I have counseled many tennis players, their coaches and their parents. While tennis may look simple to some outsiders, there are many levels and aspects to this sport. Some
young players have difficulty grasping some of the important mental, physical and strategic parts of this great game.
First, kids need to understand the importance of hitting the ball deep into the court.
Doing this allows you to control points and avoid many errors. A simple way to teach this to youngsters is to have them imagine that they are hitting the ball over two nets stacked on top of each other. If they clear the real net by at least three and a half feet, they will start to get some good depth on the ball.
Second, young players need to know when they are on offense and when they are on
defense. Lots of young players and even older and more experienced players fail to consider whether they are in an aggressive position or a defensive position before they
strike the ball. Many youngsters fail to consider this concept when they compete in tournaments.
If your are on balance and you have plenty of time to get to the ball and make a powerful swing and your opponent is off the court or out of position, you are probably in an offensive position.
I encourage young players to think of this as a “green light” situation.
Conversely, if you are late, off balance and out of position, you are probably in a defensive position. You need to lob, or get the ball back in play or do something to
extend the point a bit longer.
I tell children to look upon this situation as a red light situation. You need to play
More conservatively and give yourself a chance to recapture control of the point. Many players make the mistake of going for too much when they are in a red light position.
Third, be sure that your young tennis player knows that he or she is loved by you
whether play well or whether they play poorly. Your child knowing this will allow him or her to feel better, play better and enjoy the sport a great deal.