overuse this game. It's fun, but it has its limits. This is an important point, for all drills and games. At some point during the game, you realize it's time to move on to another drill/game when you're at the top, before the kids get bored or lose interest.

11. Watch What You Say: Everything instructors say on and off the court will probably be overheard (just like your parents think they can keep secrets from kids, as if they're not listening). Kids are sensitive, so please be sensitive to their needs. Make the parents feel welcome.

12. Marketing: All of the advertising in the world does not equal the marketing effort that we make each day. Happy parents will tell their friends about us, and kids will tell their friends, too. A good tennis clinic or camp means that these kids will be back next session, and they'll be ambassadors for us, too.

13. Background Checks: Both David Broida and Pam Rendé have all required Pennsylvania background checks on file, both in the tennis office and at the schools where they coach and teach.

14. Equipment: Students do not need to bring a racquet to the first class. In fact, they are encouraged to try several racquets before purchasing one. There are several options to be considered when selecting a racquet, including weight, length and grip size. We'll lend you a racquet for the first few classes and our staff will recommend the right one for you.

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