Tennis For Kids; the story so far

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For the past few months, my seven-year-old daughter, Helen, has been badgering me for tennis lessons. The catalyst for this was a blogger event we participated in earlier this year as guests of the Lawn Tennis Association and BritMums.

tennis, tennis for kids, #tennisforkids, Annabel Croft, Lawn Tennis Association
Helen, looking serious and about to practise her tennis thanks to the #TennisForKids campaign.

It was a training session for kids led by former Junior Wimbledon Champion Annabel Croft followed by courtside seats at a Davis Cup doubles match in Birmingham. This was not any Davis Cup doubles match, oh no. This was the game in which Andy and Jamie Murray beat Yoshihito Nishioka and Yasutaka Uchiyama of Japan, bringing the cup home for Great Britain.

Ever since Helen saw the game, she’s been asking me to sign her up for free tennis sessions as part of the Lawn Tennis Associations #TennisForKids campaign. It’s taken a while, and there’s been a lot of re-configuration of diaries, but at long last I’ve managed to get her on a course.

tennis, Lawn Tennis Association, Davis Cup, Andy Murray, Jamie Murray, Annabel Croft
The Lawn Tennis Association has launched the #TennisForKids campaign, providing free lessons across the country.

Her first lesson was yesterday, although the build up began last week when we were visiting granny and grandad. They happen to have access to a tennis court and I was dragged out on to it every day to practise rallies, serving and so on. On one occasion I had to bring things to an abrupt end as rain started coming down, although I think Helen would have stayed on the court all afternoon given the choice.

At yesterday’s session, Helen got some practice with throwing and catching under the guidance of her coach, Emily. There was also some help with racket control and she was taught the difference between a forehand and backhand shot.

Here is a short video of what happened back in March, plus some highlights from Helen’s tennis lesson.

Emily did a great job of spurring the kids on. The kids were made to work in pairs. There were a couple of competitions to see which pair could pass the ball to each other the fastest. This did wonders to focus the minds of the kids taking part. Helen, who can be fiercely competitive, was absolutely delighted when she and her partner won the first of these games.

tennis, Lawn Tennis Association, Annabel Croft, Davis Cup
Emily the tennis coach passes on some words of wisdom to the kids in Helen’s tennis class.

It’s early days, but Helen thoroughly enjoyed the session. She is very keen to continue, the promise of a free racquet if she attends for at least four of the six classes has also been a small incentive. The rackets, by the way, are the ideal size for children to use. We may have to invest in a second one for our youngest daughter as she was at yesterday’s session as a spectator and she also wants lessons!

tennis, Davis Cup, Andy Murray, Jamie Murray, Annabel Croft, #TennisForKids
Highland Spring is backing the #TennisForKids campaign.

The Lawn Tennis Association has put together a syllabus for all children participating part in the lessons. Over the next few weeks, Helen will do further throwing and catching practice, learn about the various shots, learn the rules governing tennis and how points are won and how to work as part of a team. I think it is going to be a great experience for her and I’ll write a further blog post when the six weeks have come to an end.

Disclosure: This post is part of the #TennisForKids campaign with BritMums, sponsored by the Lawn Tennis Association in partnership with Highland Spring. Sign up now to be part of Great British Tennis Weekend, which will open up even more free courts for families across the UK in July www.lta.org.uk/gbtw

12 thoughts on “Tennis For Kids; the story so far”

  1. I love how serious she looks! I think these lessons are such a great idea — I love that the kids start tossing and catching to build up their confidence so by the time they’re actually hitting a ball they are ready. It was great to see you at the Davis Cup event. Can’t wait to hear more updates!

    1. Oh Helen takes these things very seriously. She’s very competitive! Emily was great and I also love the way they start with simple but essential skills like throwing and catching a ball. I’m looking forward to seeing how she get on in future weeks.

    1. It certainly is the perfect time of year! I now need to find a public court where we can practise together. Thanks for commenting.

  2. Helen looks so focused when she’s practising the skills. I bet she’ll pick it up in no time! My two have loved their lessons and were very excited about heading off to pick up their free rackets this morning.

    1. Ah you are at the free racquet stage? Great work. Helen’s got another couple of lessons to go. Had her second one this week and she is really enjoying it. So glad she got the chance to take these lessons.

  3. I think the scheme is a wonderful initative and I really hope that it welcomes many children into the world of tennis as a sport they participate in regularly. I know that The Boy is completely enthralled with it and I’m amazed at his progress in just two sessions.

    1. Helen is really into it as well. The lessons have been superb so far and she’s getting so much out of the experience.

  4. What a great idea, and coming on the back of the Andy Murray-mania it’s perfect timing – you’d almost thing they had planned it that way?!
    Yup, we’re all booked on too as my son is very keen to play tennis. Fingers crossed it doesn’t rain too hard on Sunday
    I hope Helen is enjoying her tennis – & at least it’s a less expensive hobby than horse riding!

    1. True. it is a less expensive hobby than horse riding. That’s reason enough to encourage it! Helen has also come to be quite a fan of Andy Murray.

  5. Pingback: One after school activity too many - Dad Blog UK

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