The 2018 U.S. Open Tennis Championships, which launched Aug. 27, are a prime time to inspire kids to get in the swing of tennis, a classic sport that can be played nearly anywhere – even at home.
Net Generation, a new youth initiative of the United States Tennis Association (USTA), makes it easy for ages 5-18 to learn about the sport and start playing in local schools, parks and tennis clubs. Net Generation partners with schools and communities throughout the country to provide free equipment, training and lesson plans. These tennis providers have access to USTA’s expertise and leading experts from around the world. There are 119 Net Generation tennis programs, classes and events within a 50-mile radius of L.A.
You never know: your child could be the next Sloane Stephens – the 2017 U.S. Open Champion. Stephens started playing tennis at age 9 at a tennis facility across the street from her house, and began competing four years later. Today, she competes at worldwide events and advocates for youth tennis. “I think Net Generation makes tennis more accessible to find the right programming, free programming and free equipment,” says Sloane.
Net Generation helps shorten the learning curve so that young players can advance more quickly. For example, first-time players use a lighter-weight racket and a large,
low-bouncing ball that travels slowly through the air, and they play on a smaller court with a shorter net. As kids grow and progress, they move to standard-size courts and regular equipment.
One of the great benefits of tennis is that it’s a lifetime sport. “Tennis provides the opportunity to develop important values and character, whether it be on or off the court,” says Elliott Pettit, USTA director of schools. “What is most important is to create the ideal environment for all ages to enjoy the game.”
To find USTA-verified coaches, lessons, classes, community programs and Junior team-tennis programs, visit NetGeneration.com.