How to Learn Sports in Less Time and On Budget

These days, everyone is trying to pack more and more into their day. Between work, the kids’ school and homework, working around the house, getting dinner on the table and spending as much time together with the family as possible, it’s getting harder and harder to find the time (and money) to take private sports lessons. After spending two hours away from your family playing tennis or five hours playing golf, many of us feel guilty spending another several hours taking private lessons on how to improve our serve or 3 wood. Without private instruction, though, you won’t be able to make the necessary swing adjustments needed to improve and have more fun. It’s a catch 22. There’s got to be a better way!

There is. Here’s what you should do: Take one private lesson (let’s say tennis) and have the teaching pro use a smartphone or tablet to film you playing (there are tripod adapters available so neither of you have to hold the phone while filming). Then, after the lesson, ask the pro to email you a video lesson using your footage and one of several video coaching/drawing apps available in any phone app store. That way, you can learn all of what he was going to teach you over the next several hours of instruction in just a few short minutes. You can then review the video before you go out to play, practice or whenever it’s convenient. Just pull out your smartphone and watch the pro’s critique of your entire swing. It’s best to only pick one or two points of emphasis and then work on those. The more instruction the pro gives you in your video, the less time and money you’ll need to spend going back to take more private lessons.

But here’s the best part. This works even without the private lesson, too. Find a qualified coach or teaching professional and ask if it would be OK to send them a video that you took of yourself playing and have them critique you using the same type of app and email it back to you. And feel free to negotiate… the pro should offer a price much lower than a traditional private lesson since he doesn’t have to squeeze you in to his normal schedule or pay for a lot for overhead.

Technology is always evolving. And it’s changing the way we do almost everything in our lives on a constant basis. Your sports lessons are no different. And who knows, with all the time and money you save, you might finally learn that topspin backhand after all.