Ten Things All Kids Should
Know About Tennis!
You came, you saw, youíll
Find a tennis court with a
net, or use your driveway with a homemade net, or the street with an
invisible net or even a wall (a wall never misses).
Get a racquet (or a flat wooden board or a frying pan!). Most modern
racquets are made of graphite. Find a handle size that feels
comfortable: not too big, not too small.
it bounces, use it!
Get a ball. Any kind of ball that bounces will do. There are three
balls to a tennis can, so you donít have to run and fetch a stray ball
every time you miss!
This is sooooo easy!
Bounce the ball and hit it over the net. Now youíre playing!
Ready, aim, fire!
Hit the ball so it lands on or inside the sidelines. The near
sidelines for singles (one against one) are 27 feet apart; for doubles
(two players vs. two), the sidelines are 36 feet apart.
When you are "serving" (the first shot in every point), you stand
behind your own baseline and aim toward the diagonally opposite service
box. The baseline is the line furthest from the net. The service boxes
run from the middle of the court to the net on both sides of the court.
You serve to "the left" for the first point, then to "the right" for the
second point, and you keep alternating sides until the game is over.
Choices, choicesÖ one if by bounce, none if by air!
Once the point begins, you can play the ball on one bounce or in the
air. When you hit after one bounce, itís called a groundstroke (forehand
or backhand); when you play a ball in the air, itís called a volley.
Whatís the score!?!?
The scoring is easy: 15 for the first point, 30 when you win two
points, 40 when you win three, and when you win four points you win the
"game." If your opponent also gets to 40, then itís called "deuce" and
one of you must win by two. Whichever player gets to 6 games first, by a
margin of at least two games, wins the "set." The first player to win
two sets (out of a possible three) takes the "match." Game, Set, Match!
Just hit the ball back one more time!
After you get your serve in, or after your opponent gets their serve
in, hit the ball back! After the serve is in, the player who wins the
point is always the one who hits the ball back last.
Play ĎKeep Awayí!
Now that youíve gotten all the basics, itís time for the most
advanced tactic: Hit the ball away from your opponent. Itís fun to run,
but itís even more fun to make your opponent run!