We strive to do more than teach skills to our tennis students – we want to develop their love for the game. A big part of this is making sure that they can experience success and have fun playing, even when they’re just starting to learn the sport.
That’s why all TGA programs follow the USTA’s guidelines for youth court sizes and equipment. We encourage all parents to try out equipment and rules modifications when you go play as a family this summer. Keep reading for some helpful tips on how to maximize the fun for everyone!
Play with the Right Size Racquet
The first thing is making sure you child has an appropriate-sized racquet. One recommended way to check the correct racquet size for a child is to have them hold the racquet at the bottom of the handle and make sure it’s not touching the ground. TGA’s equipment shop carries a variety of youth-sized tennis racquets, and if you’re unsure which size is best for your child, just ask his or her coach.
Use a Smaller Tennis Court
Playing on a smaller court really helps less experienced players return the ball at a higher rate and keep the rally going. Players progress through a few court configurations on their journey to playing on a regulation-sized court. A red court is 36′ x 18′, an orange court is 60’x 21′, and a green court is the same size as a regulation singles court, 78′ x 27′.
If you’re going to a tennis court, you can try modifying the court by adding cones for the alternate dimensions or just using the service areas closer to the net. You can also easily create a youth sized “court” at home by using masking tape to make court lines on the ground and stringing some tape or ribbon between two chairs to build a makeshift net that is roughly 3′ high at the center.
Choose the Right Color Tennis Ball
Another important factor when playing with your kids is using the right tennis ball. The standard adult ball has a much higher compression, allowing it to bounce higher and move faster. It’s why most advanced players play from behind the baseline to achieve the longest possible reaction time.
Since our goal is to help young players control the ball and learn the proper swing techniques, less compressed training balls are a must! The red tennis balls, recommended for ages 8 and under, are the lowest compression ball that have a lower bounce and move slower. The orange balls are the next level up and a good for kids ages 9-10, while the green balls are designed for ages 11 and older.
PENN balls are what we use in TGA programs and they are available on Amazon or at a local sporting goods store. Now that you know how to make the game more fun for everyone, it’s time to get out on the court and make memories this summer!