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Teaching Your Kids to Play

While it remains a goal of ours, we seem to usually fall short in creating tennis programs for younger players.  Almost our entire staff is dedicated to high school players with some forays into middle school.  The best local option is currently down at George Fox (


But if you want to fill the gap by teaching kids on your own, the best way to start is with the right tools.  Racquets you have around the house are probably too big for kids, and even the deadest of old balls probably bounce too much to make learning easy.  I've seen kids catch on and be playing a ton faster with equipment that is designed for them (the balls are especially important with tons of the bounce taken away).


First of all, supporting small businesses right now matters to them so much.  The only surviving tennis shop is called Players and their nearest location is near Washington Square.  The staff there will be able to put together packages that meet a variety of needs:

  • Junior rackets (for different ages)

  • Adults rackets (varying between top-of-the-line and "I just want something cheap to hit a few balls with my kid")

  • Balls for specific ages


If you really want to shop online, tenniswarehouse, midwestsports, tennisexpress are the typical tennis-specialty sites.

Okay, back to business:

  • Rackets:

    • 21" is about right for 4-5 year-olds​

    • 23" for 6-8 year-olds

    • 25" for 9-10 year olds

    • 26" for smaller 10-11 year olds (most people skip over this and go 27")

    • 27" for adults or bigger 11-year-olds

  • Balls:

    • Yellow/Red:  6-year olds (aka Stage 3 or QST 36 (shoot for the non-foam version)

    • Yellow/Orange:  8-year olds (QST60)

    • Yellow/Green:  10-year olds (QST78)

    • Standard balls:  11+

For balls, the numbers 36, 60, 78 refer to the size of court typically played on.  The 36' court could probably be in your driveway!  The 78' court is a full-sized tennis court.


I've searched YouTube for great videos, but I was shocked to see that there isn't that much content available.  Feel free to search, you may have better luck than I did.  Most of us here at Sherwood Tennis focus on high-school kids, so the littles aren't our specialty either (Our resident tiny-tennis expert, "Bubblehead" may be able to put something together soon, but I'm not sure).  Another option might be your best bet.

WebTennis24 has a section dedicated to coaching kids, including a series called My Daddy My Coach.  Some clips I've seen look like he's got good ideas.  Check it out here.  You can join for $10/month and there is a 14-day money back guarantee.  For what most of you are looking for, a single month of access will probably get you as far as you'll want/need.  If you decide that you want to keep going, great!

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