Originally Posted by ndtennisfan
As the father of a 10u girl (she's
who started playing on the cusp of the QS push a few years back ... I felt compelled to chime in that I've become somewhat of a convert. She's able to play and rally against older girls with green or regular - but learning spin and mechanics with orange has been invaluable. She's taller than most and so usually has to play against older girls to get a match, and isn't fond of playing QS "tournaments" or on a short court. * however * her coach has done an excellent job showing her that there's nothing wrong with lessons using orange/green. His thought was that until she completely mastered orange, she really shouldn't move on to the next level, wholesale. Plus, I mean ... she's eight. Sort of ridiculous to push her to run around on a full size court at this point. After taking several orange ball lessons, her mechanics are noticeably better than kids who are the same age and playing regular ball. Time will tell ... but I'd have to say that it seems much simpler to explain the fundamentals in this way than treating young kids as though they're capable of handling regulation balls & courts as a top junior or adult.
I am with you until you mention not running around on a full court. By age 8 you can tell a ton about a kid whether they will run around in the sun and chase balls. You said "pushing her to run". All I can say is many coaches will tell you they would rather have the kid who will bust it at age 8 than the kid with the pretty strokes. So please do not let her feel tennis is about hitting....it is about running, hustling and anticipation. I think you are better off getting them busting it because they can learn slices and angles over the years. Its not that big a deal to teach them all the different shots and strategies at age 8.
The dynamic I have seen over and over is parents who put lots of time and effort and the kids look amazing with orange balls. But the second they find out real tennis is running and sweating they wilt. Might as well find out early if a kid is a hustler. If not, make tennis just a hobby and do not spend too much money.