Getting a junior who is new to tennis started, can be intimidating or confusing for some parents. A few tips in starting their tennis journey:
Whether your goals are to get your child active, connect them to a great recreational/all age sport or simply introduce tennis and maybe in the future they earn a college tennis scholarship (or become U.S. Open champion ?), the key ingredient is love.
If a child’s experiences with tennis are focused on building and maintaining a love of the sport first, they will have more long-term success. At some points in their tennis journey, they will face significant adversity on the court. Those with a deep love are more likely make it through and be stronger.
- Select the right-sized equipment. (Size Guide)
- Know correct court size/ball type (USTA Court Size Guide) based on their age/size.
- Visit a tennis retailer. At my club (WSC Address & Directions), we partner with Dickson’s Tennis and carry all junior sized racquets on site. I’m personally a big fan of Head Racquets and we carry other major popular brands (Wilson, Babolat, etc.).
- Find a tennis court (indoor or outdoor) and go play with your child. Even if you are a beginner, this is still good. Unhand toss and drop feeds standing next to new 10 & Under aged kids works best anyways. Try to not give much instruction on the first few times and just play.
- Find a year-round tennis facility that provides a junior pathway, including red, orange, green dot and yellow ball levels. Some clubs don’t offer all levels. There are Eastside/Greater Seattle area tennis clubs for juniors that do offer all levels and will benefit your child in the short and long run as they progress. My club (Woodinville Sports Club: Junior Info) is one of these. Eastside Tennis Center and Tennis Center Sand Point also have strong pathway reputations and I could name a couple more.
- By using the right equipment and court sizes, getting good instruction, your child will develop better habits and have more success and fun with tennis.