Playing sports is a great way for kids to build self-esteem, teamwork skills, and of course, learn athletic skills. Most schools provide a slew of athletics options, and as a parent, you were probably involved in choosing the best one for your child. But your involvement can go far beyond that initial phase.
Many parents act as second coaches for their children, and while that kind of dedication is not required for your child’s success, it certainly can help him/her improve both basic skills and advanced techniques alike. Tennis is a great sport for children for some reasons.
If your child plays tennis and you played tennis or still do, you probably want to help your budding athletics star get ready for tennis matches. To buy a good tennis racquet, shoes or other accessories is not the only thing your junior needs. Here are the five best ways to prepare for a tennis match as a coach and as a player.
Practice, Practice, Practice
Everyone who has ever tried to get good at anything – whether it be sports, music, or something boring like typing – knows that practicing over and over again is the surest way to improve. The same holds true for tennis. Children should practice before they have to get ready for a match. A great tennis player will make it part of his/her routine. As a parent, you can boost this by setting up lessons or practicing drills with your child yourself.
Remember That Winning Is Not Everything
Of course going into a match, the idea is that players will each try to win. But this should not obscure the basic fun of playing sports or the ability to lose gracefully. Allowing a child to be a sore loser may teach them that this kind of behavior is acceptable. Use a loss as a learning opportunity, as well as a motivator to practice more and do better next time.
Try Taking Pilates Classes
Practice is necessary to improve a player’s tennis skills, but to keep things interesting, and players should join in other activities that will enhance their game. Pilates is an excellent way to improve core muscles, overall body strength, flexibility, and the ability to run across the court quickly when the ball goes in the opposite direction than you were expecting.
Eat A Balanced Breakfast On Game Day
There is no surer way to undo all the efforts your child has put into practicing than to allow her to walk out the door without eating a good breakfast. Make sure there is protein in the meal as well as nutritious fruits and vegetables. Add some carbohydrate to keep things well rounded. A vegetable omelet is perfect with whole-wheat toast in breakfast menu.
It is perfectly natural to be nervous in anticipation of a big – or small – game. If you notice that your child gets the jitters before matches, help him develop a pre-match ritual that will calm those nerves. Talk about his insecurities and remind him of his strengths. Recall past victories and other tennis achievements. Tell him that there is no such thing as an easy win, and he should go out and play his hardest.