Tennis is undoubtedly one of the most favorite forms of sport in the world. The feeling of watching a professional match on TV or keep track of live tennis scores can be really exciting for everyone. And it will be better if you can enjoy these moments with your family.
If you want to teach your kids between the ages of 4 and 7 how to play tennis, the most important thing to keep in mind is to keep everything fun and light. Of course, tennis is not actually the simplest sport for children to follow, but if you show them in the right methods, they are likely to become lifelong players and enjoy every moment on the court.
Keep reading to learn some useful tips to help your young beginners with this sport.
The most recommended way to ensure that your young children learn well and have fun with tennis is to keep them always experiencing success. You can achieve this by using progressions, which means slowly working up to master a couple of basic strokes, then putting the kids through a series of simple drills to make sure those strokes are fully ingrained.
Start with some basic strokes
The first thing to teach your kids is how to hold a tennis racquet properly. It is not necessary to purchase a costly tennis racquet at this time, just ensure you choose the right size for them.
Once they have felt comfortable gripping the racquet, teach them a simple groundstroke with the following progression:
- Begin with a short backswing and probably shortened grip, but usual follow-through, then slowly extend the backswing and slide your grip to the handle.
- Begin with a drop feed, then move to a temporary toss feed, and feed from the racquet
- Begin in the service line, then move back slowly
- Begin with the kids striking the ball while positioning in a single spot. After that, ask them to move several steps to the ball and run to the ball afterward. Some children can position better as they approach the tennis ball than when they do not need to turn.
Once your kids have mastered these strokes, you could move on to a few overhead shots:
- Begin with putting the racquet overhead during contact, then slowly show them a bigger swing.
- Start the kids just 1 meter from the net and move them back gradually.
- Begin with a super-soft feed left to the racquet and show them several higher feeds.
If your children find these drills too hard, then turn to something simpler, such as a sequence of volleys. After precise feeds, most kids would get great volleys, and the sense of achievement would help them focus more on perfecting other strokes.
Keep it simple and short
Children might short spans of attention, so do not overdue them. Doing this will only make them feel tired, both physically and mentally, which eventually results in bad results. Ideally, 30 minutes can be a lot of time for children from 4 to 7 years old. Make sure to introduce enough techniques to keep everything interesting, but avoid teaching them so many things that can make them confused.
Make everything fun
Children will know whether you do not think they are progressing quickly enough, and this could discourage them from practicing and playing again. Thus, make sure to keep everything fun and light with the following tips:
- Once the children understand a good selection of matches, allow them to vote on several choices which fit with the lesson of the day.
- Make sure your children are using a racquet with a suitable length and slow, big balls specially designed for kids. Most children prefer foam balls rather than the felt-covered one.
- Every comment or feedback you make must include some praises, and you need to praise generously. If you want to make corrections, it is better to preface with something positive.
- Follow each drill and training session with no-lose, fun games. After that, introduce competition gradually when their confidence is boosted.
- Kids like to count toward simple goals, such as achieving 6 shots in a team to get an extra-long game. When you just teach one child or all the children share the same skills, it can be fun to set individual goals.