INTRODUCING KIDS IN HONG KONG TO TENNIS:
Ladies and gentlemen, it’s time for the final set in our three part ‘Introducing Kids to Tennis in Hong Kong’ series. If you’ve been following along, you saw how part one discussed the overall benefits of tennis on Hong Kong youth and how part two gave tips and pointers for getting toddlers to try tennis. Today, for part three, we would like to discus tips for helping older children get the most out of this amazing sport.
In our earlier post, we explained how the greatest way for young children take to tennis is by ensuring that they have fun while playing. For older children, this still holds true. It doesn’t matter if you are a toddler taking your first swings in the backyard or Novak Djokovic lacing up his shoes for a high pressure match at the Australian Open – the game should be fun.
However, as children get older, it is imperative that they learn the proper mechanics of the game. They should be having fun, absolutely, but they should also be improving their technique and mastering the basics at the same time. Fortunately, having fun and developing fundamental skills are not mutually exclusive concepts. When it comes time to transition your child from backyard tennis to organized tennis instruction, it is important to consider both.
It is also important that parents temper their expectations with their budding young athletes. While everybody wants to be the parent of the next Rafa Nadal or Serena Williams, parents and children alike should acknowledge the immense difficulty of achieving this goal, and train accordingly. It is certainly possible that you are indeed the parent of the next global superstar, but even if you are not, mastering tennis skills, even on a basic level, can unlock a lifetime of benefits for a child. If they are faced with constant external pressure to succeed, they may lose interest – if your child does dream of becoming the next tennis great, it is imperative that this remains their dream to be shared with parents and coaches, not a parent or coach living vicariously through a child.
While parents practicing with a child in the backyard or at a community court presents numerous benefits, obtaining professional instruction is often a necessary step for your child to elevate his or her game to the next level. It may seem obvious to some, but one of the most vital factors in your child’s early tennis instruction is the instructor. An eager, enthusiastic instructor with a proven track record and appropriate certification in tennis can work wonders.
Ideally, aspiring young tennis players should be placed in courses or programs with small class sizes, so that they receive an adequate amount of one on one time from their instructor. Children can have short attention spans, and smaller classes ensure that they get to remain frequently involved without waiting in line for extended periods of time.
Fortunately, there are many such classes available in Hong Kong, including right here at Australasia Tennis Aces! Check out our website for more info on our junior and school programs, all lead by the very type of vocal, enthusiastic and accredited instructor mentioned in this article! For parents in Hong Kong looking to get their children involved in tennis, but feel they are still too young for lessons, check out part two for some toddler tennis tips!
As always, if you have a question about this article, or about tennis in Hong Kong, our tennis pros will be serving up answers in the comment section, so ask away!