Choosing to get your child involved in a sport from a young age is valuable for so many reasons. It encourages regular physical activity, helps them meet new friends and form bonds with coaches and mentors, and can boost their confidence as they learn new skills and improve over time. No matter their perceived physical ability, as long as your child is enjoying his or herself, they’re probably reaping the many benefits of youth sports.
One of the biggest benefits of youth sports, however, are the real-world skills that they impress upon athletes during practice and in competition—skills that can be used after your child steps off the court, the field or the pitch.
Youth tennis training is no exception. We at ROGace like to think that these five skills in particular really stand out as a result of our high-performance but approachable training method.
Because tennis is such a technical game, it requires a great deal of patience while learning the ropes. It can be easy to get frustrated, but tennis teaches us to settle in, focus on honing the task at hand and work up slowly and steadily to the next skill or level. The ROGace approach to training is especially conducive to this sort of thinking—we emphasize gradual progression through every stage and focus on really mastering each skill before moving up.
At some point in our tennis training—no matter how experienced we are—we are confronted with a particularly tough match or a tricky new skill that we must overcome to grow as a player. At ROGace, we embrace these challenges and use them as goal-setting opportunities or chances to check in on our training—what are we doing well? What can we improve for next time?
If you’ve ever watched professional tennis, you’ve probably seen some not-so-admirable diva behavior—huffing and puffing, racket throwing, yelling at referees. It doesn’t happen all the time, but when it does, it’s not pretty. At ROGace, we emphasize losing gracefully and winning with humility—we encourage our players to ask questions and communicate respectfully if they don’t understand something. We also ask that older players find opportunities to help younger players improve, fostering a community that shares in victories big and small.
Self-Motivation and Drive
Every player who wants to improve must take it upon themselves to try their best at every practice. No matter how encouraging we are as parents or coaches, players also have to learn to motivate themselves when they’re frustrated, discouraged or they simply don’t feel like practicing that day. By tracking their progress and meeting measurable goals at every level, our young athletes learn to take accountability for themselves and their training, so when they need to dig deep, they can.
Though tennis isn’t a team sport like soccer or field hockey—you aren’t working with 10 other teammates on the court—teamwork still plays a big role. When everyone is motivated to try their best and word hard, they challenge each other to get better, creating an environment that better supports individual growth. Players who take this to heart and honor their commitment to others not only experience continued improvement, they learn that the people they practice with are not their rivals, but their biggest motivators.
At ROGace, we work hard to help our athletes master technical skills at every level, but we know that playing a sport is about more than hard skills and final scores. It’s also about what we take away from every match and practice and how we use it to become better players and better people.
If you share this belief and think tennis training might be a good fit for your child, don’t hesitate to reach out to learn more. We regularly enroll new players and would love to welcome your young athlete to our team—even if they’ve never touched a racket before.