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Kids and Tennis - Keeping Them Interested

February 17th, 2015 by Do It Tennis

filed in Tennis How To, Tennis Lifestyle, Youth Sports

If you’re having trouble keeping your kids interested in tennis here are some suggestions that will get their attention, and make your life easier.

It’s not easy to peal kids away from the TV screen or the game controller to go practice their potential future scholarship-earner (in this case, tennis). All you have to do is trick them into thinking its fun. Games are a great distraction and can also help establish the fundamental techniques. There are some great games you can play with just one child and even a group of children.

    One idea you can do with a single child is counting how many hits they can do in one rally. Have them aim for a simple number at first, and increase as they improve. Another fun game – a little more structured – you can play with one child at a time is ‘mini tennis’. This game uses just one of the service boxes on each side. You must get the ball in the service box on your opponent’s side. Pick a number of points to play to and try to keep a rally without hitting the ball too hard or out-of-bounds. This game will help with consistency, touch and control. Lastly, a simple drill is have the child practice a forehand or backhand by setting up cones on the forehand or backhand side and having them aim for those cones, trying to set personal bests in terms of how many times they can hit the cone in a row. Add a prize in the mix and any child will want to play these games time and time again.

Another way to keep your kids interested is by taking group lessons and playing group games. Group lessons or camps provide a fun environment, and your kids can socialize while learning new tennis skills. Sometimes, the organizations will have demo junior tennis racquets so the kids can start learning differences and figuring out what they like most in their tennis gear.  Once they have taken some lessons, have them practice what they learned with you or a friend

Here are a few tennis games best played in a group or as a family:
1) ‘Baseball’:
The idea here is that with all the children in line, you should alternate feeding the ball to the forehand or backhand, one child at a time. They have to get the ball in the blue on the court, and they have two tries to do so. If they do, they are safe and get back in line; if they do not they must set down their tennis racquet and go to the side where you are feeding the balls so they can try to catch returns. If they catch a returned ball on one bounce, they get to go back into line and play again. If they catch the ball out of the air (no bounce) the person who hit the ball is then out, and has to try to catch balls. If you notice they are getting really good at the game (or you need the game to end faster) raise the difficulty so they have to hit the ball in twice, from just the two feeds they have. Last one standing wins.

Tennis Kids' Game

Photo: Harborbayclub.com

2) Around the world:
The kids should be divided into two groups as evenly as possible - one group on one end of the court and the other group on the other side (in single file lines). You will be feeding the ball to one of the kids and they should try to hit the ball over the net to the person on the opposite side. They only get to hit once, and then have to run fast to get in the line on the opposite side. The next person will run up to hit the ball and return it back to the next person waiting in the original line. It keeps going like this until there are only two left on each side. Once there are two left on each side they should switch who is in the line with them. Then when there is just one on each side, they will continue hitting back-and-forth, but in addition, as soon as they hit the ball they must put their tennis racquet on the ground and spin in a circle, pick it up and hit again. They continue this until there is a final player standing.

Next time you are trying to spark the interest in your kids to play tennis or practice their skills, pull out these tricks and let the games begin. Be sure to check out the tennis skills training gear and equipment at Do It Tennis. We offer a wide array of tennis gear and equipment that will surely fit your practice needs and goals, or those for your children.