Guets post by Sophie Banat
Wimbledon Wombles, Tennis for Tots
Anyone for tennis? No sport is more synonymous with summer and strawberries than tennis, but when was the last time you did more than watch Venus Williams on the telly? When did you last swing a racket in anger?
One of the very best things about tennis is that it is a game that can be genuinely enjoyed by anyone aged four to eighty-four! All you need is a pair of old trainers, a ball and a racket. There can be nothing more simple and enjoyable than hitting a tennis ball between friends. You don’t even need a net! Kids in particular love the simplicity of the sport and it’s a great way for parents to see their fledgling Federer enjoy a safe and fun way of keeping fit. Plus, as your child gains greater experience, the game can develop to match his skill level.
Toddler tennis is the fun entry level to the sport. ‘Teddy tennis’ or ‘mini tennis’ clubs are springing up everywhere. Adapted for the 4-9 age range with the use of soft, light sponge balls with a low bounce and smaller courts, this is a great and safe way for younger kids to get regular physical exercise, meet friends and have fun learning the game, either as a complete beginner or seasoned amateur. There are many different types of racket available for juniors and most clubs offer racket hire as part of the deal.
Phopto credit: Leszkoski
The Next Nadal
For older kids in the 10-18 age group, ‘Raw Tennis’ has been designed as the ace way to improve skills and learn new tricks, whether freestyle flicks, great backhand techniques, powerful serves, superb tactics, quick-fire slam matches or boosting energy levels to get fit to hit, this is a great way to socialise, stay healthy and make a very cool impression.
Party like Fred Perry
You don’t have to be a burgeoning Becker to enjoy the benefits of tennis. Kids will love the excitement of a tennis party either as a birthday treat for friends or simply a weekly summer (or all weather) get together. Lemonade Pimms at the ready, your little Steffi Graff or John McEnroe will be just desperate to climb into their summer whites and start making a racket. Serve all your winners with strawberries and cream and your mini Wimbledon tournament party is sure to be a big hit.
Game, Set and Match
Once they have the bug, they’ll be in for the long set. Almost anyone can play and it need not be expensive. The rules are simple to learn and the best tennis players are not always those with the finest physique or best technique. Beginning with a cheaper, light aluminium racket – then as your child improves and plays more frequently a composite aluminium and graphite racket – might see the aces fly, supported by the best tennis court construction to keep them safe and soundly protected from injury.
So, encourage the kids to do more than just watch. Tennis is a great action sport with an abundance of benefits for young people, balancing the right mental attitude, physical improvement and sheer enjoyment. You’re certain to see great returns.