Even though Molly thinks the big racquet is fun, it is not fun for children to play with oversized racquets on regulation size tennis courts. Would a young basketball player compete with regulation size basketballs and hoops? Is an 8 year old baseball pitcher competing in little league throwing from 90′ away from home plate? Recently, the USTA has adopted a youth progression pathway commonly referred to as the 10 and under program. This concept has been conducted in many European countries for many years. The goal of the program is to introduce children to tennis, using equipment such as balls and racquets, and court size that is more appropriate for their size and skills. Consequently, they will be more successful and have fun and enjoy themselves.
One of the main components of the 10 and under program is ROGY. ROGY is an acronym for the progression of tennis balls that juniors use as they grow older, beginning with low-compression balls and later to the traditional yellow tennis balls. Typically, the red balls are for kids eight and under and the orange balls are for the 10 and under. Red ball play is on 36′ courts and the orange ball play is on 60′ courts. Green balls are introduced for players 12 and under and play is on a regulation size court. The racquet size starts at 19 ” and increases to 25-27″ for the green and yellow ball players.
PRC is committed to the 10 and under program. Certified teaching professionals implement the curriculum and activities, while following the guidelines regarding equipment and court size. Now children can learn the skills necessary to approach the net and volley, rather than being lobbed or passed easily on a regulation size court. Juniors can learn how to use spin and own different groundstrokes and serves, rather than have one grip to accommodate the regulation balls that bounce over their heads. Remember, it is not a race to the yellow ball. Fortunately, not only will juniors develop a complete game, but they will have much more fun playing the game.
The spring session has many 10 and under clinics, as well as the regular track of junior clinics, leagues and tournaments. If you have any questions regarding the best development path for your child, the PRC teaching professionals would be happy to assist you.