What is mini tennis?
- Mini tennis is the game of tennis modified for younger or inexperienced players, in which all the skills and tactics of the real game can be learned and used.
- It can be played indoors or outdoors on a variety of different court sizes and using sponge balls or low compression tennis balls and shorter rackets.
- There are three definable stages – RED (to include mini mini reds), ORANGE and GREEN. It is a graduated system with the size of the court and the speed of the ball always appropriate for the size, age and ability of the children who play. The court size and ball speed increase as the children progress.
- Mini tennis is for all youngsters regardless of their ability. It is always possible and acceptable for any age of player to play any stage mini tennis just for fun!
Why is mini tennis good for kids?
The child is more important than the game and all elements of mini tennis are designed to give the growing tennis player a quality experience and a desire to play tennis for life.
All children are different and must be treated so. If children are to enjoy a lasting involvement in tennis they need to:
- Have fun
- Feel success
- Take an active part, whatever their ability
- Develop tennis skills
- Understand and play the game
Mini tennis provides an environment in which they can do all the above whatever their age or ability. Children can play a game which they recognize as having all the features of the real game, but with a racket they can hold, a ball that bounces less high and on a playing area they can cover. As they progress they move on, moving even nearer to the full game.
The Tot's Tennis programme is for children aged between three and four years old. Players will use either sponge or red mini tennis balls to learn the basic core skill of the game. The programme helps them develop basic skills including coordination, balance, movement and racket control. The class offers a fun and stimulating way to introduce children to tennis while improving gross motor skills and hand-eye coordination.
The Mini Tennis programme is for children aged between five and 10 years old. Mini Tennis is the first stage of the tennis pathway in which children gradually progress through red, orange, and green stages according to ability. During this process the court size, racket length, ball speed and the length of games all increase until the player is ready to move onto the full game.
Mini Tennis Red
Red ball mini tennis is for players who are aged eight and under. It is played on smaller courts (11m x 5.5m with a net height of 80cm) with shorter rackets and softer balls. It is just like the real game and gives players opportunities to have long rallies and play different types of shots.
Mini Tennis Orange
Orange ball mini tennis is for players aged eight and nine years old. It is played on a slightly larger court than red ball (18m x 6.5m with a net height of 80cm), with bigger rackets and ball that are slightly firmer. It is the next stage to go through before one can start playing on a full-sized court and it will help players to develop all the different shots.
Mini Tennis Green
Green ball mini tennis is for players aged nine and 10 years old. It is played on a full tennis court, with bigger rackets and balls that are a little softer than yellow balls. It is the next stage to go through before you start playing with a full compression yellow ball on a full sized court and it will help players work on and improve all aspects of their game.