Kids 10 and under have a super fun way to learn the great game of tennis. Traditionally, tennis was taught to kids just like it was to adults; on full sized courts, with regular sized racquets and balls. The United States Tennis Association took a look at how many other sports are taught to children and made some changes.
Kids learn to play baseball playing t-ball first and using shorter, lighter bats and larger, softer balls. Kids learn to play basketball with smaller balls and lowered backboards; they play soccer on smaller fields with smaller goals.
Tennis has finally caught up and with 10 and under tennis there are smaller courts, shorter racquets, larger balls that bounce lower mixed with some really fun games. These updates offer a chance for kids to learn real tennis and have lots of fun doing it.
Just how much fun? How about learning to hit lobs by hitting the ball over the net and trying to land it on the opposite side of the net in a basket? How about doing the bunny hop to learn the split step and forward movement to the net?
To teach children about ball control, a fun drill has the kids line up ten feet away from the coach who is holding a hula hoop. The coach feeds the ball to the first kid in line and they try to hit the ball back and make it inside the hoop. There are also tag relays where kids form a line on each side of the net with the goal of keeping a ball in play inside the court; after each hit they run to the other side of the court.
Fun games like Simon Says are used to learn proper forehand swing, and follow the leader drills are used for footwork. All of these are tennis drills that feel like fun games and promote learning the skills of the tennis game.
The result? Kids are playing tennis before they know it. Usually, within an hour kids are rallying and having fun. When kids have fun they want to come back to their tennis lesson, and before you know it, they just may be playing their first match!