What is Mini Tennis
Mini Tennis is a fun and exciting way for children between 4 and 10-years-old to get into the world of tennis.
With smaller courts, nets, rackets and lower bouncing balls, Mini Tennis offers the perfect introduction to the sport, with all the fun and energy of the real thing.
There are three stages of Mini Tennis; Red, Orange and Green, each with their own court size and type of ball. This tailored approach enables players to develop vital skills and techniques at an early age.
The Rally Awards will help you to see how your child is improving with stickers, badges, certificates and the Rally Awards Collector. You can also help create a positive environment for children by providing the right support and encouragement.
Here are some top tips to help you and your child have fun playing tennis:
- Allow your child to gain confidence and enjoy the game by playing in the appropriate stage of Mini Tennis until they can control the ball and implement skills effectively.
- Get to know the Mini Tennis Rally Awards and encourage your child to practise the relevant skills.
- Practise with your child at home, at the place you play tennis, on holiday and with friends.
- Explain the Fair Play values as this will encourage good behaviour and sportsmanship in lessons and matches
- Focus on performance and effort instead of results. Ask “How did you play?” or “Did you have fun?”
- Help your child to understand that respect for the rules, opponents and officials is part of playing and enjoying the game.
Get set for the mini game with the big attitude!
Who can play?
Anybody, any age, any ability can play Mini Tennis. Our programmes are geared towards children aged 4-10.
What age can you start to play Mini Tennis?
There is no set starting age. If a child is well co-ordinated they could start as young as 3 years. However, we find a natural starting age tends to be between 4-6.
What equipment do children need to play Mini Tennis?
Each stage of Mini Tennis has specifically designed rackets and balls to suit the size and ability of the child. Adult rackets and balls are not suitable. Shorter rackets and low bouncing balls allow children to get maximum enjoyment out of the game. It is strongly recommended that appropriate rackets and balls are used at each stage of Mini Tennis (including play outside of lessons). The coach should be able to provide more information.
What will my child need for lessons?
We can provide essential tennis equipment. Soon your child will need his or her own racket. Our club has no special clothing requirements, although suitable trainers must be worn.
Is it expensive?
As Mini Tennis lessons are taught in groups, we offer very reasonable prices. Outside of lessons, you’re encouraged to play Mini Tennis (or other games) with your child and encourage them to play with friends.
How do I know my child will be looked after?
We are LTA accredited. Programmes are led by LTA licensed coaches who are aware of the LTA Child Protection Policies and strict Code of Conduct and Ethics.
When should I enter my child for a competition?
Ask the coach for guidance. Mini Tennis programmes will be packed full of a variety of competitions at the club, beginning with self-challenges and progressing to full tie breaks.
What is the scoring system for Mini Tennis and how long do competitions last?
Whether it’s an informal competition at the club, or perhaps something in the wider community the emphasis of Mini Tennis is always on short, sharp and fun competition. The tie-break-scoring format is used and can be up to any number (5,7,9,11) or best-of-3 tie-breaks.
I’ve heard about the Awards, how do I get involved?
The Mini Tennis Awards have been designed to offer a complete curriculum for your child. This includes an introduction to competition – they’ll learn fundamental sporting skills, tennis skills and all about fair play.
What about playing Mini Tennis outside of lessons?
This is hugely encouraged! The park, school playground, a wall, the back garden, etc… are all excellent learning environments. You may also choose to play Mini Tennis with your child on holiday!
The Mini Tennis Awards feature practises to do at home and the coach will give some guidance on this too. It’s best to use appropriate rackets and balls wherever possible – your child will definitely struggle with full sized rackets and regular balls. By playing with the suitable rackets and balls you will all have more fun!
Why aren’t lessons always all about doing tennis skills?
There is a whole range of skills that kids need to play sport. Consequently Mini Tennis lessons will include learning about running, jumping, balance, co-ordination, throwing and catching, as well as learning more formal tennis skills. The better the kids are at these skills; the better tennis players they will become in the long run.
When should children move up from Red to Orange to Green?
The Mini Tennis Awards will determine the stage of Mini Tennis that children should play in. The Awards are progressive and as children complete each level they will naturally move through the Red, Orange and Green stages. Generally a player is ready to move to the next stage when they are able to have long rallies, use all the strokes (volley, serve, ground strokes) and are able to use tennis tactics.