March 4, 2008

USTA Tees Up Slam-dunk Plan To Teach Little Kids Tennis: Move The Goalposts

I'll lift the blogging blackout about the kid's preschool just enough to say that last weekend was the school's fundraising auction, and we bought her some tennis lessons. Then it dawned on me that a handful of tennis lessons with a 4-yo who's barely picked up
a racket could be a phenomenal waste of money. She's barely taller than the racket, the ball bounces over her head, she can't hit to the net, much less across it.

Assuming she doesn't hate it immediately, we'll be shelling out for years for this to make any sense. Which means we'll have to join a club. Which means our Mercedes will suddenly be too old, or not old enough, and we'll either have to get an R-Class or start sneaking in the service entrance. And we'll inevitably be busted, and the kid'll be embarrassed, forced to hang out in a mall instead.

Though they can offer no help with the G-Class-driving philistines who wouldn't know a Gelandewagen if it barreled through their privy hedge, the United States Tennis Association is doing something about teaching little kids tennis.

Thanks to the microwave-sized press kit they sent to our old NYC apartment from two addresses ago, the USTA's new Quickstart Tennis format helps kids pick up skills and have fun without getting intimidated by complicated scoring and adult-scale courts and equipment.


Quickstart has two formats: kids under 8 play sideways on the court, with a shorter net, and low-density, lower-bounce balls. Kids 8-10 play inside the baseline with a lower net.

This sounds much better than the comparable youth training program run by the Russian Tennis Association, which focuses mostly on grunting, modeling skin-tight, cut-out outfits, and strategic service return ass-flashing. I don't want the kid learning that at least until she's 12.

the USTA's Quickstart Tennis format []

1 Comment

What a great looking tennis website and good information.
Thank you

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