What is the ideal age to start playing tennis?

The Fundamentals of the Forehand Technique are accomplished by bringing the racket across your body and then toward the direction where you would like to land the ball. If you are a right-handed player, the forehand groundstroke starts on the right side of your body, and then the movement continues across your body as your racket face comes in contact with the ball. The tennis forehand stroke ends with a complete follow-through.

You love tennis yourself, and you want your child to play and enjoy the game. So, at what age should your child start playing tennis?

The consensus answer from all the coaches is that if your child is precocious, they can start at age 4. 

If your child starts earlier than 4, there is no benefit. The child is too young to understand what they are doing. Sure, you can bring them to the courts when they are two or three years old, roll the balls to them, and introduce them to the look of tennis. They may grow enamored with the balls, rackets, and courts, making them more interested when they begin learning one or two years later. If your child learns tennis after age 5, they can still become great players. But if a child starts learning tennis after age 10, they will be at a disadvantage compared to a child who learns earlier. Like how we learn languages or read and write when we are young, the earlier we learn, the easier it is.

Why should my child learn tennis at an early age?

If your child learns proper stroke mechanics early on (before age 10), hitting using textbook strokes and early starting will become natural. The correct stroke mechanics will be ingrained into your child’s muscle memory, creating a factual foundation for their tennis play over their lifetime.

With proper early instruction, your child’s forehand, backhand, volleys, and court movements will be very good. The service shot is a bit different, however. Due to its complex nature, it is often the most challenging shot in tennis for kids and adults.

Some kids can have great forehands, and backhands struggle on their serve even after 4-5 years of playing. The serve will usually not become a weapon for them until they grow taller and more muscular, typically around age 12–13. So, have patience with the server while your child is still learning. If your child is 12–13 years of age and still wants to learn tennis, they can still be an outstanding player in several years. But it will depend on their enthusiasm, athletic ability, and hand-eye coordination. With the right coach and much practice, a boy or girl (12–13) can make their high school tennis team and even play college tennis. The critical thing to remember is that your child is learning one of the best sports to play and can enjoy tennis for a lifetime.

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