Quite often, as you drive by a park or school in the spring and summer, you’ll see children playing tennis.
According to Melissa Pride-Fahs, Director of Marketing for United States Tennis Association New England, the growth of tennis nationwide has been happening over the past several years, but more recently, the growth in children playing tennis is the result of the USTA’s national initiative, “10 and Under Tennis.”
“It promotes using age-appropriate equipment and teaching methods for kids ages 10 and under, from balls, courts, nets and racquets to teaching styles and approaches,” she said. “It gives kids the coordination, confidence and control they need earlier in order to keep playing instead of just standing in lines, hitting with a racquet too big for them, then wanting to quit due to a bad experience."
Pride-Fahs said that the saying is, “Why should we expect a 7-year-old to cover the same court as Roger Federer?,” and that it’s a viable question.
“Little League and other youth sports teach kids on scaled down surfaces with smaller equipment,” she said. “10 and Under Tennis uses the same approach to make learning easier and more fun. It’s really taken off.”
According to Pride-Fahs, the USTA has also extended a first year free membership for kids 10 and under in order to get them to try the sport and grow the crop of young players.
“Getting them transitioned into tournaments and USTA Junior Team Tennis is the next step in the process to continue their enjoyment of tennis,” she said.
In addition, Pride-Fahs says that there are many health benefits of tennis and a life-longevity of the sport, so there are many reasons to play and for the participation for both adults and kids to continue to climb.
Editor's note: This article by Vernon Patch.