Training levels

Clearly structured and easy to understand

From the general to the specific!

The kidstennis tennis ABC is based on the Long Term Athlete Development Model (Balyi, Way & Higgs, 2013) with its successive stages and thus initially takes into account a versatile development of the children instead of early specialization. It follows clear, easy-to-understand principles and in this form provides a particularly suitable “software” for the changes in the “hardware” for U10 children’s tennis (Play&Stay/tennis10s) prescribed by the ITF worldwide since 2012. Especially with regard to a versatile and developmentally appropriate holistic training of the children and the systematic game (development) on smaller courts with slower Red-Orange-Green balls and rackets that are sensibly adapted to the body size. The development guide not only ensures a playful introduction to playing with the ball, but also enables a safe introduction to competitive tennis in later years.

Mini Ball School Tennis (Stage 1)

The Mini Ball School Tennis is the first stage in the ABCs of children’s tennis and enables children from around 4 years of age to get started in a developmentally appropriate way. It is based on the Mini Ball School program of the Ball School Heidelberg and therefore initially promotes versatile training for children. The game is played not only with the racket, but also with the hands and feet. When playing with the racket, the focus is on playful, unguided learning in which the children should implicitly develop a feel for the racket. The Mini Ball School Tennis contains many games from the Mini Ball School that have been adapted for use on the tennis court, while the Mini Ball School Tennis also provides a variety of new game ideas.

Ball School Tennis (Stage 2)

The Ball School Tennis is also a possible entry point into the ABC of children’s tennis for children aged 6 and over. Building on the basics already acquired and taking into account the principles of the Heidelberg Ball School, children in this program develop basic coordinative, perceptive-motor and technical-tactical (tennis-specific) skills. Right from the start, the children learn to recognize the different phases of the tennis game, to “read” situations correctly and to make appropriate decisions. At the end of this level, the children are MatchFIT and complete the MatchFit Check. This proves that they are able to play a match independently, count and make decisions in accordance with the rules and in a fair sporting manner.

Fundamental training (Stage 3)

Children who have successfully completed the MatchFit check and want to continue playing tennis continue their tennis-specific training in fundamental training, the third stage of our ABC children’s tennis development guide. Basic technical and tactical skills that have already been acquired are initially repeated, deepened and consolidated under familiar playing conditions. Only as physical development progresses will these skills be transferred to the next “hardware level”. By the end of this training level, the children should have mastered all basic techniques and be able to use them confidently and consistently when playing with partners.

Talent development (Stage 4)

Playing and practising as part of talent development, the fourth and final stage of our development guide, is reserved for those children who are intensively involved in tennis, train several times a week and regularly take part in competitions. The clear overarching goal of this training level is to optimize basic technical and tactical skills. The playing conditions adapted to the individual development of the children play an important role in this. Ultimately, the children at this training level should be prepared in the best possible way for playing on the normal pitch with the yellow ball in the u12 age group.