Houston Kids' Tennis Lessons & Summer Camps

PROPER EQUIPMENT, PHYSICAL, SOCIAL & PSYCHOLOGICAL BENEFITS

STRAIGHT FROM THE SOURCE 

     Zeze de Moura
    Head of Player and Junior Development
    The Houston City Club
 

Editor's Note:  Zeze de Moura is a Houston Dad and has been a U.S.P.T.A. certified tennis professional for more than 20 years. He studied Kinesiology - Sports Administration at the University of Houston. He played college tennis and the Satellite Circuit.

  

ParentsPost:  Why is tennis a great sport for kids?

 

ZEZE DE MOURA:  Tennis is an amazing sport. The great advantage about tennis is that you can play for a lifetime. My father will turn 83 in August and still plays twice a week. I see people on a daily basis who are well into their 70s and 80s playing doubles. It's wonderful to be able to enjoy the sport late in life and stay in good shape and healthy.

 

ParentsPost:  What are the benefits of tennis?

 

ZEZE DEMOURA:  Some say that tennis is similar to a game of chess. Concentration is vital. Good strategy, quick thinking and mental toughness are a big part of a good tennis player. There is also the social aspect of tennis. Kids are interested in having fun and being with their friends. I particularly emphasize those two aspects of the game in our lessons and our tennis camps. Kids must learn while having fun. Psychologically, tennis is a very challenging sport. The player constantly has to make decisions under a variety of situations. Strategies must be changed depending upon the development of a match.

 

ParentsPost:  What is a good age to start lessons?

 

ZEZE DE MOURA:  That varies from child to child and Some kids are ready to start at age 4 or earlier, and some kids are not ready to start until they are 6 or 7. I usually see that most kids are ready by age 5. You must be careful how you start a young child. If you start the wrong way, it can be a negative experience for the child and he or she may not want to try again.

 

ParentsPost:  What should parents keep in mind regarding instructors and equipment?

 

ZEZE DE MOURA:  It's important to start with the right size racquet, ball and net. The right equipment can make all the difference. If possible, you will also want your child to start with a qualified professional, an instructor who is experienced working with kids and who is very patient. Working with kids requires even more energy than working with adults. You will want someone who is very positive and can motivate your child.

 

ParentsPost:  What are some exercises parents can do with their kids at home to develop eye-hand coordination skills?

 

ZEZE DE MOURA:  Remember - you want the right equipment and the right progression. You will want to start with a large ball. Rolling first is preferable to bouncing. Hitting should be done first off a ball rolling on the ground. Kids can practice hitting balls first with their hands, then paddles and eventually the racquet. Kids are different from each other and they develop differently. At the City Club we use a progression format called Quick Start Tennis and it works really well with young kids.  





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