We run courses for children aged 4-18, packed full of fun games and dynamic training. We want kids to bring all their energy to tennis; no 'quiet please' needed here.
*If your child has never played tennis before, LTA Youth Start is the programme for them.
Courses available now - enter your postcode to find one near you!
Specialist coaches will make sure every child has the best start to their tennis journey in a safe and inclusive environment. Sessions cater to all abilities, so no one gets left behind. Explore the different Youth stages below.
- Although we've assigned ages to each stage, this is just a guide
- We understand kids want to play in groups and with their friends, so whatever stage they start at, all kids will see progression
- In every LTA Youth stage, kids will be active, having fun and developing skills!
This is an introduction to tennis. Here, we’ll help kids improve their balance, agility and co-ordination while teaching them about the sport we love. At this stage it’s not about winning or losing, it’s just getting to grips with the basics.
Serve, rally and score (Age 6-8)
This will look a bit more like the tennis you know. You’ll see overarm serves, rallies and volleys. Coaches will help children to further develop their co-ordination, balance and speed. We’ll introduce relaxed competition here too.
Develop a rounded game (Age 8-9)
Time to throw in some tactics, problem-solving, and guides to sportsmanship and leadership. At this stage children will know all of the rules and will be serving and returning in matches.
Test your skills (Age 9-10)
This is the big one. It’s time for kids to play on full size courts. Now it’s all about growing their game by ﬁne tuning and reﬁning the techniques they’ve learned so far.
Take your skills further (Age 10+)
Time to find your game. Playing on a full size court with the same size balls the pros use, kids will continue to explore different styles on the court, and start to choose their own.
Our LTA Youth Programme is designed to introduce children as young as four to tennis. Fun, dynamic sessions will help kids get to grips with the basics of the game, improve their co-ordination and make some new pals along the way.
Make tennis fun! If your kids enjoy it, they’ll be clamouring to pick up a racket and head to the park. Finding a local course through our LTA Youth Programme is a pretty good place to start. These sessions are engaging, energetic and a great way to make new friends.
There’s no right or wrong answer to this question. If your child is having fun, they should play as little or as much as they want to. If they would like to start competing, they will probably need to put in a bit more practice time.
Whatever time of year it is, there are junior competitions taking place across the country for children of all ages and ability.
When it comes to finding the right level of competition for your kid, LTA Youth Compete is a great place to start. There are three different stages to LTA Youth Compete; first there’s Team Challenge, then Matchplay and finally Local Tour.
Team Challenge is a great way to introduce kids to competition at their local clubs. It’s fun and friendly with none of the serious scoring and of course you play in a team.
Matchplay gives kids their first taste of individual competition and allows them to build their match experience.
Local Tour offers a range of tournaments throughout the year for children aged 18 and under. These competitions give players their first opportunity to earn Recent Form (9U and 10U events) or LTA Ranking (10U – 18U) points.
Make it fun! The more fun kids have, the more likely they are to improve their skills and want to continue. The best way to teach kids also depends on how old they are.
Our LTA Youth Programme has five different coaching stages, from Blue to Yellow for children aged 4-18, and each stage is tailored to the developmental level of children in that age group. Starting with soft balls on small courts, kids finesse the basics for all sports – like coordination and balance. They then progress to tennis techniques and tactics. By the time they’re at the Yellow stage, they are fine-tuning their game on full-size courts.
The best length of tennis racket for your child will depend on their height. We recommend the following:
- 8 years and under: 17-23 inches
- 8-9 years: 23-25 inches
- 9-10 years: 25-26 inches
- 10 years and over: 26-27 inches
To find out if a tennis racket is the right length, start by getting your child to stand up with both arms down by their side. Get them to hold a racket in their hand so it's pointing downwards. If the tip of the racket reaches their ankle, then it’s the right one!
When it comes to clothes kids can wear whatever they’re most comfortable in really. Just remember they will be active – think shorts, tracksuit bottoms, t-shirts, sweatshirts and hoodies. Keep the jeans and coats at home.
Shoes wise, we’d suggest that kids wear a comfortable pair of trainers, as these will stop them from slipping and getting foot and ankle injuries when on the court.
To find a tennis course for your kid, select the stage that best matches your child’s age and ability, click on the ‘Find a course’ button and then enter your postcode in the search bar to find a course near you.