With the wealth of schools that are cutting back on physical education these days, not to mention the arts as well, by the time your child reaches the age to enter high school, odds are they might not even have the chance to learn the benefits such physical recreation can provide. It is a sad state of affairs, but having a tennis team is becoming a rarer thing for schools these days. It simply is not a priority for most schools, to provide for any type of after school, structured program for sports.
But if the school does have one, this is a great opportunity for your child to begin to train for one of the most rewarding sports around. The choice of schools may be limited but if you are serious about getting your child involved in sports, picking a school based on is athletic program is an important factor.
Of course, there are limitations due to financial reasons and geographical location, so do the best you can when choosing a school. If you are lucky enough to get one that has a solid sports tradition, tennis should be one of the sports available. It is a very common one. Check out the history of the sport within the school, see if they have a solid tradition of tennis excellence and if they have a good program, being a part of it is a good way to get started for your child.
Researched the coach, too. Ask other parents about their experience with the tennis program and see if they are the right person to be coaching your child, especially if your kid has never played tennis before. Be supportive, for this formative stage is important in their confidence level and self confidence plays a huge role in the development of a child’s game right from the start.
Getting them into tennis earlier is better; children can learn a sport much like a musical instrument at age four. But if your child has not begun playing tennis t such a young age, fear not, for it can be learned quickly with the right teacher and encouragement from home. In the right environment, a child can become a strong tennis player at any age but only if they work out. Encouraging them to practice even when not with their team is a way to cultivate an advancement of their skills, as is working extra hard before and after school by doing general conditioning exercises. If they lack the experience of other players by starting late, they can at least be in better shape than anyone else. Often times the best conditioned athlete can win in the end.
Tennis matches can be grueling, even at the high school level, and getting your child in tiptop shape is part of a winning strategy. If they can’t out swing their opponents then they can at least outlast them. Dan Gable, wrestling legend, said this about a wrestling match: The first period is won by the wrestler with the better technique, the second by the one with the best conditioning and the third by the one with the most heart.
It can be the same with tennis. It is not always about having the best training or best equipment but rather having the most grit and determination. Never give up, this is the attitude needed to instill in the mind of the young athlete. This attitude can pay dividends later in life. They will learn the value of hard work, working within a team environment, commitment and many other lessens that are hard to forget.
Putting them into a position where they can succeed is worth the effort. Once they are integrated into a proper high school tennis team, you can sit back and watch your child blossom into the person they will become when they are grown.