Pros and Cons of Different Sports Lesson Types

youth athlete burnout

This article was written by Shawn Burcham, Account Manager at Upper Hand.


As a sports business owner, the type of lessons you can offer are likely dependent on a number of factors including the number of coaches on staff, facility space, type of sport, and the economic landscape (total number of athletes, competition, income level) in your area.

We’ve seen our customers successfully execute all different types of sports lessons in their business. And, some even incorporate all of them at once. We hope to provide some insight into some common positives and negatives to each type so that you can better understand and evaluate potential opportunities to implement them into your business.


Which Type of Sports Lessons are Right for You?


Individual Lessons

Individual lessons are typically conducted in a one-on-one environment between a coach and a single athlete



  • Specialized: The coach can tailor the lesson to the athlete’s interests and skill level to solely focus on areas that need improvement.
  • Deepened Connection: The time spent between a coach and athlete can foster a long-lasting relationship.
  • Ease of Scheduling: Individual lessons can be scheduled at the athlete’s convenience, making it extremely beneficial for people with busy schedules.
  • Athlete Progression: Individual lessons can be easier to monitor to track progress, set milestones and evaluate overall performance.


  • Costly No-Shows: If an athlete has something come up at the last minute, it’s hard for the coach to fill that open spot.
  • Life Impact: Sometimes all it takes is an injury, a move or loss of income and it leaves a coach scrambling to find another client to recoup that expected revenue.
  • Higher Price: Individual lessons are typically priced higher because of the extra specialized attention which means it may not be accessible for everyone.
  • Application: Training in a private environment sometimes can be hard to replicate game reps (for team sports) so there may be difficulty translating individual improvement into a team setting.


Small Group Lessons

Small group lessons typically involve one coach and multiple (usually 2-6) athletes.


  • Personalized: Small group lessons still provide the ability for the coach to provide some personalized attention to each athlete.
  • Friendly Competition: Small group lessons provide a sense of camaraderie and competition among peers, which can be motivating.
  • Revenue Per Hour: Instead of one athlete training for $100 an hour, you can coach four athletes at the same time for $75 each and triple your revenue for that hour.
  • Lower Price: Small group lessons can allow you to you lower your price per athlete, opening up the door for potential clients.


  • Varying Skill Level: Small group lessons can be difficult to properly execute if the athlete’s skills are at different levels.
  • Schedule Complexity: If you need each individual to show up at a certain time or day, it can add complexity to the scheduling process.
  • Difficult To Measure: Small group lessons can make it more difficult to monitor and track individual progress towards improvement metrics or goals.


Team Lessons

Team lessons typically are for groups of athletes who are part of a team.


  • Interpersonal Skills: Team lessons are great for fostering skills like teamwork, communication, and leadership.
  • Sense of Belonging: Team lessons can provide a sense of belonging progressing towards a shared goal.
  • More Exposure: Team lessons broaden your scope of exposure as more athletes get to experience the benefits of your facility or coaching staff.


  • Lost In The Shuffle: It’s much easier for an athlete to get lost in the shuffle during a team lesson environment and not make the necessary improvements to their skills.
  • Time and Space: Team lessons can be hard to execute if you don’t have the ability to offer a consistent time and space inside your facility.
  • Tracking Revenue: You will have to decide if you are going to charge per player, per team or include it in larger team fees.
  • Staffing Needs: Team lessons typically involve more people which may require additional staffing needs.



Hopefully this list provides some helpful insight into the pros and cons of different sports lesson types you can offer at your sports organization. The type of lesson that is best for your organization will depend on your infrastructure and strengths. If you are looking to start offering a different type of lesson to your clients, it’s time to start considering how these changes would impact your budget, scheduling components, and future goals when choosing the type of sports lesson that is right to incorporate. If you want to learn more about how Upper Hand can be a solution for all types of your sports lessons you want to offer, schedule a conversation with our team to learn more.


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