One of the easier concepts for a young Ankle Biter to learn (however difficult to remember) is to stand facing perpendicular to their target. A good phrase to help the child remember how to stand in preparation for “bounce-hit” is “Point Your Toes.”
This is a simple transition from the initial preparation for “bounce–catch” which expects the child to be facing you. In that case, they will “point their toes” at you as you toss the tennis ball to them.
Here are the basics for “Point Your Toes”:
Have your child face you while you face your child
Now your toes should be ‘pointed’ at their toes
Show your child that their toes are ‘pointing’ at your toes
Set them up for ‘bounce-hit’ with their racquet back
With their toes ‘pointed’ at your toes, drop a tennis ball and have your child attempt ‘bounce-hit’
After your child learns the phrase “point your toes,” you can set them up facing any direction you wish (forehand, backhand, etc) and bounce a ball to them from other locations.
Simple reminders like “Where do you point your toes?,” “Is your racquet back?” and “How many hands do we use?” are good for the child. This allows the child to feel as though they are successful during the attempt to hit a ball with their funny little tennis stick!
Good luck, and remind your child of Rule #1 for Ankle Biters Tennis:
Never try to hit the ball with your face!