When should child use full size racquet?

gchen

New User
Question for those who have instructed their child or have a successful junior tennis player.
When is the appropriate time to start using more full size racquets/ full length racquets for a child?

I was a ranked junior many years ago. I started at about 6 and was using a full size racquet in a year or two. Back then the racquets were much smaller, wood and aluminum, but heavy, probably more heavy than the currently used racquets.

My kid is eight and using a short racquet, 21 inch or 23...I find it very difficult to use that racquet- there is poor racquet response and a lot of shock when it hits a ball. I am wondering if it is better to just have my kid use a full length racquet and learn with that. Am I messing him up by following the guidelines using the shorter cheap quality racquets?
 
I started using full size racquets by the time I was eight, although I was big for my age. I work as a tennis instructor now and I usually encourage any of my students around 9-10 yrs old to use full size frames
 

Cerps

Professional
I think from about 8-10 years old depending on the size of the kid of course. I think your son is using a far to small racquet. Unless he is very small, he should probably use a 26."
 

Cerps

Professional
I started using full size racquets by the time I was eight, although I was big for my age. I work as a tennis instructor now and I usually encourage any of my students around 9-10 yrs old to use full size frames
I started to use ful size from about 10. But that was a Wilson Hyper Pro staff 6.1 with a weight of almost 360 grams strung... I didn't realise untill last year that I had been playing with such a hefty racquet
 
I started to use ful size from about 10. But that was a Wilson Hyper Pro staff 6.1 with a weight of almost 360 grams strung... I didn't realise untill last year that I had been playing with such a hefty racquet
Yeah haha I was about the same. I didnt have the money to buy a full size frame when I was 8 so my instructors had me borrowing Pro Staff 90's, Pure Drives, or whatever else they had that day. My love for the 12 ounce range of frames probably came from that.
 

meltedsteam

Semi-Pro
You can get higher quality racquets for juniors. They are usually more than 50 bucks but they will absorb shock a lot better than the aluminum ones. For sizing, you really need to have your child use a racquet that is sized for how tall they are now. You will be doing them a disservice by getting them an adult racquet now, they are playing on smaller courts using smaller balls. If they play USTA tournaments they will be restricted to the racquet they can use based on the ball size: red ball up to 23" orange ball up to 25" and green dot uses the 26". Get them a nice graphite 25" if they are doing orange ball now.
 
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meltedsteam

Semi-Pro
Yeah haha I was about the same. I didnt have the money to buy a full size frame when I was 8 so my instructors had me borrowing Pro Staff 90's, Pure Drives, or whatever else they had that day. My love for the 12 ounce range of frames probably came from that.
Things are different now with the quick start programs they can teach full strokes at a younger age with these right sized frames. The kids using the proper size racquet now will develop faster than the kids playing on full size courts will yellow balls and full size racquets.
 

Oz_Rocket

Professional
You can get higher quality racquets for juniors. They are usually more than 50 bucks but they will absorb shock a lot better than the aluminum ones.
This is what I did when my son was 9 and he started to play tournaments. Got a decent quality 26" racquet (Head Graphene Speed Jr) for $60 more than the basic aluminium junior racquets. Better quality, replaceable grommets (same as the adult Head Speeds) and easy to restring.

Made the transition to an adult size Head Speed Rev very easy too. Always check size by having them hold the racquet normally by their side. As a general rule of thumb it shouldn't drag on the ground. At 8 your son should be at a 25-26".
 

gchen

New User
Thanks for all the advice. At the sporting goods store it said 7-8 years old, 23 inch. I bought him that one a few years ago, and he hasn't been getting much better, so we never changed. Then I attempted to use it to hit a few balls and realized that it was difficult to use due to vibrations and construction. I've been using regular tennis balls and playing with him on full size tennis courts.
 

meltedsteam

Semi-Pro
Thanks for all the advice. At the sporting goods store it said 7-8 years old, 23 inch. I bought him that one a few years ago, and he hasn't been getting much better, so we never changed. Then I attempted to use it to hit a few balls and realized that it was difficult to use due to vibrations and construction. I've been using regular tennis balls and playing with him on full size tennis courts.
My honest advice is to get him a 25" graphite frame, buy a youth net and some orange balls, and teach him to hit through the ball. There are good youtube videos you can use. Good luck.
 

LeeD

Bionic Poster
Is age the criteria, or is something else more important?
Size?
Strength?
Skill level?
I've been playing doubles against a 13 year old who's 5'1" tall and maybe 90 lbs. He prefers a junior racket, 26" long, over his full sized, because he can easily whip his shots, either top or slice, and can serve pretty decently in speed, up to the 4.0 adult levels.
 

Cerps

Professional
Is age the criteria, or is something else more important?
Size?
Strength?
Skill level?
I've been playing doubles against a 13 year old who's 5'1" tall and maybe 90 lbs. He prefers a junior racket, 26" long, over his full sized, because he can easily whip his shots, either top or slice, and can serve pretty decently in speed, up to the 4.0 adult levels.
Size matters. I know an 8 year old girl that looks like she's 5. She can barely swing her 25 inch.
 

Sparky

Semi-Pro
You can get higher quality racquets for juniors. They are usually more than 50 bucks but they will absorb shock a lot better than the aluminum ones. For sizing, you really need to have your child use a racquet that is sized for how tall they are now. You will be doing them a disservice by getting them an adult racquet now, they are playing on smaller courts using smaller balls. If they play USTA tournaments they will be restricted to the racquet they can use based on the ball size: red ball up to 23" orange ball up to 25" and green dot uses the 26". Get them a nice graphite 25" if they are doing orange ball now.
Yes. You are spot-on with your comments. My daughter is small and used a 26" Pure Drive into the Open 14s. She finally upgraded this summer to a Pure Drive Team. She turned 13 last week.
 
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