Children will learn the basic grip needed to hold a tennis racket correctly and learn how to swing a racket and strike a moving ball
Battle Ships - Tennis Game
- You'll need 2 teams (1v1 or 2v2)
- Each team can have 3 targets 'battleships' - 3 cones or 3 hoops, which they place down in their half of the court (the court should be small so that the targets are close together).
- Using an underarm throw or an underarm serve, try to hit your opponents battleships. If you hit one of them, you get to take their battleship and put it in your half of the court.
- The game is finished when all of the battleships have been won by one team
- Start the game again - or find a new opponent to play
- Use controlled arm movements to ensure an accurate throw or serve
- Look at the target before you throw or serve. If throwing the ball, remain focused on the target. If serving, look first at the target and visualise the strike you'll need to do and then focus on the ball you are striking
Tennis Balls, Cones or Hoops
Tennis Racket Grip
Each child should be given a tennis racket
Explain and demonstrate the grip you wish the children to use
Children should copy the demonstration
Go around each child and ensure they are using the grip you have shown
When children can hold it correctly, give them a ball each and progress to racket skills
1.Start by holding the racket handle with your non-dominant hand, ensuring that the base knuckle of your index finger rests against the third bevel of the grip.
2.Wrap your fingers around the handle, maintaining a relaxed grip, allowing for flexibility and control.
3.Position your thumb comfortably against the back bevel of the grip, creating a V-shape between your thumb and index finger.
4.Maintain a slight space between your fingers and the palm of your hand, promoting flexibility and preventing a tight grip.
5.Ensure that the racket handle rests diagonally across your palm, allowing for easy maneuverability.
6.With your dominant hand, place it on the handle so that the base knuckle of your index finger aligns with the third bevel of the grip.
7.Wrap your fingers around the handle, interlocking them with the spaces between your non-dominant hand fingers.
8.Keep a relaxed grip with both hands, allowing for quick adjustments and responsiveness during play.
9.Check that the V-shape formed by the thumb and index finger of your dominant hand mirrors the V-shape of your non-dominant hand.
10.Practice your grip to ensure comfort and familiarity, adjusting as needed to find the optimal balance between control and flexibility.
Partner Catch with Bean Bag and Racket
4 Way Fun Tennis
Set up a bench in the 4 corners of the room, they should be against a wall, they are for the hitting teams to sit on.
In front of the bench you'll need a hoop with 5 tennis balls in
In front of the hoop you'll need a spot marker for the hitter to stand on + a tennis racket (each corner should be a different colour - red, blue, yellow, green)
In the middle of the room you'll need 4 cones, with a foam tennis ball on each
Split your group into 5 teams (You'll need 4-6 players per team, you coul make it 3 way if you don't have enough players)
4 teams will be the hitters and one team the ball collectors
The coach should be the ball Feeder in the middle of the room - if playing with older groups, the ball collecting team could be bowlers and 4 of them could bowl at same time
Divide the playing time you have by 5 as you'll need each of the 5 teams to take a turn at being ball collectors
The batting teams should be on the benches in the corners, they need their first player to hold the tennis racket and stand on the spot
The coach then feed the 4 balls, one at each batter, in quick succession
Batters try to hit the ball (makes no difference if they hit it or not or where it goes if they do)
When they've tried to hit the ball, they can run to any other team and steal a tennis ball and bring it back to their teams hoop. If they have time they can then go and steal another
The time they have ends when the ball collecting team have returned the 4 foam tennis balls back onto the 4 cones in the middle
The first batters then join the back of their batting queue and the next player gets ready to bat. Repeat this process for the time you have.
Hitting teams score a point for each tennis ball they have in their hoop at the end of the time and the ball collecting team get a point each time they get the 4 balls back on the cones
When the time for the innings finishes, count how many points each team has and then swap the ball collecting team with a hitting team
Do this until all teams have been ball collectors
Ball Striking - Use one hand to hold the racket, keep your head still and watch the ball
Strategy - think about which teams have the most points and steal their points!