Every tennis player envisions their son or daughter playing at the US Open or having Breakfast at Wimbledon while their child competes on center court. The first step in making that vision a reality is giving your child every opportunity to LOVE the game. Being around the game, watching it on TV and coming out to the courts is a great first step in fostering an appreciation for the sport. There’s no doubt that tennis teaches life skills and character that will stay with them for a lifetime. There’s no doubt that to make it to the grand stage of the WTA or ATP Tour, a player must develop technical skills, a strong mindset, and have the passion to work diligently on their game. But, before all that, they must first learn to LOVE the game! Here is a parent’s guide for fostering that love for the sport:
- Make Tennis FUN! Tennis requires technical skill and agility to be very good, but let’s face it, hitting forehands in a line over and over again isn’t that much fun for the new tennis player. Kids want to play games and it must be fun! Tennis will not be fun for them if:
- They can’t do it well
- They feel pressured to play
- There is too much emphasis placed on competition
- It physically hurts them.
Any of these will turn your child against tennis very quickly
- Don’t skip out on QuickStart QuickStart is a fun kid-friendly way to introduce the game. It is a chance for kids to play on a court that is suited in size just for them with equipment that is light enough and small enough for them to accelerate their learning very quickly. Gone is the time where the ball is bouncing over their head and going to fast to react to. Kids have an opportunity to learn at a pace that can ultimately increase their skill quicker and in a much more fun dynamic environment.
- Get them playing! What do you love about the sport of tennis? …PLAYING! Your child is no different. Utilizing QuickStart, your child can now play games and points almost as soon as he or she can make contact. Playing games will increase their enjoyment of the game and entice them to improve.
- Develop their Athleticism At Precision, parents will often see us playing freeze tag where we freeze on one foot or we are throwing back and forth to each other. Where’s the tennis? Fundamental Movement and Sports Skills include running, hopping, jumping, skipping, and landing. Juniors should be well balanced, agile, coordinated, possess well-developed kicking, throwing, catching, and striking skills and have great spatial and body awareness. At Precision, you will see our juniors participating in activities designed to develop these fundamental skills. It makes learning to play tennis much easier and without them, they may never reach their full potential in tennis or any other sport. Cross-training with sports that share a “DNA” with tenis allows us to teach basic movements of the golf swing without having to talk about it as much.
- Let your child run the show In a study done about “What Makes a Nightmare Sports Parent and What Makes a Great One”, the overwhelming response for kids was that the only thing they really wanted to hear from their parents is: “I love to watch you play”. If you have the incredible urge to coach your child every time they swing or force them to play, it simply won’t be fun. For your child to really enjoy the game and be motivated to continue to get better, it needs to come from them.
- Use the equipment fit for them That tennis racket that you bought at the garage sale for $10 may be a great deal, but it may not be the best racket for your child. Today, tennis companies are making equipment that is affordable and fit to their size. Once they are 11 years old, you can move them up to a 27 inch racket on the full court. However, stick rackets that are light and easy to swing at first. Once they are more advanced players, you can ask your coach which racket would suit your child the best.
Now that you are prepared to turn your child into a junior tennis superstar, it’s time to let the Tennis Improvement Experts at Precision Tennis Academy teach them how. Call us today at 336.510.4653 to sign your tennis superstar up to enjoy a game for a lifetime!