Other games are easier to learn, certainly, but even young children can begin to learn how to play tennis and enjoy it. Simply be sure it’s fun for them. Having fun with a child is a sure way to get them to like an activity and stick with it. Here are some tips to ensure that the children in your life will grow to appreciate the fine game of tennis.
Keep lessons short. Attention-spans vary, but most littles have little patience for anything that is too long. Thirty minutes, if it is an active session, is usually enough. Too much longer and the lesson might drag or become overwhelming for some children.
Encourage, encourage, encourage. If children see that you or someone else in the lesson is better than they are, even after they have practiced, they might become discouraged and disinterested in the sport. Be sure to root them on, and perhaps even discuss the importance of having a growth mindset while practicing and playing the game. Anything can be learned with the right attitude and an I-can-do-it assurance. Explain to them that with practice they can grow in their skills. A baby does not run before he crawls, falls, and toddles, for example. Neither will they learn how to play tennis in a few days or even weeks. It takes time to become skilled – but they’ve got that time! If you need to make a correction to their swing, include an aspect of praise as well. For every negative you need to tell them, have two positives at the ready. Children don’t need to be coddled or lied to, but they do need to be told they definitely have the ability to learn and grow. They just need patience with themselves.
Even drills can become more fun if you’re practicing an easy volley. And if you’re feeding them the ball well, any child can hit it back. Progress from there, being sure to make a game of things, no pun intended. (A good sense of humor comes in handy as an instructor, too.)
Create small, attainable goals such as hitting four shots in bounds during a game. Kids can help you individualize goals. They know what they want and need to work on, and letting them select what they do at times holds their interest more. A little prize for achieving those goals can’t hurt their motivation, either.
Use bigger, slower, foam balls for kids because they’re easier to hit, and hitting is the key to the sport. Practicing with something easy is much more motivating than starting with official balls. It also boosts their confidence like crazy.
If a child sticks with tennis, they will reap the many physical benefits, including developing their hand-eye coordination, improving their motor control, strengthening their core (important for virtually all sports), increasing their general strength, improving their balance, and even stimulating their intellectual development. The physical activity even improves flexibility and strengthens their immune system. What’s not to love about all that? Beyond the physical benefits, it teaches emotional life skills as well. Confidence can soar as a child masters a skill. Learning to strategize gives them a leg-up on other skills in life, too, well beyond the court. And as a line judge (once they’re older and playing on their own) calls them out for a poor shot, they learn to take responsibility for their actions and mistakes. They even learn problem-solving skills as they strive to improve their serve and correct problems in other techniques. If they’re on a team or are part of a doubles group, they also learn to work effectively with others.
As your child embarks on the journey of learning tennis, Tennis Express is there to equip him, not to mention provide your equipment as well. Be sure to get your Tennis Express coupon from Groupon Coupons today! Their selection will not disappoint.