Joining the tennis club and a clingy child

Ever since first playing tennis at school last year N has enjoyed the game. They have an external coach from a local club come in and do junior lessons for them, and after playing in the summer term, N was given a referral letter to play at the club.

joining a tennis club - Bubbablue and me

Tennis was my sport at school (before squash took over at uni and afterwards), so I’m pleased that he enjoys it so much. For a 5 year old, and thinking about his cousins and other children I’ve seen with rackets, he’s not bad. He’s a child that’s good at connecting racket and ball, or bat, or club. Anything that involves a ball he seems to pick it up quite well.

I checked before booking him on the tennis club course to make sure he wanted to do it. Initially he wasn’t sure until I explained that the coaches from school worked at that club too so it might be that they would be the coaches….or not because one of them has moved up north.

In the run up to the first session in September, N was quite excited. Not knowing if the usual Monday school club would continue through the winter meant the club sessions might have been his only chance to play until Summer. He kept telling his dad that he wouldn’t be on the farm because he’d be playing tennis so I thought it would all go well.

But it was a different story on arrival.

N can be quite shy. He’s definitely an observer first of all, checking out who else is there and where’s there space and what others are doing. But generally he will join in. When we arrived we were the first ones, along with another more confident boy. The coach (a new one to him) was really friendly and chatty, and introduced himself to N, telling him about what they’d be doing. All was ok.

Until all the other children arrived. I’m only talking about 12 kids maximum. Half of them are children from his school, either in reception, year 1 or 2. He knew all of those and knows them fairly well because they all go to after school club at some point together. But he wouldn’t let go of me when all the others went down to the court. I got dragged along too. They all went off to play a warm up game of tag. N refused.

I talked to him. Tried to find out what was wrong. Why he was scared. Did he not want to be there. How he was wasting time and would look silly for not joining in and holding on to me. Nothing helped for 20 minutes of the 45 minute session.

Eventually, thankfully, at the end of the warm up the coach came over and talked to him.

‘N mate, I’ve got a problem. I need some help’ and like that he was a changed boy, happily going off to ‘help’ out and join in. I could leave the court and stand and chat with the other parents, watching the children all enjoying themselves.

By the end of the session when he came out of the court, N was buzzing and happy having enjoyed it and wanting to go back the week after. ‘We’re doing jailbreak game next week’. Hmmm. Fingers crossed the second week he would take part in the whole session.

We had a quick play on the playground which is much improved with new wooden equipment since we last visited before heading home for tea.

playing on a playground wooden tractor

playgound swings

jumping from a wooden train play equipment

Week 2 arrived, and it was like the first session could never have happened.

5 year old tennis player

N was straight into the court, talking to both of the coaches, taking the mickey out of the female coach who teaches them at school. And joining in every activity with gusto. He was telling others to do, or not do certain things. He was like the teacher’s pet, even having some ‘good work N’ comments.

entering the tennis court

I thought he’d be a bit miffed at not being in the same group as his friend I, but they split the children into year groups, so the Year 2s went in one group while the reception and Y1 ages stayed in a group. It’s amazing to watch such young children hitting tennis balls, some of whom were quite powerful and accurate. Let’s just hope that with N playing twice a week he doesn’t get too sick of tennis.

I’m so glad he got over the wobbles in the first session. And I’m really pleased that he’s settled in well and is enjoying playing with new people. Hopefully if he continues enjoying it, and playing, I’ll join the club in April, and we’ll be able to play there together. I’m so rusty though, it’s very embarrassing so I think I’ll need some mega rusty rackets tennis lessons to get me vaguely back to playing again.

Do your children play tennis? What sports do they get to try at school? How did they get on when starting in new clubs?

Dear Bear and Beany Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

 

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30 thoughts on “Joining the tennis club and a clingy child

  1. Ah I’m so glad he took to it by the second lesson! Looks like a lot of fun. My daughter doesn’t play tennis but she does have more of an athletic nature than I do! She loves to run, swim and dance and I’m very glad that she does!

  2. So glad that N got over the first week’s wobble and was much more confident at the second session and joining in all the activities so happily. Looks like he had fun at the playground on the first week even if the tennis session that time didn’t go as well as hoped for! #countrykids

  3. That’s great that he was more settled this week, I hope it continues. I really hope my girls get into tennis, my husband loves to play and I did as a child. Now I just like to watch it, so I will leave it to my husband to teach them. Thank you for joining us at #SharingtheBlogLove x

  4. My Son is only 14 months at the moment so not quite tennis stage yet. I always used to like playing tennis when I was younger and would support him if he chooses to one day. Great that your son got over his nerves! #CountryKids

  5. We have never had a school which offers tennis. I am glad the coach was able to get him to play and that the following week he was ok. You must be so proud as it requires a lot of skill for someone so young. #countrykids

  6. Even though Max is only two, I can see so much of what I already know of him in N. He always takes a little while to warm up to things, particularly if it’s something that involves a big group of kids all together. But once he’s accepted it he’s off and away! I’m so glad that N got on board with it so quickly. I’m terrible at tennis myself, can never manage to serve over the net!! Thanks so much for joining us again at #SharingtheBlogLove

    1. I used to be good, but shocking now. It’s amazing how downhill your ability goes.

      IT’s good in a way that these boys take things easy to get into things, to observe first of all. Assessing the risk I presume. But annoying at birthday parties trying to get him to join in or at activities like this. Thankfully once N’s in, he’s in and loves it. Long may that continue!

  7. He clearly enjoys tennis,I’m glad he has settled in. My youngest is the same, very shy and lacks confidence. We took him to his first football training session last week and it took him ages to join in, only joining in once the coach took hold of his hand and led him the to other children. At the end of the session he was full of smiles and even said he made a friend 🙂

    1. That’s just the same as N. I’m not sure how he’d cope with football where it’d likely be a lot busier. It amazes me how confident some of the children, even younger ones are.

  8. It’s so hard to know what to do when your child suddenly doesn’t want to take part in something they were originally so keen on. It sounds like the coach has got it sussed though. So pleased the next session went well for you.

    #countrykids

    1. Yes, I was really pleased that the coach got him involved. He did exactly the same with a slightly older child this week too – the promise of some interesting new balls. He obviously knows exactly what the draw is for some children! Thanks for stopping by Heidi

  9. My son plays tennis on Saturday mornings so I’m just about to shoo him along to get ready. He loves it, particularly jailbreak at the end of the session. Hope N continues to enjoy, it’s the one activity that mine is never reluctant to go to! (Now swimming on the other hand, sooo boring…..). #countrykids

    1. Ours do jailbreak too – although I think at school rather than at club.

      We have the same with swimming. N loves it once he’s there, but hates the thought of lessons. I tell him it’s only until he’s good enough to be safe and strong enough to swim a reasonable length of time, then he can give up lessons. It could be a while given current progress! Thanks for stopping by Christine

  10. Ah well done N – you must be so proud. It is so frustrating for us parents when they wont join in – my girls are the same but I think sometimes I forget how young the our and how daunting it must be. My eldest went on a tennis camp in the summer and enjoyed it (although she was a little miffed she couldn’t do it very well) she has just got a tennis racquet for her birthday so we will see how she goes! #countrykids #sharethebloglove

    1. Thanks Natalie. Yes, proud and relieved. And week 3 went well this week too. I think suddenly it clicks, although playing in the garden is very different to being taught a new technique – double handed forehands?! No idea when they came in! Thanks for stopping by

  11. Good for N. I’m glad he was able to join in. It sounds like a really good coaching session with coaches that know how to work with young children. I’m hoping to organize lessons for my youngest. Especially as he will meet people he’ll be going to secondary school with. In the meantime, he is really into his cricket in the summer, with two sessions a week. #CountryKids

    1. Yes, they really seem good, although I’m not too sure about the double handed forehand they’re teaching them. N’s much better with single handed.

      It’s so hard finding lessons that fit with school and work, but good when they find something they love

  12. I have to say that was a great line by the coach that was clearly just what N needed to give him the confidence to join in. Sport is great for kids and boys especially. I think it gives them so much confidence and a great way to burn some energy. I hope N keeps it up, lovely to see he still had enough energy to play afterwards too.

    Thank you for sharing with me at #CountryKids

    1. I’m really pleased he’s taken to it – to want to do it twice a week is pretty surprising. It’s lucky the session works for us on the day I finish work early, otherwise we’d be a bit stuck

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