Tennis Classes & Leagues for Adults

Parent Q&A

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  • Hi BPN,

    I'm looking for tennis lesson recommendations.  Most of the advice on BPN is either 3+ years old or focused on kids.  I'm open to solo or group classes as long as the instructor has the patience and ability to teach someone who has never played before and isn't very athletic.  I can go solo as an adult or after-school / on weekends as a family (with elementary-aged child).  Something convenient to Rockridge or with easy parking would be preferable.

    Based on Yelp, some that look like they might be a fit are group lessons at Davie Tennis or Berkeley Tennis Club (their Yelp reviews focus on the courts, not lessons), or lessons with Nicole Havlicek or Tony Franco (good Yelp reviews).  Further north, I see reviews for Aztec Tennis and Winslow Tennis and could check them out as well.

    Thank you!

    Moraga Valley Pool has a couple good instructors.  My daughter takes private lessons there.  They are off Moraga Way, near the Orinda border (near Miramonte HS).  You don't have to be a member, but it's slightly more expensive if you are not.  Good parking.

    Alexander Winslow is a great guy and a great tennis instructor. I don't know if he teaches beginners, but he at least would be able to recommend someone. (My daughters have taken a few lessons with him in the summers). 

    Davie is a great option for adult beginning classes, and if your child is old enough to be left alone within eyesight, it's in a secluded spot with bleachers and a little lodge area where s/he can hang out for an hour. The class schedules change, but there's usually something on weekend evenings and a couple of options during the weekend. The intermediate classes tend to be held right after the beginner classes, so it's an easy transition should you move up. (I did so, about a year and a half after I started beginner lessons.) There are also private lessons available. 

    The only thing that makes it a little bit tricky is that the sessions are six or eight weeks long, and in the winter, when classes sometimes get rained out, it's hard to tell when the next session will open because the make-up class is tacked onto the end of the session. The director tends to open the next session for registration only the week before the first class, and they do fill up quickly with returning students. If I were you, I'd call and ask when to expect the next session.

    And the beginning classes do represent a lot of skill levels--no shaming your tennis game. Usually there's a mix of former high school athletes and people who (like me) just thought it seemed kind of fun. Don't worry at all about not being "athletic." It's my favorite time of the week. :)

    P.S. There's a little parking lot and ample street parking.

Archived Q&A and Reviews


Someone to teach me tennis

May 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 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 at a public court?

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: Tana

I want to learn how to play tennis

June 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.

Earlier Advice

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 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