See Tennis through your Child’s eyes.

For most of my Life I have been a teacher of Biological Sciences.


I have taught all ages both males and females from a variety of backgrounds and cultures.   Teaching Biological sciences is not coaching tennis but in both cases the parental aspirations for their child’s  accomplishments are often the same.

The child who is constantly pressurized into doing well in exams is the same as  the parents  who have high expectations on the level of tennis their daughter  or son should be achieving.

How often did it happen in college meetings with parents when they had decided that their offspring was going to university when they themselves never did?

It is the same with Tennis


Isn’t it amazing how tennis seems a lot easier to play while watching from the sidelines? But it’s just not that easy in the heat of battle.  For your child, it can be incredibly challenging to 

try and handle match challenges like nerves and frustration when they are under stress. 

Even world class performers experience these stresses..

 So if he/she does face difficulties in tennis that you cannot  understand, then as a parent  it’s 

important that you start  to see the situation through his or her eyes.

Responding With Empathy

Many parent have the best of intentions for their child. But  in their attempts to help they use their own experience because they judge the situation from their own point of view.

This can sometimes lead to miscommunications…

Try  being empathetic to your child’s difficulty  and join with him/her in seeing the situation through his/her eyes. This will mean that you will gain an understanding of his/her experience and also 

communicate to him/her that you understand his/her perspective and how they feel.



A Lack of Empathy…

Responses that lack empathy usually take a predictable course:

Parent are Unaware– In this case the parents would respond without awareness of the internal feelings of their child (embarrassment and distress).

Interpret– They would  interpret the situation through the eyes of their own experiences (frustration and confusion).

Judge– As the parents were experiencing frustration and confusion they would  judge their child’s performance as just ‘not good enough’, and possibly communicate a ‘personal flaw’ in the child’s technique

Fix– With the intention of helping their child the parents then will try to explain what their child did wrong. This is an attempt to ensure he/she does not make the same mistake again. The problem here is that the parent did not stop to consider their child’s experience. The parents don’t communicate any understanding on how the child feels. This reaction will  cause him/her to feel more difficulties regarding the outcome.

learn to show  Empathy

An empathetic response would look like this.

Aware– In this case the parents start by recognizing their own  experiences and then consider their child’s experience.

Explore–  To make sure they are on the right track they can check in with their child to discover his/her stress and embarrassment.

Understand Now that the parent can understand and  feel their child’s internal experience (rather than their own), they can let him/her know that they understand how difficult it is for him/her to lose such a close match.

Join  Rather than trying to fix the situation , these parents can join with their child in helping him/her cope with their disappointment by letting him/her know that it is normal to feel  disappointment.

What You Can Do…

Next time you notice yourself trying to help your child by fixing a difficult situation that he/she encounters,  just step back for a minute and  check to make sure you have fully considered and understand how he/she feels about the present situation.

This will allow you to collaborate with your child in a way that will strengthen your relationship and makes it more likely that he/she will listen and take on board what you have to say in the future.


Good Warm up exercises before playing Tennis

A lot of tennis players pay strict attention to their warm-up exercises while some others just do a few chest twists and muscle releasing movements before a tennis match. Doing a planned series of warm-up drills, which also includes cardio and dynamic stretching exercises, is quite beneficial for both professional and amateur players. Warm up exercises for tennis should be done for at least 10-15 min prior to playing or practice.


There are a variety of tennis exercises that help in reducing injuries and assist in developing functional flexibility, range of motion and balance. The range of tennis warm up exercises includes:


1. Cardio Cardio exercises should be done for 3-5 minutes. Skipping or running can be done for cardio. The main purpose of cardio warm up is to increase your heart rate and circulation, thereby increasing the length of muscles and preparing the joints for exercise.


2. Muscle Activation – To overcome any muscle imbalance or any instability issues around certain joints, it is important to excite the correct muscles and push them to work during exercise. This can be achieved through muscle activation. Some useful activation exercises are Four Point extension, Supine Bridge and Shoulder External Rotation.


3. Range of Motion (ROM) – Tennis exercises are a great way to move joints and lengthen muscles. ROM exercises can be considered as exercises for an active stretch or loosening up of the body. The main benefit of ROM exercises is that they help in the movement of the whole body rather than just isolating a specific area or muscle, which is mandatory to do before playing any sport, especially tennis. Some of the best ROM exercises are Sumo Squat Lift, Lunge Twist, Thread The Needle and Spine Flexion.

4. Shadowing – This is the final phase of the warm up schedule. Shadowing imitates the movements that are performed on the tennis court. Shadowing gets the nervous system working and ensures that your body follows specific movement patterns. Shadowing exercises for tennis can be used to help you in preparing mentally for practice or play. The intensity of shadowing should increase every 20-30 seconds; so that you feel yourself ready physically as well as mentally before you start your session or match. A tennis player should do shadowing for at least 2-3 minutes (20-30 sec on: 20 sec off x 3-4 sets) alternating between forehands, backhands, overhead, volleys and serves.

5. Stretching – Stretching is very important after playing tennis. Players can feel tired and fatigued after playing tennis for hours, if they don’t follow a regular stretching program, it can have a long-lasting effect on their tennis fitness and performance. Once the match is over, players need to do a steady jog until their breathing has slowed down and they feel close to a resting heart rate. Then they should follow their stretch program, holding stretches for 30 seconds to 1 minute, targeting tight areas throughout their body.

Following these warm up steps that are specific exercises for tennis, will ensure you are ready every time you train, practice or play.


Visit from Northwood Tennis club

The club had a busy week last week with Northwood tennis club from london visiting the club and playing friendly games against  club members. Four hours of tennis was followed with a barbecue and a few glasses of wine. An enjoyable night with great tennis .

I also believe there were a few pool champions hovering around the pool table…enough said!

The players at Northwood I talked to remarked on the great condition of the courts and the beautiful setting of the club.

lets hope we see you all next year in sunny Spain!

Improving your technique

A problem that people have when learning how to play tennis is learning how to improve their technique. This can be done by learning what you are doing first and then lots and lots of practice.

If you are not sure of what you are doing then working to follow a few small tips will   improve your overall game greatly and allow you to play a much better game.  Having a good hitting technique is not the only thing that you need to play a good tennis game.

Your first step is going to be the tried and true tip of practice and practice some more. If you never practice your technique then it is not going to improve no matter how many books you read or how many tutorial videos you watch. Learning how to improve your technique by reading some books and articles can be helpful, but you must take what you have learned and actually put it to use on the tennis court in order to actually reap the benefits that are available to you.


Your next concern should be making sure that you are using a tennis racquet that is appropriate for your skill level as well as physical size. If you are using the wrong racquet then no matter what you do there will be no way for you to hit the ball effectively. If you work very hard to ensure that you are hitting the ball then you are certain to ensure that you are making progress. A good appropriately sized racquet will make it much easier to hit the ball and ensure that you are able to play the best possible.


For actual tips, you want to always hold the racquet as if you were going to hit the ball with your palm for a forehand swing. This will allow you to easily get the grip on the racquet you need to connect squarely with the racquet. If you hit from the side your ball is likely to land in the alley and unless you are playing doubles this is not a god idea at all.


For a good backhand, you need to hold the racquet with either one hand or two depending on how you are most comfortable. If you do hold the racquet with two hands you need to ensure that you are not overlapping your hands as this will cause you to tilt the racquet slightly which will again hinder your technique and likely result in numerous balls that go out into the alley. You need to also ensure that you are not using a racquet that is too heavy; if you are, it will pull down either forward or backwards and make it difficult to get a good solid square connection to the ball.


Your stance is also going to be very important. If you are standing around casually slouching when the ball is coming at you and slowly yawning as you lift the racquet you are not going to get the impact that you need. You are likely to not care about your technique either. However, since you are reading this you are telling yourself that you do care about your technique, which means you care about your stance as well. Ensure that you are properly balancing the weight between your legs to get the best results possible.


The last step is to always ensure that you watch where the ball goes. If you are wrong about where the ball goes and are having to suddenly bolt across the tennis court to barely touch it with your racquet you are not going to have as good of a return as if you had anticipated exactly where the ball was going. The skill of always watching the ball will involve a bit of careful planning and practice both on the court and off in order to be truly successful at improving your technique.


ITF Tournament on coast this week

If you ever fancied playing some tournaments along the Costa del Sol  then why not consider playing in an  ITF Seniors event at one of the clubs on the coast.

At present Puento Romano  Tennis club in Marbella is hosting an event and Tony is playing today in the quarter finals singles.

Our club Forest Hills in Estepona will be hosting an ITF tournament at the end of Jan 2018- 23-28th .      so Keep  those dates in your dairy.

Will keep in touch with more news.


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