In an article over at Outside magazine, contributing writer Katie Arnold reminds us that it can be counterproductive to sign our kids up for formal sports lessons before they’ve developed movement skills.
At first blush, it probably seems like it makes sense to get your young children into these lessons early―after all, they’re impressionable little sponges; this is when, intuition tells us, they’ll pick it up the fastest.
But formal tennis lessons weren’t helping Katie’s 3-year-old daughter Pippa, they were hindering her, and because she was missing out on some fundamental movement skills, she wasn’t having fun.
Katie realized that a better approach would be to get outside with her daughter and let her have fun playing and hitting a ball back and forth on her own terms … not an adult’s. No courts. No audiences. No pressure.
Once Katie and Pippa spent time together practicing skills, Pippa was ready for the courts.