Tennis Blog

Mini-Tennis Orange Ball Tournament - 7 May 2017 May 08 2017, 0 Comments

Anyone For Tennis held a Mini-Tennis Orange Ball Tournament last Sunday (7 May 2017), which proved to be a huge success with 20 players made up of both girls and boys with ages ranging from seven to ten years old.

The tournament was divided up into four groups of five players, guaranteeing all players a minimum of four matches, with group winners qualifying for the semi-final stage. Congratulations to all players for entering in what was for many, their first ever tennis tournament.

Special congratulations to our four semi finalists: Francesco, Ryan, Agastya and Shantel.

The final was played out between Agastya and Ryan, it was Ryan who was victorious claiming the win in a closely fought encounter, in what was his first ever tennis tournament.

Ryan has been taking lessons weekly with myself (Coach Sam B) since January 2017 and has shown good improvement both technically and tactically. Crucially, he arrives on court with the right attitude required to improve.

One of the things I found most satisfying was to see the players on court and truly enjoying their tennis and embracing the experience.

The tournament offered the players an opportunity to put into practice what they have been working on during their tennis lessons, see the level of the other children around their age and also reflect on their own performances.

It is important to state at this stage in their tennis development that results are not the be-all and end-all. Ensuring that these children have a good experience in tennis and good memories from playing tennis is far more likely to yield long-term participation in tennis and offer increased motivation to practice and improve further, so that they can really maximise their potential.

Special thanks to my colleague, Coach Jorge, who was instrumental in running this successful tournament together with me. His efforts are very much appreciated.

Also special thanks to all the parents who willing gave up their Sunday afternoon to travel over to the East for this tournament! 

 

Yours in Sport,

Coach Sam B


Agastya - Winner of UWC Mini Orange Competition March 24 2017, 0 Comments

We would like to congratulate Coach Dave's student - Agastya, who was the winner of last Sunday's Mini Orange Group 2 competition at United World College (Dover).

This is Agastya's second win at this level. 

Coach Dave has been working with Agastya the past 18 months and he has this to say about him: "Agastya is a joy to teach. Perfect attitude every single session, so much heart!"

Coach Dave would like to stress that while results are great at this early stage, they are not the priority.

At Anyone For Tennis, we want to keep the long term goals for our players' development in mind over short-term results.

We make sure our students develop the passion for tennis and look forward to their tennis lessons, while at the same time striving to improve their tennis skills.


Tip of the Week (Coach Sam HS): Find & Finish - A Beginner to Intermediate Forehand Guide March 03 2017, 0 Comments

Hi, I'm Coach Sam HS and here is one of my Mini Orange players.

She has been training with me for just under three months and already we are working on match play tactics.

She is going to demonstrate the steps in which I would coach a beginner or intermediate player of any age to hit a forehand.


Step 1: The Ready Position

• Feet shoulder width apart
• Two hands on the racket (dominant hand at the bottom)
• Racket out in front of your body


Step 2: The Find Position 

• As soon as she recognises that the ball is coming to her forehand, she puts the racket in the “find position”.
• This is the position she wants to make contact with the ball.
• The racket is waist height and in front of her.


Step 3: The Swing 

• All in one motion, she takes her racket back slightly and swings for the ball, keeping her strings pointing forward as much as she can, doing her best to make contact with the ball in front of her body. (Sack the camera man!)


Step 4: Finish

• After making contact with the ball and remembering to keep her strings facing forward as long as possible, she finishes with her racket over her shoulder.
• Here, you can also see her forwards momentum has carried her over the Orange baseline. 

 

Don't forget to smile while practicing the above! If you have any questions, feel free to approach any of our tennis coaches!


Tip of the Week (Coach DC): 3 Ways to Improve Your 5 year old's Co-ordination Off-court February 07 2017, 0 Comments

It is always good to continually help develop your child's co-ordination outside of his or her tennis lessons.

Here are my top 3 suggestions to do so. Note that you can even practice these indoors!

1) Balloons

That's right! Buy some balloons and challenge your child to keep them up in the air, using any body part they like (eg: hands, head, feet, elbows).

Count how many taps/hits your child can do without the balloon touching the ground.

 

2) Racquet and Balloons

Similar to Tip 1, add in the racquet and see if your child can keep the balloon up. Allowing them to use different body parts and the racquet is a fantastic way to build co-ordination skills.

Challenge them to balance on one foot and keep the balloon up. This will help to develop your child's balance, a vital skill for hitting those forehands and backhands.

 

3) Hopping

Probably one of the must under-practiced skills is the ability to hop, land and balance. This is a very important motor skill for your child.

Challenge them to hop forwards and backwards on each foot.

CAUTION! Make sure you stand behind them to catch their fall when they hop backwards, especially if their balancing skill isn't quite there yet. 

Hopping backwards is great practice for pushing off and using the ankle to accelerate, useful for eventual tennis shots. Hopping also helps develop the motion required for split stepping during rallying.

Hope you can give these ideas a try and be sure to let our tennis coaches know how you get on!


Coach Sam B - Why Play Tennis In Singapore January 27 2017, 0 Comments

Hi, everyone! I am Sam B, a tennis coach who just joined Anyone For Tennis in January 2017!

In this blog, I'm going to explain why tennis is such a good sport to play and be involved in, particularly in Singapore!

Tennis is a sport for life! You are able to play tennis socially, or competitively, or both! In my experience, I have given tennis lessons to a child as young as 2 years old and to an adult of 80 years, as well as every age in between.

Nobody is too young or too old to start playing tennis. Tennis is undoubtedly a skilled sport, you will improve your playing standard and competence with practice, persistence and ideally tennis lessons too.

There are so many forms of tennis you can choose to play including cardio tennis, singles, doubles, tennis boot camps etc.You are never far away from a tennis court in Singapore and since all courts here have floodlights, you can play even at night.

Tennis is truly a global sport. Currently, the top 10 players in the world in both men and ladies professional tennis tours (ATP & WTA) are made up of 10 different nationalities in each.

Playing tennis is a great way to make friends and you can really improve your social connections by participating in tennis, unlike any other sport. 

Last but not least, tennis is a great way to improve your fitness. Studies have shown that participating in cardio tennis for 1 hour can burn as much as 600 calories! 

I will end off with a picture of me taken while travelling between lessons, drenched by one of Singapore's magnificent storms!

All our tennis coaches are happy to travel to your court to conduct tennis lessons for you, this is our commitment be it rain or shine!


Tip of the Week (Coach Dave): Practicing Tennis (Part 2) June 23 2016, 0 Comments

Question: How should I practice if I have a court, but no practice partner?

Answer: Hit some serves! This is the most important shot in this sport and it is often under-practiced.

Before each serve, make sure you do these 4 things:

1) Stand sideways

2) Feet should be shoulder-width apart

3) Knees should be slightly-bent

4) Racket and ball are together with loose, tension-free hands

Be sure to start all your practice serves in this position, just like how 8 year old Ethan is demonstrating in the picture above.

Below is a picture taken by Coach Dave when he was in Melbourne earlier this year for the Australian Open. 

World #7 Milos Raonic with one of the most-feared serves at Australian Open 2016.

How does he serve so fast? Apart from his obvious physical ability, take note of his "trophy position":

- Left arm extended very high

- Left hip shifted inside the baseline

- Shoulders tilted, left above right

- Elbow pointing toward the back fence

- Racket face slightly closed, no "waiter's tray" there, which is very common with recreational players

Tip for improving your serve: Pay attention to your trophy position. 

Adding on to how else students may practice without a practice partner, shadow swings and working on footwork patterns on the court are excellent drills as well. Practice moving for the wide ball, the deep ball, the short ball. The possibilities are endless! 

Do check with any of our tennis coaches on some drills you may use to practice on your own. The ball is in your court. ;)


Mini-Tennis Orange Ball Tournament - 12 June 2016 June 17 2016, 0 Comments

Anyone For Tennis held our first ever Mini-Tennis Orange Ball Tournament last Sunday.

It was organized by our Managing Director Dave, for 13 of our students, aged 7-9 years old. It was incredible seeing our students come together to play at this one-day event.

They were able to put what they learnt during their tennis lessons into practice with others of similar playing standard!

The Mini-Tennis Orange Ball Tennis format is played in a smaller and narrower court around three quarters the size of a regular court, using a lower compression ball.

This enables kids of young age to experience the game of tennis, holding longer rallies and constructing points in a court more in proportion to their body size and strength.

 

The competitors were split into two groups, who then played a "round robin" format, which guarantees each player at least 5 matches. The winners and runners-up of each group went into semi-finals and finals.

Matches were refereed by the students themselves, who were waiting for their turns to play matches. This kept them active between matches and also enabled them to understand the scoring system and serving order of the game.

Players were not allowed to challenge the umpire under any circumstances, so there were no mini John McEnroe antics! The umpire's decision was final.

Parents especially enjoyed watching the games from the sidelines while cheering their kids on! A special mention to them for being around and helping to supervise the kids as well! 

It was a fun afternoon, despite the blazing heat! Prizes were given to all players who participated in the group matches.

The semi-final matches were played between Riti vs Agastya and brother & sister Max vs Luisa. 

The final match, played between Riti and Luisa, was very closely-contested with Riti coming out on top, winning 10-8. 

The event was a huge success! We received feedback from the parents of our little superstars, who would like us to continue organizing many more of these tournaments in the future.

Mini-Tennis Red/Orange/Green Ball and Junior & Adult one-day competitions will be coming to a venue near you. Watch this space!

Interested in joining our one-day tournaments? Register your interest with any of our tennis coaches.

If you are currently not taking lessons with us, you may email us at anyonefortennissg@gmail.com or call/sms/whatsapp to 93351340


Tip of the Week (Coach Dave): Practice Tennis (Part 1) June 06 2016, 0 Comments

Whether you are a beginner or a touring pro, you must practice regularly in order to achieve your goals. Finding an hour per day to practice can make a huge difference to your improvement and will help you get more bang for your buck during your tennis lessons.

Question: How do I practice tennis with a practice partner, but without my tennis coach present?

Answer: If you are lucky enough to have a hitting partner and access to a court, fantastic!

Grab your practice partner and aim to make a rally of 10/20/100 strokes (whatever is realistic to your level of play) from a distance in the court where you can both maintain control of the ball and hold your shape on each shot.

If you are unable to make more than 10 strokes in a row from the service line, work in a smaller area until you can! Once your goal is achieved, you and your practice partner can play a small game of first-up-to-21-points in the area where you are both competent.

If this means playing mini-tennis in the service boxes with a red/orange ball for adult beginners, then so be it. You are still playing tennis! There is absolutely no need to rush into playing full-court until you are ready.

Coach Dave's mini-red kids - Hugo, Archie, Sophia, Jonas

As tennis coaches, we do notice if our student has put in even just the smallest amount of practice in-between lessons. An example is how the student tends to notice the ball earlier. Students would also have had the chance to digest what was taught to them during the previous lesson.

Having regular weekly tennis lessons would improve one's tennis game, but never underestimate the difference of practices in-between lessons.


Tennis Fashionista #1 March 22 2016, 0 Comments

Our tennis coaches often witness some of their students turn up for their tennis lesson in non-traditional tennis gear. 

Today, Tyler's choice of shirt makes Coach Dave's day! What a way to score some brownie points, especially when your coach is a Manchester City fan!

#minitennis #manchestercity


Tip of the Week (Coach Steph): The Importance of The Ready Position July 26 2015, 0 Comments

Today, we are going to talk about the importance of the ready position!

The ready position is the stance a player takes before the coach or opponent hits the ball. It allows the player to move quicker around the tennis court in any direction.

This is why it is very important to implant the 'habit' of the ready position before and after every shot that your young superstar hits. Without the ready position, the footwork would be slower, heavier and less 'proactive'.

Coach Steph with her students (Imelia, Trisha, Olivia)

 

How to perform the ready position:

  • Feet shoulder-width apart
  • Knees slightly bent
  • Both hands to be on the racket with your dominant hand at the bottom, and the other hand at the top
  • Lean slightly forwards

If the player has only ever learned to be 'sideways' with the guarantee of a forehand or backhand, the movement will become more 'reactive' and rushed. Not only do mini tennis players feel 'professional' whilst copying their favourite famous tennis players, they and their parents will see the difference in speed and preparation for their shots (both forehand and backhand!).

Preparing mini tennis players from the start of their tennis journey is what we do here at Anyone For Tennis, re-emphasized during every tennis lesson. This will enable them to pick up good habits and routines, that will in turn allow them to progress other technical areas of their shots.

The encouragement of being 'proactive' over 'reactive' will always stand in good stead for increased enjoyment and improvement.


Tip of the Week (Coach Sam): Tennis Is An All-Rounded Sport July 06 2015, 0 Comments

If you are looking for your child to learn new skills while having a blast, then tennis is definitely the way to go!

Our team here at Anyone For Tennis believes that tennis is an all-rounded sport.

On top of ensuring that your child learns the correct technique, coordination & fundamentals during tennis lessons with us, your child will also be able to build social skills and create friendships through this sport.

Coach Sam with his students, Eloise & Anise

Not to mention, having lots of fun - during lessons with our tennis coaches and outside of lessons with their friends!

#tennisisawayoflife #bigsmiles


5 year old Emilia hits 34 shot rally with Coach Dave! June 23 2015, 0 Comments

Hi, I'm Coach Dave from Anyone For Tennis. Take a look at one of my youngest students!

Recently turned 5, Emilia from Germany breaks her highest rally record scoring 34 shots.

Here, she is showing fantastic racket head ball control as well as nice, simple and compact swing shapes. No need to over-complicate the technical side at this age, fundamentals are the key. 

I would like to see her show better recovery into her ready position after each shot but hey, plenty of time to address that. Such a joy to work with talented young kids and seeing them progress.

 

Since this clip, she has broken her highest rally score and is generating some topspin on both forehand and backhand sides. She is developing a nice all-round game and is comfortable coming to the net and volleying.

4 years of age is ideal for starting your child on tennis lessons. For more information, please call us at 93351340.


Tip of the Week (Coach Steph): Internal & External Motivation June 17 2015, 0 Comments

Practice makes perfect. It sure does, if it is "good" practice.

The acquisition or improvement of a skill requires good habits from the start to enable a player to repeat it correctly.

Motivation is required if repetition of a skill seems challenging. Motivation can be created by oneself (internal), or by inspiring and energetic tennis coaches (external)!



Internal motivation is in general created easier by adults. Children need that extra "fun factor", and some adults need that confidence boost to feel free to make mistakes in the learning process.

No matter the age, if the player is motivated to learn, internally and externally, there will be no stopping their improvement!

At Anyone For Tennis, all our coaches are extremely motivated to make a difference! Book a session with us and let us motivate you to take your tennis game to the next level.


Tip of the Week (Coach Dave): Why should my child use coloured tennis balls? Surely the sooner they get to full pressure yellow balls, the better right? Wrong! November 11 2014, 2 Comments

At Anyone For Tennis, we focus on helping your child train using the right coloured tennis balls in relation to their age and experience during tennis lessons.

Our tennis coaches are all mini-tennis certified and highly experienced in this area of the game. We believe that this is vital In order to speed up your child's overall learning process.

Each player will be carefully assessed by our coaches before being recommended on which coloured ball to start off with. 

 

The Mini-Tennis System using traffic-light coloured balls (Red, Orange, Green) has been in place in the UK since around 2000 and before that, there was Foundation Tennis using orange balls and Short-Tennis using sponge balls.

There are many other versions of modified tennis around the world, for example ITF Tennis 10s and the acclaimed Australian "Hot Shots" programs. All these modified versions of the game are designed to make tennis easier for kids to learn the strokes and have the ability to enjoy a match.

 

Smaller, Slower, Easier.

Mini-tennis is played on smaller courts and using smaller rackets that are more appropriate for a young child who is just starting to play. 

The mini-tennis ball bounces much lower than a traditional ball, enabling him/her to strike it at a more comfortable height as opposed to hitting most balls at head height or above. The latter often leads to extreme grips and poor technique, which makes it very difficult for him/her to re-learn at a later stage in their development, not to mention chronic injuries that can be caused by the heavy rackets and balls. 

 

Red-Orange-Green

Assessing children to the correct level under the age of 10 and using the right ball is where our tennis coaches have particular expertise.

Note from the diagram above that children can enter the system at any age.

For example, a beginner 9 year old would start on orange balls. However, a very talented and coachable 4 year old who started taking red ball tennis lessons and playing 2-3 times per week could easily progress through the levels quickly and be able to play green ball tennis by the age of 6.

A lot depends on the player's love for the game, co-ordination, athleticism and playing experience. 

 

Q: What if my child has always used regular balls? Does he/she need to go back to green balls?

As long as your child is technically proficient and can hold their shape while rallying at speed and under match conditions, there would be no need to move back. 

However, if put to the test and the tennis coach finds that the rally is breaking down after less than 5 strokes due to lack of fundamentals, then it would be beneficial in the long term to train with a more appropriate ball depending on their skill level.

This can often be hard to take for the player/parent initially, but they will quickly realise that the learning process is faster with a softer and more appropriate ball. A good point to note is that most under 10 competitions use green balls now as well.