Four ways to help grow your child’s joy of tennis
Are you struggling to help your child stay interested in tennis? Are you wondering how to help develop their enjoyment of the game? Here are some suggestions to keep them playing and having fun.
Focus on the fun
The number one reason a child quits tennis – or any sport, for that matter – is that they have stopped having fun.
What can you do to help? Kids are never too old, or too talented, to be asked the question: “Are you having a good time out there?” The odds are that the more they enjoy themselves, the more they will want to play, the better they will get, and the longer they will want to play tennis.
Just remember: it has to be fun. And if it seems like it has stopped being fun, try to find out why. The sooner you do that, the more likely you are to avoid an early retirement from the game!
Another way to keep your kid interested is by taking them to group lessons and playing group games.
Group coaching or camps provide a fun environment for learning tennis skills, while enabling your child to socialise at the same time. Sometimes the clubs will have equipment you can borrow, like racquets, so your child can start learning while figuring out what tennis gear you like most. Once they have taken some lessons, have them practice what they learned with you or a friend.
Go and watch their practices
If you’ve not been watching your child’s lessons, it’s time to start. There is plenty you can learn from how a coach runs practice and communicates with the kids.
Practices should be the most enjoyable part of a child’s tennis experience. If you see kids standing around, looking bored, and there’s not a lot of excitement on the court, this could help to explain why they have stopped enjoying the sport.
As a guide kids should be actively involved in tennis activities for greater than 75% of the lesson and should be completing lots of activities with a partner not just hitting when the coach feeds the ball to them.
A happy child is a motivated child. Avoid making critical comments about the coaching, game officials, other players, or your own child’s performance. This will help your child’s attitude, and make sure they stay excited about playing.
Remember that you, as a parent, are the most important influence in your child’s athletic life. Coaches, teammates and competitions come and go, but your influence is ongoing and lasting.
Tennis for kids is what the ANZ Tennis Hot Shots program specialises in. It’s the official, program for kids from Tennis Australia. Our team of experts have created programs that are age and skill-level specific so learning is fun and easy. We make sure your kids are learning appropriate skills at each step.