Balance between power/topspin at young age?

Discussion in 'Junior League & Tournament Talk' started by widmerpool, Apr 16, 2012.

  1. widmerpool

    widmerpool Rookie

    Jul 4, 2006
    Have a 7 y/o been playing about a year.

    He does lessons and privates and I hit with him since I played.

    I want to leap out of my skin when he "golfs" the ball with an open racquet face.

    Mostly he hits topspin on both sides but if he's out of control or running, he will come under the ball and off it goes.

    Maybe I'm obsessing about that too much and it's ok as long as the swing looks good. i.e. the "steering" can easily be adjusted later if the engine is working fine.

    Or maybe I do need to stop that and make sure he's always coming over top of the ball at the right angle.
  2. 10ismom

    10ismom Semi-Pro

    Feb 23, 2011
    What type of balls he is hitting?

    Two colored ball is easy to visualize the spin and to learn hitting consistent topspin.....though I am not sure a 7 yr old would notice it??

    What you also described sounded like when he could not get to the ball in time, he was off balance then just scooped the ball.
    You could remind him to get set before hitting strokes or you could let him play with slower ball, smaller court till he gets his technique and form right.....then progress to the next stage.
    Or....if he is hitting a regulation ball on a full court now like CoachDad advocated, he just has to improve his agility, balance, coordination, etc to get it right.
    I am sure you will have a lot more input/discussion from coaches and parents on this forum.
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2012
  3. widmerpool

    widmerpool Rookie

    Jul 4, 2006
    He hits with red and some orange.

    I will sometimes just make him hit topspin starting from real close and backing up. It's funny because he will end up hitting a nice smooth shot from deep. If he started that deep, he would try to hammer the ball and up without topspin.

    I think you are right about balance and movement. He's probably not "there" to hit and so he's just fighting to get it over.
  4. Korso

    Korso Semi-Pro

    Feb 25, 2012
    Have you been focusing on footwork and recovery or just hitting groundstrokes? If the child is not in a good position when they hit the ball. Wild swinging will occurr in my experiences. Even the adults who do not understand positioning have trouble making a good solid stroke. Make sure he is watching the ball too. This is another common error that leads to unforced errors.
  5. OneTennisParent

    OneTennisParent New User

    Apr 10, 2012
    Agree with need to ingrain the habit of getting to there early and adjusting to the ball. My son did the exact same thing (scooping) at 7-8 and it was due to late recognition of the ball's trajectory and not enough experience to instinctively know how to move. He was in emergency mode, and racing through the shot.

    Try having him start on the side of the court, and tossing the ball underhand, away from him, so he has to move 4-5 steps to get to it. You can adjust the toss to allow him to easily get there and set-up, then slowly make it more challenging. Keep emphasizing (calmly) the need to use adjustment steps.

    I "coached" may daughter when she was 6-7, and as a former Marine I fully expected her to do as she was told. It took a while for me to recognize that she was disliking tennis, and I was the cause. I handed the coaching off to professionals, and she is top-flight now at 14. Go easy with the obsession. It's too easy to yell at your own kid, and at 7 they really take it to heart.
  6. CoachDad

    CoachDad Rookie

    Mar 20, 2012
    Each kid is different, you can only speak for yours. I have seen a good number of 7 year olds who respond great to 'Bill Parcells" type coaching.....loud, joking, a tad teasing like...."you are moving like a turtle".

    You never know, some kids are highly sensitive, others thrive on more in their face pushing. My 7 year old feeds on give and take light hearted trash talk.

    Also you should not judge "obsession".....again it depends, some kids want dad to stay away, others want a close partner who feels their pain the entire way.

    We need to be careful, fine to give generic advice on technique, etc. But none of us can judge which training methods or level of parental involvement is right for other people's kids. What worked for your one specific child may be dead wrong for this boy's temperament.
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2012
  7. BMC9670

    BMC9670 Hall of Fame

    Nov 24, 2008
    I agree that know one knows our kids like we do, but there is also a flip side. It's hardest to have perspective when you're too close something. Most parents think their kid is the best, the cutest, the smartest, etc. It's natural. But sometimes a good healthy dose of outside perspective is a good thing.

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