Introducing your child to sports is something that is essential to their quality of living. Athletics encourage motivated, competitive, and organized individuals. Well into the 21st century it is established that technology can soak up countless hours of a child’s time. Years that were once spent on bicycles, creating, and learning are now absorbed by iPads, television, and pure laziness. Give your kids the gift of sports. If you want to give them the greatest gift of all it may as well be the best sport of all. This particular sport is of course the beautiful game of tennis.
By no means is tennis the most popular sport in America for people who watch sports. Having said that, notice how the term “watch” was used to describe it’s popularity? While baseball, football, and basketball rule the TV channels, tennis is not so common to pop up in front of your eyeballs unless you are specifically looking for it. However, as an adult it isn’t very often that folks are calling up their pals to go play basketball or baseball. Can you even imagine trying to gather 8 friends up and finding a vacant baseball diamond? Touch football after a long day of work? Not so much. Tennis is a sport for life.
Here in sunny South Florida it is hard to find a one block radius that doesn’t have a tennis court or two. You only need one friend to play and their isn’t any “greens fees.” Oh, did I forget to mention golf? I play golf every now and then myself. I consider it an activity along with bowling, billiards, and darts; skill required but no running = activity. Anyways, back to tennis! I wonder how many golf enthusiasts I just lost. I’m glad you’re still with me though while they are groaning defensively. Tennis courts are everywhere and most of them are in great condition. Whether you are at a local park or in your community they are just waiting for you and your kids to use them!
I tell my tennis students all the time that the more you give tennis now the more it will give back to you later. Tennis is healthy for friendships, it enhances physical appearance, and it just may help your son close a deal later in life in the world of business. You live in the Mecca of tennis and your kids will have plenty of people to hit with here. You want them to “bring it ” to the court though. To do such they must learn the game. Teaching kids properly will get them set on the right path for success on the court.
Teaching a ten year old how to take her racket back on a forehand takes about a tenth of the amount of time as teaching it to a thirty year old. Whether it is learning a new language or playing tennis, youth will always have an advantage over adults. Kids don’t have a lifetime of information and assumptions on how things should be done. A fresh brain can be shown how to play tennis and pick it up after only a few lessons. Kids can start playing as early as 3 years old (some even 2). The earlier you start them the more natural their game will develop as if it is second nature. The later you start them the easier it will be to communicate instruction. I encourage parents to get their kids going before the age of 13. Around then kids are a wee bit harder to communicate anything with. Am I right or am I right?!
Since tennis is an individual sport it will give them an edge in mental toughness. Being “soft” in life needs not be confused with being kind or gentle. People that learn mental toughness with tennis will be able to turn it on when it is game time. This will carry over to the classroom immediately and last through the business field forever. Competition breeds improvement. It is natural to want to be the best at anything we do and on the tennis court there is only 1 person to be better than (for people that just want their kids to play doubles please see my golf comments) so it enhances their tunnel vision mentality. Focus and concentration on the tennis court are key elements of success. Being that tennis is indeed an individual sport no one is around to point fingers at for wins and losses and there are no judges. In team sports people are payed large sums of money to recruit and scout for pro teams and colleges. For tennis there are simply rankings and tournaments. First to worst. Pretty easy, huh?
So get your kid on the tennis court! Yes, I’m talking to you. Money too tight for lessons? No problem. There are a gazillion videos out there to watch and get them started with some simple drills. Just promise me you aren’t going to drive to the store and buy ONE can of balls and expect them to hit back and forth with you while you yell at them for missing! If you do they’re form is going to stink. Get them started on the right life. Life is good. Tennis is life. Tennis is good!