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Figuring out the proper court size, racquet size, and type of ball can make all the difference a child’s tennis performance. Kids ages 11-18 can develop their game by using modified equipment to best meet their needs and skill level, no matter what age they start playing this lifetime sport. As their athletic skills improve, their self-confidence and enthusiasm about tennis will certainly grow as well!
Match your child up with the right size racquet, court, and ball type for age and skill level.
Adjusting equipment according to a player’s abilities is crucial in building the foundation of their tennis game. Court sizes can be decreased to make the game easier or increased to make it more complex. Racquet sizes can also vary – smaller sizes are lighter and easier to control, and larger sizes require more strength and skill. Types, or colors, or balls impact the speed of the game – the higher percentage of decrease, the slower (and easier) the tennis. Red balls have a 75% decrease, orange balls have a 50% decrease, green balls have a 25% decrease, and yellow balls yield a game of regular speed.
Unlike 10-and-under tennis, 11-18 tennis does not require specific forms of modified equipment to be used according to the child’s age. Instead, this age group allows instructors to best match courts, racquets, and balls based on the child’s physical development, technical abilities, and athletic skills. These teachers use their professional expertise to determine the equipment that will optimize the progression and success of the child and their tennis game.
Additionally, please note that these adapted forms of equipment are interchangeable tools used to enhance the development of skills – they are not measurement tools used to judge “linear” advancement and progression. It is perfectly normal for an instructor to increase or decrease the difficulty level of the court, racquet, and/or ball as they see fit. While challenging our kids is helpful, we want to set realistic goals to ensure they have a positive personal and athletic experience.