love-set-match to strengthen family ties
Finding inclusive activities our family can enjoy together is definitely high on my priority list. We've made it mandatory to celebrate "Sunday Funday", a day where the kids call the shots and nominate an activity they'd love to do together as a family unit. We've made a conscious effort to limit outside distractions and zero in on what makes us happy and brings us together. With the weather improving, and Tomasi's new found love of ANZ Tennis Hot Shots, Social Tennis has been a reoccurring theme!
I must say, I do love heading outdoors and having a hit with my Tribe.... the banter alone is hilarious!
It's almost always a Mum + Son versus Dad + Son scenario, however we don't keep score; the real enjoyment comes from the on court camaraderie and exciting rallies. Playing doubles (occasionally 'triples') with our children has really fostered a deeper connection and stronger bond, which in turn has strengthened our relationship off-court. It's in moments on the tennis court that respect is earned, trust is gained, empathy is exercised and vulnerability (by all) is shown. Encouraging words or a thumbs up after a great serve (or honourable attempt) really resonates with our boys and leaves a positive footprint on their self worth and self belief. The proud look on their little faces says it all.
As well as match play, social tennis is a great way to reinforce and build upon skills learned during their ANZ Tennis Hot Shots lessons. Given all our boys are at different stages of their tennis tuition, playing modified games with modified equipment is an ideal way to practise their skills in a fun, relaxed environment while keeping fit. School holidays are just around the corner too, and provide the perfect opportunity to rally the troops for a recreational hit and social catch up. My boys also secretly love mum 'teaching' them tennis - despite my lack of tennis background! They think it's pretty cool that I taught Physical Education BC (Before Children), so having a 'lesson' with mum is a pretty big deal in their books!
The physical benefits of playing tennis are well documented, but what I've personally enjoyed most this past year is seeing my children develop mentally and socially. My boys have become so much more resilient on court; missed shots or loss of points are now less likely to disrupt their mindset. They're disciplined, controlled and focused when receiving coaching instructions and can execute skills or tasks when directed. In structured classes and recreational play, my boys demonstrate great sportsmanship, fairness and respect for their opponent, all values which we hold in high regard.
Tennis really does bring our family closer together, and it can for your family too.
Regardless of age, skill level or generational differences, tennis is a sport for all that can be played from the age of 3 to 103!
The skills my boys have acquired as juniors in the ANZ Tennis Hot Shots Program will continue to serve them into adult hood and beyond - it really is a smart investment! Being a low-impact non contact sport, the risk of injury is relatively slim, which ensures my boys will have a long playing future ahead, be recreationally or competitively. For us older players its nice knowing the game hasn't passed us! What we've lost in speed and agility we can make up for with our their experience and refined skills. Tennis really is a Sport for life.