Girls in tennis competitions: These girls can

Play like a girl

One of the things that is very striking about my tennis club is the number of children who attend group coaching sessions but never play in a competition or even an AEGON Match and this is even more acute amongst the girls. My daughter is in her final season of orange tennis and entering competitions has been a very different process than it was for my son. There are times when I get frustrated and feel our competitions are not necessary set up to encourage girls to compete. These are my suggestions which could help:

1) Always, always, always give a medal or trophy for 1st and 2nd in a competition.

2) Always run a girls draw if you can, so if you have 5 girls and 7boys run two draws for boys and girls. 1st in each draw, 2nd in each draw etc could still off play against each other for an additional challenge.

3) If you can’t run a separate draw ensure that the top girl also gets a medal. Even if there is only one girl in the competition if she wins a match, she is the top girl and should be rewarded.

4) If there are only a small number of girls in the competition, ensure they play against each other. If there is a series of boxes why not make one an all girl box.

5) If this is not possible have a separate round robin alongside the main competition. Give leaderboard points for these small round robins, so even for three girls in a grade 5, the top girl should get 75points etc. This would require an LTA rule change that the minimum number for a competition was not 5 in this circumstance.

6) Discourage red ball competitions with outside red balls. Watching children try and hit the hardest over head serve possible in such a short space is very disconcerting and can put less physical players from fear. I’m sure you will have your own ideas too.

I’d be fascinated to know what they were.

2 thoughts on “Girls in tennis competitions: These girls can

  1. Centreline Tennis

    Hi, I didn’t see this before and I find them highly interesting. I am going to look straight into how many of these points we can put into play straight away.

    Points 1, 2 & 3 will be incorporated as soon as we can, unless we hit a stumbling block next week.

    Point 4 is tricky in the UK due to the draws and how they have to be made. But there is nothing stopping girls vs girls as extra matches where possible. Obviously this is very similar to point 5 but, we are right now attaching this to our next meeting with the LTA regional manager to see if he can help.

    Point 6 there’s a tricky one but we have found half an answer we have some heavier sponge balls on their way. Not all venues are blessed with indoor facilities but with this ball outdoor red is back in town.

  2. Pingback: Girls in tennis: These girls can | tennisdadblog

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