Guest Author - Sandra Eggers
Your child is interested in tennis. Great! Now what?
Itís great to start learning the game of tennis when youíre young. Itís even better if you have someone encouraging you and making it fun. Thatís where Mom and Dad come in. You could make the difference between your child excelling at tennis or wanting to give up and quit.
The biggest reason why people donít continue playing tennis is because they donít have anyone to play with. This can be especially true for kids who donít know anyone else their age who knows how to play. Just like the Dad who tosses the football with his son, parents need to get out there on the tennis court and hit tennis balls.
Whether youíre a beginning tennis player or more experienced, you can encourage your child by playing with them. Of course you wonít be playing competitive points (at least not initially), but there are lots of fun games to help young beginners learn hand-eye coordination and understand ball control. You never know, Mom and Dad might even have fun too.
Take an interest in your childís tennis activities. You want to listen to the instructor during junior clinics or lessons, and then build on that during your personal time. Be consistent with the ďpracticeĒ sessions so your child knows when they can count on playing again. Make each trip to the tennis court a new adventure, and most importantly make it fun.
If at any point your child decides that tennis isnít fun, and they lose all interest, thatís a good time for a break. You can still incorporate fun tennis games with him or her, but do it away from the tennis court. Itís important to remember that youíre not training for the Wimbledon final. Everything about tennis has to be fun for young people or they wonít want to do it, and theyíll want to do it even less if you force them.
While Mom and Dad are doing an outstanding job encouraging their child to play tennis, it may be true that the child just plain doesnít like it. Not everyone is going to fall in love with the game of tennis. Thatís ok. Find something your child enjoys and that you can do together.
Any exposure to tennis that you can give a young person may help them come back to the game when theyíre older. Tennis really is the sport of a lifetime.