With the amount of digital entertainment available in most households today, keeping kids active is one of parents’ biggest challenges. Tennis is a great way to get young athletes up and out of the house, but it also offers kids a whole lot more than just an opportunity to get moving. When you enroll your child in a tennis class, especially one like our Tennis Afterschool Zone program, they learn precious life skills that will serve them well for years to come.
Here are just some of the values and tools you can expect your young tennis player to come home with:
This may seem like a no-brainer, but sportsmanship is essential to raising a resilient child. Throughout your son or daughter’s life, they will win some and lose some. Tennis teaches them to have a good attitude about it, either way, manifesting humility and compassion when they win, and fortitude when they don’t. Getting back up and trying again is essential to attaining success in life. You can bet that tennis builds and polishes this skill in all who practice and play.
No one steps on the court a pro. Young players learn that practice makes perfect and seeing improvement over time feels good! Dedication is important in work and in play, and tennis makes discovering this fun. Once your kiddo experiences the fruits of their dedication, you can remind them of their success on the court when they’re complaining about math homework before a math test.
There’s nothing like a little friendly one-on-one competition, but it demands a whole lot of self-confidence. Players learn to rely on skills they have been practicing time and time again. Like most sports and various physical activities, the game of tennis is played in the mind as much as it is on the court. You have to believe in yourself to succeed. Once your child learns this while holding a racket, they can transition their belief in themselves to other areas of their daily lives.
Every child is faced with the urge to fib when locked in competition, but that behavior is near impossible on the court. Tennis teaches young players integrity and the joy of winning the right way.
Whether you are playing one-on-one or as part of a team, you are accountable for your actions in the game of tennis. You have to have a good attitude, even when you are on a losing streak! There’s no giving up or leaving the court until the game is done. Children grow into adults who are held accountable for their actions every day, learning this skill early on sets them up for success down the road.
Whether it’s waiting to get on the court, trying to master a technical skill, or playing with a partner who is new to the game of tennis, patience is a must. Programs like RecTennis’ are designed to help participants learn and value patience—and it pays off! Young players are sure to discover this time and time again as they progress over the years.
7. Being a Team Player
Team dynamics are tough. In order to find success in school, social systems, or work you have to learn to be a team player. There’s no better place to build this skill than on the court. Being a good team player requires doing your part to improve your skills (practice, practice, practice!), showing up on time, being patient and kind with your tennis partner and the other children in the program—all things your child will learn in Tennis Afterschool Zone.
Enrolling your kids in a tennis program is guaranteed to keep them away from the TV after school. They’ll run, sweat, laugh, and have fun! But that’s not all they’ll get out of their time chasing balls with a racket. They will come home each day with new and improved life skills and values that will serve them well at home, in school, and down the road when they are on the job. Now that’s something worth investing in.