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Anyone have any suggestions for what kind of tennis play I should be doing with my son who is 6 1/2? I want to keep it fun so that he gets hooked on tennis.
M

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mark,
your kid has to like hitting a ball. have you tried the quickstart program with him? my son who is now 9 enjoys the ball machine even though he sprays the ball all over the place. but it took me awhile to get him to hit the ball correctly. i would encourage the open stance over the classic stance. he can see the ball a lot better.
hey you asked.... i just gave you a suggestion.
Hey jun, that's just the type of suggestion I'm looking for. He likes hitting the ball. Likes swinging for the fences. Tends to flatten out the racquet and hit it with a hatchet motion (ball shoots high). He doesn't really want to work on stroke yet - kinda too hard for him to think about his arm motion. maybe that is a result of his age.
M
for brooks (age 6 in nine mins), we're lucky in that he seems to have a pretty nice, tight two-handed backhand swing. pretty solid and controlled, although sometimes late. forehand? totally different story! tendency to go anywhere and sometimes overruns it and whiffs. we just keep it to mini-tennis in the forecourt. we'd start by feeding him a slow, one-bouncer and try to keep it going. been able to have a four- or five-shot rally once. he asks to play so thats good. probably helps to have the tennis on whenever it's on!
start them off with foam balls. this is what i do with every beginner. it's slow and will just bounce right off the strings, regardless of age. there's no shame in using these balls. i kind of grit my teeth when i see beginners try to hit with regulation balls only to get frustrated and leave after 30 minutes. these balls will solve that problem. then move him to a couple of low compression balls. take advantage of the quikstart program. i'm trying to get one started at my kids school using the pickleball nets, but the teacher won't budge.
good info! i'll see about getting some. i guess at just any sports store? any place better than another?
Mike, I got them at Target. I bought the foam ones which, if they are penn, are called T.I.P. 1, and then the two tone felt ones with no compression are called T.I.P. 2
For Cas, I really like the TIP 2 which are less "active" than the foam ones. Cas can whale on it and still not put it over the fence.
M
yes definitely @ target. if you go to some sporting goods store, the price is almost double.
Hello friends...

I coach a handful of exceptional kids ages 5 to 6.

One exceptional student, who is 6 and has been training 4-5 days a week for the past year, can rally up to 20 crosscourt balls on each side (with me at net, bunting them back), can hit volleys with a sideways grip, and can hit a serve up over her head.

With her, I started out right away with real, brand new balls, a real net, and a few footwork drills... through repetition (me dropping/lightly feeding balls right in front of her), she now has a programmed stroke with proper grips and decent spin.

I suggest stressing a few core things at a time.... always brushing up and out, knees bent through the whole shot, ball ALWAYS over the net.... elbow ALWAYS finishing in front of the mouth....

then when it all seems automatic, maybe I'll add one thing (racquet catch), or maybe I'll feed from further away... when she sees me do this, she knows she's doing something right, and she feels good.

teaching kids to be real ballers is challenging.

any ideas from coaches of juniors out there?

i'm always looking for ways to keep the kids focused, having fun, and basically tricking them into thinking that the repetitive drills are fun!

thanks...

-ben of tennis zone
i'm always open to ideas on how to teach those young ones.
Hi Mark,

Go to Playmoderntennis.com and see the videos of the kids in England and how they are now teaching. Or look at my website and see how I get four year olds to rally with real balls. A kid I started was the youngest ever admitted to Macci's Academy. See what his father says about my teaching on my website, www.ez-tennis.com. Quickstart is great, but it would be ten times better if they teach them to play like the pros. You ahve a great idea here, but for youngster, start them off with MTM and teach them to copy the pros, and they'll be fine. Teach them to do something the pros don't do, they'll have to unlearn it later. Even Jan Silva, the 3 year old prodigy, was taught to play like the pros because his father was influenced by the videos of Oscar Wegner.
The mark of a great tennis methodology is it's results are obtainable by others. I have studied every known tennis theory heavily ever put forth by the USPTA, PTR, and USTA, and Louis Cayer, and there is only one methodology that gets proven results across the board. I have taught hundreds of six year olds to play tennis well after destroying a couple thousand my first twenty years. I started a little six year old right after she turned six last fall and now everyone watches her and comments how she hits like a pro on the run looking like Sharapovaa at six and a half. I'll send you video if you like. Susan Nardi of Manhattan Beach can get tiny tots to hit a ball that would but any nationally known name to shame. I know because I worked with her and we teach the same system.
Thanks John,
You know Oscar joined Tennisopolis. You should friend him if you haven't already. Right now my son is 7 and he is enjoying being on the court more and more. His strokes are still quite ugly, but whenever I try to do technical stroke adjustment, he loses interest fast! I think he listens to others more than to his dad. I'm going to sign him up for quickstart this summer. The woman who runs it here at our club is very good with strokes so I'll see how he responds to this.

For all the Tennis Parents out there, join this new group where we can share our experiences.
http://www.tennisopolis.com/group/tennisparents

M
John Carpenter said:
Hi Mark,

Go to Playmoderntennis.com and see the videos of the kids in England and how they are now teaching. Or look at my website and see how I get four year olds to rally with real balls. A kid I started was the youngest ever admitted to Macci's Academy. See what his father says about my teaching on my website, www.ez-tennis.com. Quickstart is great, but it would be ten times better if they teach them to play like the pros. You ahve a great idea here, but for youngster, start them off with MTM and teach them to copy the pros, and they'll be fine. Teach them to do something the pros don't do, they'll have to unlearn it later. Even Jan Silva, the 3 year old prodigy, was taught to play like the pros because his father was influenced by the videos of Oscar Wegner.
The mark of a great tennis methodology is it's results are obtainable by others. I have studied every known tennis theory heavily ever put forth by the USPTA, PTR, and USTA, and Louis Cayer, and there is only one methodology that gets proven results across the board. I have taught hundreds of six year olds to play tennis well after destroying a couple thousand my first twenty years. I started a little six year old right after she turned six last fall and now everyone watches her and comments how she hits like a pro on the run looking like Sharapovaa at six and a half. I'll send you video if you like. Susan Nardi of Manhattan Beach can get tiny tots to hit a ball that would but any nationally known name to shame. I know because I worked with her and we teach the same system.
Hi Mark,

I train tennis coaches for Oscar Wegner is his new Modern Tennis Methodology Coaching Academy which is getting ready to go public. We have 120 coaches already certified in the MTM USA strictly by word of mouth. England has certified 300 already as everyone is moving to this even if they don't credit or know how Oscar is. No seven year old I have ever coached looks ugly after an hour or two as long as I teach MTM. I promise you this, let your son watch the DVDs and teach him to just "touch the ball" and "touch the shoulder" with the butt of the racket pointing to where he wants the ball to go and he'll quickly improve.

If you start him in a Quickstart program and they teach him a closed stance forehand, your son's potential will be set back severely. Quickstart is great in theory, but where they teach a closed stance forehand, it's a disaster. I watch the program often, have been trained in it, and use it occassionally but my kids get so good so fast because I teach them to copy the pros they quickly move to real tennis balls and rally. I once got a 144 baseline rally from an eight year old of average athletic ability in her third week of lessons.

Beware what you expose your child to. There is a reason that tennis lost tens of millions of players in the USA and we dropped in the rankings. I believe it's because we didn't listen to the man who has revolutionized tennis teaching around the world. Good data in, good data out, bad data in, bad data out. It's as simple as that.

Mark / Mr. Mayor said:
Thanks John,
You know Oscar joined Tennisopolis. You should friend him if you haven't already. Right now my son is 7 and he is enjoying being on the court more and more. His strokes are still quite ugly, but whenever I try to do technical stroke adjustment, he loses interest fast! I think he listens to others more than to his dad. I'm going to sign him up for quickstart this summer. The woman who runs it here at our club is very good with strokes so I'll see how he responds to this.

For all the Tennis Parents out there, join this new group where we can share our experiences.
http://www.tennisopolis.com/group/tennisparents

M
John Carpenter said:
Hi Mark,

Go to Playmoderntennis.com and see the videos of the kids in England and how they are now teaching. Or look at my website and see how I get four year olds to rally with real balls. A kid I started was the youngest ever admitted to Macci's Academy. See what his father says about my teaching on my website, www.ez-tennis.com. Quickstart is great, but it would be ten times better if they teach them to play like the pros. You ahve a great idea here, but for youngster, start them off with MTM and teach them to copy the pros, and they'll be fine. Teach them to do something the pros don't do, they'll have to unlearn it later. Even Jan Silva, the 3 year old prodigy, was taught to play like the pros because his father was influenced by the videos of Oscar Wegner.
The mark of a great tennis methodology is it's results are obtainable by others. I have studied every known tennis theory heavily ever put forth by the USPTA, PTR, and USTA, and Louis Cayer, and there is only one methodology that gets proven results across the board. I have taught hundreds of six year olds to play tennis well after destroying a couple thousand my first twenty years. I started a little six year old right after she turned six last fall and now everyone watches her and comments how she hits like a pro on the run looking like Sharapovaa at six and a half. I'll send you video if you like. Susan Nardi of Manhattan Beach can get tiny tots to hit a ball that would but any nationally known name to shame. I know because I worked with her and we teach the same system.

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