What is the USTA Net Generation Junior Pathway?
It is your child’s journey until they are 18-years-old through our youth tennis products that fall under the American Development Model (ADM). Designed to establish fun and positive experiences for tennis players, the USTA’s ADM offers a comprehensive framework for providers, coaches, athletes and parents. By growing friendships, improving skills and maximizing the potential of players at all levels, this framework will keep more tennis participants playing our sport for a lifetime. The USTA has always been a strong supporter in utilizing long-term athlete development principles, and your engagement with our ADM ensures that your tennis player now has the best possible opportunity to realize their long-term capabilities as an athlete.
Within The Net Generation Pathway, players ages 11 and over can move freely within the products that fit their age, ball color and skillset.ADVERTISEMENT
Players ages 10 and under move through the pathway using the Net Generation PlayTracker here.
The USTA Net Generation Junior Pathway is not a linear progression, players can play in Junior Circuit Events or Junior Team Tennis at the same time that they are participating in Junior Tournaments.
What Products are Offered Under the USTA Net Generation Junior Pathway?
Tennis in Schools/ Introduction to the Sport Through PE
Achieve your school's health and wellness goals through tennis! No courts are required and schools can effectively offer PE with tennis sized right for age and ability. PE teachers can access FREE standards-based curricula and equipment to help grow tennis in your child’s PE classes.
Tennis 101: (Red Ball) (Beginner Level)
Tennis 101 is a product designed so that community providers could lean on the USTA and experts in the industry to provide a great first experience for our beginner tennis players. This product can be adapted across a range of circumstances to help deliver an experience that’s sure to have kids playing and enjoying the game from day one.
USTA Team Challenge is an introduction to tennis competition offering a low-pressure team environment for children of all ages to develop their skills through level-based play, without an emphasis on instruction or results. This new Net Generation experience is for red, orange, and green ball players. USTA Team Challenges are positioned before players move on to Junior Team Tennis, Junior Circuit Events, or individual Junior Tournaments. Participants are expected to at least drop hit serve from the service line over the net or sustain a modified rally which can be rolling, trapping, bumping, or hitting. This program must be delivered by Net Generation Safe Play approved providers. Find out more about Team Challenge here.
USTA Junior Team Tennis: (Orange, Green and Yellow Ball)
USTA Junior Team Tennis brings together boys and girls, ages 6 to 18, to play singles, doubles and mixed doubles against other coed teams. Beyond being fun and a great form of exercise, Junior Team Tennis is a competitive, level-based environment that promotes individual growth, social growth and life skills. Junior Tennis Team follows two tracks to provide opportunities to players of all abilities: USTA Local Junior Team Tennis or USTA National Championship Junior Team Tennis. The local track allows kids and team organizers to play on local level with flexible structures, while the championship track provides teams the opportunity to advance.
USTA Junior Circuit Events: (Orange, Green and Yellow Ball)
A USTA Junior Circuit Event is a new program that utilizes a non-elimination round robin draw format for players of all ages to gain match play experience in a tournament setting with a focus on individual results. This experience will encourage players of all ages to develop their skills through level-based play and demonstrate good sportsmanship. It is designed to be delivered as a single event, up to a half-day, with the objective of providing a competitive environment guaranteeing individual match play. A USTA Junior Circuit Event can be played with orange, green, or yellow tennis balls.
USTA Junior Tournaments: (Green and Yellow Ball)
USTA Junior Tournaments are offered in a variety of formats, including individual, team, non-elimination and elimination. There are also competitions for wheelchair players. This wide range allows you to compete in a way that makes you feel comfortable, suits your level of play and helps you experience success. By participating in USTA Junior Tournaments, you’ll have a better chance to take your game as far as you want. A new, simplified USTA Junior Tournaments structure took effect in January 2021! After extensive research, including feedback from our players, we developed standardized systems to provide greater consistency and more opportunities for our players, parents, coaches, tournament directors and officials.
Click here to view a Junior Tournament document that provides an overview and explanation of each level from L7’s to L1’s.
How do I know where to start my child within the USTA Net Generation Pathway? What ball color is right for my child? What racquet size is right for my child?
All of these questions are great to ask!
USTA has created a USTA Parent Guide that can help answer those questions for you!
USTA Player Development has also created a Parent Resource for beginner players here. Click to view competency charts that will assist in determining your player development within each ball color (red, orange and green ball). These charts focus on developing the athlete, player and person and helps you and their coach understand what to look out for at each level.
How do I find a coach for my player?
You can search local Safe Play approved tennis coaches here.
How do I find these products?
You can find USTA Tennis 101 and Team Challenge Opportunities here.
You can find USTA Junior Circuit Events and Junior Tournaments here.