TENNIS 101ADULT TENNIS | USTA SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA
TENNIS 101ADULT TENNIS
USTA SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA
WHAT DO I NEED?
It’s as simple as a ball and racquet, but it is also important to pick the right tools of the trade. They may all look alike, but selecting the proper equipment can help your early skill development right from the start. Check out our five tips for selecting a racquet below!
WHAT TYPE SHOULD I GET?
For beginners, you want a racquet that offers a good combination of power and control so you can get the ball over the net and keep it inside the court. Consider an aluminum racquet first–these are both cheaper and lighter and will allow your tennis muscles to develop with less stress.
WHAT’S MY GRIP SIZE?
The grip of the racquet is important. It should fit comfortably in your hand with minimal slipping as you swing. A grip that slips in your hand will hurt your shotmaking and can cause blisters or discomfort. Any local tennis shop or teaching pro will be able to help you correctly size your grip.
HOW HEAVY SHOULD IT BE?
Does the racquet feel heavy when you hold it? Does it feel light as a feather? Find something that feels comfortable to you as you swing it–as your game develops, you may go lighter or heavier, but at the beginner level it’s best to pick a racquet somewhere in the middle.
WHAT SHOULD I SPEND?
If you’ve never played a day of tennis in your life, we recommend that you first try your luck with an inexpensive aluminum or used racquet that can cost as little as $50. Ready to commit to the sport? A decent racquet will run $150-$250 with high-quality materials, strings, and grip. These high-end racquets will last for years.
WHAT ELSE DO I NEED?
Once you’ve got your racquet, remember you’ll occasionally need to replace the grip. It will wear down and will start to slip in your hands. As you play, there’s always a chance the strings will break, so you’ll need to find a good stringer at a tennis shop or club to replace them (no, it’s not something you can do at home!).
WHAT ABOUT TENNIS BALLS?
As for tennis balls, beginner players will not notice much difference between how certain balls will play. But it’s best to play as often as you can with fresh balls, so you’re playing at maximum pace and precision. Used or dead balls will bounce lower and feel uncomfortable coming off your strings. If new balls are too lively for you, try a green dot ball that has less compression and promotes learning and technique before power and pace.
WHERE CAN I PLAY?
There are many places to find court time, either public or private. The best thing to do is to conduct a simple internet search for local tennis facilities and public courts. Note that some venues are pay-to-play, while others are first come, first served.
PARKS & RECREATION
Cities across Southern California maintain public tennis courts through their Parks & Recreation departments. City government websites often list public activity venues, from ballfields to swimming pools to tennis courts. Some parks will have a nominal fee to reserve courts.
There are a variety of tennis clubs across the region, many offering drop-in availability without a membership. Some require a nominal fee for annual or one-time access. These facilities are ideal for finding a tennis teaching pro or to meet other local non-competitive players interested in taking some no-pressure swings.
More along the membership-based model, many country clubs and private facilities offer tennis court rental and/or usage as part of their member options. They will have established teaching pros offering both private and group lessons and often offer social tennis programming at their clubs.
HOW DO I GET INVOLVED?
JOIN THE USTA
To compete in USTA sanctioned tournaments and leagues, an active USTA membership is required.
The membership also qualifies a player for national rating and ranking, outlined in your personal World Tennis Number profile page.
Plus enjoy early access or discounted tickets to see the best players in the world, including the US Open Series, and receive coupons for discounts on sportswear, footwear, and tennis equipment.
FIND YOUR AREA LEAGUE COORDINATOR
Area League Coordinators are USTA staff members who oversee various regions of Southern California. They are ready to assist with any questions related to adult tennis, league and team opportunities, and more.
Feel free to contact the Area League Coordinator in your area by visiting the adult league page below and learning more about what’s happening on tennis courts in your community!
Still need some guidance? Use the form below to contact our Adult Tennis Department and they will help get you into the game.