That is an excellent question! I charge new students $20 an hour. I was easily able to find coaches in the United States charging as much as $70 an hour for private lessons. Group lessons are usually much cheaper. You’ll probably pay more for coaches who distinguished themselves as players. I charge less for a couple of reasons. I can’t point to any world championship trophies, or huge tournament wins that validate me as a great player. I also like to keep a steady flow of students that can train regularly. It’s a lot easier to maintain a good group at $20 an hour.
Occasionally, someone will try to talk me into charging even less than my bargain basement price. I might even consider doing that under certain circumstances. But, I don’t think it’s a good idea to charge so little that the experience isn’t valued. While I don’t want to exclude players whose finances are extra tight, it’s never a good idea to put myself in a position where my time isn’t respected. I just want to charge a fair price, and hopefully leave students feeling that they got more than their money’s worth. In reality, some lessons are worth more than others, and some students require more effort on the part of the coach. I’m sticking with my current prices, but I thought it would be fun to post a price list of what I actually think certain types of lessons should cost.
- First Lesson – This is the lesson where I can evaluate the new player, cover the most basic strokes, discuss spin, and frequently recommend a paddle. This is table tennis 101, and it’s probably the most important lesson I do. It’s particularly important for beginners, but I usually do some version of it, even with experienced players, or players who have never had a coach. I usually get very positive reviews for these first sessions. I really enjoy helping players get started, knowing how important this information will be to their development. Estimated value – Priceless
- Lessons two through ten – Here’s where improvement happens most rapidly. The building of a strong foundation, and attempts to get rid of bad habits require an observant and experienced coach. This is where I feel like I’m really earning my pay. I should probably be charging more for these. Estimated value – $40 per lesson
- First year – If players continue to progress, the coaching process starts to get a little easier. It’s not hard to come up with drills that are suited to individual players. There is still plenty of information being shared, and players should at least be improving on all of the basic skills. I think I could lower my prices some if the player is dedicated, and coming on a regular basis. Estimated value – $30 per lesson
- Children – I don’t charge more for children, but sometimes I feel like I should. Teaching young beginners takes a ton of patience. Estimated value – $50 per lesson
- Special Situations – It’s impossible to cover every possible situation that might involve a price adjustment, but here are a few of the most common.
Players who want to discuss politics – add $30
Players who are always late – add $20
Players who bring fresh vegetables – deduct $10
Players who only play hard bat – add $5
Players making constant suggestions about coaching – add $20
Players making constant suggestions about subjects other than table tennis – add $50
Players who mention Dick Miles https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dick_Miles – add $15
Players who mention Halle Berry – deduct $15
It’s hard to put a price on any one individual lesson, but a good training session is usually well worth the price of admission.