By now, just about everyone in the tennis community has heard about 10 and Under Tennis. It may not be the way you learned, but there are a number of reasons why it works.
Let’s start with three.
1. It fits
It would be crazy to ask a 9-year-old to swing a major leaguer’s bat, or to take a shot from behind the NBA 3-point line. Imagine a 7-year-old swinging with Rory McIlroy’s golf clubs, or tossing the same sized football as one of the Manning brothers. This is no different with tennis.
With equipment and courts tailored to suit their needs and abilities, kids will feel confident as soon as they pick up a racquet. Using 10 and Under Tennis allows kids to rally back and forth over the net right away and enjoy the game from the start.
Low-compression balls bounce lower and fly slower, allowing players to develop technical skills faster. By using the R.O.G.Y. pathway (red, orange, green, yellow) kids have a chance to develop their skills and techniques, graduating from one ball to the next, and moving from court to court. This adds coordination and comfort to their games.
3. It’s real play
With 10 and Under Tennis, kids get to actually rally and play the game at a young age, rather than depending on just hitting balls that are fed to them by a coach. And because the equipment fits, players are more likely to develop proper grips, techniques and ball control each time they play. Playing real points also allows kids to get an understanding of a tactical approach to the game, a feel for the court and a comfort level hitting on the run.
What the coaches are saying
“10 and Under Tennis works because it’s fair to the kids. It’s not fair to expect a 7 year old to cover the same distance on the court as a 16 year old. Court size is proportionate to a kid’s side, which allows for longer rallies. It’s not fair to expect a 9 year old to rally with a ball that bounces over his head. Lower-compression balls bounce in their strike zone, which improves technical development. It’s not fair to expect a 6 year old to use a racquet that’s too heavy and drags on the ground with a grip that is too large. Smaller, lighter racquets fit their size. Even the scorekeeping has been modified to benefit 10 and under players.”
-Carol MacLennan, New Jersey Teaching Pro and Facility Tennis Director
“10 and Under tennis is great for the kids because they are finally playing with the appropriate equipment and court size. The success comes so much faster for the kids which keeps them more interested in the sport.”
-Wilson Pipkin, Central Pa. Teaching Pro and Facility Tennis Director
“10 and Under tennis works for several reasons. As a parent, it’s an excellent and safe sport for kids with excellent health benefits now as well a down the road. From the aspect of a club management person, it allows great utilization of court space as well as offers a club future junior participants for their non 10 and under programs. I believe that by using the equipment and smaller courts we have given the game of tennis a chance for success as the kids that play can feel more successes and enjoy the game more thus they have fun which is what its all about.”
-Bruce Levine, New Jersey Teaching Pro and Facility Tennis Director
Looking to get more info, sign your kid up or get involved? Visit youthtennis.com to find everything you need.