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  1. #1
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    Apr 2009
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    Question Ownership of his tennis

    My son is 7 years old and have been playing tennis since he was 4 years old. He has got coaching twice a week (2hours in total)

    He has got a natural ability to learn very fast and is also good in cricket.
    Sometimes he will take his racket and play on the wall or take a cricket ball and do some bowling.

    How do I get him to take ownership of his tennis? In other words how do I motivate him to want to play and practice more? He is still too young?

  2. #2
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    I've seen posts like this before and usually the best response follows: you're going to need to find a way to make the game of tennis fun for the both of you. Neither of you will stick with it otherwise.

  3. #3
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    Lawn Tennis, thanks for the reply. I think sometimes we - as parents - forget that children should have fun too. Will definitely remember that next time we go to practice.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elize View Post
    Lawn Tennis, thanks for the reply. I think sometimes we - as parents - forget that children should have fun too. Will definitely remember that next time we go to practice.
    There can't be anything more rewarding than to see your child walk down the right path successfully - especially one you view as ideal. Once your son or daughter become good enough to rally, you should have no problem having fun on a tennis court.

  5. #5
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    Lawn Tennis

    It is so difficult to get a child on the right path, or to know if that is the path he wants to choose in the end - lots of children stop tennis when they become teenagers. I am concerned that we invest lots of money and time and then my son says that he hates tennis or want to stop.

    I can not play tennis - so when I play with him we have a laugh as I sometimes have a lucky shot or no shot at all

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elize View Post
    Lawn Tennis

    It is so difficult to get a child on the right path, or to know if that is the path he wants to choose in the end - lots of children stop tennis when they become teenagers. I am concerned that we invest lots of money and time and then my son says that he hates tennis or want to stop.

    I can not play tennis - so when I play with him we have a laugh as I sometimes have a lucky shot or no shot at all
    Private lessons sure aren't cheap. Does he want to play as of now? Whatever the case, do everything in moderation. If you don't see a bounce in his step when it's time for practice, slow things down. Find something else to do so that being lazy isn't a thought.

    Really, I'm not speaking from experience.. this is just what makes sense to me and how I would handle your situation. When I was a child, my older brother would almost force me to play sports with him. Because of this, I eventually started to avoid them. I did enjoy playing at times, but it was never at my discretion. The bottom line is right now tennis is just a pastime for your son. Keep it that way until he asks for more.

  7. #7
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    Apr 2009
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    Smile

    Two weeks ago on our way to tennis we casually said to my son from now on he does not have to play tennis anymore. He can go and watch his sister. He did not expect that. He sat next to the court and watched his sister. We said to him if he wants to play again he can come to use and discuss it with us and then he must also said to his coach he wants to play again.

    Monday afternoon he said to us he really wants to play again and on Tuesday he went to his coach to tell him he wants to play tennis. Since Monday he has taken his racket every day and practiced by himself on the wall. He now knows how it feels not have a tennis lessons and having to watch other children.

    We have also decided not to only focus on tennis but let him play cricket and other sport at school.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elize View Post
    Two weeks ago on our way to tennis we casually said to my son from now on he does not have to play tennis anymore. He can go and watch his sister. He did not expect that. He sat next to the court and watched his sister. We said to him if he wants to play again he can come to use and discuss it with us and then he must also said to his coach he wants to play again.

    Monday afternoon he said to us he really wants to play again and on Tuesday he went to his coach to tell him he wants to play tennis. Since Monday he has taken his racket every day and practiced by himself on the wall. He now knows how it feels not have a tennis lessons and having to watch other children.

    We have also decided not to only focus on tennis but let him play cricket and other sport at school.
    awesome! so good to hear your son will certainly reach a fickle stage like that again, so just do what works (the same thing). he'll come around again. hey keep us informed on how things go.. i'm interested.

  9. #9
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    Sep 2005
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    Utah
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    One way to keep your kids interested is to stop practicing before they want to stop, making them look forward to the next time.

    There is, of course, a balance to this...getting them to hit enough balls to improve, but stopping just before they want to.

    Also, make your drills have some reward... twenty shots hit correctly, (notice I didn't say IN!), they get a reward.

    I have dozens of ideas in my book Coaching Mastery, and have written several pieces on TennisOne on this concept, if you have access.

    Good luck!
    Dave Smith
    Senior Editor, TennisOne.com
    Dunlop Master Professional
    USPTA P-1
    Former Board Member USPTA Intermountain
    Owner, St. George Tennis Academy
    Author, TENNIS MASTERY, COACHING MASTERY
    Co-Author, HIDDEN MICKEY (A Walt Disney Mystery)
    www.tennismastery.net
    www.tennisone.com
    www.coaching-mastery.com
    www.hiddenmickeybook.com
    www.synergy-books.com

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by 10s1 View Post
    One way to keep your kids interested is to stop practicing before they want to stop, making them look forward to the next time.

    There is, of course, a balance to this...getting them to hit enough balls to improve, but stopping just before they want to.

    Also, make your drills have some reward... twenty shots hit correctly, (notice I didn't say IN!), they get a reward.

    I have dozens of ideas in my book Coaching Mastery, and have written several pieces on TennisOne on this concept, if you have access.

    Good luck!
    that's a great idea! it seems that tennis itch would get the best of them

  11. #11
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    Oct 2009
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    its weird, when I was younger, mainly just because I was (and still am) really shy, I didn't like tennis. ('bout 4 or 5).

    But now, a few years later, I'm addicted...weird

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by 03White View Post
    its weird, when I was younger, mainly just because I was (and still am) really shy, I didn't like tennis. ('bout 4 or 5).

    But now, a few years later, I'm addicted...weird
    now wait a minute.. a few years later from 4 or 5 = 7 or 8. if this is the case, you're as literate as the come for a 2nd or 3rd grader!

  13. #13
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    Ok, more than a few years..lolz How about 4 fifths of a decade?
    (Just recently became a teenager).

    I think I like it a lot more now, maybe because I wasn't being forced to do it.
    Maybe you should just let your son learn to enjoy the sport. If you limit his time, maybe he'll start to look forward a bit more..

    I have really faint memories of tennis at 4 or 5, just hitting a ball against a fence..
    I only started up again because my friend started playing...and now I;m on a tennis forum..

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by 03White View Post
    Ok, more than a few years..lolz How about 4 fifths of a decade?
    (Just recently became a teenager).

    I think I like it a lot more now, maybe because I wasn't being forced to do it.
    Maybe you should just let your son learn to enjoy the sport. If you limit his time, maybe he'll start to look forward a bit more..

    I have really faint memories of tennis at 4 or 5, just hitting a ball against a fence..
    I only started up again because my friend started playing...and now I;m on a tennis forum..
    you should probably stick with it then. you're still in school and probably don't have a job. see if tennis was meant for you Rod Laver didn't start playing tennis till the age 18 and won 6 slams.

  15. #15
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    Apr 2009
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    17

    Amazing

    Not a days goes by without my son taking his racket and hitting against the wall. He played so well at his coach on Tuesday and in the second half of his lesson we let him play a match with dad. He had so much fun.

    10s1 - It is a good idea to let them stop before they want to. Then they look forward to the next lesson.

    We do have the reward system as well - as soon as he moves to the next level - that is when he improves in match play and hits most of his balls properly - he will get a DS Light. (He has been working towards this reward for 6 months)

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