Research has found that early positive experiences in sports create a lifelong commitment to an active lifestyle. Tennis is fun for kids of all ages and levels. The sport provides many social, health, and psychological benefits and, unlike some other sports, has a minimal risk of injury.
There are very few sports that kids can pick up at age 4, and still be competing at age 80.
With Youth Tennis, kids play on shorter courts, with smaller racquets and with slower-moving, lower-bouncing balls. Kids play tennis made just for them, so that they have a great time and want to keep playing and improving.
We’ll guide you through the many ways kids can get started in the game, play and compete, so that they can have a great time with their friends. For more, visit YouthTennis.com.
The number 1 reason kids play sports is to have fun. Tennis sized right provides constant action to keep your child engaged—and you don’t need to go to a tennis facility or even a court to play. Create a court with chalk lines and a piece of string as a net. Play at home, at the playground, in a gym and on any flat, hard surface. The most important thing is to have fun!
Youth tennis utilizes smaller courts, shorter racquets and slower-moving and lower-bouncing balls – equipment that is sized right for kids. Find out which racquets, balls and courts are right for your child.
Click here to learn more about the gear used in youth tennis.
Find Events Near You
If you and your family have tried tennis at home or if your kids have played at school, why not keep playing at an event close to home? There are thousands of events across the country and near you. Search for events by age, skill level, or location.
To find events and programs within 50 miles of Houston, visit our Upcoming Events page.
Play to Learn
Whether it’s the first time out or your little players have some tennis experience, there are events around the country that are just right for your kids and family.. Events are hosted all over the country at local schools, parks, youth centers and tennis clubs. Many of these same facilities also host Play Days, events that introduce kids to competition in fun, low-pressure setting.
Learn more about Play Days, team play, and competition.
TGA Premier Youth Tennis
There are programs around the country that allow your children to get involved in tennis, so they can start playing the sport for a lifetime. One of those options is TGA Premier Youth Tennis, which makes tennis accessible by bringing a unique teaching curriculum to pre-K to 8th-grade students at their schools. Using modified equipment and lesson plans developed by tennis professionals along with education industry experts, TGA provides the building blocks for future achievement on the court and in life.
Visit PlayTGA.com to learn more.
National Junior Tennis and Learning (NJTL)
National Junior Tennis and Learning (NJTL) is a network of more than 500 nonprofit youth development organizations that provide free or low-cost tennis and education programming to more than 225,000 under-resourced youth each year. Founded in 1969 by Arthur Ashe, Charlie Pasarell, and Sheridan Snyder, NJTL endeavors to provide year-round tennis opportunities for young men and women to make the game their own.
In Houston, HTA partners with the City of Houston Parks & Recreation Department to serve more than 6,000 kids and juniors—ages 4 to 18—in over 45 area parks and community centers, and over 30 Houston schools. For more information about this Houston program, see our NJTL page.
Play Days are a great way to get kids into, and interested in, tennis. They typically last two to three hours, and allow kids to play multiple matches in a non-elimination setting—all with the goal of enhancing skills and making friends in a fun, social atmosphere. Play Days feature:
- Low-pressure, non-elimination formats
- Organized by level/ability or experience
- Modified serving for less-experienced players
- Rotate and play multiple opponents in short, continuous matches
- Play formats can vary and include team play
- Can feature wheelchair or adaptive play
- Provides a fun atmosphere with refreshments, prizes and awards
- Can be hosted by schools, parks, youth centers, colleges and tennis facilities
- Thousands of Play Days held across the country every year. The program is growing every day, so there is a good chance there is a Play Day in your area.
To find a Play Day near you, visit our Upcoming Events page.
Junior Team Tennis (JTT)
Kids can get active, have fun and make friends by playing tennis on a team.
Junior Team Tennis allows kids to enjoy the sport for a lifetime from the very first day of play.
For complete information about Houston's active JTT program, visit our Junior Team Tennis page.
When your child is ready to compete, there is no better way to start than with USTA Junior Tournaments. Junior Tournaments are great for kids who want to test their games, get out on the court and make new friends along the way. There is local competition for kids of all levels—entry-level, intermediate and advanced—and as age and ability advance there are also national level tournaments.
USTA Junior Tournaments are offered in a variety of formats, including individual, team, non-elimination, and elimination. This allows kids to compete in a way that makes them feel comfortable, that matches their level of play, and helps them to experience success.
Junior Tournaments help kids take their game as far as they want—high school, college or pros—or just have fun competing, all while advancing as players.
Competition in USTA Junior Tournaments does require a USTA Membership. To learn more on how to become a member, click here.
To find junior tournaments in Greater Houston, visit our tournament summary page.