Eli Houser - 8 & under tennisLast Sunday, I decided to take four of my current 10 and under players and have a playing lesson. I have seen these kids play many times in matches, but it is an entirely different experience to stop them after a point and give them ideas on how to improve in the next point.

I also love how the difference between boys and girls is significant. One thing that we do at the beginning at each lesson is start with mini tennis. This includes hitting crosscourts with topspin and underspin.  We play a game called “keep away” that is really a version of mini tennis that allows for only underspin shots and everything must bounce.

I found it so interesting that although we do these games with every kid, the boys always love fun shots at every age.  They will go for a drop shot and come to the net.  They are more daring when it comes to trying to new things.  Whereas the girls played it safe.  They kept the ball deep and moving.  However, they were also more unwilling to come to the net if it meant they might lose the point.

For me this really brings great insight on how at all ages boys and girls learn differently.  Girls, in my experience, will also ask more questions and need convincing.  Whereas boys may be more willing to try new things, they sometimes lack the discipline.   Maybe this is a cultural attribute or parental influence, but it really makes working with all types of kids unique and fun.