Spanish former World No. 1 professional tennis player.
Writen by: Natalie Davis
Throughout a child’s development many factors play a role and shape these individuals into the adults they will eventually become. With that being said, consider things such as education, social, economic, and environmental influences, even extracurricular activities. As parents, do you let the child decide fully which activities; sports and interests he/she wants to pursue or do you “have a say?”
Another interesting aspect that may affect which sport or hobby a child wants to try is geographical location. Looking at different areas on the map, you can find a stronger influence on certain types of activities being offered to children… and adults. Living here in sunny Florida allows for optimal time outdoors and sports such as tennis, cycling and boating.
Miami is home to some of the most renowned tennis tournaments, cycling races, and boat shows throughout the States. And coming up in March, children and adult tennis enthusiasts have to opportunity to see some of their favorite tennis stars in action.
Kiddos Magazine caught up with world famous tennis pro “Arantxa” Sanchez Vicario for some feedback and advice for kids looking to hit it big on the courts.
Arantxa recommends children who are just starting out with tennis to practice at least two times per week for approximately 30 minutes. Of course, this time may increase as the child grows and is able to determine if tennis is something he/she wants to do seriously or just for fun.
While children are catching on to things earlier and earlier nowadays – whether it’s education, electronics or physical abilities – Arantxa comments that age 7 is a good age to start with tennis.
Arantxa tells Kiddos Magazine that both of her older brothers (Emilio and Javier) played tennis as children and went on to play professionally. So basically, it runs in the family, and Arantxa tells us that she very much wanted to follow in her brother’s footsteps.
Playing tennis competitively began early on for Arantxa; she had already won the Spanish National Championship by age 13. To explain further, she tells us that in order to play tennis professionally, one must participate in at least 3 pro tournaments and obtain ranking points. After that, professional tennis players can participate in any of the calendar tournaments and with every win, your ranking increases in the sport.
Arantxa believes that children should be involved in tennis or any sport they enjoy because it promotes a healthy lifestyle. Tennis, especially, requires a lot of technique, strategy, and discipline which helps develop and mature the mind.
Arantxa, originally from Barcelona, Spain, won four Grand Slam singles titles, six Grand Slam women’s doubles titles, and four Grand Slam mixed doubles titles.
Arantxa Sanchez Vicario is Director of Atlhelics at Metropolitan International School of Miami. For more information call 305.576.6070 or visit metschoolmiami.com