Tips on Teaching Kids?

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by dougery, Dec 31, 2009.

  1. dougery

    dougery New User

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2009
    Messages:
    14
    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
     
    #1
  2. 10s talk

    10s talk Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2007
    Messages:
    573
    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
     
    #2
  3. jstout

    jstout New User

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2009
    Messages:
    22
    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.
     
    #3
  4. courtratlwc

    courtratlwc New User

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2007
    Messages:
    16
    Location:
    New Lenox, IL
    #4
  5. Rambler124

    Rambler124 Rookie

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2008
    Messages:
    127
    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.
     
    #5
  6. maverick66

    maverick66 Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2006
    Messages:
    3,137
    Location:
    Valhalla
    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.
     
    #6
  7. 10ispro

    10ispro Rookie

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2006
    Messages:
    306
    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...
     
    #7
  8. 10s talk

    10s talk Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2007
    Messages:
    573
    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.
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2010
    #8
  9. Rambler124

    Rambler124 Rookie

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2008
    Messages:
    127
    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.
     
    #9
  10. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2006
    Messages:
    11,059
    Location:
    Stuck in the Matrix somewhere in Santa Clara CA
    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.
     
    #10
  11. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2006
    Messages:
    11,059
    Location:
    Stuck in the Matrix somewhere in Santa Clara CA
    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.
     
    #11
  12. TennisNinja

    TennisNinja Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2007
    Messages:
    1,522
    Location:
    Someplace, Somewhere
    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!
     
    #12
  13. Wegner

    Wegner Rookie

    Joined:
    May 29, 2009
    Messages:
    113
    Location:
    Los Angeles, California
    #13
  14. tennis005

    tennis005 Professional

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2009
    Messages:
    1,289
    Location:
    Texas, USA
    Play lots of fun games
     
    #14
  15. SFrazeur

    SFrazeur Legend

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2006
    Messages:
    6,480
    Location:
    Arkansas
    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
     
    #15
  16. stan166

    stan166 New User

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2008
    Messages:
    3
    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...
     
    #16

Share This Page