Tennis is one of the best sports you can encourage your kids to be active in. Once your children start playing tennis, they will get a heart-healthy workout, work their muscles, and improve their coordination skills. It’s a sport that can be played long into adulthood in every corner of the world. Kids who sign up for an excellent tennis training program will also be able to boost their self-esteem and learn more about sportsmanship, teamwork, and self-discipline.
Reducing Your Kids’ Risk of Injuries
For your kids to experience the physical, mental, and emotional benefits of playing tennis, they need to be capable of meeting the physical demands of this sport. They also need to stay injury-free to be able to play consistently. Below are some ways you can help your children stay safe and healthy on the court and keep them playing as often as they like:
1. Ensure your kids are fully protected from the sun
Before letting your kids play tennis outdoors, make sure they put on sunscreen to protect their skin from harmful UV rays. Ensure they wear caps or visors and sports sunglasses if necessary. Dressing kids in light-coloured, cool clothing can further reduce sweating, which, in turn, reduces the chances of them getting dehydrated in the sun.
2. Remind your kids to work on skills relevant to tennis as part of their fitness regime
There are certain skills your kids have to work on to ensure they stay fit and safe whenever they play tennis. These include:
● Jumping – to help condition their body for rapid, high impact movements.
● Muscle strengthening – to support their body structure, especially their core and back.
● Flexibility – to lower the risk of injury when they stretch or twist to hit the ball.
● Agility – to increase their speed when running after the ball.
3. Emphasize the importance of warming up before playing
Warming up and stretching properly before playing tennis can help players avoid getting injured. Because of this, it is crucial to remind your children to do prepare their bodies before they play. Tell your kids to do some jumping jacks or run in place for a minute or two to warm up their muscles. Have them stretch their arms, wrists, shoulders, and legs lightly before playing as well.
These simple exercises will go a long way in reducing your kids’ risk of sitting on the sidelines due to injury.
4. Encourage your kids to hydrate during practices and games
Don’t forget to remind your kids to drink water frequently whenever they play or practice. They need to stay well-hydrated, especially in a hot environment. As much as possible, encourage them to drink water at regular intervals and whenever they feel thirsty. Thirst is a sign of dehydration, which can negatively impact their performance and pose a danger to health, so it is best that your kids sip on a refreshing drink often.
5. Get your kids proper, good-quality equipment and footwear
Proper kids diet, equipment and footwear will not only help your children improve their game, but it will also help them stay injury-free whenever they play. If you will be buying new racquets and shoes for your kids, consult a tennis professional or their coach first. Keep in mind that an extremely light or heavy racquet or one that has the wrong string tension can cause players to develop shoulder and elbow problems.
In addition, make sure the grip of the racquet is not too large or too small. The best racquet should not rotate in your child’s hand when he or she hits the ball. Lastly, select shoes that are made especially for tennis. This specially-designed footwear will help prevent your kids from rolling their ankles. Avoid picking shoes with small toe boxes since they can hurt your kids’ feet. Likewise, shoes that are too big can cause friction blisters.
6. Teach your kids the importance of inspecting the court before playing
If your kids will be practising on their own, remind them to inspect the court before they start playing. Make sure they check the hard court for any signs of cracks or holes that might trip them up. In addition, remind your kids to remove loose tennis balls or other objects on or near the court before they play to avoid slips. Finally, never let your kids play on a wet court. Whether the court is hard, soft, or grassy, the moisture will make it slippery, which can then lead to injury.
7. Help your kids avoid elbow injuries
Tennis elbow, or lateral epicondylitis, is a common type of injury tennis players can suffer from. This injury is caused when players overuse their muscles to extend the wrist. When these muscles are used repeatedly, they pull at the bony structure located on the external part of the elbow. When players have this injury, they will feel tenderness and pain in the outer side of the elbow. They will also feel pain when they grab, lift, or twist objects and when they raise
or straighten their wrist. Getting your children the right tennis racquet is a good start to helping them avoid
developing tennis elbow.
Additionally, remind your kids to avoid leading with the elbow and extending the wrist when performing a backhand. They should not snap the wrist forward during the forehand as well. These wrong techniques will cause them to be more prone to developing elbow and knee injuries.
If you are not sure your kids are employing the right backhand and forehand techniques, ask a tennis coach to review their techniques. Remind your kids to do regular exercises to strengthen the muscles of their upper back, shoulder, arm, and forearm to reduce stress on their elbow. By keeping these tips in mind, you can ensure your kids can avoid getting injured on the court and be the best tennis players they can be.
Possessing more than two decades of experience in the leisure and hospitality industry, Tony Kouris joined Zayed Sports City as General Manager in January 2018. With extensive career experience, a value on interpersonal relationships, and strong negotiating experience, he is positioned to support Zayed Sports City’s strategic growth and continue to innovate the site as an internationally recognised sport and entertainment destination