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Tailored Tennis Coaching: Effective Learning Methods for Young Players

Updated: Jun 25

Learning a new skill can take time. It is important for tennis coaches to understand how tennis players learn

Players can learn a new skill many ways. These include - 

Watching Most children are visual learners. As such the coach’s correct demonstration of a skill is imperative. Many coaches will talk during this demonstration however most of their words will fall on deaf ears as the player will be visually engaged. Watching matches on television can also be a valuable learning tool. 

Listening Explaining a new skill can give clarity to the task at hand. Keep your description short. The use of cue words (a word that can tell a person to do something) is effective.

Asking questions Questions will generally be asked should the player not understand the initial requirements. Questioning is also common when the player has the basic idea of what to do however requires information on a specific part of the task/skill. If a student asks a question, first answer the question then show them a visual demonstration.  

Exploring  Allowing the player to explore different ways to achieve an objective is a valuable learning tool. When players explore in many cases they find ways they had not previously considered. E.g. – Player 1 has to hit a winner to the forehand corner and Player 2 has to hit a winner to the backhand corner. The desired outcome has been given but not how to achieve it, hence the player will have to explore different ways to successfully reach the outcome.

Competing Is a great learning tool for all age groups. Playing different players, dealing with adversity, problem solving and developing necessary character traits are all benefits of competing. 

Mistakes If the student has a growth mindset, learning from mistakes could quite possibly be the best source of learning. When a shot hits the net something went wrong (feedback). Allow the student time to analyse their mistake and then try to find a possible solution. 

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