Every person that is passionate about tennis wants to induce their children, nephews, grandchildren or godchildren to practice this sport. They buy rackets, balls, etc. and begin to play with them to encourage them and to transmit their passion. And then, when the child’s interest in tennis has been captured, adults enrol him or her in a tennis academy to have professional lessons of tennis for kids.
So, what is the perfect age for children to start tennis lessons?
While everything depends on the abilities and skills of a child, a recommended age is 5 to 6 years old. During this stage, children develop coordination, psychomotricity and socialization and, in addition, they have a greater capacity for essential attention to adapt to the conditions of the classes and the demands of tennis.
A good age for starting tennis training is 5-6 years of age
At this age, children can perform movements and hold a racquet correctly. They have the ability to control the direction of the tennis ball with the racket and to grasp the moment when the racket hits the ball, etc.
Tennis lessons with specially tennis coaches reinforce these aspects, benefiting a child in his or her physical and psychological development.
- Physical aspect: tennis develops visual-motor coordination and helps to strengthen muscles. It also improves agility, reaction speed and reflexes, etc.
- Psychological aspect: thanks to the fun of the game, tennis stimulates wit and tactical thinking. It helps to concentrate, develops a winning mindset while teaching teamwork. Tennis training is worth the effort and the work and it helps children to become more sociable and prepares them to adult life.
The age of the child is crucial when you plan to start tennis lessons. Children of younger age do not yet have fully developed psychomotor skills or, especially, their attention span and this can make them bored soon. That is why, classes for kids aged under 5 years are more oriented to becoming familiar with the sport through games on a tennis court, rather than the technical practice of tennis.
The importance of kids being ready to start tennis training
When a child is starting tennis lessons it is important to make sure that he or she is prepared for it. Occasionally, children who start playing tennis very early and experience the pressure exerted by parents, leave the sport after a few years.
Planning tennis lessons for kids might be challenging, but it shows great results. If a child really wants to play tennis he or she will insist and feel motivated to continue. Favoured by the support of the parents and not by their persistence in persuading to continue, a child will be enjoying the classes. Parents must be aware that the most important thing at this age is that children have fun playing tennis so that they want to continue training and competing.
Tennis teaches kids respect and tolerance
Tennis is a sport where respect and tolerance are magnified. In the tournaments with high competition these qualities are reflected, both in tennis players, referees, public, etc. When the applause of the public ceases before the beginning of a game. When competitors and referees greet each other when starting or ending a match. When a tennis player apologizes to his opponent for some involuntary error – these are the moments when young players reveal their values and culture.
These rules of conduct are inherent in tennis. They are taught from the beginning and it is vital that both coaches and parents encourage the learning of the true sport core values.
Having the support of parents to stimulate this behaviour is essential for the practice of this sport from the beginning of the classes. It is necessary that adults also have exemplary behaviour so that the child also practices it.
Parents should support their child considering their abilities and limitations, and avoiding comparisons with other children. Applaud all players. Do not push them or become their coach. Parents should encourage good behaviour both in classes and in games and not tolerate bad behaviour, offences or cheating. Encourage them to respect the rules of the sport, opponents, the public and coaches and arbitration. These good qualities will make the child become a respected and excellent athlete.