Kids and tennis go together like peanut butter and jelly…
…maybe a little less messy…
Tennis will help your child’s physical, mental, and social development. And the best part, it’s fun!
If you’re looking to introduce your child to tennis, follow these 5 DIY tennis drills. These drills are designed to introduce some basics of the sport and improve their hand-eye coordination.
If you follow these easy steps, your child’s first exposure to tennis will be fun and engaging, getting them on track for a lifetime love of the sport.
For this lesson plan, you will only need 2 rackets, a tennis ball, and some open space.
I recommend 5 minutes per activity, but feel free to adjust however you see fit.
Let the games begin…
When you see + or ++ (plus signs) I’ve added a tips on how to make the exercise more challenging
1. Toss n’ Catch
Stand across from each other, one person on the doubles sideline and the other person on the singles sideline. Underhand toss the ball back and forth 10 times.
+Start at the baseline and move sideways down the doubles and singles sidelines towards the net, tossing the ball underhand at the same time.
++Use two balls. You will have to practice communication at the same time. For example, say “1-2-3 toss.” Both toss the ball at the same time and catch the other person’s ball. Add the sideways movement if possible.
2. Sweet Spot
With the racket in front of you, bounce the ball off the strings of the racket and catch it. Aim for the center of the strings, or the “sweet spot”.
+You can add movement by bouncing the ball off the strings of the racket and moving around the outside of the racket at the same time. Change directions.
++Do the same drill, but use only one hand to bounce and catch the ball. Add movement around the racket.
3. Walk the Dog
Have your child pick up the racket. With the ball on the ground, have them push the ball around the court trying to keep the ball on the lines.
+Set up cones or some obstacles for them to go around and through.
4. Red Light, Green Light
Put your child on the baseline while they balance the ball on the strings. Play the game “Red Light, Green Light” to the net. (Red light means stop, green light means go). If the ball falls off their strings, they have to start at the beginning.
5. Bounce and Hit
At this point, your child is probably dying to actually hit the ball. Have them stand sideways with their racket back. Holding the ball as far away from their body, have them simply drop the ball from their hand and say “bounce” when it bounces, and “hit” as they make contact.
+Stand across from your child to give them a target. Every time you catch the ball, it’s 1 point. Play to 5 points.
It doesn’t take a pro to help your child fall in love with tennis. However, if you are serious about your child learning the game the right way, then there is no substitute for putting them in lessons with a certified teaching professional. PlayYourCourt has fabulous, certified teaching professionals nationwide who will help your child build their skills at a time and location that is convenient for you. Click here to find a fun, patient PlayYourCourt coach near you.