As we start a New Year, I (Elly) wanted to explain more about Junior Competitions and Tournaments.
Children are much more likely to continuing playing tennis if they are competing, as it increases engagement for them. There are three main ways children can start playing competitive tennis:
- TEAM CHALLENGES – we try to run these once a term for children to play fun matches in teams against
other players at Kings.
- TEAM JUNIOR MATCHES – when we, the coaches, feel children are ready we will encourage them to play in the team matches against other clubs. We don’t focus just on outcome, but encourage them to enjoy the competition.
- EXTERNAL TOURNAMENTS – we will encourage this in positive environments where children go to compete against children from within the county, and then on and beyond!
Lots of people find competition scary and intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be!
Competition & Tournament Journey
The tennis competition journey is one where the parents are involved, they play a pivotal role in making the competition experience a positive and stress free one. As a parent myself, I have watched my daughter lose plenty of matches already so I know the feeling of wanting them to win, as you think it will make them feel good. However, if we can educate our children to be process orientated, the loss will not affect them negatively, they will see it as building blocks and learning on their journey to becoming a great tennis player. Coaches and parents need to work together to create this stress-free environment for the child so that they can think clearly under pressure, enabling them to learn how to let loose on the match court. Every child is different and some children will need lots of help over time to be comfortable in match play.
The benefits of learning to be resilient enough to compete in tennis at any level or age are huge for the individual. The children who can stand by themselves, keep score, understand court position, stand up for themselves if a score is lost/there is an unfair situation, and play tennis, whilst most likely they are being watched by an adult or two, are going to go in to life knowing that they can do so much without relying on others. This teaches them how to take full responsibility for themselves and their actions, and how to cope with unfair/challenging situations, all of which boost self-confidence. I know as a parent for my children I would love them to leave home with these life skills.
It’s hard sometimes to realise how much can be achieved by children at a young age with commitment, encouragement and balance. Many of you will have seen Max at Kings hitting against the wall in the rain, playing with his mum and older brother, but also training hard with peers and in his lessons. Max is just an example, we have a number of children who are in different parts of their journeys in our program.
Max is presently in the Top 20 in the country for U10 boys! See footage of Max over the years below.
Emma Fitzgerald is 24th in the country for U11 Girls!
Sebby Fry is 59th in the country for U11 boys!
Ava Ward ages 8 is also attending regional training camps and is 64th in the U11 girls in the country!
Below you can see some footage of Max practicing from 2019 (aged 6) to 2021 (aged 8).
Why not join us at our Australian Open Team Challenge on Saturday 29 January – if you have any questions about competition please get in touch and just ask me at email@example.com