The role of parents in the training of beginner tennis players
Tennis is a game that your kids can learn at a young age and enjoy with friends and family for a lifetime. Here are some tips to help you and your child enjoy the game of tennis.
Preparing them for lessons
When your kid first starts learning the game they may be going to a new club, meeting new friends and a new coach. It’s important to tell them that tennis is a game that can take some time to learn, and that you are not expecting them to be a star. Instead, let your child know that you would just be happy if they simply have fun.
There are some basic gear items that help make their first tennis experiences better, so we’ve put together a little checklist for you:
- Comfortable sport clothing (shorts and shirt they can move in)
- Athletic shoes (no need for tennis-specific sneakers)
Getting the right racquet
While choosing a tennis racquet for kids is less complex than it is for adults, it’s still not an exact science. Each child is unique, and choosing the right racquet will help them to get the most out of the game.
As a rule, if you are unsure about which racquet to choose ask the coach at your local club. If you aren’t able to do that, choosing a smaller racquet is usually the best option.
The below information provides a guide to the racquets sizes appropriate for kids.
Age 3-5: 19 inch
Age 5-8: 21 inch
Age 8-10: 23 inch
Age 10-12: 25 inch
Finding a great coach
When choosing a coach, you want someone who is going to teach and motivate your child, and someone that you feel comfortable with. A good coach will:
– Inspire, motivate and understand your child
– Understand the differences between a 12 & under child and an adult learner/player
– Offer other opportunities to play, other than just lessons
– Guide your child’s progression and help them find joy in playing the game
– Communicate with you, the parent
– Use modified equipment, have kids work with each other and keep them actively engaged in tennis play for more than 75% of the lesson.
Of course you want your child to have fun and enjoy playing tennis. When choosing a coach, remember that the great ones help to improve your child’s skills, while also to develop a love of the game.
Doing your bit
There’s nothing stopping you from going on to court and having ‘a hit’ with your child. 12 & under tennis provides an easy way for you to do that.
But remember: you are the parent and not the coach. It’s essential that you and your child go and have fun together. Of course, you can practice the things that your child has been learning in lessons, but having fun is the key!
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.