“One of the things it taught me is that every ball that comes to me, I have to make a decision.” – Billie Jean King.


Tennis has the potential to teach your child a number of different life skills – both physical and mental – that will help them throughout their lives. Apart from the decision-making skills mentioned by the great Billie Jean King, tennis can also help your child develop their hand-eye coordination, physical fitness, and strategic thinking skills.

In order to do so though, they need to be interested in the sport first. Read on for our top tips on how to help your child develop an interest in tennis.

1. Be gentle about it

 Forcing kids into a sport is more than likely to turn them off. Take them to your local tennis court to watch other kids their own age playing. Let them see how much fun the kids are having. If they decide they want to learn how to play, leave it up to them to decide if they want to play competitively or just recreationally.

2. Start by playing with them

Have fun with your kids. Start by playing with them in your own backyard if you can. You don’t have to adhere to the strict rules of tennis – or any rules at all for that matter. Use a soft sponge ball to start with, especially if your kids are really young. Simply knocking the ball to-and-fro with the rackets can result in a whole bunch of family fun.

3. Watch the tennis greats together

We don’t mean booking expensive seats at Wimbledon. Just simple compilations on YouTube of great aces or volleys can be extremely interesting to watch together. There are also plenty of legendary matches available to stream on YouTube – you can graduate to those in time. Encourage your children to discuss what they loved when they watch the videos.

4. Sign them up for lessons

Kids have a lot more fun when they learn with their peers. Sign them up for group lessons appropriate to their age. Learning new strokes and practicing them on a weekly basis will help them remain interested in the game.

When their interest grows, you can sign them up for weekend or summer camps

5. Get them their own gear

While many tennis academies can provide rackets, if necessary, there’s nothing like the excitement of owning your own. Tennis apparel can make them feel professional while accessories like wristbands and tennis caps can complete their little outfits. Practical gear like portable nets will allow them to practice their strokes at home. While it seems like a long list, you don’t need to get it all at once. Picking up a couple of new tennis-related things every once in a while can keep the excitement going.

6. Be supportive

Remember, always be supportive of your child’s endeavours at tennis. Encourage their victories – even if it is managing a new stroke and watch their confidence grow. 

The best way to make sure your child is engaged with the game to make sure they have fun while they learn.

The National Tennis School has nearly 40 years of experience in the business and offers tennis lessons, group lessons, and camps across the greater Ottawa/Gatineau area. Explore lessons here or get in touch with us to learn more.

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