For the majority of tennis coaches running their own business, they know that the cornerstone of their business is in coaching children and kids tennis.
However as a coach, it takes a very different style of coaching with kids as it does for an adult, a ladies social group or even your elite and high-performance players. So it’s no surprise that we at Tennis Drills HQ have a very high demand from coaches who are looking tennis drills for kids.
Before we list our tennis drills we want to have a quick look at what tennis drills for kids should look like. As the Chinese proverb goes “Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach a man to fish and he will eat for the rest of his life” – so in this case we’re hoping to be able to give the foundations that will help coaches to create their own tennis drills that are specifically designed for children, learning the game of tennis.
- Make the tennis drills and games easy to understand – it’s not a surprise that kids work better in environments that are simple to understand. Don’t over-complicate the drills, the best way to ensure this is to have one defined process (improve forehands), and one defined outcome or goal that the kids can achieve (hit three forehands to a specific area in a row).
- Make the tennis drills fun – the more you can parallel the tennis drills and games to that of things that kids love, the more fun will be had for the kids. For example, kids love video games, and what’s in video games? Levels! So have levels in your tennis drills, that they have to progress through, and try and complete. Video games also have monsters, and bad-characters that you have to try and defeat. Try and experiment with these angles when running the kids tennis games. Here is a tennis drill that includes levels and another one that includes bad-character elements, in this case “lava balls”.
- Include rewards – Every tennis lesson that has kids involved should have incentives and rewards that encourage kids to participate, try their best and get along with the other kids. At our coaching centres we use bonus points that are given to kids for the right behaviour while playing the tennis games, that can be cashed in for prizes at the end of the term.
- Use a lot of visual elements – Make your drills, fun, creative and vibrant. The best way to do this is to use plenty of bright-coloured equipment, including cones, hoops, balls, buckets, lines and markers. It will make the tennis games and drills more interactive and fun.
- Encourage team participation – One of the drawbacks of tennis is that it is not a team-sport (doubles is only marginally a “team-sport”). Learning to work and play with others is very important for kids, therefore at tennis lessons it can be very important for kids to learn in an environment that fosters this development. Whenever possible have kids compete against other teams, rather than individually. This will also safeguard against any kids who are not as coordinated as the other kids and who will generally lose when put against others individually. It will also mean more of the kids win, creating more smiles throughout the lesson. Relay races, partner-to-partner shot competitions, or team stroke-development events are great ways to achieve this.
Hopefully this article has spurred on new ideas as to how you can create tennis drills for kids at your tennis coaching centres, that will ensure kids are participating, learning, improving and most importantly having fun. A kid having fun, will generally always mean a happy parent.
Please check out all the tennis drills we have to offer on our website. And to receive premium drills direct to your inbox be sure to sign up to our free newsletter.