What Is Progressive Tennis and Why Is It Important for Training Children?

Tennis is a great sport. It is fun and explosive at the same time. Kids often love it at a young age when they watch matches on the TV. In many cases, their parents decide to bring them to a local club to learn and play the game. While some coaches teach tennis the classic way, others apply what is called progressive tennis. What it is and is it important for the kids learning curve?

Progressive tennis is a method introduced in Canada aiming to provide fun and fundamentals to kids between 5 and 10 years. It consists of changing the court’s dimensions, the net height, the racquets, and the balls depending on the kids’ age. This ensures a smooth transition that allows the children to learn the fundamentals and techniques first and then switch to bigger courts, racquets, and heavier balls until they start plain tennis after 10 years old.

Red Court (5-8 years)

red court

This phase introduces the tennis fundamentals for the children. They learn how to exchange, how to serve and how to volley with the help of a tiny court, low net, depressurized balls, and small racquets. The red court phase allows them to learn the basic techniques of the common tennis strokes.

Court Size

The size of the court is reduced to 36 by 18 feet.

Net Height

31.5 inches

Balls

Foam balls or 75% depressurized small balls

Racquets

The racquets are short between 17” and 23” to be easy on the grip

Orange Court (8-10 years)

orange court

The orange court phase takes the children’s game to a further level by allowing them to use ¾ of the total tennis court and simulate a real tennis game with a tad smaller dimension. They exchange balls at a bigger distance, which demands more power and accuracy. The serve is more difficult and the distance to cover or to go the net for a volley is somewhat challenging.

Court Size

The size of the court is extended to 60 by 27 feet, which covers ¾ of the total playing area.

Net Height

31.5 inches

Balls

Balls are 50% depressurized

Racquets

The racquets are between 23” and 25”

Green Court (11+ years)

green court

The green court is divided into two levels to ensure smooth and transition learning.

In the first green court phase, the young players are ready to compete on a full-size tennis court. All the previous years were a good preparation to assimilate the basic techniques and apprehend footwork, groundstrokes, and point construction. The players now use 25% depressurized balls to lower the bounce and have less pace and more control on the strokes.

In the second green court phase, the players make longer exchanges and cover more real states, which demands more physical power and endurance. In addition, the players now learn the psychological side of playing tennis, and how to use mental strength to compete and win games.

 Court Size

The court size is full size 78 by 27 feet for singles and 78 by 36 feet for doubles.

Net Height

3 feet (standard)

Balls

Transition balls for the first phase and normal balls for the second phase

Racquets

The racquets are between 25” and 26” according to the player size.

Program Activities

children enjoying tennis

The coach organizes a play activity that consists of exchanging balls or playing a match between kids.

After that, he switches to a practice activity that emphasizes each aspect of the game. For example, practicing volley or serve only.

Lastly, the coach switches back to play activity.

The play activities should last 15 to 20 minutes, whereas the practice activities should last 8 to 12 minutes. This method ensures learning and having fun without boring the children.

Program Schedule

Progressive tennis presents a schedule to stick with according to the professional coaches. The goal is to keep the children fit to play for the long term and not to tire them quickly. The weekly schedule for the three levels depends on whether the club programs are light or extensive.

For a light program

Red Court

  • 1 to 2 lessons a week
  • 60min /lesson

Orange Court

  • 1 to 2 lessons a week
  • 90min /lesson

Green Court

  • 1 to 2 lessons a week
  • 90-120min /lesson

For an extensive program

Red Court

  • 4 lessons a week
  • 2 hours /lesson

Orange Court

  • 4 lessons a week
  • 2 to 3 hours /lesson

Green Court

  • 4 lessons a week
  • 3 hours /lesson

To Wrap it up

Using the progressive tennis step-by-step teaching technique allows coaches to be more effective in the learning process of the trained children and helps them accomplish a smooth transition from the fundamentals to the advanced skills. This builds a solid foundation for future champions of tennis if used efficiently.

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