Why Offering Only Private Basketball Lessons is Shortsighted

First of all, I’m not trying to knock the hustle of offering private basketball lessons. On a limited basis, I still offer them. Offering private basketball lessons can make a big difference in a player’s game, and earn you supplemental income.

Typical Scenario

You command $100 per hour for a private lesson, while delivering 5 per week. Under this scenario, your gross income would be $500 weekly, and $2000 for the month. Not bad, right?

Using this model (offering individual private basketball lessons), there are several issues:

  1. Not maximizing your time
  2. Too dependent on a handful of players
  3. Facility costs are too pricey (per player)

Not Maximizing Your Time

Each time you deliver a private lesson, you’re restricted to working with 1 player for an hour. If you want to bring in more revenue, you have to deliver more lessons to more players. At some point, there won’t be enough time in the day to add more players to your rotation. At which point, you’ll no longer be able to increase your revenues (yourself). The other issue is “burnout”. How many private lessons will you be able to deliver per week, ongoing, before you exhaust yourself? Trust me, at some point; you’ll hit a wall!

Too dependent on a handful of players

If you’re working with a limited number of players, losing 1 or 2 of them, could make a big difference in your bottom line. I’ve had other personal trainers voice their displeasure of how their “relationship” with the parent/player devolved over time. From non-payments, to no shows to going off and working with another trainer, I’ve seen it all. When this happens, it frustrating. If you have 5 players, but lose 1 – 2, you’ve effectively lost 20% – 40% of your revenues. Ouch, this hurts!

Facility costs are too pricey (per player)

In most instances, facility rental costs are static. Facility management doesn’t care if you’re working with 1 kid or 20 kids. Lets say the rental cost is $50 per hour, and you’re earning $100 per hour for private lessons. Using this scenario, you’ll net $50. 50% of your gross revenues went to facility costs! In my mind, this is too much (when working with only 1 player)!

Alternative Approach

Instead of working with 1 kid, work with 20 kids per hour (giving group private lessons). Instead of charging 1 kid $100 per hour, charge each of the 20 kids $25 per hour. By providing group private lessons, you’re grossing $500 ($25 * 20) instead of $100. As you can see, you’re earning more revenue, and impacting more kids for that same hour by providing group private lessons.

Suppose you ran 5 group private lessons per week. Using the above numbers, your gross revenues would be $2,500. For the 5 private (1-on-1) personal training lessons per week, your gross revenues would be $500. Contrast both. For me, it’s a no brainer! I’m running group private lessons all day long!


I’ve been using the alternative approach since 2008. Since then, I’ve grossed over 1 million dollars (mostly part-time). In 2016, I quit my day job, and started running basketball camps as a full-time business.

If you would like to explore running your own basketball camp business, or simply want more information, go to www.YouthHoopsAcademy.com.