My RED BALL kids can’t score!
I don’t know if it’s because we are down in Melbourne – Australia and my kids aren’t as clever as kids in other programs or because we don’t use traditional scoring for this level of players. I’m pretty sure it’s the latter!
We don’t introduce “traditional” scoring at all for our Red Ball players. We use pegs, cones, playing cards, snakes and ladders, and the board game “Connect Four” to create fun scoring systems that engage the kids. With four of my own guinea pigs at home, all of these activities are engaging and far more appropriate for kids this age.
We use a variety of co-operative and competitive activities that all involve some kind of scoring—just not 15, 30, 40…. Game!
Like putting 5 year olds on a full size court, traditional scoring is equally mad for kids at entry level to our game.
It’s fantastic to observe how engaged the kids become in a basic Red Ball activity as soon as a fun scoring method is introduced. It doesn’t matter whether the task is co-operative or competitive, they all buy in! We use the same drills and type of scoring for a few sessions in a row so the kids become familiar with both. The tasks do become more difficult and they are soon improving without even realising it!
Most of our kids will progress from our Red Ball program with no experience at traditional scoring. They all move on to Orange Ball level however as little tennis players
- who can rally,
- who understand the boundaries of the court,
- who understand movement to the ball and between shots,
- and also that tennis is played between 2 or 4 players. T
They know that when a coach throws or hits the ball in the perfect spot to make them look good, they are not really playing tennis!
Our retention rate is fantastic, our business is growing every term, and we are producing some great little players!
And whilst my Red Ball kids can’t score, they are all little “tennis players”!
Jason Lindeman – Director of tenniscoaching.com.au
evolve9 Professional Development Team