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Keeping Kids Active after School: Tennis


Getting your children into sports, like after school tennes, at an early age is a great way to help them exercise, develop coordination and provide social opportunities outside school. In fact, the sport that is learned early in life may become a lifelong hobby or even become a profession when they grow up. Most professional athletes usually started when they were young.

Benefits of Tennis

One great activity your child can participate in after school is tennis. Your child may have the potential to become the next big name in tennis such as Maria Sharapova or Roger Federer but your child does not need to be a star to benefit from and enjoy tennis. If you decide to play the sport as well, you will create opportunities to bond with your child. Whether playing the sport is for you or not, you'll be able to enjoy your children playing, running and hitting the balls; developing hand-eye coordination, aerobic strength and becoming good at the sport.

Getting Started

If you do not know how to teach your children to play tennis, you may do as many parents do; hire trainers who can teach their kids to be good and competitive in the sport. The only problem is that hiring trainers may be costly.

If you want to save money, you can actually learn the basics yourself and teach these to your child. You do not need to be an expert. You can learn the basics from a book or video tape. Remember that there are other goals besides being a sports star; these include fun, bonding, socializing with other children, good sportsmanship, exercise, balance and coordination.

Before putting your children on the tennis court, you will first want them to stretch for about 5 to 10 minutes. This is a very important thing to do not only in tennis, but in any athletic setting; it heats up the muscles and avoids getting injuries and muscle cramps. It will also help if you encourage your children to run as a warm up. Just make sure not to wear them out early on.

Your children must also know the basic rules of tennis such as the scoring system, the baseline, the service line, the net, and even a brief history of the sport. The basics are easy to remember and your child will become familiar with them if you are not critical and keep it fun

Developing Skill

When your children eventually become familiar with the basics of tennis, you may start focusing on more advanced sills such as maintaining a proper grip. This is a very important element in becoming good at the sport since it will help your children be more efficient in hitting the ball. Here is a great way to teach proper grip: first, you as the coach, hold the racket by the head and turn it on the side so it won't be facing the floor (don't hold the grip of the racket). Next, tell your child to hold the grip as if shaking hands with it. This is called the continental grip. As you practice more, you can teach some other techniques such as changing the grip in order to create topspin and volley shots.

Tennis is a great sport to teach your children in order to keep them active after school. Just keep in mind that the main goal is to have fun, enjoy the bonding moment between you and your children and between your children and their friends.

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