Kids 10 and Under Tennis

BY: Coach Bruce Swann

Should the Foam Ball Rule be Enforced for Kids 10 and Under?

This rule states that all children be regulated to use foam tennis balls for all tournament use. I believe this helps kids to achieve what they need in the game of tennis. As a coach I used to see everyday how kids would get discouraged over and over again when they played with the regular tennis balls. The red dot foam balls are used in kid's tennis because they do not bounce as high as normal tennis balls do. They are pressurized and, in this case, foam. The tennis balls are also good because they help the children to get into position to hit the ball in the correct position. They would not ever be as confident as they could be to improve their game. When I saw this rule was made and how much it benefitted children's tennis I was ecstatic. At first I believed this would hurt many children's tennis games, but as time went on I saw how this actually benefitted most if not all of my students. I saw kid's confidence grow more and more everyday with the foam tennis balls being used. Although some coaches may disagree, this rule has changed the game of children's tennis for the better and should be enforced.

MY KIDS EXPERIENCES WITH THIS RULE:

When my own kids started tennis, with me being their coach, you could expect that they get frustrated very easily with the game of tennis. It also didn't help that I was their father. Before this rule was enforced, I could see the frustration in their faces when a ball would come over the net and fly over their head. They became discouraged and would often just give up. When I started to use the foam tennis balls when I was training them, I saw such improvement in their games. Their confidence grew, they acquired different strokes they did not have before, and they also found a passion for the game. As they grew they went into the different types of unpressurized tennis balls. They went from the red dot foam tennis balls, to the orange dot tennis balls, then the green dot tennis balls, and eventually to the almighty regular unpressurized tennis balls. Going through these different phases of the game, helped their games improve over time. My daughter went on to get a D1 scholarship to a university in Georgia. I believe that the use of these balls in her early childhood helped to improve her game enough to allow her to keep playing and develop a true passion for the game of tennis.

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