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Your Juniors' Tennis Journey

Eastside Tennis Center Junior Program is designed to create a fun, positive, active, and safe environment by teaching skills through age appropriate drills and games. The journey is to inspire success, confidence, love of the game and to build character with the disciplines of tennis.

As the coaching staff identifies your juniors’ level, the following descriptions will help you understand what will be covered in each class and whether the class is focused on the recreational or competitive path.

  • Recreation (R); recreational activities are often done for enjoyment or pleasureand are considered to be “fun”.
  • Competitive (C); having a strong desire to compete, strive to do ones best, engage in contest and enjoy the competition.

It is our goal to help them with their athletic ability to enhance and increase their skills for the next level. We reserve the right to place your junior where appropriate to enhance your juniors’ overall experience.

 

Descriptions may change without notice.

COURT JESTERS (3 & 4 year olds) (R)
No experience needed
Court: 36'
Balls:
Red foam balls, Beach Balls (BB), Play Balls (PB), Balloons (B)
Racquets: 19” or 21”
Objective:  Through progressive drills, skills and games your player will develop eye hand coordination skills such as:

  • Tracking
  • Movement
  • Throwing/catching

To progress to the next level the player must:

  • Have listening skills & be able to take verbal directions
  • Cooperation within the class and with teammates
  • Participate within the guidelines of the class, including the ABC’s of tennis
    • A= Attention
    • B= Bear Hug
    • C= Control Self
  • Track a forward bouncing ball, contacting 3 of 5 balls
  • Achieve the athletic ability to move 2 or more steps in contacting 3 out of 5 forehand stokes
  • Track & catch a bouncing ball 3 out of 5 times

 

HIT 'N GIGGLES(5 & 6 year olds) (R)
Court: 36'
Balls: Red foam balls, BB, PB
Racquet: 21”
Objective: Through progressive drills, skills and games the focus will be on developing athletic abilities such as:.

  • Tracking with movement
  • Continued development of forehand groundstrokes
  • Introduction to backhand
  • Introduction to self-feed (friendly feed serve)
  • Listening & cooperation skills with teammates
  • Throwing/catching with introduction to control placement

To progress to the next level the player must be able to exhibit:

  • Athletic ability to execute a 2 ball sequence, example: Groundstroke to volley
  • Listening & cooperation skills have improved
  • Participate without parent present
  • HItting 5 out of 10 ground strokes
  • 5 out of 10 balls, friendly feed serves
  • Controlled placement of throwing

 

SUPER MITES (6 & 7 year olds) (R)
Court: 36'
Balls: Red foam & red felt balls
Racquet: 21" or 23”
Objective: Through progressive drills, skills and games the focus will be on developing athletic abilities such as:

  • Tracking with movement
  • Focus on footwork
  • Development of the forehand and backhand groundstrokes
  • Beginning to control placement of the friendly feed (crosscourt)
  • Introduction to underhand and overhand serve
  • Introduction to scoring red ball games, concept of winning and losing
  • Rally progression
  • Introduction to overheads

To progress to the next level the player must be able to exhibit:

  • Athletic ability to execute 3 ball sequence, example forehand to backhand groundstroke to volleys
  • Athletic ability to rally 5 consecutive times with red felt ball
  • Able to take direction and independently stay on task
  • Athletic ability to control friendly serve (crosscourt) 4 out of 10 serves

 

SUPER STARS I (9 & Under) (R)
Court: 36'
Ball: Red felt balls
Racquet: 23”
Objective:Through progressive drills, skills and games the focus will be on developing athletic abilities such as:

  • Improving footwork
  • Introduction of the Forehand-Eastern to Semi-Western grip
  • Introduction of the 2-handed backhand - bottom hand Continental-Semi Western, top hand Eastern grip
  • Introduction of the Continental grip for volleys, overheads and serves
  • Preparation: racquet head above the wrist
  • Athletic ready position
  • Swing path: simple loop with unit turn
  • Square stance (slightly open)
  • Basic use of split step
  • Lateral movement - side to side steps
  • Scoring for red ball matches
  • Introduction to topspin
  • Introduction to crosscourt and down the line rallies
  • Continue overhead skills

To progress to the next level the player should be able to exhibit:

  • Athletic ability to do the above Super Stars 1 objectives (skills)
  • Athletic ability to serve and return serve 5 of 10
  • Athletic ability to rally crosscourt & down the line 5 times with some topspin
  • Athletic ability to execute overheads 5 of 10
  • Knowledge of Red Ball scoring
  • Self-sufficient when given instructions

 

SUPER STARS II (10 & Under) (R,C)
Courts: 36'
Balls: Red felt & orange ball
Racquet: 23”
Objective: Through progressive drills, skills and games the focus will be on developing athletic abilities such as:

  • Introduction to the Unit Turn: hips and shoulders turn as a single unit
  • Semi-open stance
  • Introduction of Recovery steps: Cross-over with a split step
  • Introduction and continue work on lateral, diagonal, forward & backward movement
  • To execute simple tactics, example: hit to open court, rally crosscourt & down the line
  • Grips: Forehand Semi-Western
  • Grips: 2-handed backhand-bottom hand Continental-Semi Western, top hand Eastern
  • Grips: Continental for volleys, overheads and serves
  • Execute forehand & backhand with some topspin
  • Introduction to a coordinated overhead service motion-with proper throwing motion
  • Work on the service toss
  • Footwork patterns for the volley, i.e., split, and step in
  • Introduction in developing decision making and verbal skills, example: when to groundstroke or volley, backhand or forehand, verbalize opinions and thought process for two way interaction

To progress to the next level (Aces or Red Ball Excellence) the player should be able to exhibit:

  • Athletic ability to execute the objectives (skills) in Super Stars II for Aces  or Red Ball Excellence
  • Athletic ability to sustain a rally with some topspin & complete drill sequence up to 6 balls
  • Athletic ability to hit side to side 5 out of 10
  • Highly recommend play in Junior Team Tennis(JTT) Red Ball League
  • Athletic ability to serve with continental grip 5 out of 10 to Ad & Duce service box
  • Athletic ability to return 5 out of 10 serves on each side (Ad & Duce)
  • Athletic ability to execute 5 out of 10 overheads
  • Athletic ability to volley to the open court 5 out of 10
  • Self-sufficient and stays on task when given instructions
  • Athletic ability to execute closed and semi open stance
  • Athletic ability in footwork, example: split step, lateral 
  • Decision making & verbal skills are stronger 

 

ACES (R)
Court: 60’ court
Balls: Orange Ball
Racquets: 25” & 26”
Objective: Develop athletic ability to improve and increase skills for recreational and/or competitve tennis through:

  • Footwork - Agility, Balance, Control (ABC’s of athletic ability)
  • Unit Turn: hips and shoulders turn as a single unit
  • Preparation: racquet head above the wrist
  • Grips: Eastern to Semi-western
  • Grips: 2-handed Backhand-bottom hand Continental-Semi Western, top hand Eastern 
  • Grips: Continental for overheads & serves with some rhythmic service motion
  • Swing path: simple loop
  • Athletic position (ready position)
  • Footwork patterns for the volley, i.e., split, step out (outside foot), step in
  • Square stance- (slightly open)
  • Movement, example: continue to work on lateral, diagonal, forward & backward movement
  • Decision making & verbal skills
  • Match play - scoring for 60’ court, rules, and sportsmanship
  • Preparing for tournament play, mainly Junior Team Tennis (JTT)
  • Conditioning

To progress to the next level (Players or Orange/Green Excellence) the player should be able to have

  • Athletic ability to control a rally of 15 consecutive, hits with some topspin
  • Athletic ability to serve 6 out of 10 with continental grip
  • Athletic ability to control 6 out of 10 volleys
  • Athletic ability to execute 6 out of 10 overheads
  • Comprehends & executes some level of mental control & strategic movement
  • Experience in journaling
  • Maturity in listening, respect & sportsmanship

 

FUTURE CHAMPS (R,C)
Courts: 60’ & 78’ court
Balls: Orange & green dot balls
Racquet: 25-26"
Objective: Focus on developing athletic ability through progressive drills, skills and games such as;

  • Continue to reinforce players’ passion for learning & improving skills
  • Footwork - Agility, Balance, Control (ABC’s of athletic ability)
  • Introduction of 3 hitting Zones
  • Continue to work on athletic ability with Unit Turn: hips and shoulders turn as a single unit
  • Continue to work on athletic ability with Preparation: racquet head above the wrist
  • Continue to work on athletic ability with Swing path: simple loop
  • Continue to work on athletic ability with Footwork patterns for the volley, i.e., split, step out (outside foot), step in
  • Continue to work on athletic ability with Movement, i.e., continue to work on lateral, diagonal, forward & backward movement
  • Continue to work on athletic ability with Forehand Grip: Semi-western
  • Continue to work on athletic ability with 2-handed Backhand Grip:  bottom hand Continental-Semi Western, top hand Eastern 
  • Continue to work on athletic ability with Continental grip for overheads & serves with a rhythmic service motion
  • Match play (scoring for 60’ court, rules, sportsmanship)
  • Continue to work on athletic ability with Conditioning
  • Comprehends & executes some level of mental control & strategic movement
  • Continue preparation and implementation of tournament play, Junior Team Tennis & Rookies level
  • Journaling will be implemented
  • Continue to work on decision making & verbal skills
  • Good listening, respect & sportsmanship will be expected

To progress to the next level (Players or Orange/Green Excellence) the player should be able to have

  • Athletic ability to consistently execute  a  20 consecutive topspin rally in all 3 zones
  • Athletic ability to execute & serve 7 of 10 continental grip serves
  • Athletic ability to execute & control 7 of 10 volleys
  • Athletic ability to execute & control 7 of 10 overheads
  • Has the athletic ability to consistently execute  running down overheads with some control
  • Introduction of the 4th hitting zone and can sustain a rally in zone 4.
  • Athletic ability  to execute minimal head movement
  • Comprehends & executes some level of mental control & strategic movement
  • Journaling is part of their routine
  • Maturity in listening, respect & sportsmanship is evident in the athletes preformance

 

RED BALL EXCELLENCE (C)
Courts: 36’
Balls: Red felt balls
Racquet: 23”-25"
Objective:  Focus on developing athletic ability through progressive drills, skills and games through;

  • Unit Turn: Fuller turn hips and shoulders as a single unit
  • Open stance, execute on wide balls
  • Minimal head movement
  • Footwork: Ability to change direction
  • Through the introduction of Recovery steps: Cross-over with a split step
  • Lateral, diagonal, forward & backward movement
  • To execute simple tactics, example: hit to open court, rally cross court & down the line
  • Tactical play: vary spins, height, speed, depth
  • Hit on the rise
  • Grips: Forehand Semi-Western
  • Grips: 2-handed Backhand-bottom hand Continental-Semi Western, top hand Eastern
  • Grips: Continental for volleys, overheads and serves
  • To execute forehand & backhand with some topspin
  • Introduction to a coordinated overhead service motion-with a proper throwing motion
  • Work on consistent service toss & contact
  • Footwork patterns for the volley, example: split, step put (outside foot), step in
  • Develop decision making  & verbal skills, example: when to groundstroke or volley, backhand or forehand, verbalize opinions and thought process for two way interaction

To progress to the next level (Orange/Green Excellence*) the player should be able to exhibit:

  • Athletic ability to execute the objectives (skills) in Red Ball Excellence
  • Athletic ability to sustain a topspin rally & complete drill sequence up to 6 balls
  • Athletic ability to hit side to side 7 out of 10
  • Play in Red Ball matches
  • Athletic ability to serve with continental grip 7 out of 10 to ad & duce service box
  • Athletic ability to return 7 out of 10 serves on each side (ad & duce)
  • Athletic ability to execute 7 out  of 10 overheads
  • Athletic ability to volley to the open court 7 out of 10
  • Self-sufficient and stays on task when given instructions
  • Athletic ability to execute closed and semi open stance
  • Athletic ability to execute orange controlled rally and games
  • Athletic ability in footwork
  • Decision making & verbal skills are stronger
  • Maturity in listening, respect & sportsmanship is developing

 

ORANGE/GREEN BALL EXCELLENCE (C)
Courts: 60 & 78'
Racquets:
26” & 27”
Balls: Orange, green & yellow balls
Objective: Focus on developing athletic ability & personal goals through progressive drills, skills and games such as;

  • Traveling to USTA tournaments, awareness of rankings and what it takes to get ranked
  • Continuing progress on objectives & athletic skills in Red Ball Excellence
  • Play Junior Team Tennis and 10U & 12U USTA tournaments
  • Journaling is a discipline activity
  • To sustain a topspin rally & complete drill sequence up to 6 + balls
  • Work more on open stance, technique, strategy
  • Athletic ability in footwork & conditioning workout
  • Continue emphasis on being self-sufficient and staying on task when given instructions
  • Continue emphasis on decision making & verbal skills
  • Maturity in listening, respect & sportsmanship is more evident to coaches & peers on and off court

To progress to the next level (Junior Excellence) the player should be able to exhibit

  • Athletic ability, desire & discipline to accomplish the above skills & increased demand from coaches
  • Decision making & verbal skills is a strong part of the player’s ability
  • Self-sufficient and stays on task when given instructions is highly evident
  • Maturity in listening, respect & sportsmanship is highly evident in the athletes performance.

PLAYERS (R)
Courts: 78'
Racquets: 26” & 27”
Balls: Green & yellow balls
Objective: Focus on developing athletic ability through progressive drills, skills and games such as;

  • Footwork - Agility, Balance, Control (ABC’s of athletic ability)
  • Athletic ability to play match games
  • Consistent contact point
  • Athletic ability to execute semi open stance
  • Unit turn - hips and shoulders turn as a single unit-
  • Introduce racquet head acceleration
  • Grips: Forehand Semi-Western
  • Grips: 2-handed Backhand-bottom hand Continental-Semi Western, top hand Eastern
  • Grips: Continental for volleys, overheads and serves
  • Athletic ability to execute  volley, serve & overhead with control with continental grip
  • Athletic ability to rally crosscourt & down the line with topspin

To progress to the next level (Rallyers) the player should be able to exhibit:

  • Athletic ability to accomplish the above skills
  • Athletic ability to rally crosscourt & down the line with topspin 15 consecutive times
  • Athletic ability to serve with continental grip 7 out of 10 to ad & duce service box
  • Athletic ability to return 7 out of 10 serves on each side (ad & duce)
  • Athletic ability to execute 7 out  of 10 overheads
  • Athletic ability to volley to the open court 7 out of 10
  • Athletic ability in footwork
  • Decision making & verbal skills are becoming stronger
  • Self-sufficient and stays on task when given instructions
  • Maturity in listening, respect & sportsmanship is developin

 

RALLYERS (R)
Courts: 78’
Racquets: 26” & 27”
Balls: Green & yellow
Objective: Focus on developing athletic ability through progressive drills, skills and games such as;

  • Footwork - Agility, Balance, Control (ABC’s of athletic ability)
  • Drill points
  • Consistent contact point
  • semi open stance and introduction to the open stance
  • Unit turn - hips and shoulders turn as a single unit-
  • Racquet head acceleration with control
  • Speed of drills increase
  • Grips: Forehand Semi-Western
  • Grips: 2-handed Backhand-bottom hand Continental-Semi Western, top hand Eastern
  • Grips: Continental for volleys, overheads and serves
  • Athletic ability to transition the grip change in a smooth & efficient manner

To progress to the next level (Team I) the player should be able to exhibit

  • Athletic ability to accomplish the above skills
  • Athletic ability to rally crosscourt & down the line with topspin 20 consecutive times
  • Athletic ability to serve with continental grip 8 out of 10 to ad & duce service box
  • Athletic ability to return 8 out of 10 serves on each side (ad & duce)
  • Athletic ability to execute 8 out  of 10 overheads
  • Athletic ability to volley to the open court 8 out of 10
  • Athletic ability in footwork
  • Decision making & verbal skills is becoming a  strong component in the athletes play
  • Self-sufficient and stays on task when given instructions
  • Maturity in listening, respect & sportsmanship is becoming evident in the athletes performance

 

TEAM I (R)
Court: 78’
Racquet: 26” & 27”
Balls: Green & yellow
Objective: Focus on developing athletic ability through progressive drills, skills and games such as;

  • Footwork - Agility, Balance, Control (ABC’s of athletic ability)
  • Match play
  • Consistent contact point
  • Athletic ability to execute semi open stance and introduction to the open stance
  • Unit turn - hips and shoulders turn as a single unit-
  • Racquet head acceleration with control
  • Speed of drills increase
  • Grips: Forehand Semi-Western
  • Grips: 2-handed Backhand-bottom hand Continental-Semi Western, top hand Eastern
  • To transition the grip change in a smooth & efficient manner
  • Grips:  Continental for volleys, overheads and serves
  • Decision making & verbal skills will be encouraged  
  • Being self-sufficient and stays on task when given instructions
  • Maturity in listening, respect & sportsmanship is becoming evident in the athletes performance

To progress to the next level (Team II) the player should be able to exhibit

  • Athletic ability to accomplish the above skills
  • Athletic ability to rally crosscourt & down the line with topspin 25 consecutive times
  • Athletic ability to serve with continental grip 8 out of 10 to ad & duce service box
  • Athletic ability to return 8 out of 10 serves on each side (ad & duce)
  • Athletic ability to execute 8 out  of 10 overheads
  • Athletic ability to volley to the open court 8 out of 10
  • Athletic ability in footwork
  • Decision making & verbal skills are stronger
  • Self-sufficient and stays on task when given instructions
  • Maturity in listening, respect & sportsmanship is becoming evident in the athletes performance

 

JUNIOR EXCELLENCE (C)
Court: 78’
Racquet: 27”
Balls:Yellow
Objective: Focus on developing athletic ability & personal goals through progressive drills, skills and mental training such as;

  • Traveling to USTA tournaments, knowledge of rankings & being ranked is part of the players development
  • In-depth work on technique, mental toughness, conditioning & strategy
  • The desire & discipline to accomplish higher level skills & increased demand from coaches
  • Decision making, verbal skills  & being self-sufficient when given a task are a part of the player’s development
  • Maturity in listening, respect & sportsmanship is highly evident in the athletes performance and noticed by others on and off court
To progress to the next level (Excellence Elite (C)) is coaches’ discretion

 

TEAM II (R,C)
Court: 78’
Racquet: 27”
Balls:Yellow
Objective:

Focus on developing athletic ability & personal goals through progressive drills, skills and mental training such as

  • Footwork—Agility, Balance, Control (ABC’s of athletic ability)
  • Match play @  High school Varsity level
  • Player plays in USTA tournaments or Junior Team Tennis
  • Consistent rally control with control racquet head acceleration
  • Athletic ability to execute semi open and open stance
  • Unit turn - hips and shoulders turn as a single unit-
  • Speed of drills increase
  • The transition grip change is smooth & efficient
  • Being self-sufficient and is self-motivated to improve
  • Maturity in listening, respect & sportsmanship is more evident in the athletes performance
  • Decision making & verbal skills are evident components in the athletes play

To progress to the next level (Team III) the player should be able to exhibit

  • Athletic ability to accomplish the above skills
  • Athletic ability to rally crosscourt & down the line with topspin 20+  consecutive times
  • Athletic ability to serve with continental grip 8 out of 10 to ad & duce service box
  • Athletic ability to return 8 out of 10 serves on each side (ad & duce)
  • Athletic ability to execute 8 out  of 10 overheads
  • Athletic ability to volley to the open court  8 out of 10

 

TEAM III (C)
Court: 78’
Racquet: 27”
Balls:Yellow
Objective:

Focus on developing athletic ability & personal goals through progressive drills, skills and mental training such as

  • Footwork—Agility, Balance, Control (ABC’s of athletic ability)
  • High school Varsity level
  • Player plays Champs level USTA tournaments
  • Enjoys competition  
  • Controlled racquet head acceleration
  • Hits primarily open stance
  • Speed of drills higher level
  • Grips are efficient in all strokes
  • Self-motivated, discipline on and off court with conditioning, practice and education
  • Decision making & verbal skills are evident components in the athletes play

To progress to the next level (Excellence or Coach Invitational group) the player should be able to exhibit

  • Athletic ability to accomplish the above skills
  • Athletic ability to rally crosscourt & down the line with topspin 20+  consecutive times
  • Athletic ability to serve with continental grip 8 out of 10 to ad & duce service box
  • Athletic ability to return 8 out of 10 serves on each side (ad & duce)
  • Athletic ability to execute 8 out  of 10 overheads
  • Athletic ability to volley to the open court  8 out of 10