Middle States

Youth Progression at Home: USTA Middle States

April 22, 2020

Stay safe and stay active! While tournaments remain under suspension, USTA Middle States will award players Youth Progression stars for activities completed from their own homes. To receive credit, players must submit videos that demonstrate how they are working on a variety of skillsets.


Specifics and directions for upload are broken down below.


Net Generation At Home | USTA MS on Instagram | USTA MS Junior Guidebook


1. Choose:

  • One character skill activity

  • One athletic skill activity

  • One tennis skill activity

2. Create a video (or videos) that show you practicing all three skills. (Videos should show you completing multiple reps.)


3.  Upload the videos using this form.


4. If you are having trouble with this form, please contact Seth Walrath (walrath@ms.usta.com) for directions on how to upload your video. 


How Many Stars You Can Earn
  • Orange L1 players will receive two stars for each video or set of videos submitted. Each video or set of videos must include one character skill, one athletic skill and one tennis skill. Players can submit up to two videos or two sets of videos for a total of four stars.

  • Green L1 players will receive one star for each video or set of videos submitted. (Each video or set of videos must include one character skill, one athletic skill and one tennis skill.) Players can submit up to two videos or two sets of videos for a total of two stars.


Character Skills

Show us how are you demonstrating the following skills at home:


  • EFFORT: Be determined. Give your best effort even when tasks are difficult. Stay consistent as you practice.
  • RESPECT: Accept feedback. Listen.
  • INDEPENDENCE: Set goals to focus on improvement. Make decisions and find solutions on your own. Take accountability and "own” your tennis training.
  • RESPONSIBILITY: Make sure to do your own chores. Complete your homework or projects.
  • TEAMWORK: What does it mean to be a team player? How can you be a good teammate?
  • LISTENING: How do you show others that you are listening? We can listen with our eyes, mouth, ears, and body.



  • EFFORT: Show us how you're making an effort to stay focused on your nutrition and maintaining a healthy and balanced diet.
  • RESPONSIBILITY: Show us how you're helping out around the house.


Athletic Skills

Try one of the following skills at home:



Setup: Place two cones on a line and a third between and in front of them to form a “V”. (No more than two feet between cones).


  • Stand between two cones facing third and squat on one leg.
  • Touch all three cones with the opposite hand, standing up after each touch.
  • Do two sets. After two sets each, repeat with the opposite foot and hand.


  1. Right leg/right hand.
  2. Left leg/left hand.
  3. Place a ball on one cone. Squat on one leg, pick up ball, stand up, then squat on same leg and place ball on next cone.



Mission: Attempt each progression for 60 seconds, rest briefly, then try again.


  1. Move by zigzagging with feet.
  2. Use in and out patterns (jumping jacks).
  3. Double jumps.
  4. Hops.



Mission: Work on your footwork. 


  1.  Move up and down the ladder using different exercises alternating both feet.
  2. Rest briefly and repeat.
  3. Do two sets of each exercise.



Mission: Work on your coordination and stamina. 


  1. Focus on technique. 
  2. Complete 100 jumping jacks. 

Check out this video.



Setup: Place four cones in a square to represent north, south, east and west. Cones should be about two feet from the center. 


  • Starting in center, jump to a cone and jump back to center. 
  • Jump around the compass twice. 
  • Change direction, then move to the next progression. 


  1. Jump on one leg, pausing after each jump, then move onto the next progression. 
  2. Jump on one leg continuously.



Mission: Work on your reaction and speed skills


  1.  Jump, squat or turn around depending on what your partner says. (Check out the video to have Madison Keys be your partner.)
  2. Go again. 

Check out this video.



Setup: Place a cone or mark equivalent to the length from the baseline to the net (if available).


  • Starting in ready position, jump two feet landing on left foot, then two feet landing on right. Continue to until the mark and back. This is the same movement as in hopscotch.
  • Once you have your rhythm, jump as far as possible, using arms to gain elevation and distance. See how many jumps it takes you to get to the mark.


  1. Create different patterns: Two feet left, two feet left, two feet right, two feet right.
  2. Go to the mark and back two times.


Tennis Skills


Try one of the following skills at home:



Mission: Find a wall or garage door where you can maintain a rally.


  1. Forehand rally.
  2. Backhand rally.
  3. Volleys rally.
  4. Count how many consecutive balls you can hit with each stroke.

Check out this video.



Setup: Place one cone on a line and two cones slightly in front of it to form a “V” (no more than two feet between cones). 

Mission: To work in racquet swings and footwork without utilizing a ball.


  1. Shuffle right to the cone and do a shadow forehand. 
  2. Get back to the middle cone. 
  3. Shuffle left to the cone and do a shadow backhand. Increase tempo. 

Check out this video and challenge yourself using Madison Keys’s tempo.



Mission: Use your imagination and challenge yourself to see how many unique items you can use to make a net.


  1. Find items to make a net. 
  2. Create a net. 
  3. Rally and count how many balls you can get in a row. Repeat.

Check out this video.



Mission: To work on hand eye coordination and control.


  1. Rally back and forth.
  2. Keep the double volleys while moving forward.
  3. Keep the double volleys while zig zagging.
  4. Challenge yourself and see how many volleys you can do.

Check out this video.

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