The Tennis Hot Shots program is the national starter tennis programme for children. It is just for kids with smaller courts, shorter rackets and softer balls mean kids can play a proper game of tennis from the moment they step on court.
The Tennis Hot Shots program consists of four key components that share the same ethos, which is learning through play using modified equipment , a progressive pathway.
This lets the children to develop skills from the very start, and to continue learning the game at a tempo that suits them.
Using special modified equipment allows the children to play an adult version of the game from the very beginning, developing tactical, technical, mental and physical without being put off by huge courts, large rackets and balls that travel through the air fast and bounce high.
The Four Components
The four components of the Hot Shots Program are:-
Coaches, Tennis Regions and Associations all round Australia offer fantastic introductory programs to schools around the Nation.
Hot Shots Coaching is all about player development and is offered by professionally qualified and registered coaches.
Community Play is so that parents can interact with their children to see what exactly what Hot Shots is all about. It is also a great way for the kids to display what they have learned so far in a match environment.
Leagues and Tournaments make up the Competition part, and the children are given a chance to compete in a fun way, that is family friendly in a welcoming environment.
Serve, Rally, and Score
The three elements of playing tennis are serving, rallying and scoring. Hot Shots Tennis is great for kids to pick these three elements up, as the smaller courts and slower balls together with the adapted rackets assist in this.
The actual sessions consist of technical, tactical, fun and social elements which help to create developmental readiness in kids.
Utilising modified equipment in kids sports is not a new idea. Many sports have been reaping the benefits of this sort of thinking to introduce children into sports.
The International Tennis Federation has implemented and promoted the Tennis Hot Shots program in 120 nations. The game has changed a great deal over the last twenty five years and a groundswell of younger participants are now taking up the game.
In January 2012 the ITF implemented a rule change for kids, it was only the fifth ever rule change in their history. The rule allows the use of modified equipment for 10 years and younger, with the recommendation that all 10 and under competitions and tournaments worldwide use low-compression balls and smaller courts.