Quick Start Tennis ??

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by NoBadMojo, Dec 29, 2008.

  1. NoBadMojo

    NoBadMojo G.O.A.T.

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    Anyone have any real/actual info as to how this has been received where you are? Has anyone seen this in the States?

    Quck Start tennis is the USTA version of what they have been doing in other countries for some while. Smaller racquets/larger slower balls, and played first 1/2 the court from sideline to sidleine and then on a shorter regular court

    The idea is to make the game more manageable for kids, so they will tend to stick at it and improve more quickly and have more fun. Also a more efficient use of space and can be played on more types of surfaces. Analogies would be smaller soccer fields, lower basketball hoops, etc.

    This would also serve to make for more well rounded players (all courters and serve volleyers) rather than the one dimensional players the sport produces now.

    The proof would be when the first pros emerge from the Quick Start type program....
     
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  2. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    The balls are nerf materials (orange/yellow), and are large.

    The USTA "certifies" people over a one day course (about 6 hours) to teach certain games/drills to younger kids. One doesn't have to have any experience playing tennis to get this certification. Just understand the concept, and be able to implement it to younger kids.

    They don't teach any type of technique in any way shape or form, or strategy. They also don't emphasize proper scoring.

    The nets are small in size (a bit longer than the width of the doubles alley), and are obviously shorter than a regular net. They are very transportable, so you could set them up anywhere (parking lots, basketball courts, volleyball, tennis courts, etc).

    I have 4 sites that provides this service to lower-income/high-poverty areas. We also have a sponsorship from Wilson, so the kids all get free racquets as well.

    It's a joke if one is considering serious tennis.
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2008
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  3. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

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    I am considering Drakulie's post...
     
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  4. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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  5. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    So are you in the tennis business?
     
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  6. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    ^^^No, but I have a contract/agreement with the USTA. They provide the training and some equipment to have personnel certified to provide this service. With that agreement, we were able to get a sponsorship from Wilson.

    I work with kids in lower level/high poverty areas thru the "no kids left behind act".
     
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  7. Topaz

    Topaz Legend

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    We have it at my club. Well, at least we have all the equipment. I've seen it at other 'sister' clubs in my area, too. I think the intention is good, but the fact that it lets you pack more kids onto one court than normal (thereby letting the clubs charge more for that one court than they would normally get) shouldn't be overlooked. Most of the junior clinics that I have seen at my club do not use Quick Start. I think the nets are just collecting dust behind the curtains.
     
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  8. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    NCLB? I thought it was only for academics - standardized testing mostly.

    But don't you work at a medical outfit? Is this part-time?
     
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  9. NoBadMojo

    NoBadMojo G.O.A.T.

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    does anyone <other than Topaz> have any info they didnt look up or just make up?
     
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  10. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    I hope it does not turn out like Tennis Welcome Centers. All I see is a poster saying this is a TWC. But maybe they do something. All I could see in the few clubs I know is that things are pretty much the same as before, but there is a TWC sign.

    The Cardio Tennis thing - now that might be actually catching on.
     
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  11. Topaz

    Topaz Legend

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    Wanted to add...I think everyone was pretty excited when they first got the system (with the nets and all that stuff)...I'm not sure why I'm not seeing it used anymore, but I could find out.

    Though, most of our juniors are a bit big for it, too. That could have something to do with it.
     
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  12. Topaz

    Topaz Legend

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    You know, I was actually really excited about that when it first 'came out', but have yet to see any club around here offer it on a regular basis. The club where I play on vacation has it weekly, but I usually opt to go to their clinics instead.
     
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  13. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    There is one club here which offers it weekly. I saw a flyer for it when I played there a couple of weeks ago.

    However, when it comes to cardio workouts, there are innumerable mature programs out there. It is an industry by itself. Difficult to inject tennis into it and differentiate it that way. "Real" tennis players will prefer to actually play. Others might wonder why they are dancing around with a racquet in their hand when they could be getting a cardio workout some other way. I would say based on the few clubs I know that only this one place seems to offer it once a week.
     
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  14. shell

    shell Professional

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    NBMJ, I have seen several facilities here in Albuquerque using this. The kids are maybe 4 - 5 years old, and seem to be having a blast. They use the smaller racquets and use larger foam balls. The instruction has looked fine, but it was by regular tennis instructors, not "quicky" certification instructors.

    I think it is a great idea for such small kids. They can transition out of it as soon as physically capable and already have a pretty good foundation.
     
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  15. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Bunch of places offering it. I will let you google by yourself. USTA also has a finder.
     
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  16. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    As long as you are doing enrichment/academic activities in the program (after school) this is one of the components one is allowed to have. You are correct there needs to be standardized testing (FCAT,SAT, MAT, etc), however, the program also has to have programs that promote strong bodies/physical fitness, etc.

    Some of the components offered at the four sites are as follows:

    Poetry, Forensics, Math, Cooking, Science, Robotics, Composition, Guidance, Credit Recovery, etc.

    And "no">>>> this isn't made up. BTW, even Dr. Punk who had played tennis less than a year was certified in this program (Quick Start). Surprised our legendary internet coach doesn't know about this program. So much for his credentials.
     
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  17. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Credit recovery would be more useful to parents in this economy LOL but maybe this is something else you are talking about.

    So you don't work at a medical place any more?
     
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  18. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    One of the games in my son's PE class is "Volley Tennis." At first I thought well that is a start. But it is actually volleyball played with a tennis net! No racquets involved!
     
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  19. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

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    Yes, I have done this in our area. It is fun for the kids. As far as them liking tennis from this, I have found that influence and what the other kids like to do tends to dictate what sports they gravitate too.

    My kids are no different. My oldest daughter now wants to play volleyball because her "friends" are doing it. And has decided to take a break from tennis. Who knows, I am still trying to figure out this "father" thing.

    Yes, it is more manageable and fun for the kids.

    Yes, if they stick to it, I believe the same thing.

    Yes. However, the Quick Start program doesnt stay in the childs life very long. At least not the way we are using it. I do think it can be said that a child learned to like tennis from the QuickStart program. I dont know if it will influence their professional play.
     
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  20. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    NO, I swithced jobs this past summer. I now work as an area director in broward county. I oversee 4 highschools/junior highs, with over 1000 students in the after school program. I also have nearly 100 teachers employed, and 4 assistant principals.

    "Credit Recovery" is where a guidance counselor assist students in making sure tehy have earned enough credits to graduate.

    As for "cardio tennis", the club where I live is doing this once a week. Seems to be doing well, and if the instructor/club stick with it>> I could see this going a lot further/growing.

    BTW, in addition to the "quick start" tennis, we have one PE coach who also provides tennis lessons (real ones), to students in the after school program who do not want to participate in the weight training, aerobics, etc.

    all part of the 21st Century Program.

    and several poster form the boards could verify that I do this for a living. (including topaz, sup2dresq, oscar2424, vincescourt, floridaag, dr punk, powerplay21, panterka, klatu verata necktie, jamaican youte, etc, etc, ett).

    who does the internet coach have to verify anything he says.
     
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  21. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    This is the whole idea of the program. To introduce kids to tennis, and promote the game as somehting "fun". Nothing more.
     
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  22. FloridaAG

    FloridaAG Professional

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    I don't really know about this program - but it would seem to depend what age kids they are targeting with it. I know that when I was quite small, 5-8 years old or so, they started us off on lower, 8 foot rims for basketball and shorter fields/smaller goals for soccer. Somewhere between 8-9 years old or so we moved up to full sized 10 foot rims. While no pro players came out of my kiddie league, some serious players emerged - I played varisty H.S. hoops and some guys played college ball

    My point is simply - that if used for very small children as a gateway, it could be a useful program.
     
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  23. zebra_cam

    zebra_cam New User

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    they dp this in the states becuase that is the method my coach at school uses, to help complete beginners. And it really helps a lot, some people on my team have progressed pretty fast
     
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  24. 10s talk

    10s talk Semi-Pro

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    FWIW.. I have worked several years for the USTA, they have a new program every couple years, instead of tweaking good programs. The schools program was good, and if the USTA had stayed with it the program would work.

    The schools program, when it is done right, gets kids excited about playing tennis. I know from personal experience, 0 students to about 400 in 5 years.
     
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  25. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

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    Yup, that is all I see it for.
     
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  26. NoBadMojo

    NoBadMojo G.O.A.T.

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    Thans for the input...as i understand they transition out of it into playing on the regular court but with a moved up baseline. I would think at that point they could also move to regular junior racquets.

    Dont think the quick start needs to stay in the kids life for very long...by the name alone 'quick start' it is designed to get the kids started quickly, but they also offer a transitional program w. the reduced length standard court...that could sted kids long enough until they can reasonable handle a regular ball w. a regular racquet

    The way I see it it, the big problem w. the regular tennis and regular ball is that it bounces too high for little short kids....they have to find a way to be able to deal with a ball bouncing up high <for them> because they are short, and that directly leads to them having to use an extreme grip which opens up pandoras box and seems to stuff them up in a forehand based western gripping game rather than something much more well rounded

    perhaps some of our posters from other lands will chime in as they've had this program for much longer
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2008
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  27. mistapooh

    mistapooh Semi-Pro

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  28. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

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    Yes, I am aware of this. I just didnt see how the connection can be made to a quick start program and a pros game. There are too many other variables when a child leaves the QuickStart program. And, as you know, they dont spend much time in the QuickStart program. The program is solely developed to spark interest. That was my point.

    Also, I am not a proponent of the reduced racquet size and am so-so on the reduced court. The foam ball is great and I use that ball when I take my eight year old out. She has a blast. We play a lot of "save the ball" with it. We also use it to play like we would volleyball where they bounce the ball on their racquet or bounce it on the ground and pass it to their partner who then decides if they want to hit it over or pass it back to their partner. It is family fun for us using that foam ball.

    If they were less expensive, I would buy a small carts worth of them. As it stands, I bring out 12 of them. And do various drills/match play with them.

    Yes, and many kids at that young age have not developed good hand/eye coordination as well. As you know, trying to play tennis without mature hand/eye coordination can be very frustrating for kids - hence IMO the dropout rate.

    And as you know, when a kid hits a tennis ball back to another kid, the ball may be traveling slower from an adults perspective, but it is surprisingly fast for young kids. Many of them over run the ball as if they were going to catch the ball and are normally out of position for their swing. A lot of times the ball goes by them by the time they take a swing at the ball.

    When kids learn tennis, I have found that there is a lot of "hidden" negative feedback with kids and a coach needs to be keenly aware of this when teaching. Anything from being intimidated by the ball bounce to a coach saying "turn the racquet more", supports negative feedback. The foam ball is a lifesaver for this and allows a coach to use negative feedback positively because the ball isnt in the way of learning. Positive and negative feedback are healthy for kids if provided in the right atmosphere.

    Quick Start tennis helps improve the ratio of positive feedback to negative feedback and it mainly happens from the type of ball that is used.
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2008
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  29. mike53

    mike53 Professional

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    I use quickstart equipment for my kids and their friends to play with. I can set up in my driveway or almost anywhere. We currently use 21-23" metal racquets due to their low cost and the height of the kid's hand above the ground. We use Quick Kids 1 balls to keep them from bouncing over the kid's heads. This is all a lot more convenient than driving everyone over to the courts.

    I was visiting our local club and I watched a young boy taking a private lesson. He was swinging a full size racquet and the instructor was pitching regulation balls to him from a basket. Swing-miss, swing-miss, swing-miss. It was painful for me to watch. He maybe hit one out of five. If I had to pay $80/hr for that we would probably take up football (soccer).
     
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  30. Chrystal

    Chrystal New User

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    I believe that it was first started as a tennis 'concept' in Canada - although I'm more than prepared to be proved wrong on that one!

    It was/is called Progressive Tennis and has been used for a number of years at a facility run by this chap:

    http://uk.youtube.com/user/acecoach2008
     
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  31. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

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    Mike, those are good benefits of the court size and equipment that QuickStart provides.

    Yes, this is the negative feedback that for many kids causes them to not want to play anymore. Very few kids, have the maturity and tenacity to stick it out getting negative feedback all the time. If a coach is going to feed balls trying to work on hand/eye coordination, then it must be done for a reasonable time before it becomes unsettling for the kid. Providing drills that give the child success but something to work on helps a lot here.

    Also, we cant throw the baby out with the bath water, mmany times we can be misinformed as to what the coach is doing based on our brief take on what is happening.
     
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  32. mike53

    mike53 Professional

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    In all fairness, the kid at the private lesson didn't appear to be at all bothered. Maybe parents shouldn't watch. BB, does this sound consistent with what one might expect in a 6yo's lesson program?
     
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  33. NoBadMojo

    NoBadMojo G.O.A.T.

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    I do think the kids should stay in it until they can 'graduate' to something else reasonably well. ie; not have to try and hit balls bounding too high for them on a steady basis. I too have used the foam balls when i used to teach little people...i also had them using junior racquets until they were able to handle normal sized. i've been out of the loop doing that for a few years just working mostly privates with better players, and was wondering how these programs in place in other places for somewhile have worked as far as developing young players and keeping them in the game
     
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  34. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Aren't those light racquets deadly for the arm?
     
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  35. mike53

    mike53 Professional

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    The light racquet is paired with the low mass foam balls. Impact to the arm and wrist is much less than regulation equipment, even with a big swing.
     
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  36. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Oh yeah I forgot about the lighter balls
     
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  37. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

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    Yes, I am with you on that. Further, this is why I like using foam balls with regular size nets. They learn to hit up on the ball with a ball that is not bouncing too high. When I teach adults, I often get telescoping poles with a rope attached to both poles and raise the rope 4 to 6 feet above the net and tell them to keep the ball over the rope during their baseline rallies. Sort of the same concept with kids but I dont need the poles.

    Yes, there are pros and cons for both using regular racquets and smaller racquets. I have used both with my kids and other kids. I tend to be more in the camp in using light regular length racquets. However, if a kid shows up with a junior racquet, I wouldnt say anything either. It is more of a preference for me and what I tend to like. No science is behind it. It is a mainly observational.

    I think they work. I often do not use the smaller court. I prefer the regular size racquet but would not object to the junior size. However, I absolutely LOVE the foam balls. I think of all the things in Quick Start tennis, the foam balls are the deal. Obviously, this is my own preference and liking.

    I hope you get involved with the kids. They could use someone like you with all your knowledge. It is a bit different though and expectations have to be largely reduced. But they have a lot of fun and it is great to hear kids laugh and enjoy themselves. I love it, it really makes my whole day. I get a real kick out of them.
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2008
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  38. NoBadMojo

    NoBadMojo G.O.A.T.

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    thanks BB. I was involved w. the kids for years, but not for a few years. the kids are a lot of fun..often much more fun than the tennis parents :O same thing when i was a baseball umpire..the kids were great..some of the parents? bleh...these days, i am very part time and gravitate more towards more advanced players (of any age and either gender) and privates as I enjoy teaching in that metaphor best, it's what I am best at, and never was much of a ball feeder/clinic type of TP...i seem to notice really small things that are important when you are a better player...as you know, those small things are magnified more impt things the better you get..it's both blessing and curse to notice stuff ;O..best of the holiday season to you. sorry to be talking about myself like this..not something i usually do. Mojo
     
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  39. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

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    Yes, Happy Holidays.
     
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  40. mike53

    mike53 Professional

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    NBM, The QS program has not really caught on around here and sadly, I don't really see much of any program that makes the sport attractive to young people.
     
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  41. NoBadMojo

    NoBadMojo G.O.A.T.

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    Dont see it around here at all either. I am friends w. two of the TP's who run the largest kids Programs, and will query them why they dont use it.
    In thinking about this, I think the court would have to be used w.o modification to make it practical enough....Think a paddle/platform tennis court could be nicely used w. the QT gear and it has standard tennis layout....just on a much smaller scale
     
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  42. 10s talk

    10s talk Semi-Pro

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    any good pro should be able to teach a child how to watch (hit) the ball, however many can not
     
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  43. 10ispro

    10ispro Rookie

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    There are 2 versions of QS being promoted and taught in the US currently.
    USTA has recreational QS which just takes the place of how ever many other tiny tots, little tennis, etc.programs which has come before it. Anyone can get "certified" by USTA through a recreational coaches workshop

    USPTA and PTR have a competitive version of QS which has a much more detailed syllabus and guidelines with progressions.

    Majority of kids donot like using the Foam balls b/c " it isnt a real tennis ball"
    There are the Tip2 balls which are also good. ITF has a great starter ball (stage 3) to replace the Foam ball, which has a more realistic feel but much lower bounce-but it is expensive to import and No US manufacturer has made a ball similar. I used the ITF version last year and it was quite fun to play with.

    competitive version has progressions from day 1 through several months. Day 1 with some different hand eye games etc...then simple rallying exercises.
    Idea being by the end of the 1st day, (45min-1hr session) they should have an idea how to rally and basic idea on keeping score.
    Getting kids playing the actual game sooner, just on a smaller scale is the goal. Major problem with the "traditional" approach is kids "learn" how to play but its quite awhile before they ever really play the game.

    To run a successful QS program it takes alot of dedication and understanding of exactly how it needs to be done. Technique can be taught inside the frame work playing the game without isolating it as much as traditional method has in the past
    as far as players to come out of the system Federer and Henin both come from a system using their countries version of ITF Serve,Rally,Score.

    There is a club in VA somewhere that has several QS courts built and run programs with hundreds of kids and a staff of people who ONLY do QS.
    There are even QS tournaments being sanctioned by USTA/PTA and PTR
    which are expected to start sometime in 09.

    http://www.tennisplayandstay.com/serve-rally-score/index.html
    all the information which everyone elses systems is based from. cool videos too
     
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  44. mike53

    mike53 Professional

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    The lack of coordinated tournaments in the QS format is a major limiting factor. Ideally, a widespread network of recreational programs would encourage the most motivated and talented participants to find their way into the more competitive programs and from there into the existing full-size 10 and under Junior tournaments. If something like that exists, I'm not seeing it, especially not where I live (NJ).
     
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  45. NoBadMojo

    NoBadMojo G.O.A.T.

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    Does anyone know if the French Tennis Federation uses something like QuickStart? Whatever system they use seems to produce talented tennis individuals instead of one dimensional tennis clones on the ProTour
     
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  46. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

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    Not really. "ANY" good pro? Sort of extreme?

    Teaching pros no matter how good may not want nor have the knack in teaching kids. Teaching hand/eye coorindation to kids vs. adults is different enough were a kids tennis coach would need to study the theory and needs behind teaching kids vs. adults. A common mistake amongst good teaching pros that teach a certain age group most of the time is thinking that what they know applies to kids. Many times it does not apply and requires the good teaching pro to study the difference. Some take it upon themselves and others dont.

    So my point is we cant say "any" teaching pro can teach hand/eye coordination to kids. There will be different grades of quality amongst those good pros depending on their knowledge of teaching kids in this subject.

    This is another standard in the tennis teaching community that I wish was taken more seriously. Our education system has distinct separation between learning theory for adults vs. kids. I wish our tennis teaching community would spend time in also learning the differences to improve our knowledge for lesson and instructional planning. It is something I wish our certification (USPTA and PTR) would take a good look at to improve the quality of lessons and tennis instruction for both adults and kids.
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2008
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  47. slice bh compliment

    slice bh compliment G.O.A.T.

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    I was taught tennis in the early/mid 70s on 4 mini courts per court using some sort of twine hung between hoppers, and foam balls. I loved it. I think it gave me a good, quick start, and an advanced foundation....even though the pros had a huge group to teach, usually. Ahhh yeeeah, the Tennis Boom of the 70s!

    Also, many kids in Oz, Europe and South America were raised on Mini Tennis, or Little Tennis / 1/2 court / Dinkum, whatever.

    10 yrs ago, when I was the head pro at a tennis club, we had rain 8 out of 10 days in a camp session. We, of course, squeezed in some time on the indoor courts, and when there was no room, we used mini tennis with portable nets by a compnay called Zsig, and cheap foam balls, nowhere near as good as the ones Dunlop and OnCourtOffCourt make nowadays.

    It was weird for me and strange for my instructors. I did not know whether to give refunds or push on with the foams balls and the makeshift patio and snack bar, indoor-ish courts.

    Well, this was a camp for beginners and intermediates (non-qualified juniors, divided by age, so we pushed on, and that session's kids developed more ball control and touch than any other group of beginners I'd ever taught. They (and their parents still talk about it).

    I definitely was thankful for the experience, and I started using more of this foam ball, tiny court stuff from my own childhood. I was kind of a believer in it then, as a coach (so I invested in a cartfull of them). And I am even moreso, as a parent, now that my kids are playing this great game.

    The foam balls, BTW, help a kid use a light, junior frame, and because the impact is not as heavy-feeling as a traditional ball, the kids learn to follow through much more fully than the average player.

    EDIT:
    I'm rambling, sorry, but, I just wanted to say that I'm a believer in using at least some foam balls for 4-6 yr olds, and dead/punctured/Penn Stars-type balls for 6-8 yr olds. It helps them establish a contact to the side of their bodies, below eye level with a less-western grip and more of a low-to-high swingpath. The smaller court gives them more of a sense of controlling the ball rather than just trying to hit hard for height and depth.

    Again, this is nothing new. It's been done since the 60s and 70s, and it has become very, very common in other countries. THey even have leagues and tournaments!

    NBMJ, FYI: At the club where I play, the pros use it a lot in clinics, but they do not call it Quick Start. My impression is that's a relatively new, cumbersome and unoriginal name I first saw on an elliptical machine or a treadmill or something, LOL.

    I wonder if they will make a league or tournament with that format/dimensions. I bet they will not. I think it's best for learning. Then kids can play full-court gradually with more confidence when they are 8 ... getting ready for novice inter-club stuff and the entry-level 10 and under tournaments. I see it. I like it. So do my kids.

    ANyway, it's not really the package, Quick Start that I'm big on. It's the concepts.
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2008
    #47
  48. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    Hmmmmm. "made up" huh???
     
    #48
  49. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    I recall reading that there are tourneys for kids in this format.
     
    #49
  50. 10s talk

    10s talk Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2007
    Messages:
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    you are not teaching coordination, you are teaching them to watch the ball....if students say bounce and hit at the right time, based on sight they will hit the ball
     
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