How to Start Playing Tennis? – Beginners Guide (2024)

Are you interested in starting to play tennis but don’t where to start? This article will tell you how to start playing tennis.

Tennis as a Hobby

Team Finland Davis Cup doubles
Picture: Finnish Tennis Association

Tennis is a versatile sport that you can start playing at any age. Thanks to its versatility, tennis can be tailored into a hobby that suits you perfectly, whether you’re a beginner or a more experienced player.

Tennis for Adult Beginners

There are many tennis clubs worldwide that offer tennis adult coaching. The level groups for adult coaching vary from club to club, but can be roughly divided into five different levels:

NTRP = National Tennis Rating Program

  1. Beginners (NTRP 1-2), players who are interested in playing tennis and have little or no previous experience
  2. Amateur players (NTRP 2-4) are players who already have some experience in tennis and are able to play ball with an opponent
  3. Advanced players (NTRP 4-5) are players who know the basic strokes of tennis (palm and backhand) and who are already able to control the ball more accurately.
  4. Lower-level competitive players (NTRP 5-6) are players whose aim is to compete in tennis or players who already have previous competitive experience
  5. Upper-level competitive players (NTRP 6+) are players with a strong tennis background and are able to compete in national tournaments.

Senior players are also included in adult coaching and can play in these level groups.

Adult Coaching Groups (ages 18+)

Adult coaching groups consist of groups of 2-4 players, usually with men playing in their own groups and women in their own groups.

Coaching sessions are held at times convenient to adults during the weekday mornings, during the day, and on weekday evenings. The duration of the lessons varies from 1 hour to 1.5 hours, depending on the tennis club.

For adult coaching, it is worth bearing in mind that the season begins during the autumn and spring, but there are also tennis courses that last for a month.

Especially at lower levels, the season is usually progressive in a theme-based way, meaning that the basic techniques are covered at the beginning of the season, followed by more advanced techniques. Therefore, beginners should be able to start practicing at the beginning of the autumn or spring season.

In more experienced coaching groups, it does not really matter if a player joins a group in the middle of the season.

Typical Adult Coaching Price Ranges

Weekday Prices20-40€/h 20-80$/h
Weekend Prices30-50€/h40-100$/h
Note. Prices vary greatly worldwide

There can be 1 or more training sessions per week, depending on the level of the group. For example, lower beginner groups usually have 1 coaching session per week, while more experienced groups have at least 2 sessions per week.

The seasonal fee for adult coaching is usually based on the total number of coaching hours for the whole season. When joining a new coaching group, a player does not have to commit immediately to the group for the whole season, but tennis clubs offer players trial lessons to find the right group.

Apply early!

The demand for adult coaching has skyrocketed during the coronavirus and tennis clubs have not yet been able to meet the increased demand.

When signing up for an adult coaching group, tennis clubs generally favor players who have been part of the previous season’s coaching.

This is why it is important, especially for beginners, to register early and be prepared for a small waiting queue.

Tennis for Children

Tennis is a great hobby that offers children and young people the opportunity to develop in a sporty and supportive environment.

Through tennis, you can make new friends, develop motor skills, and challenge yourself in different competitions. Tennis clubs offer a wide range of activities for children and young people.

Mini-Tennis (children Aged 3-7 )

Mini tennis event
Picture: Finnish Tennis Association

Mini-tennis is the first step towards playing tennis. The purpose of mini-tennis is to introduce children to tennis through a variety of games, games, and motor exercises.

The main focus of mini-tennis is on learning how to handle the ball and the rules of tennis. Playing tennis requires good hand-eye coordination, which is built up through various throwing and catching exercises.

In addition to the drills, a lot of different games are played in mini-tennis, which helps the child learn the rules of tennis, such as boundaries and the scoring system.

Mini-tennis is played with soft balls and on a small court, so it is also suitable for the younger members of the family.

Applying for Mini-Tennis

All you need to start mini tennis is a good attitude, indoor exercise clothes, tennis or indoor shoes, and a water bottle. You don’t need your own racket to start with, as you can borrow a racket from your tennis club for training.

Mini-tennis is seasonal, but you can sign up mid-season and many clubs offer a first practice session with no commitment. Training sessions are usually 1-2 times a week and last 1 hour.

Typical Mini-Tennis Price Ranges

1 training session per week10-25€/h15-40$/h
2 or more training sessions per week10-20€/h15-35$/h
Note. Prices vary greatly worldwide

Younger Juniors (children aged 7-12)

Junior tennis player hitting the ball
Picture: Finnish Tennis Association

In the younger juniors, the net is already normal size, but the court size is reduced, i.e. the backcourt is shorter. This shorter court is called the midi court. In accordance with the midi court, softer orange-dotted balls are used in training sessions.

In the younger juniors, the objective is not only to learn technique but also tactics and the scoring system.

The training sessions include a variety of hitting and playing drills, in addition to playing, the attitude to winning and losing is also taught. There are usually 1-2 training sessions per week, the duration of one lesson being 1 hour.

Applying for Younger Junior Tennis Coaching

The younger junior coaching is open to all young people who already have some tennis experience and are motivated to learn more about tennis.

The coaching groups are seasonal, but it is also possible to join in the middle of the season.

Typical Younger Junior Price Range

1 training session per week15-30€/h20-40$/h
2 or more training sessions per week10-30€/h15-40$/h
Note. Prices vary greatly worldwide

Older Juniors (aged 13-18)

In the older juniors, tennis is played on an official court and with green-dotted or official balls.

Training focuses on objective-oriented play and the tactical and technical development of playing skills. Training sessions are usually 1-3 times a week and can last from 1-1.5 hours.

Applying for Older Junior Coaching

All young people who already have good basic tennis skills and who want to train with ambition can sign up for the older junior coaching.

Older junior tennis is therefore ideal for players who want to challenge themselves on the court and train several times a week.

Typical Older Junior Coaching Price Range

1 training session per week15-40€/h20-45$/h
2 or more training sessions per week20-50€/h25-40/h
Note. Prices vary greatly worldwide

Competitive Juniors (aged 8-16)

Porche Junior team players
Picture: Finnish Tennis Association

In competitive juniors, tennis is played on an official court and with green-dotted or official tennis balls. The objective is to create a path towards a more competitive playing environment and career.

The main focus of the training sessions is on developing playing skills and competitive instincts. Training sessions are usually 2-4 times a week and usually last 1.5 hours. In addition to tennis training, the training program may also include physical training 2+ times/week.

Starting Junior Competitive Tennis

All juniors interested in competing and with a strong tennis background can apply for competitive tennis.

Junior competitive tennis is therefore suitable for players who are serious about developing their tennis skills and challenging themselves in various competitions. Some competitive tennis teams are not open to all, so when signing up you should be prepared for possible try-outs.

Typical Competitive Junior Coaching Price Range

2 x 1,5h training sessions per week (U8)2500€+/year4000$+/year
3 x 1,5h training sessions per week (U10)3600€+/year5000$+/year
4 x 1-2h training sessions per week (children born in 2013-2015)5600€+/year7000$+/year
7-8h training sessions per week (U15)6600€+/year8000$+/year
Note. Prices vary greatly worldwide. These prices can be considered low to the mainstream prices

Tennis Equipment

Guides to choosing tennis shoes and rackets can be found at:

Shoe Guide For Tennis 👟

Tennis Rackets 🎾

Summary

Junior player serving
Picture: Finnish Tennis Association

Starting and practicing tennis is easy, as it offers versatile opportunities for players of all levels and ages.

Worldwide, there are numerous tennis clubs that offer great recreational opportunities, so just pick up your racket and head to the court!

FAQ

What is the ideal age for children to begin playing tennis?

– Children should start playing tennis from the age of three upwards

More Reading

How to Choose a Tennis Racket?

How to Choose Tennis Shoes?

Tennis Private Coaching