Each year the Wimbledon Championships raise the profile of tennis in the country, and encourage social players back out onto courts all over the land. Most tennis champions were introduced to the sport at a really early age, and if you want a tennis star in your family, then you will need to start training them young!
In all seriousness, tennis presents a wonderful way to promote coordination in your little ones and there are lots of games you can play with them to help in their physical development.
Help babies to focus and track objects by bouncing a ball against a wall and catching it over and over. If they can sit upright, practice rolling a ball backwards and forwards and to you and back
Buy 'short tennis' rackets for toddlers to play with. Encourage them to hit a ball by throwing it to them gently. Have them run after and retrieve balls that you hit for them. Play simple throwing and catching games, have them throw items into hula hoops and then at smaller targets.
Encourage older children to practice bouncing balls on a racket over and over again, see how many times they can bounce the ball in a row. Keep a note of their 'high score' and watch their improvement.
Many tennis clubs run tennis camps during school holiday times, and especially in the summer. Some of these may be aimed at preschool children and some clubs run mother and toddler sessions throughout the year. Look at attending these, not really with the aim of producing a world class tennis champion, but simply to develop physical skills and hand-eye coordination. You probably will foster an early interest in sport, which is no bad thing, but regardless, you will be helping your little ones improve their capabilities.
If you are serious about pursuing junior tennis then the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) help with training and coaching for talented children from as young as five. Being involved in a local tennis club or tennis centres will help put your little ones on their radar.
A tennis star was openly booed recently when he hit a tennis ball into the crown towards a crying baby who had distracted him from his tennis game.
Spanish player David Ferrer was losing his match and the baby was crying so he threw up the ball, swiped it with his racket and aimed at the innocent baby. He was clearly in a raging temper.
It was not a good shot - thankfully. The baby was not hit, nor his father who was trying to comfort him. However, the resulting mood-change of the spectators was tangible. The crowd booed and showed their displeasure for the rest of the match.
It was a quarter final in Miami against American Mardy Fish. Ferrer went on to loose the match. He blamed a stomach complaint for the outburst.
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