The balance between tennis and other sports is the ultimate question in the mind's of parents, coaches and players. For youngsters, it is important to have a good balance between the amount of time playing tennis and other sports. This is to avoid fatigue, injury and most importantly, to maximize enjoyment.
Firstly, what is fatigue in tennis terms? It is the excessive and extreme overload caused by repetitive or continuous patterns, resulting in mental and physical tiredness. This results from playing too much tennis, thus placing physical strain and expectation on the young player's body. Excessive fatigue and too much tennis can result in injury, which can be a crucial changing point in the youngster's tennis. Repetitive tennis strokes and constant physical strain on the feet and ankles can lead to injuries and significant damage to the child's growing body.
At a young age it is important for players to love and enjoy playing the game of tennis, otherwise they may feel that playing tennis is too much of a burden and that they can't reach their goals. Young children and even adults, love the feeling of success and triumph. It motivates, encourages and pleasures individuals to achieve their goals and reach higher ones. How much more important it is for the children and youngsters to experience this same feeling of satisfaction, and the the only way for this to happen, is for them to enjoy playing tennis, wanting to play more and the desire for competition.
So how much tennis should your child actually play? It is recommended that children aged 7-8 play around 4-5 hours (40-50%) of tennis a week. At this age it is vital that the children develop and maintain interest in tennis. For children 9-10 around 7-9 hours (50-60%) of tennis. Now it is important that the players are developing the correct technique and understanding various tactical skills. Children ages 10-12 are advised to play 10-12 hours (60-65%) a week. For children 12-13 years old they should play 12-14 hours (60-70%) a week of tennis. At this age the youngsters already love playing tennis, and now it is important to develop weapons and a particular style of play. Further they need to become physically and mentally stronger. Youngsters aged 14-17 years old play around 16-20 hours (65-75%) a week.
There are other sports which your youngster can play to help improve his tennis skills and fitness. For example, soccer is an excellent sport to help improve speed and agility and was played by many other professional tennis players when they were in their youth. Basketball is also a good sport to improve muscular strength and coordination. Swimming can help improve stamina to maximize performance on-court.
In conclusion, the amount of tennis which your child plays is up to you, whether you want him or her to play more or less. The recommended hours are mentioned in this article specific for various age groups. It is important that your child has the correct balance when it comes to playing tennis and other sports, otherwise your child could end up with fatigue and injuries. It is also crucial that your child enjoys playing tennis.