Red Ball (Ages 5-8)
This is played on small courts using soft red balls. This allows players to rally and play matches at a young age. The red balls used help young players develop techniques that will serve them well moving from a small to a big court. The coaching at Barnes Tennis Academy focuses on making tennis fun and keeping players active, as we believe enjoyment is key to maintaining enthusiasm for the sport. Alongside enjoyment, learning is the other main academy principle.
Therefore, classes are capped at 6 players of similar abilities. Coaches will be constantly assessing students with the aim of moving them up through the class structure when appropriate.
Orange Ball (Age 9)
This is played on a bigger court than red but still not full court. This allows players to get used to hitting over a big net, without having to cover the whole court, as the baseline on an orange ball court is halfway between the service line and the baseline. In addition the ball bounces slightly higher than a red ball, which acts as the next progression towards yellow ball.
The session will be capped to 6 players and there will be an increased focus on tactics compared to coaching in the red ball groups.
Green Ball (Ages 10 to 11)
This is the last stage of development before moving on to yellow ball. It is an important progression as it allows a player to further hone their technique and skills before applying these to a more challenging yellow ball situation. The players now play on a full size tennis court with the only difference being that a green ball bounces lower than a yellow one.
This is the level where there is an increased focus on tactics and match play, as the players must see how the techniques they have learnt can be applied to win points and matches.
Yellow Ball (Ages 12 to 18)
This is played on a full sized court with yellow balls. The yellow ball tennis program focuses on open play drills for the intermediate and advanced groups. This generally puts players in positions that they would find themselves in during matches and involves more hitting between players rather than coach to player.
The focus for coaching the advanced yellow ball sessions becomes increasingly about how to win rather than technique alone.