How To Prepare Your Child For Their First Tennis Lesson
Children are excited at the thought of learning tennis, but on the day—they may get ‘stage fright’. It happens and coaches are experienced managing this. The best way to deal with on the day is for you, or their sibling—to support them by walking with them to the side of the court and helping them through the coach’s instructions until they settle in and are comfortable in their new learning environment. This may only take a few minutes, or it may take the entire lesson. Once they are comfortable being on a big new tennis court with a lot of new faces and learning new techniques—they will be happy and having fun. So relax!
Racquet: a child uses a shorter tennis racquet with a smaller grip. For your child’s first lesson, we recommend allowing us to provide the correct size racquet and grip to ensure your child will be able to swing and grip the racquet correctly. Once we know the correct racquet size and can see your child is keen to continue learning tennis, we can suggest different racquets for you to purchase. For your convenience, we can supply a selection of Babolat, Head and Wilson tennis racquets and tennis related equipment from our fully stocked Tennis Monsters Tennis Pros Shop at out Harcourts Eden Epsom Tennis Club. Let us take care of this for you!
Tennis shoes: are important and different to running shoes! You may notice when you wear tennis shoes, you have more flexibility and better movement than when you wear running shoes. Running shoes are designed to support your feet in a back-and-forth movement and have a built up cushioned heel for striking the ground when running. Tennis shoes have a very low flat profile providing more contact with the ground and are designed for stop and go movements from side-to-side. If you’ve ever tried running a reasonable distance in tennis shoes you’ll know there is no cushioning under the heel making it a very uncomfortable run. Not great! The same goes for wearing running shoes while playing tennis—you don’t have the same movement flexibility and with a more built up heel—it is highly likely you’ll roll your ankle on the court. So just wear tennis shoes and avoid injuries!
Clothing: it isn’t mandatory to wear traditional ‘all white’ for tennis lessons at your club—but, you will need to for tournaments. At this stage, as long as you can move freely and not overheat on a hot day—we recommend for males and females a comfortable tee-shirt, polo shirt or sports top and shorts, leggings, tennis skorts or skirts ideally with pockets (for 1-2 tennis balls).
Sunscreen and hat: we recommend being prepared and having sunscreen on and avoiding greasy hands while on the court, as well as having a sports cap or sun visor on standby. Sports caps and sun visors are easier to play tennis in than wearing sunglasses and provide more protection.
Water: essential to have a water bottle and keep hydrated. Running around for 45min to an hour is tiring and we need to keep hydrated as we can lose over a litre of water during this time.
Positive attitude: above all, we love seeing children who want to learn to play tennis! Children who are happy and not under pressure to learn, who are cooperative and take instructions well and working as a team with their friends and motivated to achieve. These are all characteristics of successful and happy learning.