| By Ricky Becker

I started coaching when I was 15-years old at a country club.  If I remember correctly, I was paid $20 an hour at the cluband I was more than thrilled.  IAt the club, I taught adults and kids (many of whom went to my high school.)  I went on the next couple of years to teach a handful of local uniors aged 8-14 from the area.  Now that I'm older and I look back, that was really a win-win situation that really could be a huge benefit to younger juniors.  I don't think it should substitute lessons with an experienced pro, however in many cases the top-player on a high school team would love to make some cash and it really is a benefit to the player.  For a younger junior player, it is a great time to hit with someone older and better. As importantly, it is great to get advice from someone who has gone through the process recently and who can often relate well with kids.  The hitter can really be a role-model and give objective advice that isn't slanted to one club or another.  A teen-aged hitter is good for adults because it's a good way to get a groove.  Plus the right teen-ager is often more interested and entusiastic and will run around more than an older tennis pro.  And for 30% of the price of a senior pro, you often get more than the 30% of the benefits that you would get with a seasoned pro.

Ricky Becker is The Director of Tennis at Glen Oaks Club.  Ricky also coaches high-performance juniors throughout the year and has been the Director of Tennis at three of Long Island’s biggest junior programs.  As a player, Becker was the Most Valuable Player for the 1996 NCAA Championship Stanford Tennis team and ranked in the top-five nationally as a junior.  He can be reached at rbecker06@yahoo.com, 516-359-4843 or via juniortennisconsulting.com.