Last year, I was determined to improve my high school tennis program. We have hundreds of players of varying levels playing at several middle and high schools in Frisco, Texas. I needed to find a way to address the development needs of all of them. In the past, it has been challenging to create meaningful programs for all the different levels, because if we taught skills that were too basic, the more advanced players did not improve, and if we taught skills that were too advanced, we would lose the interest of the novice players who would just get frustrated. Then I found SportsEdTV Tennis.
I figured we are all in the technological age, so why not turn to technology for a solution. Plus, my young athletes are all digital natives, so using the internet to help them improve was a snap.
Here’s what we did to get started:
1) We procured some Chrome books from the school to take out to our practice sessions. Smartphones with internet access will do the job – the videos look great on any screen. We had more kids than Chrome books, so we asked everyone to share screen time and also watch videos on their phone or in our computer labs.
2) We set out a three-week schedule of tennis instruction video viewing on the SportsEdTV library. Here is the list of videos we required players to watch:
What’s great about these videos is that not only are John Eagleton, Jeff Salzenstein and all the other coaches on SportsEdTV great teachers, and the videos show very clearly what to do, but they have Martin Damm, Gene Mayer
3) We gave each player a worksheet to fill out with notes about the videos (see photo below) and we let them work and improve at their own pace, setting specific learning goals for each of the three weeks. Some kids learned fast and some needed more time to progress, but by letting them watch the videos and then go back to them on the court when they needed help, each player was able to progress at their own pace. It worked great and was fun for the kids because nobody was frustrated about advanced too fast or too slow.
4) We had each player partner with another player of similar ability. Players would practice the skills together and the partners would “coach” each other. This coaching role play made it fun and beneficial to both partners.
Using the SportsEdTV tennis videos to help kids learn and help teach each other had three
1) They learned more skills faster and improved much more quickly than they would have without using the videos, especially in a big group.
2) The partner-coaching role play made the team closer, as they were all learning and improving
3) The team is winning more matches!
About the author:
Head Tennis Coach
Independence High School
Nelson Middle School