(This message is intended for professionals who teach tennis to children or beginning players. If you are not interested in this topic, please share it with a coach or tennis parent who might find it useful – thank you!)
The year was 2004 when I got a job working as an assistant tennis coach for a city program.
The pay was just awful but I considered it an opportunity for me to learn and grow as a coach.
At that time I was in my twenties, barely spoke English, and was trying to learn as much as I could to improve my teaching skills.
The “city” was organizing beginner classes and my boss and I were greeting these big crowds of enthusiastic kids who were coming with their parents to learn how to play tennis.
My boss, at that time, was an elderly lady who was kind to kids but did not have too much knowledge about helping beginning players fall in love with the sport.
She would stress the discipline and technique way too much to the point that most players were staying in lines waiting for their turn to hit a ball once in a while…
As a result, we could see that even though those parents were paying for the lessons 6 weeks in advance, many children quit their classes after the first couple of lessons.
By the end of the 6-week session, we were left with barely 30% of the kids who signed up for the classes!
Those 2 years that I’d been working for the “city” taught me a VALUABLE lesson:
PEOPLE PLAY TENNIS BECAUSE THEY ENJOY IT.
And they quit if they don’t.
It’s just that simple…
Now, I have to say that during those 2 years of working for the “city” I did not let things continue as they initially were. Here’s what I did:
- I talked to my “boss” and convinced her to “rotate” the children so that they learn from both of us (with respect to the other’s methodology). In this way, the kids would get to learn and improve with tips from both of us.
- We agreed that we should find ways to limit waiting in line by introducing fast-paced drills.
- The technical aspects were discussed and practiced at the beginning and reminded throughout the lessons to make sure that while we were teaching those who struggled, we kept the others busy so that nobody was left wandering on the court.
- Every lesson should have at least two periods of fun activities that kids would enjoy:
– one in the middle of the class to take their minds away from the technical and repetitive tasks, also to bring some excitement after all previous work;
– another one at the end of the class (last 10 minutes) to allow the kids to leave their classes happy and “loud” so that they have something to look forward to after all the work they put in during the class; their parents would see that kids were having fun at tennis practice before picking them up.
This statement has been my motto for the rest of my tennis teaching career:
MAKE TENNIS LESSONS FUN AND THEY WILL KEEP COMING TO PRACTICE.
You might be wondering how can you find drills and games that keep kids interested and excited about practicing their skills?
Well, there are two main ways:
- You can search YouTube or the internet and eventually you’ll make a list of drills and games that you can apply with your students.
But that takes time which you probably would be the best spending with your family or working on more exciting projects.
- You can sign up for programs such as Best Tennis Drills and Games for Kids which is a collection of drills and games that I’ve applied with my students during my many years of teaching thousands of beginning tennis players, kids and adults.
I’ve learned what works and what not, what gets beginning players excited, what kind of drills improve their speed, body control, shot accuracy, and consistency.
You can do your own research or just keep things simple and take what others have worked for and know it works.
This is why I created this program for you – to take my proven drills and games that are guaranteed to be loved by your beginning players.
Get access to Best Tennis Drills and Games for KIDS today and make tennis lessons fun for your beginning students.
Certified Tennis Coach
Check out my work at WebTennis24 where I share with you my best video tennis lessons, drills and tips for players, coaches and tennis parents.