View Full Version : hand-eye coordination

09-05-2006, 01:47 PM
I have been coaching for a year and recently took on a group of 4 year olds. While most of the group are showing good signs of progress, one boy still has problems with making even making contact with the ball 1 in 5 times when the ball is drop fed for him. He has a good swing but just swings at the wrong time over and over. What is the most basic way for a 4-5 year old child to improve there hand-eye coordination because that seems to be the problem to me, if not i am open to any other ideas of what the problem may be.

09-05-2006, 03:43 PM
surely someone has some ideas of what to do?

09-05-2006, 04:41 PM
First, make sure his racket is not too heavy or big for his size and strength.

Start simple. Have him catch the ball with his hand and throw it over the net.

Bounce the ball. Make him move for it (to catch it) one way and then the other.

Have him try 2 hands off both sides, if necessary, for control.

Have him practice the swing without a ball.

Hang a ball from a tree limp (or something). Have him hit the ball using the basic stroke.

Have him, simply bounce the ball up and down (with the racket) off the court.

Get an old racket. Cut out the strings. Sew in a bag or net. Have him "catch" the ball in the bag.

Start with a small racket or paddle, like a handball racket.

Just some ideas off the top of my head.

For some people, 4 years old may just be too young. Have his parent(s) play catch with him and bring him back in a year or so.

Good luck,


09-06-2006, 06:16 AM
throw wrenches. if he can dodge a wrench, he can dodge a ball..

oh wait.. wrong sport

09-06-2006, 06:49 AM
He may have vision problems. Nearsighted and/or astigmatism. Was he a preemie? Ask his parents if his vision has been checked. Also, some neurological/muscular conditions, are a remote possibility.


09-06-2006, 07:16 AM
Maybe just have him juggle the ball in the air using his racquet. This is a simple game where he should just focus on having the ball land in the center of his strings and see how many times he can bounce the ball on his strings before it hits the ground.

09-07-2006, 12:24 AM
The kid is four....many four year olds can`t do that. You should realize that a kid`s coordination grows from the inside to the outside. Hitting with a racket is harder than hitting with his hand, because it is further away from the center of his body. If I was you, I`d start with some catching and throwing, make sure he can catch a ball properly with to hands. Let him hit a ball with his hands. Make sure you use adapted balls, court sizes and racquets. This kid doesn`t have a problem, he is four! Four! Four! Kid`s just develop at a different rate. Many four year olds can`t make contact with a ball when they have racquet in their hands. Don`t focus on tennis alone, focus on general motor skills first.

09-07-2006, 03:22 AM

True, on the developmental issues, but with a short racquet and the low pressure balls, a 4 year old should be able to swing the racquet at the ball and hit it. Since the other kids can do it, I'd guess it's either a physical problem or, as you say, he's a late bloomer. I'm a late bloomer. :) At 63, I'm still hoping to hit the ball someday.

I trained about ten of the kids in my extended family and we had some them swinging golf clubs and racquets and kicking soccer balls once they could WALK. If you make it fun, they will do it. Just my view.