Home Court Tennis: Make your own fun
A rise in children playing tennis at home during the COVID-19 lockdown is pleasing many coaches, including Australia’s Fed Cup captain Alicia Molik.
Like many parents across Australia, Alicia Molik is busy home schooling and trying to keep her children entertained during the COVID-19 pandemic.
With social distancing rules restricting access to tennis clubs and coaching lessons, more and more children are playing in their own backyards. Molik’s children, aged eight and five, are among them.
According to the Western Australia-based Molik, a former world No.8 singles player and two-time Grand Slam doubles champion, it is a positive to come out of this challenging situation.
“I feel like we are living how my parents, my brother and I lived as children. We never went away. We played in the front and back yard and made our own fun,” she said.
“It is not such a bad thing for young kids I feel.”
Tasmanian coach David Dickson agrees.
“Backyard play allows everyone to enjoy their own version of tennis,” he said.
“Imagine what will happen after this? Kids will be used to playing hours of home tennis and coming out of this, throw that into the mix with lessons and matches, this will be very powerful.”
Dickson, who runs Dickson Tennis and coaches at the Sunshine Tennis Club in Hobart, believes it is encouraging to see children using their imaginations to find new ways to play tennis.
“That courtyard out the back of the house that had a little too much concrete becomes a great practice wall or rebound tennis zone,” he says.
“Or a courtyard with half grass half pavers, with the addition of an ANZ Tennis Hot Shots net, gets them playing Wimbledon at one end and the Australian Open at the other. A serve-and-volley game becomes a must from one end, whether you like it or not, because that ball won’t bounce on the lawn.”
How are you playing tennis in isolation? Share your home tennis experiences on social media using the hashtag #HomeCourtTennis