**This blog is part of a sponsored collaboration with Tennis Australia, however, all words and opinions are my own.
Much of our lives these days are lived indoors - particularly throughout the winter months. Sometimes it’s hard to get out and about, and to keep the kids (and me too I guess) motivated enough to live an active and healthy life. Especially when all you really want to do is stay inside and hibernate! Then sometimes you find yourself on the opposite end of the spectrum, where you’re constantly trekking between school, swimming lessons, ballet lessons, and everything in between. Finding activities that you all enjoy, that are convenient to attend and organise, and also FUN enough to keep the kids entertained, is difficult sometimes!
So, when Tennis Australia reached out to me a few months ago, to see if the girls and I would like to take part in their ANZ Tennis Hot Shots program for a term, and for me to share my experience on my blog and social media, I had to make sure it was something that I would actuallydo in regular life. I set out to do a little research into the program and what it offers.
Quite often the first aspect I look into, is location. How much extra effort is it going to take on my part? Is this activity going to see me traveling half way across the city afterschool? Or will it take up my ENTIRE Saturday morning, and leave room for little else? Sounds selfish I know, but when you have to juggle multiple family members, it’s definitely a consideration. It’s always important to weigh up the enjoyment and benefits for the kids against the effort on the part of the parent to enrol, and attend. We would all love to give absolutely everything to our kids, and allow them to participate in every single activity, but it’s just not possible.
My first search of the ANZ Tennis Hot Shots program, I found that there were 8, yes EIGHT programs available to me within a 5 km radius. The closest one is a nice 2-minute drive from my house. I then went on to search for programs in every postcode that I’ve ever lived (which is a lot – thanks to the military) and realised that there are so many different programs on offer, that it seemed that no matter where you lived, you’d find something nice and close. SO that was already a BIG tick in the box.
The other added bonus to Tennis, is the ability for the sport to be played anytime – THE WHOLE YEAR ROUND. Summer, winter and everything in between. This to me adds another tick in the convenience box, not to mention the continuity for the kids.
The lessons are based around the kids having fun. It’s play-based learning, which is perfect for my two, given that they’re only 3.5 and 5 years old. Each lesson is a series of fun and age appropriate activities or games, designed around their ability level, and altered to fit the child. Even all of the equipment is modified to suit the children involved in the lessons. There are smaller racquets and courts for the kids to learn with and bigger, bouncier balls, which makes the game easier to play. It’s also been very encouraging to see the coaches allow my 3.5 year old to participate at her ability level, rather than seeing her fall behind because she simply can’t keep up with the older children in the class.
Not only can I see that their hand-eye coordination has improved, I can clearly see their social skills improving too. Their confidence each week is building, which allows them to interact more and more with the other children in the class. The fact that I get to sit on the sidelines and watch (which I don’t get to do for school, kindy or ballet lessons), means that I can see how they interact with the other kids (how they make friends), and their coaches (how they react to adults other than me, and how they follow instructions). Which is a huge positive. It also doesn’t hurt that I get to see the smiles on their faces, smiles that remain a permanent fixture for those precious 30 minutes each week.
Ultimately our experience with the ANZ Tennis Hot Shots program has been extremely positive. I’m not going to lie, I knew within a few short weeks of the program that this was going to be an activity that we would continue.
Tennis got the girls good- game, set and match! (Sorry, I couldn’t help it)
Behind the blog...
‘The Mummysomniac’ is a lifestyle, motherhood and most recently, pregnancy blog, founded in 2015 by Kirsty McKenzie. She’s a mum of three, blogging about the highs and lows of motherhood, with a straight forward and honest approach, as well as a little bit of humour. Kirsty is passionate about sharing the realities of #MumLife, not the cookie cutter, high gloss version