Before I start spending my hard earned money on a coach, I want to teach my kids a few of the basics. Simple forehand, backhand and serve. How to set-up for a shot, and of course the rules of the game. They are pretty athletic and I am sure they will catch on quickly. I just want them to have a clue before they see a coach. Is this a bad strategy?
12-18-2009, 02:29 PM
This is not a bad strategy as long as you know what you are doing and are not hindering your kids through limited understanding of fundamentals and progressive methodology.
Unfortunately, the vast majority of parents whom I've watched try and work with their kids have no clue...nor, do they understand that they are doing things that generally will prohibit progressive improvement because they are having their kids gain "muscle memory" that will need to change later.
One of the reasons I wrote Coaching Mastery was to address this issue. In a nutshell, there are things I highly recommend doing and others I highly caution parents (and coaches) in not doing:
1. Play toss and catch games. Attach tennis scoring by the child getting a point for catching a bean bag or ball of some sort, and the parent gets a point if they drop the ball.
2. Shadow swing (using a PracticeHit device or similar) where the child is focused on the stroke not the outcome of a hit.
1. Don't toss balls to be hit by the child...or adults, for that matter; they will only try to use what they perceive as the means in which to hit the ball somewhere. They will NOT be conscious nor be able to master proper technique in this way. (Unless they either have other sport skills mastered that contribute to skilled tennis strokes.)
There are dozens of other tips, that I don't want to try to write all out. (I've done that in both my books, TENNIS MASTERY and COACHING MASTERY...at 335 and 400 pages respectively, I've done plenty of writing in those!)