by:Â Kevin Keene
One of the enduring beauties of tennis is that people of all sizes, shapes, ages, and physical abilities can enjoy playing the game. All these people do not learn tennis in the same way. Here are a few generalizations. Adults typically are more patient, like thorough verbal explanations, want to understand the reason behind suggested actions, and often expect mastery of one skill before moving on to the next.Teenagers often are extremely self-conscious and live in fear that they will be singled out from their group of peers. They rely on looking, talking, and acting like their friends to “fit in,” so a skilled instructor will respect their feelings and avoid putting them on the spot.
Kids often learn very quickly from simply imitating a movement and tend to be uninterested in lengthy explanations of any kind. They typically are impatient and anxious to move on to new topics.
Beginning players usually want to move quickly through the basic skills and on to playing the game, which seems to be more fun. Once a beginner successfully gets one good serve in the service box, he figures he is ready to play and score.
More advanced players have high expectations for their performance and often will spend an hour or more working on just one isolated skill such as deep crosscourt forehand drives. These players want to perfect the skill and ensure that it holds up even under the pressure of match play.
Other distinctions among types of tennis players are the preferences to learn visually, verbally, or using the kinesthetic senses. For the visual learner, a slow-keep motion demonstration by a skilled player is essential and it might even be better to watch a videotape of the skill.
The verbal learner is comfortable with fairly detailed explanations of how to perform certain skills and may benefit from a printed explanation found in an article. Probably the best advice for teachers and coaches is to “show and tell” so that both visual and verbal learners benefit from the same presentation.
Many learners also say that they need to “get the feel” of a motion or shot. They are using their kinesthetic sense, which is located in receptors in muscles, tendons, and joints throughout the body. The coach may emphasize the feel of a motion by helping the player through the correct path the racket should travel.
Tennis is a skill sport that is based primarily on learning to handle the racket in order to direct the tennis ball. Most people have the capacity to improve throughout a lifetime of play provided they have relatively sound tennis technique from the start.
It doesn’t matter whether you learn the skills as a child, a young adult, or a mature adultÃ¯Â¿Â½Ã¯Â¿Â½”you still want to start off with technique that allows you to improve for years to come.
Â About the Author
Kevin Keene is a contributing writer at Bodysports Paintball, writing reviews of paintball sniper rifles. He also is a freelance writer contributing articles on soccer, Brazilian football, and paintball gun sling .