Teaching Tennis:

Players with Developmental/Intellectual Conditions or Disabilities


What are Developmental/Intellectual Conditions or Disabilities?

This category of disability includes individuals with learning disabilities, epilepsy, autism, cerebral palsy, Down Syndrome, and cognitive impairments. Typical characteristics may include a slower rate of learning, difficulty with reasoning, poor memory, a short attention span, hyperactivity, social immaturity, perceptual deficits, and problems with agility and movement.


When teaching tennis to players who fall into this category:

  • Establish a routine and stick to it.
  • Demonstrate activities (e.g. Shadow Drills); keep verbal instructions simple and consistent.
  • Provide constant repetition and routines (review, review, review).
  • Keep lines short (don't have people standing around doing nothing).
  • Feed students three to five balls during each turn.
  • Be generous with praise. 





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