What Equipment You Need for Youth Tennis

As a result of the popularity of tennis, there is a wide range of equipment available to choose from, with options based on age, skill level, or even competitive desires. If you're new to the game or looking to help develop young players, you'll need to know a little bit about tennis and the equipment you should have.

Tennis is an ideal sport for kids. It requires concentration and confidence to overcome the opposition on the other side of the net. And it takes guts to make a risky shot and endurance to withstand a long three-set match. Whether your children are looking to play competitively or just need some exercise on a Saturday morning, tennis can be the sport for them. Start them off with age-appropriate equipment.

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Tennis Balls

Close-Up Of Tennis Ball On White Background
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It is a common misconception that young players can immediately use the regular-sized yellow balls when first starting. For a number of reasons, this can quickly have negative consequences, as the kids may quickly get tired of playing and bored with tennis. There are different sized tennis balls to choose from for youngsters.

A red foam or felt ball is considered ideal for ages 5–8. It moves at a slower pace, thus providing more opportunity for longer volleys. By allowing for players to be a part of longer volleys, not only does their talent increase, but their confidence rises as they realize they can play the game successfully. The orange ball works best for ages 9–10, as it also travels slower but is suitable for a larger court. Finally, the green ball suits anyone between 11 years old and those ready to utilize a full-sized yellow ball.

These ages are not strict guidelines, but rather they can be used to gauge the skills of the child in terms of strokes and tactics.

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Shoes

Tennis Shoes

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For a junior player, it is best to get a pair of shoes that provides certain characteristics. They need to provide lightweight performance. Tennis is a game that requires constant movement and ability to change directions on the fly. They also need to allow for ​stability. Due to the fast-paced nature of the game, players are highly susceptible to sprained ankles and other lower leg injuries.

Breathability is immensely important, too. In many areas, tennis can be played year-round. While playing in 50– 60-degree weather isn’t bad, competing in 90– 100-degree weather can become intense. Having a pair of shoes that keeps air flowing to the feet helps keep the player cooler.

You’ll find the best quality tennis shoes from the brands Nike, Adidas, and Asics. You don’t have to get the most expensive pair at the start. Rather, you can get a more reasonable pair that also possesses some of the attributes listed. 

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Apparel

woman tennis player serving
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While you can play tennis in regular athletic clothes, there is also a wide range of products available to make your kids look more like they belong on the tennis court. Whether it is polo shirts, tank tops, or compression shorts, you shouldn’t have much trouble finding something they like. Let your child pick out what they like and will feel most comfortable playing in, but be aware of any dress code at the tennis facility where they play.

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Racket

Tennis racket and tennis ball
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Just like with the tennis balls, the racquets are also available in sizes that gradually grow as the child gets older and more accomplished in their tennis skills. For those age 8 and under, anywhere between a 19-inch to 23-inch racquet would be adequate. Those age 10 and under should be able to use up to a 25-inch racquet.

Appropriate sizing of the racquet makes it much easier for younger players to hit the ball back and forth. The sizing of the racquet is an important first step, but you also have to decide on the quality and brand. Some top brands are Wilson, Dunlop, Prince, and Babolat. You may want to select a less expensive racquet initially until you see how much interest your child has in tennis.

Final Take

Like every other sport, tennis can be fun for kids if approached in the right way. As a parent, it is your job to set an example that allows them to take it for what it is—a game. By providing them with the proper equipment, you will spur your children's interest in the game. Whether it is a racquet that fits the size of the child or a tennis balls that travel through the air slower to fit their skill level, the equipment they use has a significant impact on developing their skills and love for the game.