Good morning, sports fans. Are you looking for an ace tip around teaching a toddler tennis? Then, congratulations, because you are most definitely in the right place.
I love tennis, played to a decent level when I was a kid and have been trying to get my three-year-old son to follow in my footsteps. Part of this process has seen my wife and I enrol him in lessons at our local sports club, and part of it has involved him and I hitting the court.
Good news and bad news
I’ll start with the good news. The lessons section of this plan has gone extremely well from the off, with my little man displaying some great hand-eye coordination and progressing his groundstrokes rapidly. Now, for the bad news. The section where he and I hit the court got off to a rockier start. Some days, he concentrated well and produced a plethora of great shots; others, he spent most of the time rolling about the floor or hitting me with his racquet.
Sounds like a classic case of a toddler listening more to a third party/teacher than his mum or dad, right? Sure, there was an element of that. But the bigger issue was the way I was attempting to teach him. I say this, because the other day, instead of trying to rally over the net of a normal tennis course, we started hitting the ball against one of the walls in a padel tennis court and my son’s attitude to playing with me changed completely.
Out with the old, in with the new
I’m serious. Under the old regime, I was lucky if I could keep him on the court for 20 or 30 minutes. Under this new regime, I’m the one who is getting bored and suggesting we head to the restaurant for a bag of Pom-Bear. Two hours on Saturday afternoon. 90 minutes on Sunday morning. Back on the court with his mum this morning. My toddler can’t get enough of playing tennis and it’s all because we took away the net and began hitting against a wall.
So, there you have it. Taking inspiration from the game of squash is my best hack for parents setting out on the process of teaching a toddler tennis. If you’ve got any other top tips I’d love to hear them, so please leave a comment below.
Until next time…