With social distancing in place from COVID-19, your child may have trouble finding tennis camps or even a partner to hone his or her beginning skills. Thankfully, there are lots of training aids that you can find online that your child can use on his or own, whether he or she practices on your driveway, in your yard, or at a local park. Here are three tennis training aids you might want to consider.
There are many different types of rebounders on the market. Some are good for just hitting and practicing proper form while others can act like a second player and return the ball quite quickly. You can get your child a very basic setup which would have a base, a tennis ball attached to a string, and a button to retract the string after it’s hit. These types of rebounders are the most affordable and a great option if you don’t want to buy a ton of tennis balls for your kid. If your child wants to mimic play and improve their agility, you could get a net or tarp rebounder that will return the ball quite quickly. If your child is advancing quickly and getting more serious about tennis, then you may even want to invest in a battery-powered rebounder that can be loaded with multiple tennis balls and which can return balls much more quickly.
There are three main grips for tennis players, the Semi-Western grip, the Eastern grip, and the Continental (“chopper”) grip. Which one your child uses will mainly depend on what kinds of shots they are returning to their opponent. Some younger players have a hard time remembering proper grip placement when they are focusing on movement and returning a ball, a grip trainer can be useful when your child is using his or her rebounder equipment. Grip trainers are attached to the handles of racquets and keep certain fingers separated so that your child doesn’t choke up on the racquet or practice improper form.
The head of the racquet contains the racquet strings, and for beginners, it’s important to try and hit the ball near the center of the strings at the “sweet spot.” If your child isn’t hitting the ball in a good position on the strings, he or she may struggle with aiming and accuracy. A good aid that can help your child develop a feel for the sweet spot is a racquet cover. These covers fit over the head of the racquet and cover everything except the center of the racquet strings. If your child hits anywhere else when practicing, he or she will feel the placement of an off-center ball as it ricochets off the cover. This training aid is helpful because when your child is practicing, it can be difficult to feel the proper positioning of the racquet as he or she moves.
Contact a sports or sporting goods supplier for more information on different brands and types of tennis training equipment your child can use.