New Approach to Kids’ Tennis Lessons

Thanks to the USTA’s 10 & Under Tennis initiative, the game has now been “kid-sized” to make it easier for children to learn the sport and start playing tournaments. Using small rackets, low-compression balls, lower nets and small courts, kids can start serving, keeping score and playing matches almost as soon as they start taking lessons.

What Age Should My Kid Start Playing Tennis?

Children often can’t master the skills for a specific sport until around age six, but they can begin learning basic sports skills even earlier. A tennis coach who knows how to work with children can use tennis equipment to help kids learn and improve the general skills needed for tennis (and other sports). These basic sports skills include:

  • Running
  • Jumping and landing
  • Throwing
  • Kicking
  • Striking
  • Catching

In addition, kids need to develop speed, quickness, footwork, agility and balance.

Kids Tennis Lessons: Progressing Through the Ranks

The new junior tennis system starts kids with one type of ball and court, then helps them progress to other balls and court configurations until they are ready for full-court tennis with regular balls. The progression goes as follows:

  • ages 8 & Under – Red and yellow balls, rackets up to 23” long and 2’9”-high nets
  • ages 9-10 – Orange and yellow balls, rackets up to 23”-25” long and 3’-high nets
  • ages 11 & Up – Green and yellow balls, rackets 25”-27” long and 3’-high nets

Age recommendations are only suggestions. When a child improves enough, he or she can move to the next level and play with older children if they’re good enough.

Hiring a Pro For Your Kid’s Tennis Lessons

The best tennis pros know that kids aren’t miniature adults. Kids have different goals than parents, and most goals for youngsters revolve around making friends and having fun. PlayYourCourt coaches emphasize rallying and game-play over technique during kids lessons. After all, kids don’t come to work; they come to play!

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