Tennis Games For Kids Stuck At Home
Are your kids missing their court sessions? The COVID-19 pandemic has forced us all indoors for the past few weeks. But does that mean that our kids have to forgo their tennis practice? Not necessarily. Let’s get our kids to practice some fun exercises that would help them improve their tennis skills.
Effective exercises for your kids
The key here is to mix in a bit of fun. Children have short attention spans and the fact that practice is happening within home, clear instructions and goals are important.
1) Racquet handling and hand eye coordination
Ask your kids to practice bouncing the ball off the racket both on to the ground (like a dribble) as well as up in the air. To kindle their interests, add in a game element. Set fun challenges. E.g. – ask your kids to bounce the ball off the racket 100 times in a row. For a progression, you can try to inflate a balloon, say half full and get them to practice keeping it in the air like a hot potato. You can set up an obstacle course and get them to get from point A to point B all while keeping the balling in the air. It’ll be fun! The possibilities are limitless, just use your imagination and I’m sure you can come up with scenarios and games to keep them active and training their hand eye coordination.
2) Playing catch
Playing catch with your kid would also be a beneficial exercise to try out. This will work on their overarm throwing technique and build the relevant muscles and neural pathways to in getting a great serve in tennis. Vary your pace and move across different directions to increase your child’s reflexes. This is a fun game that can be immensely helpful to your child’s on-court skills.
Check out this video
3) Floor hockey
Get your kid to hold the racket in their dominant hand and slow push/guide the ball on the floor with it. You can make them go through an obstacle course again, up hill, bumpy terrain, around the couch, and then swing to follow through towards target. This helps them get used to keeping their racket under the ball and swing in a low to high motion which will help when they get back on court. You can use a larger ball, like a soft volley ball or soccer ball as a progression towards a small tennis ball.
Consistent and continuous practice is important in Tennis!
Practice makes perfect! The Federers and Sharapovas bask in glory today because of the countless and consistent hours of practice they put into the game. Disruptions are never good. Even the best players are no exception. Once they spend time away from the court due to injuries or other reasons, they need to put in a ton of time and effort to regain their form. For youngsters, continuous practice is even more important.
What mistakes not to make?
The slightly less common saying to Practice makes perfect, is Practice makes permanence. So do watch your kids when they play around and to correct and guide them to ensure that they are doing things in the right way. You do not want them getting the basics wrong and practising with errors. For example, make sure that your child has the right grip while practising his volley or backhand, and doing this in a proper sequence and not take the short cut, this helps trains they mental game.
Secondly, parents must ensure that their kids are not forced to overdo it. Practice routines must be appropriately paced for the kids and should not lead to undue stress of any nature.
How to motivate kids?
The best way to keep your kids motivated is to speak to them. Tell them that this is all going to be fine and that they will be able to hit the courts soon. You could also make use of the help of positive media content. Maybe you could use your time at home to watch ‘Borg vs. McEnroe’ or any other classic tennis matches on YouTube with your kids and help them fall more in love with the game. My personal favourite player is Roger Federer, I can watch him glide on court any day. What a Maestro.
During this period, let’s make sure that our kids don’t feel any kind of detachment from the sport. Let’s take into account all the points discussed above and help our children stay in touch with the sport through timely practice and of course, support from our end! We can do this! 🙂
For kids tennis lessons in Singapore, we can head to a tennis court that’s convenient for you or a public tennis court. Hope to see you on court soon!