Tennis is a game for people of all ages and abilities. It keeps kids active and healthy while teaching them essential life lessons about hard work and positive character development. The United States Tennis Association (USTA) recognized the need to empower the next generation of tennis youth and created Net Generation.
This guide will provide a thorough insight into the USTA Net Generation program.
What is Net Generation?
Net Generation is the USTA’s newest program for providing tennis youth and juniors the resources to have a successful tennis career. With a mission to engage the next generation of youth with tennis, USTA is striving to make tennis more accessible. This program includes a multitude of features to create a safe environment and community where kids can learn at their own pace. Net Generation is composed of training resources, tennis curriculum, and events in a user-friendly platform to connect players, coaches, and teachers.
How It Works
To access Net Generation, users must have a USTA account. Whether you are new to the USTA or not, Net Generation is free to use.
Once registered, users are connected to the USTA’s abundant amount of resources. Net Generation gives players, coaches, teachers, and organizers access to tennis curriculum, training videos, and a database of credible coaches to enhance junior player’s tennis experiences.
Access USTA-Approved Coaching
Under the Coach and Organize tab on the Net Generation website, there are three services that they offer: Tennis Service Center, Serve Tennis, and School Teachers.
Within the Tennis Service Center, the USTA has implemented a Safe Play Program to ensure the safety for all children while they are on the court. This program intends to keep individuals who regularly interact with tennis youth –coaches, teachers, and volunteers – accountable for their actions and maintain appropriate behavior. Through Net Generation, parents and players can conduct an online search for tennis coaches and providers that have completed a background check and Safe Play training, which are renewed every 1-2 years.
The Tennis Service Center also provides coaches a resource library with recommendations about coaching and helping the players grow athletically and personally. This center gives support to existing and developing tennis programs through their marketing generator, facility assistance, and tennis industry united services.
Through the Serve Tennis feature of Net Generation, USTA-registered organizations and individual tennis professionals can broadcast their tennis services, events, or programs to tennis youth. As a tennis parent, this feature is incredibly beneficial to your child’s tennis journey and allows you to do the following:
- Manage your child’s tennis programs
- Book local tennis courts
- Schedule training sessions with a Safe Play coach
- Connect with a diverse range of tennis professionals
- Register for tennis events and programs
Net Generation also provides K-12 teachers with the appropriate resources and curriculum to teach tennis through physical education (PE). For middle and high school teachers, there are a few checklists to assist in coaching. As a parent, these checklists could serve as a tool to ensure your child’s coach is following USTA guidelines and recommendations.
How to Get Your Child Involved
Net Generation has over 60 tennis activity videos to help children improve their tennis technique. These short clips are especially valuable right now because they are accommodating tennis players across the U.S. due to COVID-19 restrictions. Some of the video topics include:
- Improving forehand and backhand strokes
- Footwork drills
- At-home tennis drills and workouts
- Serve techniques
- Tennis terminology
In addition, there is a free, virtual tennis summer camp that the USTA uploaded on Net Generation to assist players amidst the ongoing global pandemic. If you are willing to set aside the time to work with your child on improving their tennis game, these resources are excellent! The best players often take the initiative to put in the work on and off the court.
Net Generation also has blog and video platforms where they discuss extraordinary stories and stars within in the junior tennis community. Improving their tennis game is not all about physicality; children must listen and learn from their peers and experts. A few of the articles discuss rising stars’ tips and tricks, reducing soreness, and the logistics of tennis drills.
Net Generation has an app that is free to download on apple and android devices. With this app, juniors have access to Net Generation features through their phone. The app also has a reflection journal, where they can journal their progress, just like the tennis pros do.
The Next Generation of Tennis Stars
Kid Tennis Hub remains committed to supporting players and parents in their tennis journey. Our mission is to equip tennis parents with the necessary tennis education to give their children a safe and fun environment. Join our Kid Tennis Hub Facebook group to engage with other tennis parents. Feel free to ask questions, share your story, and help fellow parents navigate through their junior tennis experience.