Advice about Tennis Lessons
Archived Q&A and Reviews
Tennis lessons for kids in Oakland
Can anyone recommend a good kid-friendly tennis instructor or organization in Oakland for either private, semi-private, or group that's reasonably priced for a 10 year old with some experience? We're looking for something in the late afternoon / evening time and we're looking for something that could extend beyond summer into an after school class as well. We live in Glenview, so something close by would be even better. Tennis Mom
My 3-year old tennis enthusiast really took to the ANTS tennis coaches at the recent lake merritt festival. The organization seem to have just moved here from new mexico and the premise is great: equipment and nets scaled down just for kids. http://www.antstennis.com/organization/ good luck. anon
Oakland Recreation has great kids and adults tennis lessons at Davie Tennis Stadium which is up Lakeshore. Just go on their website. It is a great place to learn.
Tennis camp for our 8 and 10 year old
We are looking for a tennis camp for our 8 and 10 year old boys. Ideally it would be all day, although we'd be open to a half-day as long as they could be transported to another half-day program. They've had tennis lessons before and seemed to do well, but that was quite a while ago. I tried to take them out once recently and I think just ended up frustrating them. I'd love to find a camp that made tennis fun for them again. We'd be willing to go through the tunnel or Oakland/Berkeley would work as well. Desperately Seeking Summer Camps
My son goes to Sleep Hollow Swim and Tennis both during school year and summer. The director has done a fabulous job with the tennis program making it fun while strengthen the player's skills. I love it when he told my son that he is not competing with the other players but improve from his last record. My son has gone through different tennis program and he sticks with this one! It's in Orinda and there's full day program during summer. Check it out. Sophia
My boys love the Cal tennis Camp. There is a full day and a half day camp. I sent them 1/2 day the first year and they were mad at me - they wanted to stay all day! My younger son has been going since he was 9 so I think your kids would be perfect. The link ishttp://www.ussportscamps.com/tennis/nike/nike-tennis-camp-at-uc-berkeley/ It's now part of the Nike Camp program, but the program is the same. My son also did the Nike overnight Camp in Santa Cruz last year and loved it. kristi
Aurora school has a wonderful half day Tennis camp, focused on skills and fun. My son is going to it for a second year in a row. They also offer other half day camps, so you can make it a full day experience without transportation. Check them out at auroraschool.org/summer-camps. Happy parent
Tennis for 6 and 8 year old boys - Oak Hills
As I firmly believe that tennis is a near-perfect lifetime sport and has special meaning in the context of two fairly-close-in-age brothers, we'd like to expose our 6- and 8-year old sons to some tennis this summer, if not sooner. We're not thinking immersion, as in a tennis camp, but perhaps group lessons? Private is probably too costly to sustain if they develop interest, but perhaps a good start? We'd welcome any thoughts on getting kids started with tennis. We live in the Oakland Hills where there are several tennis facilities nearby. Anyone have experience with any of those? Grateful Dad
Oakland Hills Tennis Club at the top of Redwood Rd is great. Tons of youth programs and individual or group lessons are all available. Its exactly what you're looking for. And I believe it less expensive than most other private clubs.
My son and several of his friends worked with Marvin Samuels, a professional tennis development coach who works effectively and supportively with young boys and girls. The same kids who worked with him at age 5 and 6 still work with him today at age 18. He teaches the after school tennis classes at Prospect Sierra, but gives lessons in Oakland and Berkeley as well. He is a wonderfully sensitive and skilled teacher for young kids. His grace, bearing, and skills in self-discipline and self- care have made a huge difference in my son's life. His phone: 510 823 6690.
Oakland summer tennis clinic for 4 year olds
I grew up playing tennis and would love to start my son this summer. I'm looking for a tennis clinic/group lessons in Oakland that I could put him in this summer for a few weeks. Thanks! Sarah
I don't have a recommendation for you, but I might encourage you to wait unless your child is really interested in taking a class. It might be more fun just to occasionally play around with a racket and ball on a court. When we lived in LA, I put our 4 y.o. in a tennis clinic over the course of about a year. While I don't think it caused any harm, I think in retrospect that she was too young. Most of the kids had fun, the instructors were sweet, but few of the kids were doing anything like playing tennis because they didn't have the hand-eye coordination yet. Over the course of the year, I saw a couple of kids who were natural athletes who actually could play a little, but mostly, it was an expensive 30 minutes of running around on the court chasing balls with a racket in hand. I guess it was nice for the stay at home parents who really needed an activity to fill the day. We started her again when she was 8, and then she was ready! We started my very coordinated younger daughter at 6, and it's been OK . . . she's good at it, but I still think it's a little early for it. I'd hate to have her burn out early. It IS a life sport, after all, so she has her life. my two cents
Good first time tennis camp for 6YO?
My son who will be 6YO in May wants to take tennis lessons. I was thinking a fun Summer tennis camp would be a good way to get him introduced to the game. I'm looking at Aztec Tennis on Hopkins and the tennis camp at Aurora School in Oakland. Any feedback on these two. Any others I should consider? Thanks! Anon Mom
We have used Carlton and Aztec for three years and are very pleased.
We had a great experience with Clairmont Country Club tennis camp. Not as expensive as many others and the kids get to swim as well. Reenie
My child did one or two summer sessions at Aztec, a few years ago, and both times my child found the classes overly-large, and the children seemed to do a lot of waiting in line to have their turn to hit. The local tennis clubs (the Claremont and Berkeley Tennis Club) seem to have a very high enrollment, too). As well, I didn't like the lack of supervision during the break--the kids seem to run all over the Hopkins park without adults within earshot. On the recommendations of other tennis families, my child enrolled in AceFace Tennis. http://www.acefacetennis.com/page8/page29/page29.html Ace Face is conscientiously run by Nate and another man, and their support staff (college and/or high school players) seem great and devoted. Kids really learn to play tennis. They're not just being warehoused. I think that half-day and full-day options are available as well as different price structures, depending on how many days a week your child attends. There are camps offered at the Bentley High courts in Lafayette and at some park in El Cerrito, although the summer camp may be limited to Bentley. There is also year-round tennis with Ace Face. I'm a tennis player, myself, and was impressed with the quality of instruction and the intimacy of the program. Nate is a great guy who runs a fine program. Anon
Tennis Lessons for 6 year old
I am looking for some updated recommendations for tennis lessons for children in the Berkeley/Albany area. If you have had a good experience with private lessons or clinics for little kids (6 - 7 years old), I would appreciate your suggestions. Berkeley Mom
I'm a certified tennis instructor, I live in Berkeley with my wife and kids, and can recommend two different places/organizations hosting tennis camps for young children. The first is hosted by UC Berkeley and Men's Tennis Coach Peter Wright. I don't know any details re the camp but I do know Peter and he's a stand-up guy, so his camp must be good. The other place is the Berkeley Tennis Club (BTC) in south Berkeley off of Ashby Ave., where I'll be working as a tennis instructor this summer. BTC's tennis camps for kids including wee ones, are available t/o summer and are run by Lynne Rolley, who has an outstanding reputation. I helped teach the last couple of sessions of their spring clinics for young kids and it's a good format -- informal, active, the kids have fun and are kept busy with instruction but also lots of emphasis on games and running around. A.
Child-friendly tennis instructor in Berkeley/Oakland
Appreciate recommendation for tennis instructor/s from Berkeley Tennis Club or other club/s in Oakland. Would like a child-friendly instructor. Thanks. tennis
Try Peter Benko in Berkeley. www.azetectennis.com before you try anybody else. He charges a reasonable rate and he is very social.
Contact Peter Benko for Lessons. Email : benkotennis [at] aol.com or call @ 510-798-7561 or 510-644-9600
He teaches in public courts on Hopkins St and he has lots of kids as well as adults. He also works with the Berkeley High School Girls Team sometimes. He could connect your kid with other kids to play as well.
From 2007-2009, I coached the Piedmont High Girls JV Team. I can help also if you would like, but I am not a certified Pro.
I am a Berkeley Tennis Club member as well. You can call me if you want more info.
For anyone looking for a wonderful tennis instructor in Berkeley Peter Benko is fantastic with adults and little kids. He is a gifted teacher, observes well, hears your needs and has a way with teaching the skills. From tiny tots to high level adults. He truly cares! Contact me for more information. Holly
Tennis lessons for 6 year old
Can anyone recommend a tennis instructor for a 6 year old boy? Preferably in Berkeley, Albany or El Cerrito. Thanks.
Our family connected with Jim Robinson [408-449-7720] when we purchased a lesson with him via our school's silent auction. We've had sporadic lessons with him since the Fall, about once a week, and my 8 year old son is enjoying it and improving. Plus, as it's usually private or semi-private, he doesn't get anxious about playing with kids he doesn't know. [the main reason it's been hard to get him involved in a sport]
Jim has been very patient with us, and he's great with kids who respond well to someone who's able to be silly and funny, yet also teach the game.
The one drawback, which isn't much of one, is that he's a little hard to get a regular schedule out of. But for the most part, it's been a really great experience. Oh, and to top it off, he gives me lessons too, while my son gets them, so I'm getting some needed exercise! -jmf
7-year-old is asking for tennis class
My son who is going to turn 7 in a week has been asking for tennis class for years. He attended Neighborhood school in Kensington for his preschool and enjoyed learning tennis so much that he wants to continue it. Yes, it's been 4 years and he is still askng for it so I figure he really wants it. Does anyboday know any tennis lesson for that age group?
City of Albany recreation department has a kids tennis program that runs all year. I'm not sure what the minimum age is, but the instructor might be flexible if your child can keep up with the group. My kids attended summer sessions and enjoyed the program. annon
My then 7-year-old had a good experience at a spring break tennis camp last year at the Claremont Resort & Spa. He had never played tennis before and he is not that athletic. He learned enough to be able to return balls across the net with decent looking form and he had fun, too. You don't have to be a member of the Claremont (we aren't). The class was 9-4 and you can pay a few dollars extra to have them order their lunch at the poolside grill, which is a Big Treat. In the summer, they have tennis in the morning and swimming in the afternoon. It was not that expensive compared to other camps I've used. Ginger
I have two recommendations for you: The first is Chuck Bleckinger. He and his wife use to own Bleckinger's Tennis Store on San Pablo in El Cerrito until a few years ago when they retired. He's still teaching and has coached several junior teams in the past. His number is:510-223-2483 or 510- 691-6308. He's highly recommended by the El Cerrito Tennis Club and a USTA professional. The second is Marvin Samuels, MAS1TENIS [at] AOL.com, a USTA professional who has taught in the El Cerrito area for a while. He is also recommended by the El Cerrito Tennis Club. Please give them a try. tennislover
May 2009: Tennis lessons for moms & kids together?
Some friends and I are looking for a tennis instructor to teach us and our daughters, who range in age from 10 to 16. We thought it would be fun to take lessons as our own class of about 6 to 8 people. Most existing classes seem to be divided by age group, though. We live in North Berkeley. Suggestions appreciated! Wanna-be tennis player
Heather Andersen is a great Tennis coach and teacher and her specialty is women and children. Her daughters, exclusively coached by her when younger, are excellent tennis players. She taught my children a couple of years ago and I was very impressed by her. She is a warm, professional gal from the South who is passionate about tennis. She has taught in Oakland/Berkeley but is now coaching at Sleepy Hollow Swim and Tennis Club in Orinda -I'm sure she does private lessons as well. She can be reached through the Club's main # : 925.254.1126 Luv tennis
Aug 2008: Tennis lessons for 7 year-old?
I am looking for a tennis class for my 7 year-old son. He has never played but is very interested in learning. I'd like to find a low-key environment where group lessons are offered once a week. I am not interested in private lessons at this time. Berkeley or North Oakland location preferred. Thanks!
Contact Berkeley Parks and Recreation Department. I took their adult beginner tennis lessons with instructor Jim Edwards, who teaches Tuesday/Thursday at Willard Park. I think he's Berkeley's best-kept secret. He is just amazing as an instructor and a truly wonderful person. The kids class was just before my class and I thought he was great with the kids. I think the kids lessons start at 8 years old, but talk to the Parks & Rec department if your child is an older 7 in case it's negotiable. I think the main thing is that they need to be mature enough to pay attention and follow instructions. L
May 2008: Need Tennis Teacher for 10 yrs old boy
I am looking for a tennis teacher for my 10yr old son for individual lessons. He has been taking group classes for the past 3 yrs. We live in the San Pablo area - any recommendations would be appreciated. manda
I'd try calling Lakeridge Athletic Club in El Sobrante. They have competitive tennis teams - part of the USTA. They're offering tennis camp every other week during the summer. Maybe they can recommend someone. The number is 222-2500. Happy Lakeridge Member
Jan 2008: Tennis (group) lessons for 9 year old
The lessons offered at Albany Rec. on Mondays are not a good time for us. Anyone have any recommendations? I am looking for group lessons, not individual. My son turns 9 in April. Thanks!
There are tennis clinics for kids Monday thru Thursday at the Clairmont...and you don't have to be a member. Its drop in, $18 a class. The junior program clinics ages 7-16 is from 4:15 to 6:15 Mon-Thurs Contact the tennis office at 510 549-8517 ext 852 Just register and show up. anon
Try Aztectennis.com - They teach classes at the courts on Hopkins St. near King Middle School. There are no fixed sessions; you buy 6 classes at a time and can join the beginners' class at any time. Our 10 tear old had a good time there before she decided to concentrate on swimming. soccerstepdad
April 2007: Tennis lessons for 4 year old boy
My son just turned 4 and I would like him to take tennis lessons. Does anyone know of a good place that you would really recommend where they would teach kids his age? We live in San Ramon so, the closer to this area, the better. Thanks a lot. Tennis mom
This isn't close to you at all, but just in case. . . My 4.5 y/o son has taken tennis lessons from ''Alex'' at his Kensington preschool for the past 18 months. It's set up through the preschool, but I know that the instructor works through the Kensington Parks & Rec dept as well. He's been working there forever and claims that his best players started at the preschool age and continued. My son, and the rest of the kids, seem to love him and look forward to tennis day.
Nov 2006: Tennis Teacher for 8 yo Beginner\t
My 8-yr old took tennis at camp this past summer (50 min./day for 3 weeks) and wants to continue. The person who taught her this summer agreed to teach her starting in Sept., but my repeated emails/calls about lessons have gone unanswered. My daughter is eager to learn the sport, energetic, and relatively coordinated. Can anyone recommend a teacher in Berkeley who is knowledgeable, good at teaching kids this age (i.e. encouraging instead of badgering), reasonably priced, and reliable? Jay
My daughter goes to drop-in tennis classes weekend mornings, 10- 11 am, at Bentley High School in Lafayette. On weekend mornings you can get there from Berkeley in 10-15 minutes. The kids are ages 6-9 and the coaches, Dan and Jimmy, are really great. Pay $15 each time your daughter attends. Email Dan at dangoeriz [at] yahoo.com if you have questions --Liz
You want Alex Brown. He's wonderful with children and a super-nice guy: alex.brown3 [at] comcast.net Jane
March 2005: Tennis lessons for 5-year-old
I am looking into tennis lessons for my 5 year old. Does anyone know where they offer group or private classes for children that young? Thanks! anon
Try the Orinda Community Center classes. They are offering tennis lessons for children as young as 5 yrs old. You can find the info at http://www.ci.orinda.ca.us/parksandrec/3Classes.html on the internet. Good luck. Maya
Albany Rec. Tiny Tots Tennis (age 4-5), Tue and Thur afternoon in the spring. Also summer classes. Phone: (510)524-9283 R..K.
1999: Classes for 4-year-old
My son is 4 years old and he would like to practice tennis. Are there good and fun tennis lessons for this age in Berkeley or Albany ? (we live in North Berkeley). Thanks for your recommendations.
For the person inquiring about Tennis classes for a 4 year old: Roxanne Rohan is a great instructor who has a wonderful way with children. I was particularly impressed with the way she handled some difficulties my son had when he was taking classes with her. She has also been involved with community tennis events in El Cerrito. I'm not sure if she has classes for 4 year olds, but she has many ongoing classes. You can leave a voice mail for her at 451-0825, box 3.
March 2003: Classes for an 8-year-old
We would like to have our 8 year old daughter take tennis lessons. We have access to a court, and would ideally like someone who could come to our house. However, we would also be willing to go to the lessons. I looked at the recommendations on the website (2), but could not tell if the instructors mentioned specialized in teaching children or not. Also, we would like an instructor in the Berkeley area. Roger
- Claremont Resort
Someone to teach me tennisMay 2013
Can anyone recommend a coach or place to teach me how to play tennis? I am not a complete novice but am close, and I haven't held a racket in my hand in years. I don't have a preference for individual vs. group lessons, I just want to learn from someone who is enthusiastic and patient, preferably in the El Cerrito/Albany/North Berkeley area. Thanks! Wanna-Be Tennis Player
Last of the good deals. The Richmond Rec Dept has an Adult Program that meets on Tu. and Th. from 6-7. One month includes 3 weeks (6 lessons) for only $25. Instructor (Wendy Guinn) has an ex-USTA pro. Rec dept number 510-620-6793 and its at 3230 MacDonald Ave, Richmond Mary in Oakland
Tennis league for beginners?March 2011
I have taken tennis classes, but don't have a lot of people to play/practice with. I'd like to join some sort of league/group with other beginners (female preferred). Know of any? Tennis mom
Start at this link http://www.ustanorcal.com Once you have a USTA rating, then league play should be easier to find. The other option is join a tennis club. El Cerrito has a tennis club, without an actual club. google it. they also have a Saturday morning ''hacker'' drop in tennis group. hope that gets you started. Welcome to the world of tennis! anon
Affordable Tennis Lessons?Feb 2011
Can anyone recommend an affordable tennis instructor that will give lessons at one of the public courts in the North Berkeley/Albany area? I've played tennis most of my life but have taken the last few years off and am looking to get back into the game. Thanks - Jenny M
Try the City of Berkeley: http://www.ci.berkeley.ca.us/uploadedFiles/Parks_Rec_Waterfront/Level_3__-General/tennislessons2011.pdf Tana
Want to learn how to play tennisJune 2006
I'd like to learn to play tennis but I've literally never picked up a racket in my life. Does anyone have a good recommendation for instructors, either private or small group, who don't charge a fortune? Is anyone of similar in-experience interested in learning with me for that matter? Thanks! Rachel
Sign up for the lessons offered by City of Berkeley Parks & Recreation. They have lessons for kids and adults, and Jim Edwards is an exceptional teacher and a wonderful person. The schedules are convenient (you can choose morning, evening, or Saturday), and the cost ends up being around $8 per hour. The classes I took only had 6-8 people in them.
I am not athletic, and a slow learner at Tennis, but the main thing is that it was such a great experience. My husband and I signed up together in a simple effort to reform our couch-potato lifestyle. We received so much more than expected. Over the course of a couple years, we signed up for around eight 5-week sessions (repeating the beginner session a few times until I felt comfortable, then moving on to Advanced Beginner). Now we absolutely love tennis, and are thrilled to have this sport in common.
June 2005: Tennis Instructor/Class for Adult Novices
I'd like to take private tennis lessons with my husband and would love a recommendation for a great tennis instructor. I'd also appreciate a recommendation for group adult tennis classes in case we take that route. We're flexible and can take classes in Oakland, San Leandro and parts of Berkeley. R
A few years ago I took some group beginner lessons through the Oakland Parks & Rec at Montclair Park. One hour twice a week. It was good. I think that Piedmont Parks & Rec also offers classes, too.
April 2004: Tennis instructor for adult who played a lot in the past
My boyfriend is interested in finding an instructor to work with to return to tennis after a long hiatus. He played quite a bit until a brain aneurysm 12 years ago required him to stop. He's done a ton of rehab since then and is generally a fine specimen. (If I do say so myself.) He still has some balance issues and his hand-eye coordination is not what it once was but he's eager to find out how well he can learn to play. He needs a patient tennis instructor more than he needs a phyisical therapist type. Any ideas on the perfect person to work with him? Girlfriend on the ball
i reccomend damon valentino. he is a very caring individual. 408.661.8274 or damonvalentino AT yahoo.com juli
March 2003: Class so I can play doubles
I'm looking for a tennis class so I might be able to play doubles with my husband when he gets old enough to slow down from his present advanced level! My desiderata: in or near Albany, not expensive private lessons but reasonably priced group class, beginner to advanced beginner level, preferably at least some oldsters (over 40) like myself in the group. Linda
I recommend wholeheartedly you try the El Cerrito Tennis Club. We do not have a 'clubhouse' but we are an organization who promotes tennis at all levels. The USTA season is getting underway, if you are a beginner you can get in contact with one of the captains of a 2.5 team (beginning level)to get on a team. You can attend a team clinic, once/week (series of 5 clinics is $95.00)and doubles strategy is taught by Alvin Hom and Denise Tom. They are long time US Tennis Association Professional teachers. I have been involved with them and the club since I was 40'ish and highly recommend it as an activity to share with ones spouse. Margo
March 2003: Teacher for Adult Beginner
I'm wondering if people have recommendations for an adult tennis instructor...not too expensive, mellow, with a sense of humor? We are not hard-core athletes, and do not know how to play -- but my husband and I were thinking it could be fun to learn tennis and go play at some of the local parks. So, since we may be laughing at ourselves as we try to develop tennis abilities, we'd like someone who isn't too formal or rigid. I've seen phone numbers advertised at Hopkins park, etc., but don't know who is good. Want something relatively inexpensive. Thanks.
I've been happy with the City of Berkeley lessons at the Rose Garden and Live Oak Park with Jim Edwards. They're relaxed, small, good, and cheap ($65 for 10 lessons). Jim's particularly good on strategy and teaches doubles strategy quickly, which helped me play better than if I'd worked only on drills or playing singles, since I wasn't in great shape and had no experience. I started as a beginner over the age of 40 and classmates have included retirees, UC students, first-time moms with babes, serious tennis athletes returning after a long hiatus or injury. Jim creates an atmosphere that connects people so you develop a network of folks to play with outside of class, if you want to play more. It's a very congenial atmosphere.
You can sign up with City of Berkeley's Recreation Program Office at 981-5150 or pick flyers at the tennis courts. I'm glad I screwed up the courage to try. I love the game and have met some lovely people to play with. Lenore
Eddie Pasternack is a tennis instructor who is supposed to be a great teacher. He has an advertisement in the Monthly publication or you can look him up in the phone book. dawnloretz
Re: previous message about Eddie Pasternack, tennis instructor. He does teach for the Oakland Rec Dept in Montclair. I've taken his classes and thought he was really great (I'm a complete novice). Jennifer
I have a recommendation for an excellent Tennis Teacher. His name is Eddie Pasternak 655-5783. He's really thorough and helps people achieve great results. He'll help you troubleshoot to improve your game like no other! He's good for pros, beginners and for people who just want to enjoy the game more.
I'd like to recommend Tom Vadnais for tennis lessons of any age and ability level. He is the varsity tennis coach at Bishop O'Dowd High School in Oakland and currently teaches the adult classes through the CalFit program on campus. He can be reached at 707-446-6616 evenings or 510-917-3795 days. Margaret
April 2006: Toddler tennis lessons
First I want to say that we are not a sports focused family and have almost no knowledge about tennis. But our 2 year old is obsessed with playing ''tennis'' which he plays with a little racquet and anything he can get his hands on - favorites include ping pong balls, shuttle cocks, and balloons. And he's been hitting at balls since he could actually make contact between the racquet and the ball (we used to hang a wiffel ball on a string from the ceiling). And I think he's got a knack for it. We don't want to spend a fortune for private lessons But since he does go to some activities we though it would be nice to expose him to something that he's already showing interest in and may have some innate talent at.
Looking back, I regret anything where in my anxiousness I put my kids in things, or expected things, too early. Even though your son shows lots of interest and talent, I would hesitate to do anything formal like a lesson. I suggest to just keep letting him have fun and let him direct the activity. I think a ''lesson'' where someone tells him what to do might kill the fun for him. Maybe hire a neighborhood teenager to go out and play ball with him, but again, letting your son direct it. There will be plenty of opportunity for lessons later, I do feel lessons are developmentally not recommended. I think the main goal is to keep his love for it alive. I wouldn't think about lessons til he was at least 5. Only my opinion, but there it is. anon