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Tennis Instructor

Richard H.

Rochester, NY (4 locations)

122 Completed Lessons |
32 Reviews
  • USPTA Certified
  • Years Teaching: 21
  • Years Playing: 44
  • Levels Taught:
  • Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
  • Teaches:
  • Kids, Juniors, Adults, Seniors
Lessons Starting at $67/hr
Schedule Lessons

About Me

Tennis has been a passion of mine most of my life. It has given me many physical, social and emotional benefits, outlets and entrees. I began my tennis career teaching all levels and ages for the Tennis Corporation of America at their local indoor club (Midtown Tennis Club) for two years where I learned the fundamentals of teaching the game. During this time I became a USPTA Certified Pro. Since then I have taught at many outdoor and neighborhood clubs in the Rochester area. Many of my junior students became competitive players for their high schools and colleges. I feel I have accomplished my goals of developing skilled players, all the while maintaining positive, comfortable rapport with them. Sometimes I would find myself in the middle of conflicts between parental and player expectations. Much of my ability for resolution has come over time and years of experience in teaching all age groups. Classroom teaching has also helped me resolve issues, especially between teenagers and their parents, whether it is keeping an overly energetic parent from trying to push advice onto a son or daughter during one of our high school team matches, or an overly zealous parent setting too high expectations from the outset of a series of private lessons. Communication is so important for all parties involved.

I played Division I at Georgetown University for four years, having competed against a few nationally ranked players. I earned the Most Valuable Player award my senior year. While a lieutenant in the military stationed in Okinawa for one and a half years, I won the Inter-Services Championship my second year after losing in the finals to the same player my first year there. I competed in junior and adult tournaments in the Rochester and Western New York area, having been ranked in the top 10 at both levels in the Rochester, NY area, over the years.

Teaching Style

As a teacher and coach by trade, I have found success developing a lesson plan with flexibility. I use the format of intros, input from my students and light stretching first. Next may come a hitting evaluation followed by the initial instruction phase. After explanation, I demonstrate by my shadow stroking followed by theirs, progressing to my ball feeding, or depending on their skill level, a fun drill which allows for active implementation. So it's a two-part process -- my explaining and demonstrating the skill, their understanding and implementing the skill. Then we move on to the next skill to be learned with time for a short water break depending on need. Usually some conversation flows. I try to keep my voice tone upbeat, fun and exciting all the while. If time allows in a semi-private or group lesson, I try to set up some type of point or game competition, if feasible, for the last 10 minutes or so of the lesson.

Teaching Locations = Travel Radius = Preferred Court

= Travel Radius = Preferred Court
  • Cobbs Hill Park
  • Culver And Monroe
  • Rochester, NY 14610
  • Thomas High School
  • 800 Five Mile Rd.
  • Webster, NY 14580
  • Ellison Park
  • Blossom Rd
  • Brighton , NY 14610
  • Penfield High School
  • 25 High School Drive
  • Penfield, NY 14526

Student Feedback

My daughter, at 12, had never played (literally never held a racket) and in August decided she wanted to go out for modified tennis in September! Thank goodness we found Coach Hanford. His instruction was calm and systematic, and he always respected where she was in the learning process (important to us because she didn't see herself as particularly athletic either). My daughter connected with him quickly and looked forward to her lessons each week. By the time practices started she could hit forehand and backhand comfortably, as well as serve. She is already bugging me about when we can start again in the spring.

Kim P. - February 2, 2016

Richard is a very patient and knowledge teacher.

Terry S. - August 3, 2017

Overall Rating


(32 Ratings)

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