Malta Tennis Federation targets grass-root talent with ITF Tennis 10s

Wednesday, November 16, 2011, 8:26

The Malta Tennis Federation (MTF) is aiming to improve the playing skills of the younger tennis players based in Malta by introducing the International Tennis Federation’s (ITF) Tennis 10s programme.  Sponsored by GasanMamo Insurance, Tennis 10s is a discipline which provides a sound developmental structure for players aged 10 and under, through three-colour-coded stages – Red, Orange and Green. “Smaller, Slower, Easier” is the main slogan for Tennis 10s and its main purpose is to put into place a three-stage version of tennis designed specifically for younger children.

Through the stages a series of developmental steps are created to allow players to progress along a competitive pathway according to their age, ability, and confidence. In the process, the court size, racket length, ball speed and duration of games all increase until the player is ready to move onto the full court and use a full ball.

Tennis 10s helps children play the game quicker and feel more competent on the court, which in turn maintains their interest in the game,” said Robert Tarpey, MTF Head Coach for Tennis 10s.  “The programme will help youngsters learn skills faster and coaches will teach the actual game of tennis and not just a remote sets of skills as most do with this age range at present.  This leads to children being motivated to stay in the game as they can play and progress. The most important thing is that it allows young or inexperienced players to learn the skills and tactics of tennis and actually play the game quicker. Often children who try to play the game of tennis with the traditional yellow balls don’t pursue the sport, which is unfortunate. The ball bounces over their heads, rallies are short and they spend most of their time picking up balls – meaning they rapidly lose interest. By allowing children to actually play the game we now hope to increase the incidence of competent players with the ability to eventually reach the national squad.”

In preparation for the launch of the Tennis 10s Mini Red Competition scheduled beginning of 2012 and backed up the ITF, Robert Tarpey recently held a demonstration day at Pembroke Rackets Tennis Club aided by 6 mini Red players and coaches.  During the event MTF President Dr David Farrugia Sacco said this was a project very much at heart for MTF as it is an important development in cultivating the love of this sport at an early age. He thanked GasanMamo for its continued support of tennis and junior tennis in Malta that enables the organisation to move forward and to invest in new initiatives.  “We see sport as a very important element in the lives of children,” said Julian J. Mamo, Director at GasanMamo.  “We hope our contribution helps to promote tennis among more and more children in Malta.”

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