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dougery
12-31-2009, 12:05 PM
Hey everyone.


I just bought my 5yo son and 2yo daughter new racquets for Christmas. I took them to the courts and played around by tossing tennis balls in front of them and standing behind them guiding their swings. They had fun but I know that it's going to become old to them after so many hits.

I used to teach fitness, but I'd like to get some professional tips from any tennis teachers (or parents) on how to keep the game fun, engaging, and educational for my kids.

Happy New Year and TIA!

~ Doug

10s talk
12-31-2009, 02:18 PM
KISS Keep it simple stupid


start with a big basket of balls, and do volleys .... feed underhanded

then do drop hit forehands, and maybe feed them forehands and backhands

have them say bounce at the exact moment the ball bonces, and hit when they hit the ball...your first goal should be consistent contact, then worry about form

jstout
12-31-2009, 02:30 PM
Keep the time on the courts reasonable. For the 5-7 age range you can teach some strokes with foam or depressurized balls but most of the time should be fun games.

Other sports/games can be incorporated to improve skills and coordination. Examples: playing tag, jumping rope, throwing a football/ball, soccer, and basketball.

courtratlwc
12-31-2009, 03:43 PM
at the club I work at, we do a lot of the usta quickstart stuff. It seems to work really well, and the kids really like it.

http://consumers.quickstarttennis.com/

Rambler124
01-01-2010, 05:19 PM
KISS Keep it simple stupid


start with a big basket of balls, and do volleys .... feed underhanded

then do drop hit forehands, and maybe feed them forehands and backhands

have them say bounce at the exact moment the ball bonces, and hit when they hit the ball...your first goal should be consistent contact, then worry about form

While this is good advice I would focus on one thing first at those ages. Fun. If its not fun and you are starting them that early I really feel like you are going to find burnout. Repetition drills for 5 year olds and 2 year olds will get old quick. Quickstart I think is a great resource. Of course while you are doing so there are certain foundations that need to be in place to ensure future form development. I would highly recommend investing in some of the foam starter balls.

maverick66
01-01-2010, 05:31 PM
Have them play other sports as well. They will develop much better skills at tennis by crosstraining as a young child. This will enable to really learn how to properly run and jump.

10ispro
01-01-2010, 06:15 PM
at that age focus more on overall athletic development than tennis specific skills. overall athletic development is more beneficial than tennis specific development. focus on hand eye coordination, foot-eye, various movement patterns etc....
anything to keep things fun and exciting while having them do the various movements, throwing, catching, kicking, moving while doing them etc....
use objects of different sizes balloons, bean bags, soft balls, regular tennis balls etc...

10s talk
01-02-2010, 07:24 AM
While this is good advice I would focus on one thing first at those ages. Fun. If its not fun and you are starting them that early I really feel like you are going to find burnout. Repetition drills for 5 year olds and 2 year olds will get old quick. Quickstart I think is a great resource. Of course while you are doing so there are certain foundations that need to be in place to ensure future form development. I would highly recommend investing in some of the foam starter balls.

If kids miss the ball they will be done in less than 10 minutes, I know from experience.


I agree fun is important, so is success, if kids get frustrated they will quit.

Rambler124
01-02-2010, 07:52 AM
If kids miss the ball they will be done in less than 10 minutes, I know from experience.


I agree fun is important, so is success, if kids get frustrated they will quit.

Couldn't agree with you more. But you set up the games so that they are developing hand eye without swinging the racquet. There are tons of games/drills/etc that work on these skills but don't have you physically hitting the ball in a traditional sense until they can work into that skill. I agree also that cross training is great. I see a ton of kids who are soccer players that really stand out as good tennis players from the footwork development from soccer.

SystemicAnomaly
01-02-2010, 09:20 AM
Play a lot of "catch" (throwing & catching) with you kids. They should learn to catch balls out of the air as well as off a single bounce. This is probably the best way to develop their hand-eye coordination and give them a good sense of how balls travel thru the air and how they bounce (with various spins).

As suggested above, use both large foam training balls and low-compression balls to make it easier for them to learn to rally. You can also use standard, pressurized balls when giving them easy hand feeds. However, it may be a bit too challenging & frustrating for them to try to rally with standard balls.

SystemicAnomaly
01-02-2010, 09:24 AM
Have the kids develop some soccer/futbol skills as well. Many kids who have soccer skills often do quite well in other sports. The soccer helps quite a bit with their footwork, stamina, and spatial judgment skills.

TennisNinja
01-02-2010, 12:40 PM
I did a lot of work volunteering and helping out with camps and lessons over at my old club throughout the year.

Keeping it fun is the most important part, and trying to keep them out of bad habits as well. Play a lot of games with them, not just drills and feeding, and prizes always help.

I certainly wish I started at 5 now!

Wegner
01-02-2010, 03:49 PM
Look at this YouTube lesson. It makes it simple: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bK4XFVoRsmM

tennis005
01-02-2010, 04:09 PM
Play lots of fun games

SFrazeur
01-02-2010, 05:09 PM
Hey everyone.


I just bought my 5yo son and 2yo daughter new racquets for Christmas. I took them to the courts and played around by tossing tennis balls in front of them and standing behind them guiding their swings. They had fun but I know that it's going to become old to them after so many hits.

I used to teach fitness, but I'd like to get some professional tips from any tennis teachers (or parents) on how to keep the game fun, engaging, and educational for my kids.

Happy New Year and TIA!

~ Doug

Look at this YouTube lesson. It makes it simple: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bK4XFVoRsmM

They are 5 and 2 and you expect them to be hitting the ball over with their hands? They will need to learn how to position themselves to catch the ball before being able to use their small hands to make contact with a ball. This is moreover the case with the 2 yo than the 5 yo. They have no use for that lesson.

-SF

stan166
02-02-2010, 07:54 AM
I think, the Wegner's lesson 1 does have an idea that they need to first learn to catch the ball, then catch and throw back, then stop and immediately *push* (not hit) it back, slowly progressing to eventually pushing it with the racquet. 2 year old is probably a little bit too young for tennis anyway. You should probably wait until she can at least move to the ball and catch it...