Tennis & Children/Brain Power…

Tennis & Children

Increasing numbers of children are becoming involved in competitive and recreational tennis at an earlier age Children as young as four or five years of age participate, with some taking part in year-round practice and competition.
The International Tennis Federation (ITF) organises tournaments and competitions for juniors ranging from 12 to 18 years of age, and many countries organise national championships for the 10s and under.


Growth and Maturation

Childhood is a period of relatively steady progress in growth and maturation and rapid progress in motor development. With the onset of puberty, differences between boys and girls start to increase.

The main events of puberty are the growth spurt and sexual maturation. Most girls start puberty between nine and thirteen years, whereas boys have a later puberty, mostly starting between eleven and fourteen years.

Regular, intense physical activity has no effect on growth stature.

Physical and Psychological Development

Tennis is, without doubt, good for the mind and body. Playing tennis regularly has many physical and psychological health benefits associated with it.

These health benefits are particularly important for a child’s physical, emotional and mental development. However, the human system can be trained and improved at any stage of life, so these health benefits apply to adults and seniors too!

Listed below are 33 specific reasons why you should consider playing tennis regularly.

Physical Development

Tennis is a sport for kids to learn early in life, and there are numerous physical benefits from playing tennis regularly. Regular tennis play has been demonstrated to improve:

1 aerobic and cardiovascular fitness while maintaining higher energy levels

2. anaerobic fitness through short, intense bursts of activity during a point, followed by rest, which helps muscles use oxygen efficiently

3. acceleration by practicing sprinting, jumping and lunging in order to move quickly

4. powerful first steps, by requiring anticipation, quick reaction time and explosion into action

5. speed through a series of side-to-side and up and back sprints to chase the ball

6. leg strength, through hundreds of starts and stops which build stronger leg muscles

7. general body coordination since you have to move into position and then adjust your upper body to hit the ball successfully

8. gross motor control, through court movement and ball-striking skills, which require control of your large muscle groups

9. fine motor control by the use of touch shots like angled volleys, drop shots and lobs

10. agility by forcing you to change direction as many as 5 times in 10 seconds during a typical tennis point

11. dynamic balance through hundreds of starts, stops, changes of direction and hitting on the run

12. cross-training by offering a physically demanding sport that’s fun to play for athletes who also participate in other sports

13. bone strength and density by strengthening bones of young players and helping prevent osteoporosis in older ones

14. immune system through its conditioning effects that promote overall health, fitness and resistance to disease

15. nutritional habits , by eating appropriately before competition to enhance energy production, and after competition to practice proper recovery methods

16. eye-hand coordination, because you constantly judge the timing between the on-coming ball and the proper contact point

17. flexibility due to the constant stretching and manoeuvring to return the ball toward your opponent

Psychological Development

The psychological benefits from regular tennis play may help children to learn and develop positive personality characteristics which are useful on the tennis court, but more importantly, are essential for many everyday situations through life. Regular tennis play has been demonstrated to improve:

18. work ethic because improvement through lessons or practice reinforces the value of hard work

19. discipline since you learn to work on your skills in practice and control the pace of play in competition

20. mistake management by learning to play within your abilities and realising that managing and minimising mistakes in tennis or life is critical

21. one-on-one competition because the ability to compete and fight trains you in the ups and downs of a competitive world

22. accept responsibility because only you can prepare to compete by practicing skills, checking your equipment and during match play by making line calls

23. management of adversity, by learning to adjust to the elements (e.g. wind, sun) and still be able to compete

24. effective accommodation of stress because the physical, mental and emotional stress of tennis will force you to increase you capacity for dealing with stress

25. learning how to recover by adapting to the stress of a point and the recovery period between points, which is similar to the stress and recovery cycles in life

26. planning and implementation of strategies since you naturally learn how to anticipate an opponent’s moves and plan your countermoves

27. learning to solve problems since tennis is a sport based on angles, geometry and physics

28. performance rituals before serving or returning which help control your rhythm of play and dealing with pressure. These skills can transfer to taking exams, conducting a meeting or making an important sales presentation

29. learning sportsmanship since tennis teaches you to compete fairly with opponents

30. learning to win graciously while losing with honour. Gloating after a win or making excuses after a loss doesn’t work in tennis or in life

31. learning teamwork since successful doubles play depends on you and your partner’s ability to communicate and play as a cohesive unit

32. developing social skills through interaction and communication before a match, while changing sides of the court and after play

33. having FUN… because the healthy feelings of enjoyment, competitiveness and physical challenge are inherent in the sport

Specific Considerations

Physical Capacities

How does the development of the various physical capacities in juniors and, more specifically, junior tennis players, progress, and at what age should physical training be started?


  • Strength and Power – Up to approximately age fourteen, boys and girls can perform conditioning exercises together. After age fourteen, the training groups should be split up, or tasks should be individualised due to physiological differences in strength, power, and growth.

There is no consensus at what age tennis players should commence strength training. Historically, resistance training for the development of strength was not recommended for prepubertal children. It was believed that injury risk was too high, and that any strength improvement was negligible.

However, it has been shown that closely supervised, primarily concentric strength training programmes in prepubertal children may lead to significant increases in strength and to small increases in body mass, with low injury risk.

  • Anaerobic Performance – The anaerobic lactic system is less developed in children compared to adults. Children are not able to attain and sustain as high blood and muscle lactate concentrations during high-intensity exercises as adults, even relative to body size.
  • This should be taken into consideration when young tennis players have to perform high intensity exercise (beyond their anaerobic threshold). Thus, the duration of high intensity (anaerobic) exercise should be shorter in children than in adults, and the rest periods between high intensity exercises should be longer than in adults.
  • Co-ordination – Middle childhood (age six to adolescence) is an important time period for the acquisition of co-ordination and complex technical skills.
  • Children who start playing tennis around this age and experience a wide variety of games and sports will have a distinct advantage over children who do not have these experiences until a much later age.
  • Flexibility – Girls are more flexible than boys at all ages, and gender differences are greatest during the adolescent growth spurt and sexual maturation. It is important to put emphasis on the flexibility component, but the above mentioned aspect should be kept in mind.
  • Stretching should be done gently. Also, stretching should be avoided after intense training programmes with a lot of eccentric exercises or when the player is very sore.
  • Heat StressChildren are at an increased risk during tennis in the heat. Children have a lessened ability to dissipate heat and are more susceptible to heat injury. Thus, young players should carefully observe the guidelines for extreme heat conditions and even more conservative measures may be applied.

    This information is reproduced with permission from the USTA. For further information on the USTA Player Development programme visit their website at



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From GADGETS to GAMES: How to TRANSITION Kids AWAY from TV & Technology… By: Withers.

7C5AC576-B408-4BC9-9F30-7B57157A2FC0We live in a time where our everyday life is based around gadgets. Think about it…

We set our alarms on our phones for the morning…

We read the news on our phones…

Read ebooks (or podcasts!)..

Scroll social media…

and catch up on all the latest celebrity gossip all on gadgets.

Heck, I’m writing this blog on a gadget right now!

It’s like our world is being taken over by robots that want to rule our life, and it’s happening so easily to us everyday (whoa, hello conspiracies!).

It’s honestly rare to ever catch someone reading a book, or writing something that’s not on the computer! This is the world we live in, for all ages, and that unfortunately includes the next generation, aka our babies.

I don’t know about you, but I’m a really old-fashioned kind of momma that prefers to have my kids to do puzzles, crosswords, and learn new things rather than play on apps or watch TV all day. I think it’s a pretty relatable topic for most parents to want their kids to be active with there mind and their body, not just sitting around distracted by gadgets all day (even for busy parents that look forward to keeping their kids distracted).

Because of this,

I want to talk about a few of my go-to ways that helped me keep my kids away from technology, and helped give them time to really grow up and live life the way they should. Believe me, I struggled with this with my crazy little beans, but my hubby and I made it through (just barely), and want to share with you the most efficient methods on how we did it!

Just like in our blog post on how to encourage curiosity in children, Angel, a children’s book author from ADKStoryBooks is also an advocate against technology and electronics for kids. As she says in her blog post about ways to inspire your kids’ imagination, that with the abundance and reliance that our kids have, our children start losing their imagination. I mean, there is nothing better than a child’s imagination!

Trust me, if your children are already addicted to technology, this isn’t easy (and there’s going to be a lot of tantrums. Like, a lot) So strap on your mom suit, and let’s get started!

From Gadgets to Games

1 ♥ Make A Schedule 

If you need a little extra help with easing your child (also known as ‘Godzilla’ during tantrum time, right ladies?) off of technology, don’t panic!

There is another way!

You can start by allowing them only certain times of the day, or certain days of the week that they can use these gadgets. This may not be ideal, but this has been proven to be one of the best methods for kids that are already addicted to technology!

With my first born, we created a schedule that said she could only watch half an hour of TV per day, which allowed her the time to watch her favorite ‘Barbie’ show, and still left plenty of time for her to do other things.

Then, shorten the time…

After that, we slowly began to shorten the time to half hour every few days, then per week, and to zero per week. 

And guess what happened?

She just stopped asking. This was a process that took a couple months to do, but was definitely worthwhile in the long run. And another way you can help them to get over it quicker is by showing them all the fun things around them they can do, or by simply just spending time with them.

Like TV, it’s all a distraction for them until it turns into a habit, which is why it’s important to prevent gadget addiction before it turns into just that!

And it might not just be an addiction to TV, it’s recommended to enforce this ‘scheduling’ for any gadget (Ipad, telephone, xBox/Playstation) that your children might be addicted to. For example, MomClone has another great alternative in her blog post, Setting Screen Limits, where she talks about how she sets the following for her children:

  • One hour of reading /academic activity.
  • One household chore.
  • One hour of (preferable) outdoor activity.

2 ♥ Get Active With Them

As I was just talking about above, getting fresh air for any age is an excellent way to relax, recharge, and have fun! For your kids, it’s important to get them involved in outside activities to help keep them away from turning to technology when they get bored. This doesn’t just mean playing outside, this can also be fun activities for them to participate in with you or with friends. 

For example with our son:

  • My husband has recently started getting our son involved in his outdoor fitness regime.
  • Our son goes outdoors with my husband and watches him start his new fitness journey.
  • That way our son is out in the fresh air and playing with nature whilst my husband  is also able to do his exercise.
  • My husband has also bought some baby pretend weights as our son is starting to copy daddy now (so cute!).
  • So not only is this healthy for my husband, it’s healthy for our son aswell which in-turn is healthy for our entire family.

For example with our daughter:

  • We enrolled my second child in daily dance classes to help get her moving and help keep her busy!
  • She actually really adores dancing now, and comes home in her tutu everyday and just wants to keep on dancing!
  • By distracting her with fun activities, she has shown absolutely zero interest in watching TV or playing on the tablet, and has now developed a beautiful new passion, learned how to socialize with others (which she won’t learn properly online), and has also made friends along the way, which is something that you can’t do through TV! 
  • This not only makes us happy, but it also brings a huge smile to her face, which absolutely warms my heart!

For all children:

  • Like we mentioned above, we are starting to research ways that they can get involved in ‘big people duties’ and start helping us around the house. We came across this chore chart for swapping chores for screen time on This means, that they can start getting involved in house-hold chores, in-turn for watching their favorite TV show or playing on the tablet. Plus, this instills responsibility and maturity in them aswell.

But more so, if you can get involved in your children outdoors, not only will you will learn more about them to be able to guide them more in life as they grow, they will also learn a ton from you, your interactions with others and what to do in certain situations. It’s actually interesting when you start reading what other parents do and interact with their children outdoors, and the topic of whether you are a helicopter parent is an interesting one. For what I mean, you can read Andrea’s blog, but in particular her awesome blog post hereabout giving your children freedom outdoors which is important for their independence and learning.

3 ♥ Distraction is Key

The easy (and oh so frustrating) thing about kids is that they get distracted very easily, and you can trick them into getting distracted with things that will help them to learn and exercise their brains, and they don’t even know (Muhahaha!). You can do this by

  • Giving them a book
  • Playdough
  • Paper and pens
  • Puzzle or
  • Toys.

Simply, just buy them a new toy that involves hours of playtime and ways to encourage their curiosity and imagination.

I’m not just talking a fluffy animal or a toy shark, I’m taking toys like play kitchens, doll houses or train set.

I know what your thinking.

“But, Zoe, these are expensive?!” …But seriously they aren’t.

If you are a bargain shopper like me, you can pick these types of interactive toys for less than $40!

These types of toys will enable them to play for hours, but more so, it will enable them to role-play and ignite their imagination. Just like Amber over at nobreaksmama, I could literally watch my children play for hours. But I can’t watch them play with a tablet or watch TV for hours! Check out her blog post here for what I mean.

Honestly, any of these are better than them sitting in front of the TV all day! My first child used to love to watch TV all day (we never started enforcing the ‘no gadgets’ rule until child #2, which was a huge mistake!), so believe me when I say, it was definitely a work in progress to make the switch.

You know how I always talk about diapers on the walls? Well, during this switch, just imagine spaghetti. On the walls. And on the roof, too. Don’t ask…

But we successfully did this by incorporating ‘fun’ activities for her to do away from TV. For example, we’d go outside with her, and give her a picture book to look at, or a toy to play with. This way, she was not only distant from the gadgets in the house, but she was also getting fresh air while learning to have fun in healthy ways (and what’s better than that?).

Overall, making sure your kids don’t get addicted to technology at a young age is one of your jobs as a parent. You want to be able to make memories with your babies, especially when they are younger, and let them learn their passions, hobbies, and joys in the real world, not the virtual.

After all, in our society today, they are bound to be social media fanatics when they grow up, but let’s save that for just that: growing up. Right now, teach your babies to have fun, laugh, and bond with you in ways that technology can never do. You will not believe that amount of happiness that will come from you both when you do!




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Get to know me! Great Article…


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Getting Kids Excited About Using Their Imaginations

It’s amazing to see kids so excited about using their imaginations.

Watch what happens during this live reading of my latest picture book about believing in yourself (about 2 minutes in 😀).

Enjoy Gabby’s Space Adventure!

Get FREE coloring pages from the book!


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Children’s Author Angel Krishna Classroom Reading Gabby’s Space Adventure

Children’s author Angel Krishna stops by the classroom to read her latest picture book Gabby’s Space Adventure!

As a hippo, Gabby is not a likely candidate for space travel. That does not stop her from pursuing her dream of going into outer space. She uses her imagination to explore new ideas. She is determined and willing to learn. Because of this, she can achieve anything.

Angel Krishna discusses Gabby’s story with the class to inspire us all to go for our dreams no matter how difficult it might seem at first.

Gabby's Space Adventure Cover


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Kindness and Helping Others: Parents Lead By Example

Helping other people and being kind can send a message that will bounce onto others and show how easy and wonderful it is to show kindness.

In our busy lives, we tend to forget to say hello, smile, and even open a door, but we need to do these small gestures because something small may be something big for someone else.  You never know what others are dealing with, so why not smile, say hello, etc. It takes a second and you may be doing more then you think!

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As a parent, you need to show your kids. Please lead by example on this matter.  Actions speak louder than words. You know this. I personally feel showing your children that kindness can help others and will ripple onto another and continue forward. I wrote a fantastic book about helping others and being kind. It’s called The Gu-Glee-Goos of Christmas.

The Gu-Glee-Goos come from a land of helping hands. They spin and sparkle into place and do it with style and grace! The Gu-Glee-Goos show how helping others and being kind goes a long way.  So, when a friend, teacher, or a neighbor may need help from you, say, “Sure! I will be there in a few!”

Show your kids how kindness is compassion for others.  It’s something you decide to do and never expect anything in return.

It will all even out, promise.

Glu Glee Goos of Christmas Chiledren's Story Book by Angel Krishna




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Teaching Your Kids to Reach for the Stars

Reaching for the stars! Your kids can do it with your encouragement. Kids need to know you believe in them. The words from you as a parent means everything. Your children believe in you. They trust you. You are the BIG person, the parent, and the adult. You must start the wheels spinning in their heads so they believe they can do many things in the world.

Having determination and willingness to learn will make your kiddo more confident. So, why not teach them what determination means? Never stop. Keep going. BELIEVE!

I have a WONDERFUL BOOK that covers all that.  It’s calledGabby’s Space Adventure.” Gabby is a hippo who wants to go to outer space, BUT people are somewhat wary because Gabby is on the larger side and has certain obstacles that challenge her.

Gabby is so determined and confident that she will achieve her dream! Gabby learned everything she could about space by believing in herself and going for it. Gabby’s Space Adventureis such a valuable example and tool to read to your kiddos. Trust me. They will enjoy the journey with Gabby and learn that being determined and smart will get them above and beyond!

Buy the book on Amazon


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3 Ways to Teach Your Kids How to Save Money


Kids need to know and learn that money is earned and should be spent wisely. Having a roof over your head and food in your stomach is more important than buying the latest and greatest thing. Teaching them this will give them the sense of value and importance of saving.

  1. Saving money is the utmost importance! Why? Savings is a security blanket that will help when you need it most – medical, school, housing, and unexpected emergencies.

Now ask them to think about what items we use on a daily basis, BUT are most likely taken for granted. For example, our water, our gas, electric, cable. To live our daily lives, we use all these utilities. Show how it is good to save money so they can live a decent life and pay for the utilities and mortgage as well.

  1. A great way to demonstrate this is to show them some bills like electric, gas, water, cable, etc. You get it, yes!

Now, utility bills are NOT the only issue of living on a daily basis.  Kids need to know that a budget includes pretty much everything – food, gasoline, car, cell phones, TV, movies outside of the home, vacations, clothes on their back, books for school, etc.

  1. Budget, Budget, Budget. Kids need to realize that you MUST budget expenses in order to pay your bills.

Let’s STOP trying to keep up with the Joneses EVERYONE! Did anyone ever think that the Joneses most likely lived BEYOND their means?

Let’s STOP letting society put so much pressure on us. Yes, everything, everyday, all the latest and greatest is in our face saying you must have this. “Buy me NOW!”

But if we show our kids that it’s more important to have an education, food, and a roof over our heads, they will gain confidence and learn the importance of spending wisely. They need to learn and save and avoid society’s eye candy gadgets.

FYI: This goes for you parents too. Show your kids that you are participating and can work towards something big – THE FUTURE!

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Reading With Your Kids with @jedliemagic

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I was a guest on the Reading With Your Kids Podcast with Jedlie. Have a listen as I talk about my books and how they apply to the real world situations kids face every day.

Listen on iTunes

Author Interview 

Children’s author Angel Krishna writes stories about communication, helping others and believing in yourself. Through her new children’s book Monkeys and Crocodiles Play Baseball, author and fun-loving mom Angel Krishna encourages communication development through relatable jungle friends playing America’s favourite pastime. Angel encourages parents to listen to their children and to communicate with an open mind and a full heart. She reminds herself and those around her to enjoy life, always move forward, and be creative.

In this interview, Jed chatted with Angel Krishna to talk about her new books Monkeys and Crocodiles Play Baseball & Gabby’s Space Adventure. Angel also discusses what inspired her to write these stories, why communication is a great skill for children to have and the importance of using your imagination & teaching kids values through books. Stay tuned as Author Angel Krishna takes us through her new children’s books & more.

Gabby’s Space Adventure:

Gabby is a hippo who has a dream to go to outer space. Hippos in space, hmmm. . . Gabby is very determined, smart and always willing to learn. She has faced many challenges but nothing will stop her from achieving her ultimate goal, going to outer-space! Never let anyone tell you, you can’t do it! always keep going and moving forward. Be that positive force and prove to yourself you can do anything you set your mind to.

Monkeys and Crocodiles Play Baseball:

Join the Monkeys and the Crocodiles as they learn a valuable lesson about friendship, feelings and communication.

Listen to this episode to find out what Angel Krishna has to say about teaching kids values through books  & you will be amazed!

To know more about Angel Krishna & her books visit

Angel Krishna Amazon

Twitter: @AngelKrishna2


Originally published on

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Talking About Writing and Publishing Children’s Books on Change It Up Editing

Angel Krishna with Candace Johnson

I went on Candace Johnson’s blog at to talk about my experience as a self-published children’s author. Read on to learn more about signing with a publisher versus going indie, working with a professional editor, and managing book promotion.  Continue reading

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