Frequently Asked Questions
- How is 10 and Under Tennis different from what people have been doing for years, using softer balls and smaller racquets?
While softer balls and shorter racquets have been used for years, there were no standard specifications for the ball, racquet, court, net and scoring system based on age. 10 and Under Tennis implements all of these elements—and has transformed the way kids learn and play tennis. Now, kids can experience success and competition all with the same equipment and courts.
- How young can children start playing tennis?
Children can begin to develop the skills necessary to play tennis at any age, as they develop agility, balance and coordination. Playing tennis requires complex motor skills involving movement, tracking and timing. Introductory tennis-related activities to develop athleticism may include rolling, tossing or catching and ultimately hitting the ball over the net. Tennis will grow with your child’s age and ability.
- What size racquet should my child use?
Children should be able to swing and maneuver a racquet safely, and it should be the appropriate weight and length for a child’s size. To measure what sized racquet is right for your children, have them stand straight with arms at their sides; the racquet length should be from the floor to the end of the child’s fingertips.
- When can my child start competing?
Age-appropriate competition using simple games, contests and rally-and-skill challenges are a great way to start kids as young as age 5. There are numerous programs offered by the USTA that focus on fun and character development. A good entry point for competition is a Play Day, which offer your child an introduction to competition in a low-pressure and friendly environment where we don’t keep score.
- How can I help my child practice?
Set-up a home court on the driveway, gym, street, parking lot or playground and play with your child—just like playing catch or shooting baskets. Remember to keep your instruction to a minimum and focus on play. Having fun entices children to play more and eventually want to compete.
- Where can I get a home kit?
All equipment necessary for a home kit can also be found at local retail outlets.
- Do I need to be a member of the USTA to participate in 10 and Under Tennis?
You do not need to be a member to play and enjoy tennis at parks, schools or clubs. As your child becomes more experienced with the game he should try USTA Jr. Team Tennis or USTA Junior Tournaments; membership is required for these programs.
- My child can hit 50 balls over the net in a row. When should they move up to the next court size?
The advantage of 10 and Under Tennis is that kids can learn to play tennis using all the technical skills and tactics that advanced players use. Hitting the ball over the net is great, but also let them develop direction, depth, height, spin and speed in all of their strokes, as well as shot selection and court positioning, by playing matches. It is easier and more fun for kids to learn when they can control their racquet and ball and cover the court because it is smaller.
- Can the orange low compression ball be used on a 36-foot court or in the driveway?
The orange ball is specifically designed for a 60-foot court. If it is used on a court 36 feet long or shorter, such as a driveway, your child will likely not be able to hit with an accelerated swing speed because the ball will travel too fast and too far. He or she will most likely abbreviate the swing and bunt or tap the ball back to keep the ball in the court.