Tennis Hot Shots
This programme has been successfully used worldwide. It is the easiest way to play tennis. The balls bounce lower and slower so they are easier to hit and the courts are smaller. This means that players are able to start rallying and have fun right from the first lesson, just as they do in other sports.
Tennis ball: red ball (25% compression)
Recommended racquet size: 21–23 inches
The Red stage is for beginners. The red ball is larger than a yellow ball and doesn’t bounce as high (just 25% compression), making it a breeze for even the youngest players to hit it comfortably. The courts and nets used in the Red stage are much smaller making it easier for kids to move around and enjoy success.
Red Stage 1 – Children will develop fundamental perceptual motor skills through structured, but fun games. These skills include; over and under arm throwing, hitting the ball from both sides of the body, catching on the full and after a bounce, basic movement, self feeding from both sides of the body, tossing and hitting the ball in the air.
Red Stage 2 – We continue to develop the above skills, but put more emphasis on directing the ball. Children will learn to direct the forehand and backhand cross court and down the line, limit directional change in a rally and direct their serve to a players forehand and backhand.
After mastering the Red stage, children move on to the Orange stage where the ball bounces a little higher (50% compression) and the court is a bit bigger.
In the Orange Stage, children begin competing more often and use normal tennis scoring.
Tennis ball: orange ball (50% compression)
Recommended racquet size: 23–25 inches
Orange Stage – Children will advance their perceptual skills and begin to use the court to create advantages; moving the opponent off the court, pushing the opponent back, bringing them into the net or moving forward to the net themselves. We also introduce doubles tactics and positioning.
The ball used in the Green stage has a higher compression than the Red and Orange stages (75% of a yellow tennis ball) and children play on a full-size court. In the Green Stage players continue to develop their technique, tactical awareness, mental strength and physical conditioning.
Court size: 10.97 m × 23.78 m (full court)
Tennis ball: green ball (75% compression)
Green Stage – Children will advance their perceptual skills to the point in which they are reading the ball off the opponents racquet. We focus on developing all strokes to a high level and learning about how to read opponents, then developing game plans to beat them.
The four key elements of any Tennis Hot Shots session are:
1. FUN Players are actively engaged, excited and motivated to participate.
2. TACTICAL/PLAY Players think and make decisions about meaningful tennis situations.
3. SKILLS Players have plenty of opportunities to improve their tennis skills.
4. SOCIAL Players build social skills such as working cooperatively with a partner, building friendships, encouraging teammates and showing sportsmanship during game play.