Even kids need a strategy. This is something I see all the time. People learning to play tennis are so focused on the technical aspect they have very little direction in a match. Children, in particular are focused on technique AND VERY vulnerable to distractions.
So, parents, here is a great tip to tell your children, just before they go out on the tennis court to play match.
* win the first two points of every game.
* hit two balls to the backhand, then one to the forehand.
By telling children to focus on just these two simple things, they now have a plan. When times get tough in the match they have a friend. Their plan.
People learning to play tennis do not have distinct strengths and weaknesses, therefore your opponent of equal ability really has no massive strength or no massive weakness. Therefore a basic plan really focussing on yourself will be the most effective.
Let’s talk about the two tips in more detail.
Win the first two points of every game. This actually applies to players at every level however it is very important to beginners who need to understand the importance of getting in front in an individual game. Beginners in particular are more likely to have a negative reaction to losing the first two points. They are more likely to throw the towel in, have a tantrum, drop their bundle. Especially kids. Therefore if you can focus on winning the first two points they may be handed the rest of the game with easy points.
Hit two balls to their backhand, then one to their forehand. the goal of this tip is to basically have some direction with every shot that they hit. So many kids just hit the ball aimlessly. Everybody needs direction with every shot. In actual fact, it doesn’t matter where the ball ended up, just as long as you have a plan. I have chosen to to the backhand won to the forehand because usually players backhands are weaker than their forehands. If there is an obvious weakness, play two shots to that side and one to the strong side.
Recently I saw a great example of this work. The standard of the two young players was very similar. Before the match I told his father, to tell his son, to concentrate on those two tips. During the match, the opponent became very annoying on court. He was screaming “come on” on a double fault. For an innocent ten-year old this is very distracting. By having the basic plan – this gave him direction during hard times. He was able to focus during a very distracting match and beat this opponent.
Let me know what you think !! Enjoy, Michael