My little guy found an old tennis racquet and a squash racquet lying around in the garage yesterday and asked me to play “tay-nes” with him. I figured, why not? So we shut the garage doors and grabbed the newest looking tennis ball we could find out of the dog’s toy bin. We played for few minutes against the garage doors before his older brother found us; “I want to play.” I thought I knew where this was heading, but lucky for everyone, he handed the racquet over to his older brother and moved on to climbing the mulch pile (he’ll be able to do that well into the fall).
Armed with his racquet, big brother was ready to play. I attempted to do a quick overview on how to hold the racquet and how to stand in the ready position but it turns out that five year-olds already know how to play tennis. Who knew? So we moved right into play. We had some short volleys and did a lot of ball chasing but it was fun and was proving to be a pretty good way to spend that “two” hour stretch between 4:30 and 5:00.
Later that evening at bedtime I told my budding Federer how I really enjoyed playing tennis with him. “You know Mom, there are tennis courts outside my school. We could play there before it opens.” Not a bad idea I thought. We have this extra half hour between school drop offs that we’ve tried to fill with everything from reading books to coloring books and even an occasional trip to Dunkin Donuts. A quick game of tennis would serve us well.
So this morning between pouring Cheerios and taking out the trash, I remembered to throw the tennis racquets in the car and even managed to find a can of balls not previously owned by the dog. My young Federer was impressed when we got to school and I surprised him with our racquets. We volleyed a few, chased even more but had a really good time. I will even admit that he nailed two right by me that landed in bounds! I had better but a little shine on my game if I want to keep this going.
I wonder where that fine line is between letting him win a few to keep his interest and build his confidence verses being good enough that he will want to continue to play with me. I’m thinking this is could be a really great summer activity for us.