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Introducing your child to the world of tennis!

Mar 05, 2016
written by: Heather Marrin
written by: Heather Marrin
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Not to sound biased (okay, we’re gonna sound a little biased), but we think tennis is amazing sport to take up at any age. Why do we think that? Easy! Tennis is both an aerobic and anaerobic exercise, and directly aids in the support of a healthy endocrine system.  Not to mention that coordination, dexterity, muscle movement, speed and agility are definitely the name of the game, making it a well-rounded exercise that will help improve general motor skills. And if that’s not enough to sway your family onto the court, tennis is incredibly social and did we mention, fun?

Whatever your child’s age, there is never a bad time to introduce them to the sport to reap the physical health and mental benefits. To give you an idea of what to expect and how you can help foster your child’s desire to play (we’re assuming they thought the game looked so cool they asked you how they could get started), here’s a little info about the sport broken down by age groups:

Ages 0-5

Well, it may not seem like they are doing much other than sleeping, eating and just getting their feet wet in the walking arena, but between the ages of 0-5, it is completely safe to get your child acquainted with soft plush tennis toys, tennis balls and mini racquets. Slowly introducing them to the shapes of the game and the basics of playing catch is a great way to foster their motor skills. They may also even like watching televised tennis matches with you. When you clap, they will clap. If you like Milos Raonic, they will like Milos Raonic.

Ages 5-10

From the ages of 5-10, children can take part in adapted versions of the game, designed by tennis coaches across the country. Using smaller racquets and specially designed tennis balls for kids, tennis at this age will assist in developing dexterity and hand-eye coordination within an exciting and engaging atmosphere. For more info on how to get your child involved during these formative years, visit: “What is Kid’s Tennis?”

Ages 10-14

Who doesn’t love summer camp? Many tennis clubs in Canada offer excellent summer camps for children around this age that serve up excellent social and physical activities on the court. If that seems like too much of a commitment, or if your child is on the fence about playing with others, heading down to a local court and signing up for a beginner’s one-on-one lesson is also an excellent option. If you find that you’ve birthed a natural talent who is beyond enthusiastic about learning more (must be all of those matches they watched when they were younger), this age is also not too early for them to take up tennis competitively at the local club.

Age 14 and over

Introducing tennis to teens is a great way for them to meet new people while keeping fit. It also provides an avenue to improve skills learned as a child, while developing new ones. Strong enough to be using adult racquets and standard balls on a full-sized court, this age is a great time to introduce them to healthy competition and friendly rallies with like-minded teens at the local club or in the neighbourhood.

Get out and play!

If tennis is a sport your child is interested in, getting started is very easy and requires little to no equipment. And as far as courts go, Canada offers a number of places to play, most of which offer various levels and types of lessons. You could even start taking lessons together! We repeat, there is absolutely no age where picking up your first racquet is discouraged.