If you are interested in getting your kids on the court, Lesley has some information about their new quick-start programs.
How to Introduce Kids to Tennis Audra Lowe: Well, just like little league kids’ soccer and even T-ball, the U.S. Tennis Association has finally scaling down their sport for youngsters. Now, if you're interested in getting your kids out there on the court, Lesley’s got some information about their new quick start programs. Lesley Nagy: Thanks Audra. The USTA is appealing to kids now ten and under with smaller courts and smaller rackets hoping for a big time love of the sport. Craig Jones: This is something new, something that other sports have done for years and years and Tennis is now doing it. Kirk Anderson: These kids have been involved in a quick start program for some of them three and four years so they’ve grown up with it from the 36-foot court to a 60-foot court and they’re very, very accomplishing. Lesley Nagy: Why did you decide to play? Alex: Well, my Dad actually got me into this sport and after a few days, I said I'm liking it. Leah Friedman: They’re always smiling. They’re always enjoying it. There’s never a force with them to get them on the court so parents want them to have fun learning the sport that they can use throughout their life then this is it. Lesley Nagy: What do you think are some of the benefits in playing? Craig Jones: I'm going to have to say it’s a lifetime sport and it’s great for health and get some off the couch and hopefully not playing game boy as much. Kirk Anderson: They can serve in volley, they can chip, they can top spin, back spin, they can play offensive and play defensive. They’ve got the entire game which is the beauty of being able to learn the game with the skill in court. Lesley Nagy: What do you like best about playing tennis? Nicole: You’ve got to be competitive and make new friends everywhere. Natan: It’s a lot of fun and you don’t really need to play very well to have fun. Lesley Nagy: Now, you have Venus and Serena Williams. There’s Andy Roddick, Roger Federer, so many great pros out there now. When do you think they started playing tennis? Kirk Anderson: Well, they’ve started at very age -- at very stages Roger and in Europe, there’s this quick start ten and under, slower ball, shorter rackets have been going on for a number of years. Well, Roger Federer’s a product of this. Kim Clijsters’ a product of this. Leah Friedman: But, also these guys, they’re growing up together with their sport, to understand what it takes about if becoming young athletes but there’s a lot of going on outside of the court, too. They learn how to manage their time, responsibility. They learn hard work ethic through tennis as well so it’s great. Kirk Anderson: playing then you get down in the court and they’re eight, nine, ten years old. They’re just little players but they can hit every shot. Lesley Nagy: How often do you practice? Nicole: About five times a week. Lesley Nagy: That’s a lot! Do your friends do this as well? Nicole: Only my tennis friends. Kirk Anderson: These kids can really playa and if they continue to improve and grow and get big and strong, they’re going to be terrific players by the time they’re 16 or 17 years old. Lesley Nagy: Who know these kids might be tennis pros one day? For Better, I'm Lesley. Audra Lowe: That is so cute! Thank you very much Lesley. I love tennis myself but those kids out there look like they’re playing a lot better than me, which isn’t sane a whole lot but to see if there’s a program in your area, head to our website and then click on the link tab.