PDA

View Full Version : Advice on 4 and 6 yr old...


rfedeleo
08-23-2009, 08:06 AM
First I want to say that I am just starting out in tennis myself for fun and exercise but I am also a pretty committed and detailed kind of person. When I learn something I have the habit of trying to know everything about it. I haven't taken a lesson yet but combined with the few times I've played while I was younger, and stuff I see on the Internet and Youtube, I'm learning the basics. I have also even recently purchased a ball machine.

However my main focus is getting my 2 young daughters into tennis (tournament play, go for as far as we can take it kind of thing). I just saw the post on homeschool vs regular school kids and was like "holy cow" you have to be that committed if you want your kids to rise above the rest? I mean to say not the homeschool debate but all the hours committed for practice. I wonder what I might be getting myself into so I'm glad I found this forum to hear other experiences.

My first question is being that my kids are young should I put them in an academy right away and start paying all that $ or can I continue to do what I'm doing now and just teaching them myself as far just trying to hit the ball over the net and coordination and stuff like that. I'm just trying to make it fun for them right now. I figured I can teach them that kind of stuff then later on I would put them in the Academies to start learning the techniques and stuff. Any advice or direction for a tennis parent noob?

TennisTaxi
08-23-2009, 08:23 AM
An academy for a 4 & 6 year old....NO WAY, you do that and they will burned out by 8.

Make it FUN, if they don't enjoy it...stop. The passion must come from they player, not the parent; you can encourage but you cannot teach desire. They should be begging you to play, not you forcing them to go to lessons or clinics.

The kids who are successful players want it on their own otherwise they will quit by high school...

And, if a Pro tells you your kid is the greatest, will get a full-ride scholarship or will be a professional tennis player by 15...RUN (and hide the check book)!!

Danstevens
08-23-2009, 09:52 AM
An academy for a 4 & 6 year old....NO WAY, you do that and they will burned out by 8.

Make it FUN, if they don't enjoy it...stop. The passion must come from they player, not the parent; you can encourage but you cannot teach desire. They should be begging you to play, not you forcing them to go to lessons or clinics.

The kids who are successful players want it on their own otherwise they will quit by high school...

And, if a Pro tells you your kid is the greatest, will get a full-ride scholarship or will be a professional tennis player by 15...RUN (and hide the check book)!!

^This is a great post and one that all parents trying to get their kids in to tennis should listen to. If you force them, they won't enjoy it, won't be motivated and it may damage their opinion of you if you continue to force them in to something they don't like.

I think that at the age your children are at right now, you should just be introducing them in to the sport and making it enjoyable. Teach them co-ordination, basic foot and racket work but don't make it too serious.

papatenis
08-23-2009, 10:15 AM
there is a saying among tennis people, called the "curse of the 8,10,12's"
if a child is ranked number one in those age divisions, they will then never make to the top in the older age groups...beware

TnsMan2
08-23-2009, 11:44 AM
Rfedeleo ""you have to be that committed if you want your kids to rise above the rest?""

Not sure what you mean by this statement pretty sad if im reading it right to have a parent who has a mediocre outlook for their greatest investment they have !

Anyways academy at this age is a no way situation when they get older save your money since most kids going to a academy have parents for the most part want them to succeed and rise above the rest.

tenniscoach07
08-23-2009, 12:07 PM
First of all i would steer away from you teaching them ....1. you are just learning yourself ..2. there is a difference from teaching adults and children.
There are different size racquets and different type of balls for kids. even though the strokes are the same for kids and adults there are different methods and teachings you should do.
I would enroll them in a recreation or tennis club program. There they should learn the basics and meet other kids and have FUN!!!!!!.... The main thing right now is to make sure they enjoy it and get them involved. Don't make them feel that it is a must for YOU!!!! Just get them involved in all sports and see which one they like and excel in and most of all LET THEM BE KIDS AND HAVE FUN!!!!....You have time to decide if any sport is their calling.

tennismom42
08-23-2009, 12:39 PM
First I want to say that I am just starting out in tennis myself for fun and exercise but I am also a pretty committed and detailed kind of person. When I learn something I have the habit of trying to know everything about it. I haven't taken a lesson yet but combined with the few times I've played while I was younger, and stuff I see on the Internet and Youtube, I'm learning the basics. I have also even recently purchased a ball machine.

However my main focus is getting my 2 young daughters into tennis (tournament play, go for as far as we can take it kind of thing). I just saw the post on homeschool vs regular school kids and was like "holy cow" you have to be that committed if you want your kids to rise above the rest? I mean to say not the homeschool debate but all the hours committed for practice. I wonder what I might be getting myself into so I'm glad I found this forum to hear other experiences.

My first question is being that my kids are young should I put them in an academy right away and start paying all that $ or can I continue to do what I'm doing now and just teaching them myself as far just trying to hit the ball over the net and coordination and stuff like that. I'm just trying to make it fun for them right now. I figured I can teach them that kind of stuff then later on I would put them in the Academies to start learning the techniques and stuff. Any advice or direction for a tennis parent noob?

Utilize the QuickStart program & take time off from tennis sometimes for them to play other sports

TennisCoachFLA
08-23-2009, 03:04 PM
I would 2nd pretty much every response on this thread....find a good rec. program with other beginners and let them have fun. You and they are just starting down a long road, they may get off the first exit, or they may become the next Williams sisters. Relax and encourage, they will let you know how far they want to go. Enjoy.

rfedeleo
08-23-2009, 04:48 PM
Hey everyone thanks for all the advice. My goals are to definitely make it fun first and I do realize all the pitfalls of burning out a kid and such.

@ TnsMan2 - I was referring to the debate with home school vs traditional school thread. Seems like in that thread the home school kids were homeschooling because they were traveling to different tournaments around the country and practicing longer hours during normal school days. This to me is a big commitment because the nature of traveling and homeschooling in itself is a huge responsibility for a parent and only possible if one of the parents isn't working. I was just guessing that if that is the type of commitment you need to be the best then it is a difficult one to maintain.

Lakers4Life
08-23-2009, 04:51 PM
I have to agree with TennisCoachFLA. I help out with a local recreational instructor, with the city parks and rec. dept. I see the kids of all ages during the classes. Unless your kids are phenoms like Jan Silva (http://blog.douglasrobson.com/2009/04/22/prodigy-jan-silva-returns-stateside.aspx)from California that got a tennis scholarship to a French Tennis Academy, you should see if they really like to play and have the ability.

At that age their attension span is very short, unless they are really having fun. Why put them in a structured program when they are not ready for one. See how they do in a local rec. class then decide. If not tennis there is always golf!

momtogrif
09-13-2009, 06:56 PM
First of all i would steer away from you teaching them ....1. you are just learning yourself ..2. there is a difference from teaching adults and children.
There are different size racquets and different type of balls for kids. even though the strokes are the same for kids and adults there are different methods and teachings you should do.
I would enroll them in a recreation or tennis club program. There they should learn the basics and meet other kids and have FUN!!!!!!.... The main thing right now is to make sure they enjoy it and get them involved. Don't make them feel that it is a must for YOU!!!! Just get them involved in all sports and see which one they like and excel in and most of all LET THEM BE KIDS AND HAVE FUN!!!!....You have time to decide if any sport is their calling.

I agree here. My husband tried to get my son interested in tennis for years but he wanted to play soccer, basketball, and football. So, we'd take him out with us to the court and show him the basics and we waited to see if he'd ever find a passion for the sport that we both had such a passion for. So, he was 8(almost 9) when he asked to take lessons and start going to clinics. We held off on pro lessons and just did a recreational clinic about 2x a week after school. Well, he made some friends and LOVED it.

When he turned 10, he started working with a pro weekly and added more time into the week with his clinics. Then he begged us to take him out on the weekends and he'd stay out for 3 hours in 112 degree heat!
He started playing tournaments last March and has really fallen in love with the competition and the sport and he has made a lot of friends. What we want most for him is to have fun. We have heard too many stories of kids who were great players in the 12s and 14s and then gave up on the sport to go play baseball, ice hockey, gymnastics, etc. If the kids have fun, the hard work and dedication will come, and that goes for any sport or endeavor a person tries!

Mikey Fresh
09-13-2009, 07:11 PM
First I want to say that I am just starting out in tennis myself for fun and exercise but I am also a pretty committed and detailed kind of person. When I learn something I have the habit of trying to know everything about it. I haven't taken a lesson yet but combined with the few times I've played while I was younger, and stuff I see on the Internet and Youtube, I'm learning the basics. I have also even recently purchased a ball machine.

However my main focus is getting my 2 young daughters into tennis (tournament play, go for as far as we can take it kind of thing). I just saw the post on homeschool vs regular school kids and was like "holy cow" you have to be that committed if you want your kids to rise above the rest? I mean to say not the homeschool debate but all the hours committed for practice. I wonder what I might be getting myself into so I'm glad I found this forum to hear other experience

My first question is being that my kids are young should I put them in an academy right away and start paying all that $ or can I continue to do what I'm doing now and just teaching them myself as far just trying to hit the ball over the net and coordination and stuff like that. I'm just trying to make it fun for them right now. I figured I can teach them that kind of stuff then later on I would put them in the Academies to start learning the techniques and stuff. Any advice or direction for a tennis parent noob?

get them into some beginer drills. make sure its fun for them but good instruction to keep them intersted. as they progress start to get to better and better drills. racket clubs generaly have a good program that alows the kid to have fun and progress like in dallas brookhaven or t bar m and dont presure them to win till there older just keep it fun or else they wont want to play

2ndserve642
09-16-2009, 09:45 AM
there is a saying among tennis people, called the "curse of the 8,10,12's"
if a child is ranked number one in those age divisions, they will then never make to the top in the older age groups...beware

I've got to say that is not true. I know someone that was 1 in the 10's top 5 in the 12s and is now top 10 in the 14s

TennisCoachFLA
09-16-2009, 11:22 AM
I've got to say that is not true. I know someone that was 1 in the 10's top 5 in the 12s and is now top 10 in the 14s

I don't think he meant every single kid....but history shows the vast majority of top ranked 8-10-12-14s are not the best players when they get older.

And read your own post, the kid you know was #1 in the 10's, the top 5 in the 12s, then top 10 in the 14s. He seems to be dropping with each age group.

By the 18s he may not even be top 100, by college not even a scholarship player. So your example sort of proves the OP's point.

2ndserve642
09-16-2009, 04:35 PM
I wouldnt say he wont even be top 100 by the 18's because he already top 40 in the 16s and he doesnt age out for another 8 months

TennisCoachFLA
09-16-2009, 07:22 PM
I wouldnt say he wont even be top 100 by the 18's because he already top 40 in the 16s and he doesnt age out for another 8 months

Again, the point is that the #1 ranked kid at 8 or 10 or 12 is rarely the top ranked kid at 16 or 18.

GameSetNavritilova
09-17-2009, 01:59 AM
Hey TennisCoach,

If you're #1 in the 10s, there's nowhere to go but down!! It's lonely at the top.
;)

goober
09-17-2009, 06:33 AM
First I want to say that I am just starting out in tennis myself for fun and exercise but I am also a pretty committed and detailed kind of person. When I learn something I have the habit of trying to know everything about it. I haven't taken a lesson yet but combined with the few times I've played while I was younger, and stuff I see on the Internet and Youtube, I'm learning the basics. I have also even recently purchased a ball machine.

However my main focus is getting my 2 young daughters into tennis (tournament play, go for as far as we can take it kind of thing). I just saw the post on homeschool vs regular school kids and was like "holy cow" you have to be that committed if you want your kids to rise above the rest? I mean to say not the homeschool debate but all the hours committed for practice. I wonder what I might be getting myself into so I'm glad I found this forum to hear other experiences.

My first question is being that my kids are young should I put them in an academy right away and start paying all that $ or can I continue to do what I'm doing now and just teaching them myself as far just trying to hit the ball over the net and coordination and stuff like that. I'm just trying to make it fun for them right now. I figured I can teach them that kind of stuff then later on I would put them in the Academies to start learning the techniques and stuff. Any advice or direction for a tennis parent noob?

When my daughters were 4 and 6 I started them on tennis. I tried different things- quickstart, different coaches and group settings. Every coach was trying to make it fun for the kids for the most part. I was not pushing them. I made tennis just another activity for them to do after school.

The problem is that they simply didn't really like tennis. No matter how fun I tried to make it, they rather do something else. They are now doing ice skating and dance classes by their own choosing and very happy about it. My advice is stop thinking about academies and tournaments when your kid has not even stepped on a tennis court yet.

Fintendo
09-18-2009, 09:32 AM
Don't force your kids to play tennis, they will resent or fear you when they are older. I carried on with full time tennis because my parents and coach supported but never forced me to play tennis. I was given the opportunity, but it was entirely my choice. That is what you must do. Give them the chance, but don't force them. There are far too many mad parents who make their kids play, when they rather wouldn't. Don't become one of them, tennis is fun first and foremost. :)

charliefedererer
09-18-2009, 10:40 AM
Whatever else you do, get them playing soccer. The footwork will be great for their tennis later, its the easiest organised sport to start playing with other kids, and it will get them in shape, and used to running to be in shape.
Throw them a nerf fooball to build their hand-eye coordination.
Let them hit off a T-ball stand to get used to hitting.
Let them hit a whiffle ball with a big fat plastic bat to get used to hitting a moving ball.
And yeah, you can throw them a bucket full of tennis balls too.
Let them be kids and let them enjoy their time with you. You've only got a few more years together.

2ndserve642
09-18-2009, 12:19 PM
Again, the point is that the #1 ranked kid at 8 or 10 or 12 is rarely the top ranked kid at 16 or 18.

no he doesnt age out of the 14s for 8 months

Fintendo
09-20-2009, 03:16 PM
Dude don't you get it? The best kids at 14 are very rarely the best pros or 18's. They either burn out or they got there with poor skills like hacking, or they were just bigger and stronger at an earlier age. The best kids show their stuff at 18's.

TennisCoachFLA
09-20-2009, 05:52 PM
Dude don't you get it? The best kids at 14 are very rarely the best pros or 18's. They either burn out or they got there with poor skills like hacking, or they were just bigger and stronger at an earlier age. The best kids show their stuff at 18's.

Yeah, I gave up on that one. Apparently the one kid he knows makes up for the hundreds in tennis history who have faltered as they got to the 18s.