Have you got a young aspiring tennis player looking to take the next stage in their tennis journey?
Whether they are looking to participate more in tennis or trying to take their game to the next level, squads are a fantastic way to further develop their skills. Squads thrive in high volume, hitting & game-based activities in a social and/or competitive environment. Below, Nick Opasinov from Vida Tennis Essendon explores Eight Benefits from Training in a Squad.
In squads, kids are placed with players of similar standards; whether it be by what grade they play in competition, performance or social squads. Most squads vary in time between 1 hour – 2 hours depending on the age and level.
8 Benefits from Training in a Squad
It is all about hitting. Getting the players hitting repetitively for long periods of time is essential. It ranges from feeding drills, consistency, 2 on 1’s, repetition, getting the heart rate up, match play situations & more.
2. Practice what you have learned from your Private Lessons
Squads allow you to implement the technique you have learned with your private coach into practice. Because squads are all about hitting, there is no better time to practice what you are working on. This will help you get ready for when you play competitions/tournaments.
Playing points are a regular thing in squads for a number of reasons. Implementing what you have learned earlier in the squad session, or have it be something from your private, is important for player growth. Being able to compete for every shot, and solve decisions on your own marks the pathway of a great tennis player.
We learn the technique to achieve tactical outcomes. Squads are full of tactics. Having good technique is important, but we need to know how to play the game of tennis, and that comes through tactics. Understanding tactics using weapons, consistency, depth, transition, netplay, serve & return, are all but a few things your player will utilize to maximize their game potential.
All squads will have competition involved. Competing is healthy. Having our players enjoy competing but also love the game of tennis is a necessity. Tennis is a game that will have a winner & loser. If you compete and have 100% effort then you’ve already won.
Squad environments are team environments. Everyone has their input to the session, they feel safe speaking up, are accountable to one another, and can have fun too. We want them to enjoy the game of tennis and feel the environment is allowing them to achieve that feat. High-performance squads will have a strong culture around work ethic and ownership, while social squads will have a culture of enjoyment and participation. There is no right or wrong; it is all catered to the individual.
7. Making Friends
Tennis is an individual sport, however, if you join a squad you can make lots of friends. It’s a great way to meet new people with the same interests as you, also to create a network of kids you can hit with when you want too. It’s also a great way to practice with your teammates from the competition.
Tennis is a very tough sport, squads can be very fun when you come to practice with your friends and teammates. Because a lot of squads involve team competitions and activities it can be more enjoyable for some kids rather than privates.
Squads are also very cost-effective, with bigger groups and ratios but in turn, you get a lot more time on court too.
Vida currently runs a range of different squads. From some that have high-performance athletes, to JDS level squads, to players who enjoy the social side of Tennis.
Growing up as an aspiring tennis player I had the opportunity to be in many great squad environments that I believe had a positive impact on keeping me in the game, making friends and improving my tennis.
The Early Stages of a player’s development are crucial, all squads will have a blend of the themes above, it’s about finding what the individual needs most right now.