Padel Parenting: The thin line between too soon and early coaching
As summer holidays have just started through Europe we have been questioned a number of times when is it a good age for young guns to begin learning padel. Long summer and stress-free days without school schedules seems to be the right time to break a 10 month long routine for both children and their sporty parents.
Of course, true padel fans would be delighted to see their offsprings become the player he or she would like to be, but before you write your child´s name on the list of your local club make sure your kid is:
a) truly the athletic type
b) picks the sport himself
c) social and amicable is his/her middle name
If you have two of the three in your hand, there is a chance the young one will enjoy the learning process of padel. While the sport as a whole is a case for coordination, resourcefulness, fitness, tactics and technique, there are a number of developmental milestones that need to be set in place so as to attain success. By the age of 7, it is likely a child is capable of riding a two-wheel bicycle on his own, which means his vestibular (balance) development is complete. Skip, galloping and dance are strong indicators of overall coordination maturity.
By commencing their middle childhood, kids will be able to swim, roller or ice skate, jump rope, scale fences, and really understand the social rules of play itself. Kick ball, team relay races and dodgeball are great activities to check your child in before enlisting him/her in padel club.
An early start in padel will be successful if, and only if fun is part of the game. As we learn through and from emotion, muscle memory will be enhanced by the association of positive feelings for the sport, the people involved in the learning process and the general tone and motivation crafted in the learning environment.
Padel Begins outside the court
All learning is experience taken into purposeful use. Understanding that the skills required for the sport of padel are many, there is little reason to believe that at early ages this sport will only be learned in the formal structure of the game itself. Peripheral vision, hand-eye-feet coordination, good communication and strong physical foundation are key factors for padel development. If these are properly guided, they will, at later developmental stages seamlessly come together with the right direction from professional trainers.
It will be in adolescence where increased coordination and motor ability together with greater physical strength and prolonged endurance will be developed. Teens are able to work better distance judgment and hand-eye coordination. They are able to master the skills necessary for adult sports, with practice, loads of it.
But most of all it will be the youngster´s commitment that which will drive success. As our own training as tennis players began as children, we know from experience the utmost importance of fun and resilience in the learning equation. Resilience yes: a weird word to bring about in a padel post. A virtue or blessing. A positive attitude, optimism, the ability to regulate emotions. All these build up resilience, that which makes us rise from mishappenings and soldier on. That is where the #gamechangers blueprint rests.
Disciplined training comes later, nonetheless padel does have an advantage over many other sports. The ace is on our hand. It is relatively easy to grasp, enough to start ralling pretty soon. Totally social, like no other sport to promote teamwork. All in all, make it a family thing, not your child´s thing. Keep in mind you and your child are on the same team. If you are already a padel parent here are a few links that might come handy. While useful for all clubs and federations, the links below might feed you with insights and further views.Are you a club or federation? If so, share with us your experience in fostering the new generations of #gamechangers through Europe. We would love to know how many junior clubs are working around, and learn lessons from you.
Are you a club or federation? If so, share with us your experience in fostering the new generations of #gamechangers through Europe. We would love to know how many junior clubs are working around, and learn lessons from you. Enjoy Padel, enjoy summmer, with lots of sun from padeldise to all our #gamechangers.