LTA Youth Programme

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Swansea Tennis Centre has created a sector leading Junior Tennis Pathway in partnership with Tennis First, Tennis Wales and the LTA.

We follow the LTA Youth Pathway, and the child outcomes are assessed following Tennis Firsts ‘get ready’ criteria.

Children will begin their Tennis Journey at the age of Four and will be supported by Ace the Dragon along the way developing helping to develop their Tennis Powers!

The Tennis Passports have been specifically designed to provide a progressive pathway outlining key elements of movement; movement with a ball; plus, movement with Tennis Strokes.

The Journey starts at blue starter; achievement tasks are set, assessed, and once achieved competently three times progress to next power tennis level!

The passport not only acts as a way of motivating your child but also provides feedback about the child’s progress.

When joining the scheme your child will receive a branded T-shirt (Blue or Red age dependant), blue and red wrist bands (this helps the child identify their left and right hand) plus the Tennis passport all presented in a Swansea Tennis Centre gift bag !

Scroll down this page to follow the Tennis Pathway,  if you're interested book your place at the bottom of the screen or give a phone call on 01792 650484 ore e-mail us at

(4 to 6 years old)

At the Blue Stage of LTA Youth, children will be excited about taking part and being active. Through storytelling, children are engaged and motivated.

  • They will learn more effectively through explaining rather than being told what to do.
  • Children will learn the basics of tennis; as the brain and body are growing rapidly it’s very important to stimulate the connectivity between the two.
  • Expect to see an engaging, stimulating learning environment with a variety of coaching equipment and bright colours.
  • Sessions won't necessarily take place on the tennis court with a net.
  • Children will use smaller 17” or 19" rackets and a variety of different sized balls to make the game easier.
  • You will see exercises with and without a racket.  With the racket exercises the ball will be on the floor, which is preparing children to hit a bouncing ball over the net.
  • There is little focus on technique, as this reduces a child’s potential and can lead to an unbalanced development.
  • You should be seeing throwing skills that turn into tennis strokes later in the child’s development.
  • Above all, you should see children being active and having fun.
  • There will be exercises on both sides of the body, aided by red and blue wrist bands.

(6-8 years old)

At the Red Stage of LTA Youth children learn from imagination and simple clear instructions.

  • Children are now ready to receive instructions and can work together with their coach and other players in the group to develop sending and receiving skills.
  • Children will develop a preferred side of the body known as lateralisation but will continue to work both sides of the body within their sessions.
  • Children are ready to adapt to changing circumstances and bouncing balls.
  • Finally, children are starting to become more confident and independent and start taking more responsibility.
  • You should expect to see children being active independently to the coach and socialising with each other.
  • Children will be learning how to rally and shouldn’t be standing in queues. They will be stimulated by colourful and creative environments and children will adopt sound adaptive skills through various exercises, both with and without the racket.
  • Children will play on an adopted smaller 36ft court with lower nets set up to encourage a positive learning experience in a setting catered to that age.
  • Children will play with a 19” or 21” racket and a variety of balls including the red stage ball, which is much bigger, slower, and softer than a normal tennis ball.
  • There will be regular opportunities for children to take part in appropriate team competition that will drive their motivation.

(8 to 9 years old)

In the Orange Stage children will discover the true game of tennis, through learning how to serve and return. They’ll also spend a lot more time rallying. This stage is the most important phase in improving children’s tennis and motor skills.

  • Children are more aware of their emotions, so we can start to coach basic mental strategies. They will understand the concept of rallying, attacking, and defending.
  • Through constraint led tasks and games children will develop their tennis skills. For the first time you will start to see a child’s personality in the way they play the game. Now children will be part of a team and will be looking to make more friends.
  • At the orange stage you will expect to see children playing the real game of tennis. This includes hitting, overarm serves and returns. You’ll also see decision making and a range of different shots. The orange stage is played on a larger but not full-size court.
  • Children will use a 23" to 25” racket and the orange stage ball, which is the same size as a yellow stage ball but softer and slower.
  • Children will also play regular in team and single competitions and have an identity to their club.

(9 to 10 years old)

During the Green Stage of the LTA Youth, children will learn to train. They are continuing to develop physically and are growing towards the full-size game. It may take them time to adapt to each new challenge on the full size court.

  • Children will start to adapt to deal with a wider variety of tennis balls.
  • They’ll be playing a more varied game and starting to identify and develop their own strengths and weaknesses.
  • Children develop a smarter game working out how they can beat their opponent through the use of space.
  • They can also start to problem solve to win matches and will become accountable for their own actions. Expect to see tennis to be played on a full-sized court with 26” rackets and use of a green stage ball.
  • A positive learning experience, children should be encouraged to play regularly, in individual and team competitions.
  • And finally at the green stage, children should have a strong sense of belonging with their peers at the tennis centre.

 10+ years old)

When children reach the yellow stage of the LTA Youth, they are playing the same game that is played by the pro’s.

  • Children will continue to improve and enjoy the game to forge a lifelong love of the sport.
  • With skills developed from the previous stages, LTA youth children are now playing on a full-size court with a normal ball and racket.
  • It is worth noting that as they don’t have the size and strength, they can’t play like adults do.
  • You’ll see children continue to explore different games styles and learning how to play their way.
  • Children continue to compete, both as individuals and within a team.
  • Children will start to develop strong relationships with their peers and an identity at their tennis venue.
  • Above all, children will develop a lifelong love of the game.