The Pro’s and Con’s of Tennis Clinics Alexandra McDaniel October 28, 2015 Coaching, Tennis Skills If you’ve played competitive tennis, chances are you’ve at least considered getting involved in group tennis clinics. Usually they range from 8-20 people and are headed by a pro or two. Many of the clinics focus on developing skills, improving live match play, and helping to improve physical and mental fitness on the court in various different situations. Clinics however are not always a substitute for actual coaching and private lessons, and at times can hinder a player’s ability to focus on perfecting each individual swing and skill. The major pro’s of tennis clinics are: 1) Improve physical fitness: Since the pro to player ratio is not equal, a lot of time is spent rotating around the courts and running in drills. This is helpful in improving a player’s physical fitness, speed, and court strength. 2) Create mock stressful situations: Some people might view this as a con for clinics, however creating mock stressful situations can help players adapt to the real stress of playing a live match. 3) Ability to play with a wide range of players: Clinics are the perfect place for people to get the opportunity to play with a variety of players. The clinic setting is perfect for people to get to play with opponents who are more skilled and more experienced. 4) Building friendships: Clinics are often more social than the typical practice or lesson that a player has. Many of the drills in clinics involve communication and often times people are paired up in doubles teams. This can help people create lasting friendships tied through tennis and increase their enthusiasm towards the clinic and sport. 5) Lower Cost – Group clinics are going to be more affordable than one on one coaching. Although there are many upsides to participating in team clinics, they can also hinder certain aspects of a player’s game. The major con’s of tennis clinics are: 1) People use them as a substitution: If you are serious about tennis, team clinics can not replace private lessons. Although team clinics are a great way to play with a lot of different players and have fun, they do not replace the importance of one on one work with a coach. 2) Too much running, too little hitting: Often times the number of players greatly outnumbers the amount of pros available for the clinic. If there are 12 kids per coach, it is more than likely that there is more running around going on then actual hitting. If there are too many kids, a pro is more likely to give them cardio type drills instead of work on actual skill improvement. 3) Less serious environment: Since clinics are often an enjoyable time for players, they may take the actual tennis part of the clinic a little less serious. When they are surrounded with players of their same age, more of their focus might go to making friends and having fun. Clinics are a great way to get beginners interested in a sport or help more experienced players have competitive match play. Clinics however should not be the only tennis related activity that a player is doing if he or she is seriously interested in tennis.