Teaching Tennis:

Players with Emotional/Social Conditions or Disabilities


What are Emotional/Social Conditions or Disabilities?

This category includes individuals who may be in foster homes, substance abuse recovery, or other programs utilizing mental health services. Some combination of the following characteristics typify this type of disability: aggressive behavior, mood swings, thinking impairment, lack of self confidence (self-esteem), feelings of inadequacy, hypersensitivity, depression and anxiety.

Emotional or psychiatric disabilities are deviations from age-specific behavior that significantly impede an individual’s ability to respond appropriately to other people or situations. 

When teaching tennis to players who fall into this category:

  • Maintain a high degree of structure and control.
  • Use words and signs of praise frequently to bolster self-esteem.
  • Use activities that encourage social contact.
  • Be flexible about participatiion, as mood swings are frequent.
  • Reward attentive students with praise and leadership roles.
  • Focus on cooperation, waiting one's turn, good sportsmanship, and respect for peers and instructors.
  • Do activities that encourage positive partnerships and socialization.
  • Keep the class moving.



USTA Midwest programs for players with emotional/social conditions or disabilities:

First Service Doubles - a new tennis game from the Midwest

Play tennis alongside your canine best friend with First Service Doubles! This innovative tennis game is designed for military or active duty Veterans and First Responders who experience invisible injuries such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and Military Sexual Trauma (MST), and their support dog.


Learn more about First Service Doubles here. Find the latest events by visiting our Facebook page.


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