Starting Young: 5 Must-Have Tips on Teaching Kids Tennis
If you have dreams of your kids playing in Flushing Meadows, Roland Garros, Wimbledon, and Melbourne Park someday, it’s time to teach them tennis.
You’re never too young to start playing! Here are five must-have tips on teaching kids tennis to help them master the game.
1. Watch and Learn
Get kids familiar with the rules of the game by watching a tennis match together. Kids will be more motivated if they know what the game looks like.
Another suggestion is to introduce them to tennis video games. Wii Tennis is a great way to help kids learn the rules of tennis and how to keep score.
2. Start Small
And by start small, we mean to start with a smaller court. Having a child stand at the baseline and expecting them to hit a serve over the net is unrealistic. Standard tennis courts are meant for adults.
For kids to be successful, they need to play on a court that fits them.
For kids 8 and under, set up a court that is 36′ x 18′ with a 2’9 net. For kids 10 and under, the recommended court size is 60′ x 21′ with the regulation 3′ nets.
3. Have a Ball
A tennis ball is a tennis ball. Right?
Not all tennis balls are equal. And knowing what kind of tennis ball to use can make all the difference. Here’s everything you need to know about tennis balls for kids.
Red tennis balls are larger than regular tennis balls and are 75% slower. This allows kids to learn the proper technique by slowing down the game. Kids can rally at an earlier age by using the bigger, red balls.
Orange balls are 50% slower than regular tennis balls. These are used on a smaller court and make long rallies possible. These balls give the kids more time to set up points and to work on strategy.
These balls are the last step before the regular yellow tennis ball. These look like regular balls but have a green dot. These balls are lower compression balls, so they don’t bounce as high. It’s important for kids to develop the right technique by hitting the ball at the right height instead of reaching up to hit the ball as it bounces over their head.
4. Gear Up
If your child is going to play tennis regularly, it might be time to invest in some proper tennis gear. The most essential being the right racquet.
Children should not play with an adult-sized racquet. The racquet should be about 2 inches from the ground if they hold it out to the side by the handle.
Here is a quick guide you can use:
- Under 5 years: 21″ racquet
- Ages 6 to 8: 23″ racquet
- Ages 8 to 10: 25″ racquet
- Ages 10 to 12: 26″ racquet
5. Start Playing
The best way to understand the game is to start playing. Don’t worry; their first match won’t happen at Wimbledon, yet. There are programs in place to make sure that kids with similar skill sets are playing each other.
Contact your local tennis club to find a beginners round-robin tournament to start. This is an excellent way to play a lot of kids in one day, and not worry about wins and losses.
Teaching Kids Tennis Can Be Fun
Because tennis is a sport you can play your whole life, teaching kids tennis can be a great family activity. The most important thing is to get out, be active and have fun.
And don’t hesitate to contact us and register if you need any help. We’re here to make sure everyone has a place to play.