What is the Appropriate Age to Start Playing Tennis?

The Fundamentals of Forehand Technique is accomplished by bringing the racket across your body, then towards the direction where you 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 full follow-through.

You love tennis yourself. You also 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 5-years-old. If your child is precocious, he or she 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 2 or 3-years-of-age and roll the balls to them and introduce them to the look of tennis. Maybe they’ll grow enamored with the balls, rackets and courts and this will make them more interested when they begin to actually learn one or two years later.If your child learns tennis after the age of 5, they can still become great players. But if a child starts learning tennis after age 10, he or she will be at a disadvantage compared to a child who learns earlier. Just like how we learn languages or reading and writing when we are young kids, the earlier we learn, the easier it is.

Why Should My Child Learn Tennis Early?

If your child learns proper stroke mechanics early on (before the age of 10), then it becomes completely natural for them to hit using textbook strokes. Starting your child out early will ingrain the correct stroke mechanics into their muscle memory. This will create a very good foundation for their tennis play over their lifetime.

For certain, your child’s forehand, backhand, volleys and movement on the court will be very good with proper early instruction. The serve is a bit different though. Due to the complex nature of the serve, it is often the most challenging shot in tennis for kids and people.

Some kids can have a great forehands and backhands struggle on their serve – even after 4-5 years of playing. The serve will usually not turn into a weapon for them until they grow taller and stronger, typically around age 12-13. So have patience with the serve while your child is still learning.If your child is older, like 12-13 years of age, and still wants to learn tennis, he or she can still do so and be a very good player in several years. But it will depend on their enthusiasm, athletic ability, and hand-eye coordination. With the right coach and a lot of practice, a boy or girl 12-13 years of age can make their high school tennis team and even play college tennis. The important thing to remember is that your child is learning one of the best sports to play and will be able to enjoy tennis for a lifetime.