Looking for tennis lessons in Barbados? We are lucky enough to have a choice of excellent coaches, and I can recommend one of the most well-respected tennis pros on the island, Melville Olley Elcock.
Olley is head coach at Sugar Hill resort (near Holetown) and he is also available to play on private courts and hotel courts. If you are staying a distance away from an available court, he can pick you up or drop you back – just ask him what’s possible on the day.
Players of all levels are welcome. I’ve seen Olley start with complete beginners and – by the end of their first lesson – they have established a very credible swing. More importantly, these self-proclaimed “non-players” are talking with enthusiasm about keeping up their tennis from now on! He’s also great with children; Olley is a trustworthy and patient teacher who manages to bring the best out of young players who come on to the court boisterous or shy, showy or reluctant.
The Barbados No.1 in the late 1990s, Olley has a good game himself and is available as a hitting partner and coach for experienced players of the highest standard. Year after year, competitive players (juniors and adults) combine their annual holiday in Barbados with a top-up of tennis with Olley.
If you would like to know what other players are saying about Olley, just click to his website for their testimonials.
Remember to pack your tennis shoes and some suitable tennis clothing (no need for full whites). If you leave your racket behind, Olley is able to rent you a suitable racket and also has a ball machine, so just let him know your specific requirements.
Bear in mind that temperatures in the tropics make it a little difficult to play in the middle of the day. I recommend that you arrange your tennis for early in the morning (from about 6am to no later than 11am) or in the afternoon/evening (from about 3.30pm onwards). There are lights on many courts, so it’s usually possible to play after the sun has set.
Especially in the peak tourist season, good time slots can be booked up quickly. So I suggest that you book in advance by email (email@example.com) or phone +1 246 234 9583. By the way, as texts can be so unreliable and are easily missed, please don’t text Olley. I find that he usually has some last-minute availability too, so if you want to stay free of holiday scheduling, you can just call him on the off-chance that he can fit you in.
Lessons are usually an hour or two, depending on your preference. You can book an individual lesson or play with one or two other people. From time to time, Olley offers group sessions (or ‘clinics’) so if you are interested in these, just give him a call.
I hope you enjoy living the dream of tennis in Barbados!