This month’s column of tennis coach Marcin Bieniek suggests three simple items that parents can buy to help safeguard the health and maximize performance of their children during tennis lessons.
Every year more and more kids join tennis clubs and academies and it is not surprising that parents invest in many different accessories even before the first lesson. It is typical for parents to come to coach and ask what they should buy for their kids to effectively play tennis. Of course, proper tennis racquet is a number one choice, because wrong equipment can make tennis much more difficult and even lead to losing passion for the sport. Parents also have to take care of the right shoes designed specifically for tennis, because this sport involves a lot of running. Improper shoes can be responsible for injuries, so parents shouldn’t try to save money on footwear. Besides tennis shoes and tennis racquets, there are three simple things that parents don’t think about, but which can make their child’s improvement much faster.
Tennis is a physical activity and one of reasons why parents want their kids to participate in sport is to lead a healthy lifestyle. Unfortunately, many parents forget (or they tell their kids and kids forget) to bring water to practice. Training session is a big physical effort, especially for kids who always give 100% and they try no matter what. Sometimes coaches have to tell kids to slow down, because they don’t know when to push the stop button. That is why it is crucial to take care of hydration and make sure that kids replenish lost fluids during every break, to avoid possible negative consequences of dehydration. How to make your kids have water all the time? Buy a nice water bottle, like for example this Nike TR Hypercharge Straw Bottle 16oz/473ml Pink. You will see that your kids will want to use it all the time.
Many parents live fast-paced lives, so they can’t pick up their kids right after the practice. From my experience, I can say that many kids spend a lot of time before and after the practice in the club. Parents should equip them with tools to let them use this time effectively. Nowadays, most kids use this time to play games on smartphones, so we know that this activity won’t help them develop physical traits. Jump rope, on the other hand, improves coordination, strength and stamina. It can be used to warm up before practice or to perform solid workout during free time. Definitely a must-have for kids who want to excel in tennis.
As I explained in my last month’s post, the most important physical trait for tennis players is reaction. Modern tennis is based on fast-paced short points, so players who can react quickly have big advantage over opponents. Many parents know that and would like to help their children improve this area, but they have no idea how to do that. My advice is to buy a reaction ball that lets kids improve reaction on their own. This little ball is a great tool that all kids should have in their tennis bags.
Marcin Bieniek is a professional tennis coach, currently working with a Top 60 ITF player, and founder of instructional website TennisIsland.us. Marcin is the author of Enjoy Tennis Blog and a frequent contributor to TennisPro and TenisKlub magazines. Moreover, Marcin was a speaker at International Coaching Tennis Symposium 2016 at Hilton Head Island, USA.
MORE ARTICLES BY TENNIS COACH MARCIN BIENIEK:
- How to improve reaction skills in offensive, fast-paced tennis
- How to control anger and frustration to win a tennis match
- Tennis tips: 3 areas that cost you too many points
- How to practice serve the right way
- Coaching tips: How to avoid mistakes in tennis
- Things to (not) do on vacation to improve your tennis game
- How to translate your tennis practice into match wins
- How to build team spirit in tennis
- How to become a master of claycourt tennis
- How to make your serve more effective
- How to choose the best tennis racquet to fit your level, playing style and body type
- How to handle playing tennis in sunny conditions and even take it to your advantage
- 5 portable fitness tools for serious tennis players
- Best foam roller exercises for tennis players