Love for fun, games and 'free play'
The International Tennis School's KIDs 10s program introduces the new format for children ages five to ten years old. The format is tailor-fitted where kids can start playing immediately even if they haven't picked-up a racket before.
Since most kids love team competition, it is aimed to stress the importance of play and team games. The net height is adjusted and the balls used are easier to control giving young players immediate sense of control as they keep the ball more in play. Studies suggest that if young children are immersed in a welcoming environment that allow for multiple play opportunities, enjoyment is enhanced.
KIDs 10s is designed to provide children the necessary friendly equipment at the very start of their sporting experience. Kids are fascinated by seeing the ball bounce back and forth over the net together with a partner.
Keeping the ball in play as long as they can is a primary challenge attainable when appropriate sizes of nets, rackets and balls are made available to them.
Sessions are specifically conducted for ages 5-7 and 8-10 years old according to their physical, mental, and also social development levels. The children learn and practice through constant play with others, thus also developing the necessary social skills of cooperation, fairness, and consideration to others.
Learning through play
ITS' KIDs 10s' method of teaching is based on the principle of nature and nurture, a child's growth with proper activities through unhurried time while learning through play as advocated by 18th Swiss philosophers Jacques Rousseau and Johann Pestalozzi:
“The foundation should be organic, meaning that intellectual, moral and physical education (or in Pestalozzi's words, development of “head, heart and body”) should be integrated and the education should draw upon the faculties or “self-power” inherent in human beings.
"Training should be literally the drawing-out of this self-power, a development of abilities through activity; -- in the physical field by encouraging manual work and exercises, in the moral field by stimulating moral actions, and in the intellectual field by eliciting the correct use of the senses in observing concrete things accurately and making judgments upon them. Words, ideas, practices and morals have meaning only when related to concrete things."
The program is “child-centered” not subject centered where there is emphasis on object lessons that acquaint the young with realities of life. The development of skills is emphasized, not for their own sake, but in connection with intellectual and moral growth.
The activities strive to learn the nature of the child in order to determine the details of his training. This means that the stages of training must be related to the stages of youth development. ITS program gives the child a positive experience through sport training which can also be used as a spring-board for future activities of interest. There is evidence that well-rounded sports-leisure programs and inclusive facilities correlate to improved academic performance. Sports enhance personal ability, general health and self-knowledge while contributing to economic and social growth as well as improve public health.