One of the best reasons to work with a private tennis coach is having someone to motivate you and help you achieve your desired goals. However, if you truly want to get the most out of your tennis lesson, it’s up to you to come prepared, work hard and go the extra mile (perhaps literally). Whether you are taking tennis lessons to be social, for a fun cardio workout or to develop your game for competitive play, it’s up to you to maximize your time on the court. Make the best of your tennis lesson with these tips.

Come prepared
Your tennis lesson should be something you look forward to, not a part of the day you are dreading. It sounds simple, but make sure you are excited for your tennis lesson by being prepared. Schedule the lesson at the time of day when you have the most energy (e.g. if you’re not a morning person, do not schedule a 7 a.m. lesson to make it work in your schedule). In addition, make sure you eat a healthy meal or snack before you exercise. Finally, stay hydrated to provide yourself more energy and allow for a quicker recovery!

Take charge
You might assume your tennis coach knows best, but he or she is not a mind reader! Remember, it is your lesson, so do not be afraid to request certain drills or take the lesson in the direction you want it to go. Instructors want to tailor the lessons to your interests and needs, but they will not know what those are unless you speak up. Let your coach know before the next lesson what areas of your game you want to improve, and he or she can prepare lesson plans that meet your requests.

Stay focused
How frequently do you go an hour without looking at your cellphone? Your tennis lesson is the perfect time to turn off the technology and focus on something fun! Those who check their text messages every water break do not exactly have their head in the game. In addition, studies have shown that multitasking affects your ability to learn, so wait until after you have mastered a topspin serve before you respond to that work email.

Do it Right
The first time you try something new on the tennis court — whether it is a continental grip on a volley or dropping your racket head lower on your forehand — it is bound to feel unnatural. Don’t resort back to your old habits so you can hit the ball over the net. Lessons are the time to refine your game and make mistakes. During your lesson, make sure you are using the correct form. With practice, those uncomfortable adjustments will lead to significant improvements in your game.

Up the intensity
Your coach can yell, motivate and praise you throughout the entire lesson, but ultimately, it’s up to you to find the self-motivation to push yourself to the next level. Only you know the fastest you can run and the longest you can go without stopping. As cliché as it sounds, you will feel better after your lesson along with improving your speed, endurance and overall tennis game when you give 100 percent on the court.

Ask for more
Sometimes coaches will give you a “homework assignment” after your lesson such as supplementary exercises or more court time. If he or she doesn’t, make sure you ask for one! Cardio workouts, running and weightlifting can help significantly improve your game and you do not need a partner to practice some more serves or hit a few balls against a wall.

Getting the most out of your tennis lesson is about you. Do not forget to keep these tips in mind as you prepare for your next lesson!