Even though the US Open has come to a close, that doesn’t mean the national craze for tennis has to. Whether you’re playing for sport, or as a recreational activity, tennis is known for it’s incredible psychological and physical health benefits—both of which are great for children.
Similar to many other sports, tennis requires a certain level of self-discipline. It’s more than simply having good hand-eye coordination; it’s about being alert, paying close attention to your surroundings, and thinking critically about the game, all of which are crucial skills for children to learn early on.
Many tennis instructors suggest that parents sign their child up for tennis lessons young. The Play Place offers lessons for children as young as two years old, while Saw Mill Club runs multiple “10 and under” programs. Learning a sport at a young age will not only help a child succeed athletically, but it will also help them build confidence and social skills as well.
“Our 10 and under programs run all 7 days of the week, year round,” said Bob Bull, Director of Tennis at Saw Mill Club. “Tennis is a lifetime sport, and it’s our goal to make sure each and every child associates the tennis court with great fun, exercise, and friendship.
Sometimes it can be hard to get a child to be active and break out of their comfort zone, especially if they’re young, but indoor play spaces have come up with a solution.
“10 and Under Tennis is a revolutionary new method for introducing young players to the game,” said Mitch Lance, tennis program director and instructor at The Play Place. “With racquets sized for small hands, smaller courts that are easier to cover, and balls that don’t bounce as high, it makes tennis more enjoyable and gives players a better chance to learn and succeed.”
If you take a child out to a standard, full-size court, hand them a racquet that’s half the size of their body, and tell them to serve the ball across the net, chances are they won’t learn anything. They might even be discouraged. To combat this, indoor play spaces like The Play Place and TGA of Southern Westchester have created courts, racquets, and larger, softer balls for children to use. Instead of hindering their success by providing them with equipment they can barely hold, they’re enabling the kids to learn. This creates a fun, comfortable environment that children want to be in, which promotes general success with the sport.
If you’re a parent looking to sign a child up for tennis lessons, these are the places you’ll want to check out first.
The Play Place
Located in Elmsford, The Play Place offers a safe, non-competitive environment for children of all ages to learn tennis, and most importantly, have fun. This indoor play space offers several different specially tailored programs to fit every child’s needs. The Play Place also provides age-appropriate equipment for children participating in the programs.
TGA of Southern Westchester
TGA offers after-school enrichment programs, summer camps, clinics, and soon-to-be leagues in North America. They are located in Pelham, Rye, Scarsdale, Larchmont, White Plains, Bronxville, Harrison, Hastings, New Rochelle, Elmsford, and Dobbs Ferry. In addition to providing age-appropriate equipment like smaller racquets, courts, and balls that bounce lower, TGA acts as an “extension of the classroom.” They also offer supplementary enrichment programs that work on character development, rules and etiquette, physical education, and academic lessons in math, science, history, and English.
Yonkers Tennis Center
Yonkers Tennis Center, which has received national recognition from the United States Tennis Association, offers a variety of different programs for tennis players of all skill-levels. For children, YTC offers a “10 and under Tennis” program aimed for children ages 3 through 10.
Saw Mill Club
Located in Mount Kisco, the Saw Mill Club offers camps and programs for children, including “Weekend Quick Start 10 & Under Tennis.” The goal of these programs is to provide a solid foundation of basic tennis skills that children can build upon in the years to come. Even more, the club has seen quite a bit of fame walk through its doors, including designer Joseph Abboud, movie star Lena Olin, international financier George Soros, and actor Stephen Lang.