Motivation and fun are the keys to start the little ones
Play tennis for kids is a fun sport but can be a bit frustrating for children who begin to practice without any prior knowledge. And is that the size of the ball makes it sometimes difficult to return it with the racket, especially if you do not have much handling of it.
You have to find a solution to motivate the little ones on the tennis court. What do you do to make the children have fun playing tennis while they acquire the necessary skills to practice this sport.
Tennis Exercises for Kids with Beginner Level
The game of ‘Clash those 5’
At very early ages, children have not yet developed psychomotricity. For example, for kids under 5 years old, it would be good for them to play “Hatch those five”.
This tennis exercise for children is good for developing coordination of children when it comes to handling the racket. The coach should line up on the opposite side of the net. He must walk on the other side and raise his hand saying ‘hit those five’.
The child in front of him at that moment must raise the racket and touch the hand of the coach with it. Once the little ones have become accustomed to the weight of the racket and handle it more or less well, the coach could throw tennis balls for them to return them.
Another game for beginners to become familiar with this sport is to stand in a circle. The coach will be in the center and will be responsible for throwing the ball to each of the children.
The ball will have to give a boat and will be when the child hits it in response. This exercise is a perfect complement to the previous to familiarize the child with the instruments that will use to play tennis: the racket and the ball.
There is another variant of the game in which all those caught must catch the rest of the team until only one is left.
This is an exercise that helps improve the speed and reflexes of the child. The children stand in a row in one of the doubles halls, while the coach throws them balls continuously and they have to dodge them without leaving the hall.
If the ball touches them, they are eliminated. The winner, therefore, will be the last to be in the row, since he will have dodged all the balls that the coach has launched.
In this exercise of children’s tennis can also vary the spaces to occupy, so that instead of occupying the doubles hall can be used, for example, a service box.
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This is a game in which, in addition to working the speed of the children, they are helped to familiarize themselves with the track. The game consists of the coach, with the children placed at the bottom of the track, will shout each time the name of one of the lines of it.
Then, the boys will have to run and get to them as soon as possible, since the last one to arrive will be eliminated. Therefore, the last child remaining on the track will be proclaimed a winner.
The hunter and the hares
In this game, a pupil, who plays the role of the hunter, is placed in a doubles hall and the rest, representing the hares , in the other. When coaching a signal, the ‘hares’ will have to start running and surpassing the opposing doubles hall without the hunter catching them.
If the hunter student touches a hare without leaving the doubles hall, both will become hunters and must catch the rest of fellows holding hands. The last student to be caught will be the winner.
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Intermediate level tennis exercises for children
We raise the difficulty and we reach an intermediate level. Here, the children already control the racket and also the ball, although they must learn to direct the ball in all their blows and to execute each one of them. For example, they will have to control some basic hits like right, backhand or service.
One of the best exercises for intermediate level tennis players is the triangle game. It consists of forming a triangle that encompasses several parts of the court. Each player will have a position and must hit the ball with the most appropriate blow for each place. For example, the child placed at the bottom of the court should serve or take the ball. From time to time, the little ones will have to rotate positions to perfect the blow in each one of them.
Game of agility or ‘frying pan’
This exercise can be combined with one of agility. The coach will have to throw on the court the same number of balls that he is training except one. The little ones should go in search of a ball and throw it with the racket. They will have to be quick not to run out of the ball, as those who remain without it will be disqualified.
Running throwing the ball
This is an exercise designed to improve the coordination and control of the child, both eyes, and hands. Children are divided into two groups and placed just behind the bottom line.
A cone or similar object is placed at a meter and a half of the net. The participants must throw the ball with the racket in a row and reach the cone, and then form a circle through the cone without losing control of the ball and return to the baseline. If anyone misses the ball, he must start the course again. The first group to finish without losing the ball wins.
Tennis exercises for children with advanced level
Finally, if the children have been practicing tennis for many years, they have already reached an advanced level in this sport. In the advanced stages, the total control of the blows, but above all, the speed that reaches the player on the court.
We will practice some speed exercises. A very fun is to place a rope like a ladder on the floor and the child has to go through all the holes quickly without stepping on the rope. When you reach the end of it, you must throw a ball and try to give it to some plastic bottles that the coach will have placed at the other end of the track.
Here we leave several exercises related to this one that we have just explained to you:
Like all sports, tennis is a matter of practice. At the advanced levels, the competitive spirit of the children must also be encouraged, so it would be ideal to prepare mini games and reward the winners.
To do these exercises we need a specific material that changes according to the age of the player. The less known children’s tennis equipment is the one used by the children, We have been concerned with explaining everything related to rackets, balls or tracks used by the children.
Within the mini-tennis, which is the term used to talk about children ‘s tennis – we can find 3 different classifications by age. In each one of them, the children must use different materials that help them to improve and to enhance all their abilities without risk of injury. The classification is as follows:
Stage 3 for children between 5 and 7 years.
Stage 2 for children between 7 and 9 years.
Stage 1 for children between 9 and 12 years old.
Usually, these classifications include different rackets, balls, nets and track sizes for each age.
We started talking about the balls, which logically are very different from those used in adult tennis. The balls that are used in the mini-tennis, or tennis for children, have a smaller interior pressure, a smaller size and a greater lightness, which translates into a ball much slower than the traditional ball.
This slowness allows children to have much more time to think, place and prepare their punches than they would have with a traditional tennis ball.
The rackets also change a lot in the mini-tennis. These are usually made of ultra-light materials such as aluminum or graphite, which allow children to handle them more comfortably. They are also available in different inches that are increasing according to the child’s age.
For children of Stage 3, the size of the racket is usually about 43 to 53 cm, Stage 2 of about 53 to 58 cm and Stage 1 of about 63 cm. Although the rackets are smaller than those used in adult tennis, the handle is still large enough for children to grip with both hands and make the beats more strongly.
Finally, the track and the networks also fit the age of the players. The measures of the track are modified by means of removable lines that are placed in the field and that allow to divide it in several tracks of mini-tennis. The playing field is usually a rectangle approximately 12.8 m long and 8.23 m wide.
The height of the net depends on the age of the practitioners. It oscillates between 70 and 80 cm in the center and between 80 and 90 cm in its ends. To complete these small tracks mini-nets are used that are adjusted to the measurement of the field and that are fastened by means of laterally collapsible posts.
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professional tennis experience for your child
As you may know, there are several tracks, some affect the tennis player’s game more than others, and in an article in our blog, we have reviewed the types of tracks and how they condition the tennis player.
All these changes and adjustments in materials allow younger players to enjoy tennis, learn faster and maximize all their skills in each of their workouts.
If your child is starting tennis, it is also good to know the main strokes that professional tennis players do, so we leave another article of our blog in which we deepen in the main strokes of tennis.