HELP FOR PARENTS
Performance Tennis and How to Help your Child at a Tournament
The Performance Pathway is a ten year journey of opportunity for significant self development of life skills, fun, friendship, and challenges, in order to realise ones potential.
Ideally Performance Pathway players must train in two squads a week plus have individual lessons and compete twice a month. Squad training involves technical and tactical improvement, strength conditioning, and mental attitude training. Ones attitude is key - intensity/ effort/ fair play/ respect.
Players must be Performance (how well did one play) orientated as opposed to outcome (result of match, gets in the way of improvement). Simple performance goals must be set in lessons and tournaments.
Enter Tournaments: 1. All Tennace at Gxltc tournaments are on www.tennace.com/competition. 2. All other tournaments are on www.lta.org.uk/findacompetition ; use filters to search.
How to Help Your Child at Tournaments:
Set simple goals related to helping performance and improvement.
Prepare the bag before you leave - large water bottle, food, equipment.
Manage the time - arrive early to warm-up and to sign in.
Watch from a distance - stay calm - chart matches - look at goals set - check fair play - any problems speak to the referee.
At end of match applaud both players, praise effort, ask Did you enjoy the match ? how did you play ? What can you improve on next time ?
Wait calmly for the next match; drink water, eat carbohydrate, watch and learn from other matches on court, re-set goals.
Gradually your child needs to become more independant and responsible for their actions.
As your child grows they go through many different stages and they need constant support. The following tips will help you with your child’s development:
From 2 years of age:
All activity must be fun!
CO-ORDINATION MUST be improved for all children between the ages of 5 and 7.
Play as many simple ball games as possible with your child - only a few minutes a day will make so much difference.
Basic movement and balance must also be practiced and improved. This involves co-ordinating both sides of the body and improving different types of movement – jumping, hopping, balancing on one foot, skipping forwards and backwards.
Have balloons available round the house to catch, hit, and kick.
Children love doing different fun games with their parents. Do not force your child; think of a different way of guiding the improvement and keep it simple.
Larger soft balls are much easier to catch or hit because they are slower.
Encourage active participation in all sporting activity.
Be very patient; co-ordination often develops slowly in children aged 5 to 9 but it is vital for their progress; an analogy is ‘building a house’ – the foundations are vital and must be put in place at the start, but are not seen.
Ensure your child has appropriate equipment - four layers of clothing, cap, sun cream, racket, water and snack.
Being a good role model to your child is so important. How you behave when watching or playing sport will influence your child’s perception.
At tennace we teach basic tennis skills, the ability to RECEIVE and SEND the ball are linked to the HANDLING of the racket.
Pupils are shown how to RALLY and play the game as soon as possible. They significantly improve once they are able to COMFORTABLY hit the ball as it is dropping (to hit just before the second bounce).
As Children Progress
The more your child plays tennis the quicker they develop. Frequency of play is more important than duration of the session. It is better to play four, one hour sessions per week than two, two hour sessions.
Because tennis is very technical, it is important for children who want to take it more seriously to have regular individual coaching’ initially this can be half an hour once per week.
To effectively develop, your child must learn to compete on a regular basis. Bucks LTA run Mini Tennis competition at various venues through the year. At tennace we organise frequent competitive opportunities.
Take time to understand why your child wants to play tennis – fun, - friends, - learning new skills, - love of the game, - competition.
Once committed to a lesson, course or match this must be attended unless for a very good reason.
If your child does not want to attend, find out the reason. It is easy to sit and watch TV or use the computer!
Often a child will be nervous with something new and they will not understand their sick feeling unless it is explained to them. New experiences are vital for their development.
Do assess your child’s progress; get to know their coach and do not be afraid to ask what plans they have and the reason for any decisions.
Do not turn a blind eye to bad behavior, cheating or bad manners.
An over emphasis on winning by one or both parents can result in fear of failure – playing with unnecessary caution, feigning injury or avoiding matches.
Always encourage and applaud effort.
After competing PLEASE ask ‘did you enjoy it’ , ‘what did you learn’, and ‘ did you try your best.
Listen to your child sometimes they will not want you to watch; however this attitude is likely to change over time but when competing it is best to watch from a distance.
When your child goes through a growth spurt they will become lethargic and lose some co-ordination. Therefore their performance will not be as good. This needs to be explained to them.
In order to perform well it is vital to drink plenty of water and eat before during (energy bars, jaffa cakes, bananas), and after the session.
Do not ignore aches and pains. Many can be prevented. Take advice from your coach . Do seek help from a sports physio.
Tennis involves four key performance factors: technical, tactical, physical and mental. Your child will be good in some areas and not so strong in others. All players are different!
Vital to development is your child's attitude towards all aspects of tennis and sport.
The primary role of any parent is to be supportive, interested, encouraging and caring.