Nervy start to a new tennis club term

The new term at tennis is always hit and miss with N.

It seems he’s now playing tennis three times a week at the moment.  On Mondays at after school tennis club, on Fridays at the tennis club junior lessons (both with the same coach).  And now on Fridays at school, it’s his class’ turn to have tennis from an external coach.  N doesn’t seem too concerned about that, and there’s no other sports that he wants to try.  Other than agreeing to play football at lunchtimes with his cousin, and on Thursday afternoons when the coach comes and does football with them.

N loves playing tennis. He always looks like he enjoys it, and out of lessons and school, he can often be seen picking up his racket out in the garden.  But at the start of every term after a break, when tennis club starts again he’s never too sure and it takes ages to get him to take part.

frozen tennis ball and swingball in the garden

I’ve mentioned before about his first ever training session where he wouldn’t join in for ages.  And we had the same when after the October half term they moved the youngest 2 groups indoors for the winter sessions.  He just doesn’t like change when it comes to tennis.

And the first session back after Christmas looked like it was going to be the same.  The time had changed again and I realised that they must have moved around the children because N’s session was too early for there to have been another younger group beforehand.

When he walked in, the younger ones were all doing a warm up. But we didn’t realise they’d started early, so he refused to join in thinking they weren’t his class.  All of the children from his school in the old group had moved up because they’re all 6 and taller.  So there was just him and another boy left from their class so they’d been put in with the children who are 4 and 5.  He wasn’t impressed that he was now in with the younger group, who weren’t so good, even though a couple of them aren’t far off his and the other boy’s standard now.

N refused to join in the warm up, and nothing I was going to say would help.  Luckily one of the other mums who is involved with the tennis club and the Monday sessions, said she’d take him over to the coach to see if he could help with the balls.  It turns out that N will do anything to please the tennis coach and anyone else involved with the club.  And sorting out balls is one of his favourite things. Anything to be a teacher’s favourite!

balancing tennis balls to collect the

Once they got their rackets out he was back to playing and joining in normally.

It was forehands, backhands and forehand volleys today.  He had a really good session, only missing a few backhands, and hitting some really nice shots.  He’s also grasped that he does need to move his feet and turn sideways, and his swing isn’t too bad either.

With the younger children N also seemed to have a bit more confidence in shouting out answers to questions.  Added to that, aiming to pick up as many balls as possible when asked, he was always going to be in the running for player of the week.  So this new group, until half term when he’ll have turned 6 and hopefully be ready to join his friends in the older group could be good for his confidence and knowing that he’s one of the better players.

What topped off his lesson and helped gain N the player of the week trophy, was him hitting the final ball of the session to get all his teammates out of jail in their Jail Break game.  He was so chuffed again. It’s the second time he’s won it and he was keen to know how he could clean it.

With N’s tennis, it’s up and down. Sometimes he has a great session and others he’ll miss pretty much everything.  As long as he’s got the opportunity to help out and be seen to be useful, he’ll take part and enjoy it.

Now the hope is that his swimming will be as enjoyable. So far, he’s not had the same issue with starting the new term with that.  But I’m hoping that the first one of this year will go well…he’s moving up a group.  He should do ok, and there’s 2 others from his class going up. But 2 of them are going up still wearing a (light) float belt, so they’ll stick out like a sore thumb. I hope he won’t get put off by still having his on.

What sports do your children do?  How do they cope with change and new classes?

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