Tennis is considered by many to be the ultimate lifetime sport that simultaneously sharpens your mind and body. In an effort to introduce more kids to its benefits, the United States Tennis Association offers a free one-year membership to kids new to the USTA, aged 10 and under, at the beginning of each year that expires on December 31st of that year.
Junior members receive a variety of benefits, including an annual subscription to the kid-focused newsletter Bounce, eligibility to participate in USTA Junior Tournaments and Team Tennis, discounts on merchandise and more. For more information, visit the USTA website or call 800/990-8782 and mention source code NEWGAME.
Why should kids learn to play Tennis?
There are many appealing reasons to encourage your kids to give tennis a try. Getting your child started incurs a relatively low initial investment — the price of a racquet and a can a of tennis balls. Low-cost or free courts are available in many communities.
Few sports can top tennis at developing hand-eye coordination. It can be played as a team sport as well as an individual sport, so it suits a wide variety of developmental needs.
Tennis’s frequent starts, stops and direction changes make it a great cross-training for other sports that you child may already be involved in. It is also one of the safest sports, with a thankfully low rate of injury.
Tennis that is Sized Right for Kids
There are some interesting changes in tennis for kids ages 10 and under that should make the sport more accessible and attractive to potential players.
- Innovative kid-sized equipment that is developmentally suited to young children is giving kids quicker success.
- New low compression balls that bounce lower and slower allow kids to rally for longer, and spend a lot less time chasing down balls.
- Racquets are now scaled to size, shorter and lighter than adult racquets, with a grip to fit smaller hands.
- Even the court dimensions have changed for the youngest players, with smaller sized courts that are kid-proportioned.
Tennis 10 and Under for Kids
10 and under Tennis is a USTA program that even encourages kids to play without a court. All that is needed is a flat surface. Driveways, playgrounds, a garage door, are all being encouraged as good locations for a spontaneous pick-up game.
Their 10 and Under Tennis website is full of tips that may entice the entire family to try tennis together.
Many youth sports have followed this formula to encourage family participation, for years. There are smaller bats for baseball and smaller balls for basketball and soccer. As parents recognize, early success in a sport means that your child is more likely to stick with it and to reap the benefits of confidence and sportsmanship that come along with this commitment.
Tennis is a fine sport for all ages to try, so why not swing a racquet with your kids or grandchildren?
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