Kids tennis needs kids courts!

In 2012, the International Tennis Federation changed the “Official Rules of Tennis” to include specific rules for 10 and under competition. This was a change heard around the world facilitating the addition of blended lines to tennis courts. Many national sports bodies responsible for tennis such as the USTA and Tennis Canada provided grants to help facilities comply with the new rules.

In the United States 2,709 courts for 10 and Under Tennis (36’ and 60’) were built or lined in 2014.

The following link by Tennis Canada shows some Canadian clubs taking advantage of the grants.

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If you are vacationing note whether the courts you are using have blended line. Many players do not even notice them.

Tennis positively affects your health

TENNIS AND HEALTH

  • People who participate in tennis three hours per week (at moderately vigorous intensity) cut their risk of death in half from any cause. (Dr. Ralph Paffenbarger, Harvard University School of Public Health)
  • Exercise such as playing singles tennis briskly for 30 minutes or longer, 3 to 4 times a week, can help condition the heart and lungs. (American Health Association)
  • Tennis builds strength in upper body, legs, hips and abdomen and improves speed and overall flexibility. (Vitality Magazine)
  • Since tennis requires alertness and tactical thinking, it may generate new connections between nerves in the brain and thus promote a lifetime of continuing development of the brain. (Scientists at the University of Illinois)
  • Tennis outperforms all other sports in developing positive personality characteristics and physical fitness development. (Dr. Jim Gavin, Concordia University, author of The Exercise Habit)
  • Competitive tennis burns more calories (528 to 610 for an hour of singles) than aerobics, inline skating, or cycling, according to studies on caloric expenditures.
  • Tennis participation has tremendous physiological and psychological benefits for older individuals. (Dr. James Rippe, Rippe Lifestyle Institute)
  • Tennis players scored higher in vigor, optimism and self-esteem while scoring lower in depression, anger, confusion, anxiety and tension than other athletes or non-athletes. (Source: Dr. Joan Finn, et al., Southern Connecticut State University)

Why Self Rating is Hard

Why is it so tough for players to rate themselves according to the NTRP rating system?

I would argue that recreational players find it hard to rate themselves due to the following:

  • skill level varies day by day
  • variability between various stroke ( 4.0 serve, 4.5 forehand, 3.0 overhead, etc)
  • lack ability to vary tactics according to opposition
  • preference for doubles versus singles (4.0 doubles and 3.5 singles)
  • people tend to over or under rate themselves based on their current mood and confidence level

All of these variables create a continuum of overall ability. What really counts is the ability to quickly size up an opponent and locate weaknesses so as to achieve tennis success.

Just as important is the ability to try and “hide” ones own weaknesses.

This explains why people find it hard to play a left hander for example. The skilled left hander will try and set up cross court exchanges between their forehand and their opponents backhand whenever possible. Typically the forehand gives the advantage to left hander. The ability to do this consistently may actually raise a persons rating.

By effectively playing against an opponents weakest strokes a 4.0 player can effectively play a 3.0 player most of the time, or at key points in the match.

Please keep this in mind the next time you take to the courts.