I went to local coach Esther Forrester to get tips for working with kids in tennis. Here in NYC we are getting excited for the US Open. Tennis is a wonderful family activity and you can start your kids on the sport early. Forget about full matches, just get them excited about whacking the ball and running around on the court.
- Use oversize foam balls or low pressure balls as they bounce slower and travel further. Consider the Prince Play & Stay Stage 3 Tennis Balldesigned just for kids ages 5-8.
- If your child is very small- consider using a mitt like racquet instead of a full size junior racquet.
- Place a ball on a tee ball bat or on a string and then have your kids try to hit the ball. This makes it much more manageable for young kids.
- Play show and tell with your children. If you want to help them improve- show them how to do it. For example, if you want to help the kids hit the ball in front of them hold your hand out in front of them so that they can see where to hit it. Some of the concepts in tennis are difficult to verbalize.
- Go crazy over The Grand Slams (French Open end of May, Wimbledon End of June, US Open End of August and Australian Open end of January) and watch them on television to keep your kids interested in tennis. If you are in NYC, consider taking them to Arthur Ashe Kids Day (8/29/09) which is before the commencement of the US Open.
Esther Forrester is a seasoned tennis instructor who works with kids in NYC and beyond. She was also a former Division I college player. Please see her website www.elftennis.com. For more tips visit the USTA site.