Monday, 11 May 2009

Coach tennis with a ball and frisbee

While playing a couple of games of tennis I chatted with the guy I was playing with who asked how he could teach his children to play tennis. His kids are quite young and might find it difficult to hold a full tennis racquet. They might also find it hard to work with a racquet at first. When I suggested just throwing a ball to mimic the service and smashing action he liked it. This is a common analogy used to teach tennis.

But how do we teach the fore and backhand shots and one and two hands etc. You can try it with a ball like people suggest but that's not how people normally throw a ball so it feels forced. Then An inspiration popped into my mind, these shots are the same as throwing a frizbee. When I compare the movements of my arms, shoulders, hips, legs etc from throwing a frisbee and hitting a fore hand backhand I could find that they were really simlar and that one would help the other. 

I could learn to throw the frisbee further and with less risk of injury in the same way I could learn it about a ground stroke. 

So now I can teach these basic skills with simple games. I can throw balls to practice overhead or underarm shots and use frisbees to practice groundstrokes.  If they throw to each other they can practise the catch and throw cycle of a groundstroke rally.  

If I could find a toy that I can use for both then I'm sorted
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