Not merely useful as an introductory course for the youngest learners amongst us, mini tennis has a surprising number of benefits for more experienced players as well. This news may surprise you, but mini tennis is an incredibly useful exercise to help you perfect the basics of the sport. Equally effective in learning how to adapt to different court dimensions, developing net play, and honing movement around the court, mini tennis is a compelling way to refresh your fundamentals.
Flat, topspin or slice?
Predictably, sponge balls behave sporadically. They move through the air more slowly and absorb spin in an altogether different manner to traditional tennis balls. In lieu of these changed dynamics, in mini tennis, you have to flatten out your groundstrokes to hit winners. Despite being the cornerstone of modern tennis, generating top spin in this format of the game simply causes the ball arc languidly over the net and sit up for your opponent. This dramatic change in landscape forces you to adapt your play accordingly, incorporating more slice and drop-shots, ultimately making for a more enjoyable and entertaining contest.
Approaching the net
While net-play is becoming a more and more endangered skill in today’s tennis, mini tennis dictates that it’s a necessity to approach the net in order to properly manipulate the angles offered by the dimensions of the court – plus, you’ll find the sponge ball doesn’t travel nearly as far as you’d like it to. If done correctly, a successful net approach can allow you, more often than not, to conclude a point there and then. Such is the dominance of net play that it leads to an interesting game of cat-and-mouse, with opponents often pre-empting each other’s darts to the net with drop-shots and lobs.
Whilst the ball does admittedly move slower, the court’s dimensions’ demand that you are not just fleet of foot, but efficient with your movement. The decreased depth of the court opens up all sorts of outrageous wide angles. Your lateral movement has to be on point to in order to accommodate these varied angles and you have to be prepared to gamble on where your opponent is going to hit their shots. Because of these reasons, mini tennis can be the catalyst to refining your footwork.
Beginners can play too!
Of course, mini tennis is still great for its original purpose – teaching beginners the fundamentals of the game. The scaled-down dimensions of the court are ideal for the scaled-down speed and strength of youngsters. Trying their hand at full-court tennis before they’re ready can be an overwhelmingly frustrating experience, and mini tennis gives them the freedom to make their own mistakes and recover quickly.
Hopefully this article has demonstrated that investing in mini tennis equipment is the perfect way to hone your technique and tactical nous in a fun yet demanding way. Beginners and experienced players alike can learn something from mini tennis – footwork, imparting spin on the ball, and net play are just three of many.