So, there’s an interest in tennis?? Shall I buy a racket??
My mere opinions on kids racket purchases….
Kids tennis all around the world has changed since I was little. Like almost all other sports, tennis has been scaled to match the size/ ages of the kids. No longer do they have to use big long rackets that are too heavy for their little arms to handle. There is a massive progression of racket size and weight. I remember learning to serve with my mums old racket. It was so heavy, but worst of all it hit the ground every time. Not ideal for developing a good-looking serve, nor good for my little arm!
It’s super important that when you start any child off, that they have the length and weight racket that is suitable for them. So many times, kids turn up for lessons or to play, and they think the bigger rackets are better, and they are deadset on using this”proper professional” racket,or their parents racket. They want to play properly, like what they see on tv.
Age modified tennis is everywhere now- called things from 10&under, grasshoppers, hotshots…..The guides are all out there too, what rackets fits certain ages. In terms of development, the size progressions of rackets are important. Any good coaching program will be able to provide good advice over which racket your child should be using. I recommend asking a coaching pro, rather than at your local generic sports store. The coach will be able to gauge more the best racket by observation of technique over a half hr, than a sporting goods store summing up size, strength and technique by glancing at your child for a few minutes. While they are reasonably good, I would use caution also using the recommended charts, as they don’t take into account height differences, strength differences, or ability. Sometimes also the price of the racket stems from material used. Generally those cheaper rackets will be heavier..
If your child is starting to play some tennis,and you are thinking about buying them a racket, spend the time to talk to your local tennis pro, even if not going to buy from them. They will know the progression of sizes, usually having rackets to borrow to make sure the length can be handled. No pro likes to see a kid starting out in tennis with the wrong size racket. It makes learning so much tougher. So many times, kids turn up with new rackets from a weekends spur of the moments in-store purchase. I cringe as I know that new racket that the little guy is so excited about using, is going to completely change his technique. Or the new 23” racket being unwrapped is already too small, as she was using a 25” at coaching the last few weeks. Also, if your child is a complete beginner, borrowing for a while is the best option, and as develops, may quickly move to the next size up.
Even if your child is not having coaching, if you stop down at your local club, the resident pro should be more than happy to give you some quick advice.
Take the time to ask. Not a huge purchase, but can make a massive difference!! Nothing cooler than seeing a 5-6yr old with the right size racket be able to do good technique.
see ya at the courts!!!