I had a nice family vacation this past week. The kids are finally at an age so we can play golf and tennis. And now that I’ve tried it, I do have a few thoughts on playing sports with kids:
For the tennis, I would ignore the singles court. Just play anything inside the white lines. If the kids are under 9, just play anything inside the gate. And I would bag the service line, the service court and maybe even service altogether. Because to a kid, the precision required to hit the left service court with a tennis ball feels like trying to hit a fly with a dart.
Teach your kids the proper way to score, but then don’t get cute with it. When it’s 40-30, don’t say ad-in. When it’s 30-15, don’t say 30-5. And when it’s 30-30 don’t say 30-all. It confuses the children. And shows just how completely lazy we parents really are.
And I wouldn’t bother switching from right service court to left service court. Or switching sides at all. Just put your kid in the shadiest part of the court and leave him there. Then you have something to punish him with. Poor sportsmanship buys you a spot on the hot side in the sun.
For golf, expect to see a lot of teeing up. Teeing on the box, in the fairway, in the rough and on the green. And don’t be upset that you got your kid a whole set of clubs, of which he uses only one. I think it’s great when you can hit any shot with a 7 iron.
Props to my youngest whose golf swing is the exact same swing he uses in baseball. And to my oldest, who twice hit the tee out from under the golf ball without ever touching the ball.
And driver’s ed has nothing on cart driving. They learn to drive forward, backward, over bridges and over grass. And in circles in the parking lot, when you send them to look for the car. They even learn to appreciate infrastructure, once they’re able to knock it in the fairway and use the cart path – as opposed to shanking it in the woods, turning our golf cart into an all-terrain vehicle.
But in both sports the kids seem to think flip-flops are appropriate attire, it being the beach and all. And hitting directly to a teenager because she can’t run in flops for the ball, I see she’s not exactly sweating. And it does make more sense when you’re in a sand trap to be sporting sandals instead of spikes.
Maybe these kids are onto something …