Tenafly Racquet Club Junior Tennis

  • Junior Intro
  • Teddy Tennis
  • Red Balls
  • Orange Balls
  • Green Balls
  • Yellow Balls

Dear Parents,

Whether your child is on a recreational path or committed to becoming a high performance player, CourtSense treats each one of our players with the same professionalism, attention to detail. and respect One of the challenges of becoming a competent and successful tennis player is learning all the different skills our game requires. Different grips, swing paths, surfaces, indoors/outdoors, footwork, types of shots (i.e. volleys, ground-strokes, serves, overheads, etc.) make our game quite challenging to learn properly. There are many other sports that allow the child to be in flow and instinctive at earlier stages like basketball, soccer and skiing. Unfortunately, if we allow our players to play without the proper technique/structure when they start learning tennis, the child will create many bad habits making our job and ultimately the players job much more challenging later in their development. With that said, we do feel it is important that a part of our players practice include some exploration and less structure as you will see at times in their training. Knowing these facts inspired us to develop the CourtSense progression of teaching.

We feel the building block years of development are from the ages of 10 and under. These are the years for setting up the proper foundation so the child can spread their wings and truly play the game of tennis without the limitations of poor technique and poor fundamentals. Obviously, the more time a child spends on court, the more coachable they are and the higher their aptitude is, the quicker they get through our progressions of teaching. The following video of Mr. Miyagi teaching Daniel in the “Karate Kid” gives you a glimpse of what we are attempting to do with every child in our program. We provide a more age appropriate “fun factor” in our teaching then what Daniel experienced, however we must remember that there is a portion of learning that requires repetition and discipline which can be challenging at times for any child. (click on the following to view the referred video scene in the Karate Kid)

Parents and players that commit to the concept of learning the proper skills and are able to trust and demonstrate patience throughout this process look back feeling very thankful! One of my mentors in this game is the legendary coach Jose Higueras. One of his favorite phrases is, “If it were easy, everyone would be great.” Our goal is to make each child in our program as “great as they can be”, by encouraging them and challenging them physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually!

We strongly encourage our students to play many different sports when they are 10 years old and younger. It is important for children to play multiple sports that demand different types of skills with one’s feet and hands. This requires different types of balance at a younger age. Playing multiple sports will ultimately help children to become better athletes allowing them to become stronger at their chosen sport. Once they reach 10-12 years old we then recommend that our students try to pick the primary activity that they have both skills and passion for - that is if they want to compete or perform at a higher level late into their teens and beyond.

CourtSense has been a consultant to the USTA for many years and we helped the USTA put together the following 10 and under (click on one or all of the following to watch these videos) Red ball video link, Orange ball video link and Green ball video link. These videos help guide coaches and parents around the United States. We encourage you to go to these links so you get an idea of what we are trying to accomplish with your child while we are on court with them. As you can see when watching these videos, the children demonstrating have spent a lot of time on court and they are on the high performance path. CourtSense has many players that will ultimately become recreational players and others that are high performance players with the goal of playing college and even professional tennis. All are excellent goals and we welcome all levels of commitment. Whether a child knows what they want out of tennis or not, we believe that our students should learn the fundamentals as early as possible so they can enjoy our sport properly stay virtually injury free for the rest of their lives.

We promise to create an environment that will allow your child to grow and prosper on this meaningful journey!

See you on the court,

Gordon Uehling
Managing Director

 

Teddy Tennis is a fantastic FUN way to encourage children aged 2 ½ to 6 years to get active and learn to play tennis. It works by combining Music, Pictures, Stickers and Teddy Bear stories into a totally interactive learning adventure that young children love
The Pictures of teddy bears characters are used to involve the children (Cub Cadets) in what they are going to do in each game or activity.The Music is used in all Teddy Tennis lessons. It provides the rhythm and timing that is essentialfor learning to play tennis and many other sports. Music helps speed up the learning process and it also increases the children’s attention span, but above all, it makes Teddy Tennis lessons fun. The words to the songs relate directly to the exercises or games being played and tell the children what to do. The children love the music, quickly pick up the words and sing along.
The Stories are related to the pictures. The Cub Cadet really relate to the teddy bear characters in these pictures and stories, they see them as role models and want to copy everything the teddy bears do. The coach (Head Ted) also uses the pictures to involve the Cub Cadets in the lesson by asking questions about what’s in the picture.
The Stickers of the teddy tennis characters are awarded at the end of each class. There are 13 sets of stickers with 12 stickers to be awarded to each Cub Cadet. The stickers are collected in the Cub Cadets personal Teddy Tennis Cub Card. The combination of music, pictures, stories, and stickers inspires the Cub Cadets to participate and have fun. All the songs, pictures, characters, stickers, and games have been specifically written and created by Teddy Tennis for Teddy Tennis and they all play an important role in the program. Teddy Tennis stimulates both the auditory and visual senses. this is the secret of Teddy Tennis.
Teddy Tennis Lessons
Teddy Tennis is a fully structured educational program with lesson plans designed to develop the essential skills of tennis at an early age.There are 10 sets of lessons that have been designed for each of the 7 Teddy Tennis Teams. Each lesson consists of 6 different Teddy Tennis Activities with the standard Teddy Tennis lesson lasting approximately 50 minutes. There are a total of 70 different lesson plans, all having activities involving racquet, ball, movement, and learning skills.

To view more information please visit the Teddy Tennis Website

 

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  Tennis is a game that requires many learned skills. A child could easily get discouraged if the game is not taught with a logical and well thought out progression. CourtSense has been using the progression balls, courts and racquets since our inception in 2002. We believe that it is key for the proper development of any child playing the game of tennis. It is crucial for a child to have a positive experience when they are first introduced to the game of tennis. Our staff has been trained to teach the CourtSense method while using state-of-the-art technologies. The combination has been proven to accelerate the learning curve for every child. Below is a brief description of the progression balls and courts as well as what makes us unique as a training facility.

 

Red Ball Court – 36 foot mini court – The Red Ball is 75% slower than a yellow tennis ball (generally 5-9 years old). Hopefully tennis is amongst the many different sports your child plays on a weekly basis at this stage. This age is all about developing the athlete in the child. This is a crucial age for motor skill development as well as learning some of the fundamental skills of tennis, the forehand, backhand and serve. We have a competition at the end of each class called the “Gatorade game”. This game works on the coordination of the child’s non-dominant arm (used for tossing the ball when serving). Through this game the child gets exposed to what winning and losing is all about which is a reality they will be faced with much more in the future. The Red Ball Clinic has four distinct stations.   redcourt



Development of Technique and Basic Footwork Mini Court - We at CourtSense feel that a child first needs to learn how to transfer energy properly first from their legs, then core and then finally with their hands. Simultaneously we will also make sure the child understands how to hold the racquet properly for the forehand, backhand and serve when setting up for the desired stroke. We then teach the proper split-step and footwork when moving to the ball. This is mostly done out of the hand or with the ball machine.

Serving Mini Court – A technically sound and accurate toss and the understanding of the throwing motion is the foundation for having a great serve. We spend a lot of time teaching our students how to properly toss into a 3 dimensional target while simultaneously throwing balls over the curtain. When the kids can do this effectively we then put the two parts together with the CourtSense progression of teaching the serve.

Fun Mini Court – This is the “fun” court! The kids get to experiment and use the tools they have been learning. We create games that encourage the kids to have fun while learning how to react to the spontaneity of the ball traveling with different spins and bounces while also learning how to feel and play with the ball. Slower play on a smaller court with shorter racquets enable rally/play at an even earlier stage of development.

Fitness/Coordination Court – We feel this is the most important court in the long term development of a tennis player and any other sport the child might play now or in the future. Teaching a child how to properly run, skip, jump, use their pull and push muscles while working on coordinating their body when it relates to different types of balls bouncing, are key in developing the athlete within the child.

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 redcompetencies2 

 

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   Tennis is a game that requires many learned skills. A child could easily get discouraged if the game is not taught with a logical and well thought out progression. CourtSense has been using the progression balls, courts and racquets since our inception in 2002. We believe that it is key for the proper development of any child playing the game of tennis. It is crucial for a child to have a positive experience when they are first introduced to the game of tennis. Our staff has been trained to teach the CourtSense method while using state-of-the-art technologies. The combination has been proven to accelerate the learning curve for every child. Below is a brief description of the progression balls and courts as well as what makes us unique as a training facility.
 

The Orange Ball is 50% slower than a yellow tennis ball (generally 8-10 years old). At this stage, the student is older and more agile, so they can play on a bigger court with a ball that is a little smaller and faster than the red ball. Fitness becomes more dynamic and challenging. The child should also have
a nice understanding of the proper grips and how to move to the ball while we share with the student some basic patterns of play. This new understanding is still not second nature to the child so the coaches are always looking to remind the player to correct different grips or movements if needed until they do in fact become second nature.

Orange Ball Court
60’ x 21’ SINGLES
60’ x 27’ DOUBLES
   
 orangecourt               

Types of tennis-based competitions are introduced when using the orange ball. Coaches will emphasize technique as we watch the players compete. (ie If the child is working on maintaining a continental grip on the serve and they do not accomplish this, we will give them a warning and then even take the point away if they do not accomplish the desired grip so they truly focus on the fundamentals) At this stage the child’s fundamentals are more important than winning or losing.

 

“The mastery-oriented children are really hell-bent on learning something, and ‘learning goals’ inspire a different chain of thoughts and behaviors than “performance goals. Performance goal children show off their ability, while others want to increase their ability, ‘ability’ means different things to the two groups.“ - Carol Dweck (Sports psychology professor)

 

 
 Orange Ball 
 Rising Orange Ball Super Orange Ball
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 redcompetencies2 

 

image011-2

   Tennis is a game that requires many learned skills. A child could easily get discouraged if the game is not taught with a logical and well thought out progression. CourtSense has been using the progression balls, courts and racquets since our inception in 2002. We believe that it is key for the proper development of any child playing the game of tennis. It is crucial for a child to have a positive experience when they are first introduced to the game of tennis. Our staff has been trained to teach the CourtSense method while using state-of-the-art technologies. The combination has been proven to accelerate the learning curve for every child. Below is a brief description of the progression balls and courts as well as what makes us unique as a training facility.

Green Ball Court – Full size 78 foot court – The Green Ball is 25% slower than the yellow tennis ball (generally 9-12 years old).
The child is one step closer to playing with the yellow tennis ball as they play on a full size court with a ball that is more lively than the orange ball. They are becoming more instinctive and they have the ability to cover more space because of their size and agility. At this stage the child needs to adjust to serving from the traditional baseline while covering the full tennis court.

greencourt

Adjusting to this new length takes some time and the child must remember to hit with a good amount of height over the net in order to create the proper depth of shot. Reviewing proper technique and footwork is still a priority. Introducing patterns and variations of where to place the ball starts to become an important topic we emphasize during the semester. Fitness becomes more and more challenging and dynamic as the kids become stronger and more agile.

 

Green Ball form

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 AAA Group form

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 Super Green Ball form

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Similar to the green, yellow balls are played on a full size 78’ x 27’ singles/ 78’ x 36’ doubles court. There is no designated age at which a player should move to yellow ball; on average students tend to be ready for the full game after 12-13 years of age.

Just as the other types of balls (except for the Red Foam Ball), the yellow ball has a uniform outer surface consisting of a fabric cover and stitchless seams. Its mass ranges between 56.0-59.4 grams making it 14-16% heavier and significantly faster than the previously introduced green ball.

The use of yellow balls along with a full scoring system is introduced in the 12 and under competitions at both national and international levels. These regulations are also the official scoring standards of play at the professional levels ranging from futures to grand slam tournaments.

Students advancing to this stage of development are competent at hitting with proper technique and consistent enough to play points with the ideal height and depth over the net. Implementing specialty shots such as drop-shots, half volleys, and lobs also occurs at this stage along with the full development of the kick serve. Advanced practices are designed to improve decision making patterns and variations while making the right connection between the baseline, transition, and net games of the player.

Players move to the full 78' court with yellow tennis balls!

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Yellow Ball   Group AA (1-2)  Group AA (4)            Group A                        Super Yellow
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