First Tennis Experience

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by StreetTennisClub, Mar 28, 2013.

  1. StreetTennisClub

    StreetTennisClub New User

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    I have a 5 year old daughter and want her to start taking some tennis classes. Can anybody recommend what kind of things I should be looking at in a program for that age group.

    Thanks
     
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  2. tennis_balla

    tennis_balla Hall of Fame

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    Sure, opinions will vary on this but here's my take from a coaches perspective. She's 5, which is young but not too young to learn tennis.

    Some programs do not allow parents to really see the lessons. Some lessons are in a bubble (indoors) and there isn't much room, which is understandable but you're the one paying for it and should be able to see whats going on, how you're spending your money.

    Also, ask around, talk to the other parents about what they like and dislike about the program being offered. Watch for how much into it the coaches are, how much individual attention they give to each kid as well. They are group lessons however so your child isn't the only one there, however a good coach will know how to manage a bunch of kids and still be able to give individual coaching without much problems.
    Look for programs that do not cram tons of kids on one court, who are looking for numbers and profit. Lastly, I would be looking for a program that actually teaches kids how to hit a tennis ball and play tennis and not spending the majority of their time playing dumb games and turn it into a gym class instead. Games are fun and are a great part of the learning process and keep kids entertained, however they should still be learning new skills, learning how to play tennis in the process and not have a bunch of kids run around, screaming their heads off and waste time. Happens more times than not.
     
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  3. tennis_balla

    tennis_balla Hall of Fame

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    Oh, almost forgot. Look into places that offer programs such as Play 'n Stay or equivalent. They'll have the proper equipment and properly trained coaches for such a program.
     
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  4. StreetTennisClub

    StreetTennisClub New User

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    Thank you for you response. You gave me some great tips.

    I can't believe some programs would not allow parents to watch kids practice. I thought that coaches would want parents to be an active part of their children s development.

    Personally I would like to understand what skills they are learning and play games with them that help the master the skills faster.
     
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  5. tennis_balla

    tennis_balla Hall of Fame

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    The reason some dont allow parents on court is because they don't want the parents to get involved during the lesson, which is understandable. Also, at some clubs on their indoor courts there isn't much room on the side so if you got 8 kids on your court, plus add another 10 parents or so....it can get pretty crowded.

    Personally, if a coach sets guidelines and explains to the parents that they cannot get involved in any way while the lesson is going on then it should be no problem. Its kinda the same as a mechanic fixing your car and you ask him questions every 5min. Watch yes, but don't interrupt. Anyways, another reason is for some they don't like parents being there because its easier to slack off. That's my opinion after watch a lot of coaches do this. Some may not agree with me but that is how I've seen things over and over again. Doesn't mean its the norm, but it does happen.
     
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  6. tennis_balla

    tennis_balla Hall of Fame

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    Another thing, don't get suckered into paying for a whole season right away. Join a program where theres room where you can try a few lessons and see how your kid likes it. Worst thing you wanna do is buy into the salesman tactic and sign up for months and then not like the program afterwards.
    Its not rocket science, she's only 5 so no need to over think. I'm a little more negative and have a sceptical opinion on things like this because I've seen the neglect thats all. Most of the kids in these starter programs, 80% will not be playing tennis into their teens so a lot of the time the school won't take them seriously. Its a cash grab. If on the other hand you want your daughter to really learn tennis and keep playing and are willing to invest time and money into it, you gotta be smart about it.
     
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  7. goran_ace

    goran_ace Hall of Fame

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    I would have loved to have a no parents rule sometimes when teaching. For the most part I've been lucky that a lot of the parents who wanted to get involved were great, but there's always one rotten apple in the bushel. It's always fun when someone who has no idea what they are talking about tries to tell you how to do your job.
     
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  8. StreetTennisClub

    StreetTennisClub New User

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    I have heard of programs that let parents participate in the class with their kids. Any thoughts on that approach?
     
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  9. Ash_Smith

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    Cannot stress enough how important these points are. There is a big difference between coaches playing "games" to just fill time and coaches playing "games" with the objective of teaching a particular skill. If you can't see the difference when you watch, go and ask the coach afterwards - if they can give you a concise explanation of why they played that particular "game" and relate it to a skill specific to the sport then you are looking at a reasonable programme. If the coach cannot answer or fobs you off with something that sounds like a load of waffle, you might want to look elsewhere!

    Cheers
     
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  10. Ash_Smith

    Ash_Smith Hall of Fame

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    In respect of parents on court. When I used to run big club programmes, I used to allow parents on court whilst the kids were too young to not have 1-2-1 supervision (so basically a parents and tots tennis session, usually aged 2-3.5 years). Once the kids got to 3.5/4 years and they could act a little more independently parents were outside the court looking through the glass (unless the parents wanted to go to the gym or for a swim/spa of course!) This way they are close enough that the kids could see them if they get a little unsettled, but not on court so that the kids spend more time with mum or dad than listening to the coach. These were my rules, not saying they are right, but this was my opinion on the best way to develop the best players.

    Cheers
     
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  11. Ash_Smith

    Ash_Smith Hall of Fame

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    I had this with one particular parent (although I've had a few others too). In this one instance I asked the guy why he was paying me a boat-load of cash to coach his son each week when he would obviously rather do it himself? He stopped getting involved after that - obviously I risked having him take his son elsewhere or indeed coach him himself, but it was a risk I was willing to take!

    Cheers
     
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  12. Tennis_Monk

    Tennis_Monk Hall of Fame

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    On the other side of coin, we do have coaches that need to be told to do their job.

    I worked with a couple, i specifically hired them/paid them to help me on my backhand. These ppl want me to work on volleys...i politely refused. It is my game and my money and i want what i want. Regardless of what i said, i ended up hitting volleys half of my lessons. Needless to say, i never signed up with them again.
     
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