Next week marks the beginning of Wimbledon, which is the oldest Tennis tournament in the world, and some believe is the most prestigious. Soon after that (August 30th this year) we'll have the US Open, which is super exciting, especially for those in or visiting NYC. If you love Tennis or even if you're relatively new to it, it's a great sport to share with kids and one that can last a lifetime. But getting kids (especially those under 10) excited about Tennis requires a different approach than with older kids or adults.
With Tennis (as with many sports), when kids develop a LOVE for it, they are more likely to stick to it. Sometimes watching the exciting matches and making memories around them can be the best way to motivate them to play. Here are our 4 tips to get kids excited about Tennis:
1. Be a role model
Let your kids see you having fun playing Tennis. Young kids get so excited to do the same things you do. If they see you playing, they're more likely to want to try.
2. Keep it Fun!
Start with our Pickup Sports Tennis boxes with fun activities that introduce them to the basics. When playing Tennis early on, kids won't be able to hit the ball to the right targets right away. Give them goals they can achieve so that they'll have the confidence and motivation to want to try again. But keep those goals fun!
3. Keep it short!
Young children can have a short attention span, so let them engage in short activities instead of trying to teach them all the skills they need in one outing. You always want to end on a high note, so if you're ending with them being frustrated or not having attention, then that's what they take away and are less likely to want to play next time. As soon as you start seeing loss of focus, it's time to stop. We recommend 3 minutes for every year of age. So for example, a 5-year-old can only handle 15 minutes before they lose focus. If things are going well after those 15 minutes and you're all having fun, keep going, but remember to end while they're still happy and leave them wanting more!
4. Mix in friends
Kids LOVE playing with friends so why not invite them to the mix! Add a quick 15-minute Tennis game to your next playdate or make it a family outing. Being active with friends will make them more excited to play.
Aside from introducing them to the sport by playing, it's super fun to incorporate some Tennis traditions to get them excited. Have "Breakfast At Wimbledon" (Strawberries and Cream) one morning. Wear the headbands and wristbands (included in the Pickup Sports Tennis box) to make them feel like a real player. Teach them how to shake hands at the end of playing. Little kids can get so excited about the small stuff and you never know what it's going to be that pushes them to learn to love it.