With Wimbledon in full swing (pun intended-soz #Dadjoke), it’s the perfect time to share this family’s love of the beautiful game with you all!
My children, Oliver, 6 and Xander, 3, spent a term being introduced to tennis thanks to Tennis Tots earlier this year and they loved every single minute of learning how to play.
Initially, both were a little nervous about taking up the sport, particularly little Xander, but the boys made huge leaps in even their first lesson (hitting the balls with rackets by the end of it) and by the time the term was up, had improved their co-ordination and most importantly, their confidence, tenfold.
And that’s the beauty of taking up a sport from a young age isn’t it, it’s not about winning awards or games, it’s about taking the time to learn new skills, to socialise with other children, to understand how incredible your little body is, and the potential it has to make you feel good. To release those happy-making endorphins. To make you sweat. To make you want to high-five yourself when you make those big or even baby, steps.
It also teaches you the most important lesson of all, to fail and learn from your mistakes.
To pick yourself up and not to stop.
It teaches you to be a good sport too. Literally.
Thanks to Tennis Tots, both boys were (gently) pushed out of their comfort zone to learn new skills, to hit and miss balls and to GROW. All in an emotionally safe and fun environment on a Saturday with Mum and Dad by their side.
They both often say how much they love tennis and it’s hopefully planted the seeds for a life-long love of the game.
It’s even lovelier to witness as my husband and I, have always loved tennis ourselves.
My brother and I took up tennis lessons from a young age, playing up until uni- and still enjoy a game or two today (even if we don’t get on the court often enough).
One of my very first dates with Peter actually saw us playing tennis in West Hampstead which was quite innovative on Peter’s part to be fair! Game, set, match, he got the girl too didn’t he!
Seriously though, it’s pretty special being able to pass down our passion for the sport on to the children and we’re looking forward to all playing together over the summer and on holiday in August too.
But back to Tennis Tots-
What did we get up to over a term?
I write ‘we’ by the way, as parents are encouraged to get involved with the lessons which is all rather special. No watching from the sidelines, these classes are designed so that all the family can take part making it a great way to meet and make friends with other parents- and grandparents too!
The lessons would kick off with warm-up exercises and ball games, be it tennis-related or football and even running around the hall, before each rotating with a partner to practice tennis skills.
The fact the children were in a relaxed classroom environment and had to listen and and take note of instruction meant Xander was getting in pre-school practice thanks to Tennis Tots!
The classes also teach and reinforce numbers, colours, shapes and letters as well as tennis skills.
Here are the boys being supported by the very patient and funny instructor Luke and his assistant as the kids got to grips with playing tennis!
Teachers make the course and these guys were warm, caring and really know their stuff.
Matt McTurk, LTA coach and father of two who founded and developed Tennis Tots came on site several times too, his passion for tennis and making it accessible to all, was inspiring.
…Watching the kids practice their tennis skills each week in such a fun environment was an utter joy to witness.
They truly grew in confidence week by week and always had a complete ball (sorry)!
Look at Oliver’s proud little face at having hit a ball!
And the great news, you can find Tennis Tots all over the UK so your kids can start learning to play too.
The programme is divided into two stages: age 2-4 and 4-6 with classes taking place within community centres, sports centres, church halls and studios all over the country.
They are also award winning to boot and recently won the backing of former Dragons Den Theo Paphitis in their quest to bring Preschool Tennis to children across the UK as the franchise business was selected to become part of Theo’s Small Business Sunday network after tweeting a short biography of their business.
Rightly deserved too!
Thank you Tennis Tots for the superb education and many a fun Saturday! We honestly can’t recommend them highly enough.
Check out their site and if you can’t find a class running in your area, why not consider setting up your own franchise as they’re seeking sporty mums and dads to teach grassroots tennis too.
Don’t miss the vlog so you can see the boys enjoy their term with Tennis Tots!
…Now, excitingly, you can win a Tennis Tots Kids’ Starter Kit worth £100 which includes a net for your garden, tennis soft balls, 2 rackets plus Tennis Tots hoodies! It’s the perfect prize to encourage your children to start learning to play.
Simply enter via Rafflecopter below.
Ends Aug 2nd 2016.
No cash alternative.
If the winner doesn’t respond within 7 days of the email being sent, a new random winner will be selected.
This is a commissioned post but as always, words are honest and my own.
a Rafflecopter giveaway