Progression: The LTA Mini Tennis programme has a system of progression for players based on their age and rating.
As a club the pros will use their judgement to decide when a player has reached the right level of play and maturity to start playing in the next ball colour group. However, when competing in LTA tournaments players have to play in their correct ball colour events.
St George’s Hill Mini Tennis Squads – Tots Fun!
Our very popular 30-minute class full of pre-tennis skills. Co-ordination, sending/receiving and a variety of fun all round ‘tennis necessary skills’ are taught throughout the term…we do hit a lot of balls as well!!
Mainly aimed at our 3-4 year olds, parents, nannies and helpers are very welcome to join the coaching team on court to ensure a fun and confident start to playing the great game of tennis!
The first ‘tennis rung’ on the ladder is our Rookies class, which introduces all of the players to the sport of tennis. Players are shown how the game is played and all shots and game situations are introduced during the course of a term. Tennis specific hand-eye co-ordination, racket and ball skills and tennis movement are the priority teaching points – as well as hitting lots of balls!
Aimed at our 4-5 year olds who have a basic level of co-ordination and/or who have attended at least one term of Tots Fun! The sessions are for 60-minutes.
Starting to get the hang of rallying with a coach or partner, our Red Club sessions are aimed at 5-8 year olds who have a basic level of co-ordination and ball sense, and are keen to improve their rallying, serving and returning skills.
Red Club sessions are 60-minute sessions that start with a good tennis based warm up and stretch, followed by 45 minutes of, ‘training the skills to play the game’! Players can play up to four times per week.
Red Competition (Invite Only)
These sessions are focused on match play and are aimed at our young mini red players who compete at our internal events and also some external competitions.
Players graduate from Red Club once they’ve experienced at least one SGH Starter Tournament and have an LTA Rating. (Information on LTA ratings is on Page 6)
Players can train up to four times per week and the sessions are 90-minutes long. Red Competition players are encouraged to have individual lessons at least once per fortnight.
These sessions are invitation only based on playing level and commitment. Sessions consist of physical, tactical and technical development.
Players progress in to Orange Ball
With the slightly bigger court and quicker orange ball, these sessions are for our 8-9 year olds who like to play once a week socially and who would like to improve their all round tennis ability. Sessions will cover all the basic technical shots as well as learning how to improve court coverage – run faster!
Sessions are focused on learning how to play singles and doubles in a fun, inclusive environment. Players can train up to twice weekly.
Orange Competition and Green Competition (Invite Only)
Aimed at our 9/10 year old LTA rated players, these sessions have a higher intensity and are 90 minutes in duration. Focused towards specific tactical improvement the classes start with 30-minutes of tennis specific fitness, aimed in particular at injury prevention, and encourage a more concentrated and disciplined approach. Players need to have an LTA Rating and be competing externally to join these classes. Players are expected to be training at least twice each week and taking some individual lessons.
These classes are aimed at our 10 year olds who are keen to play once or twice a week and prefer a more social and recreational approach to learning their tennis. With a stronger focus on fun and learning ‘how to play the game’ rather than competition and a higher intensity, Green Club is ideal for players that are deciding if tennis is for them and who view tennis as more of a social activity.
These sessions run twice a week and last 60-minutes.
Very similar to Green Club but for our older players, aged 10+, who are able to train with a full yellow ball, these sessions are great for Club players who love to play once or twice a week socially and for a great workout! Sessions start from 11 years old and players are grouped according to age and standard. A great place to start if you are picking up a racket for the first time and want to give it a go!
These sessions are 60-minutes in duration and run three times weekly.
Yellow Competition (Invite Only)
These sessions are aimed at our 10+ aged players who have either graduated from our mini tennis programme as a Competition Player and/or have an LTA Rating and enjoy competing both internally and externally.
Players are grouped by age and standard and can train up to four times per week. Yellow Competition players will enjoy representing the Club in various events and be keen to train in a high intensity and demanding environment.
Competition Squads (invitational)-Orange, Green and Yellow
As with the red invitational group, when players show that they are:
- Committed to their tennis
Playing at least 3 times a week, including individual lessons
Regularly competing, and improving their rating.
They will be invited to take part in one of our Performance Groups in the relevant ball colour level. These sessions will involve fitness, technique, tactics and movement.
Friday Mini and Junior Club Evening
This is a free session on Fridays for every single one of our juniors from Red Rookies upwards as follows:
Mini Club Evening for our Red and Orange players runs from 4:30-6pm and is a fun, social session supervised by one of our top coaches. Players can play singles, doubles or one of many fun games organised by the coach.
Junior Club Evening Players from Green ball upwards are welcome to join us for an evening of fun matches and games.
Just turn up and join in at any time during the session and stay as long as you like!
Junior Club Evening for ages 12 upwards.
All of our older juniors are welcome to attend this free session run by Ben Cullen. This is a great opportunity to play and socialize with your fellow members.
School Holiday and half-Term Tennis Camps: All ages
We run tennis camps during school holidays and half-terms (not including Christmas holidays). Tots & Rookies sessions are from 9-10am and for our Red Club, Orange, Green and Yellow players upwards at 10am -12 noon. These popular and well organised camps are great fun and always very popular.
Tournaments & Competing
We want all our junior players to enjoy competing whether amongst fellow club members, or in external local tournaments. The first thing to do is to join the LTA and get a BTM (British Tennis Membership). All information about joining can be found here. Join as a club member, linking your membership to St George’s Hill. There is no charge for this.
Your child will then get a rating and can start competing. (Join yourself as well and have the chance to get Wimbledon tickets)
A rating is a measuring tool indicating a standard of play, and allowing players to record their progress. An accurate rating will give a player access to appropriate level competition. A Red Ball player will start with a Red 4 rating. When he or she has played 6 matches his or her rating will go to Red 3. A further 20 matches will give him a rating of Red 2 and a further 40 matches, with 20 wins against players rated R2 or R1, will give a rating of Red 1. If a player reaches Red 1 or 1*, he or she is then allowed to enter Orange ball competitions in his or her last 2 seasons of Red Ball, with an Orange 4 rating.
If a player reaches Orange 1, he will be rated Green 2 in the season he moves up. A Green 1 rating will move to Yellow 9.2 and a green 1* will move to Yellow 9.1 in the season he moves up
All matches that are played, whether internal within the club, or in external tournaments, count towards ratings.
Further information about court sizes, scoring and progression, rules and ratings may be found here:
It is a good idea for parents to understand the scoring of Mini-Tennis, particularly at the Red ball level, so that they can help to umpire matches during tournaments. Once children progress to Orange Ball and above, they will not have on-court supervision, so they will need to understand how to umpire their own matches. They will however be able to call the tournament referee should help be needed during a match.
During training sessions in the Club’s programme, players will have practice matches and will be taught about Fair Play, how to conduct themselves during matches, and general court etiquette.
Internal Starter Tournaments for Club Members only: look out for these tournaments, run every 3 months for all ball colours. These are Grade 7, and all results are submitted to the LTA for ratings points. These tournaments are a perfect way to begin competing, as they are run by our coaches and the aim is to have a lot of fun while learning to compete, alongside other club members. Underarm serving is fine, so encourage your players to take part. There are always prizes for all!
External Tournaments: look out for local tournaments for all ages on the LTA website.
Grade 6 and Grade 5 events are for local players, and Grade 4 to 2 is county+ level. We host a number of Grade 5 tournaments here at the club during half-terms and holidays which give our members a great opportunity to compete against players from outside the club.
Details of ALL tournaments are on the junior tennis boards, which are situated at the bottom of the stairs leading to the squash courts, and also outside by the coaching courts.
All LTA tournaments are entered on line, through the LTA website.
Yellow Ball Tennis for 10+ ages
When you child reaches yellow ball level or age, and is keen to continue competing, there are numerous opportunities available both within the club and in external competitions.
By attending yellow ball sessions players will meet other members of the same level and age and will begin to arrange their own tennis. Friendships and rivalries made at the club can last for many years!
We enter teams in Aegon Team Tennis in all age groups up to 18u, both boys and girls, and arrange friendly matches with other clubs in the area. Our Junior Club Championships have events in all yellow ball age groups, with the 18u being played as part of the Senior Club Championships between May and the Club Finals weekend in July.
When a players level reaches a high enough standard, on the advice of the coaches, they will start to be integrated into the adult tennis at the club where there will be the opportunity to play in the men’s and ladies teams.
For those who wish to compete externally there are numerous local leagues and ratings competitions for juniors. Use the links here for further information.
Become a Coach
For juniors age 13+ there is the opportunity to become a Tennis Leader. This is the first step on the LTA’s coaching ladder and enables youngsters to assist with (and be paid) the Mini Tennis programme and the tennis camps that run during the holidays. We run the one day Tennis Leaders course each year.
At age 16 juniors can do their LTA Level 1 Coaching Assistant qualification which will enable them to work as an assistant both here at the Club or elsewhere, and is a great addition on CV’s and a useful qualification for Gap year employment.
St George’s Hill Team Events and Club Championships
The club enters teams in County and National competitions, giving all keen match players the opportunity to represent their club.
1. Aegon team tennis: this runs between April and June each year and teams are entered in all ball categories and age groups, and positioned in leagues appropriate to the ratings of the players. This is open to players from Club to National level.
2. Surrey Little League: this competition for 10u and 11u players runs through the winter and is aimed at Club level players, ie those below Competition level to encourage competitive play.
3. Friendly Matches: we arrange friendly fixtures with local clubs and compete in the annual junior Triangular event with the Hurlingham Club and Roehampton Club.
4. Club Championships: our junior Club Championships, open to all of our players, will take place during the week beginning August 29th. There are events for all categories of players from red up to 16u.
General Club Tennis Information for Parents and Juniors
All club rules and regulations regarding juniors are on the Club website, but here are a few important ones for your information:
Junior priority (JP) courts
The Junior Programme only provides part of your child’s tennis development. Time on court hitting with you or other friends plays a big part in the progression of their game.
To enable this, we have courts allocated for Junior Priority, which are also used for coaching.
Courts 13-15 are coaching and JP courts. Full details are on the Junior Tennis notice board by the courts. The best times to get a court are from 2.30pm onwards on Saturdays and Sundays during the term time, or earlier during the holidays. Juniors may use any other available courts, but may have to vacate them if they are required by an adult player.
In school holidays, courts are generally available from 12 noon onwards.
Junior Priority on the indoor courts is from 4.30-6 weekdays and 1.30-3pm on Saturdays and Sundays. During the term time the JP court is used for the Junior Programme and on Fridays Junior Club evening.
The JP courts at the weekend may be booked in 45 minute slots. They must be booked in advance as the slot will be released on the day if a junior hasn’t booked it.
In order to ensure the safety of our Junior members, those under the age of 13 are not allowed to be on the Club’s premises without an accompanying adult, unless they are under the supervision of a tennis professional.
Tennis Balls & Nets
Mini Tennis balls (red, orange and green) may be borrowed from the shed behind clay court 15, or from the hoppers in the indoor courts. Mini nets may also be used both indoors and outdoors. Please return all equipment and ensure that your court is tidy, as a courtesy to other members, at the end of your session. Mini tennis nets are to be found on courts 13-15, 11, 9 & 8.
We hope that this gives you a good insight into Junior Tennis here at St George’s Hill.
If you need any further information or would like to discuss your child’s tennis with any of the team please don’t hesitate to contact us; contact details are here:
Racquets Co-ordinator: Celia Gregory: firstname.lastname@example.org 01932 268960
Head Tennis Professional: David Collins: email@example.com 07720 091508
Junior Development Professional: Mark Siddall: firstname.lastname@example.org 07811 210905
Junior Tennis Co-ordinator: Bekki Hopkins-Holder: email@example.com 01932 268971
A parent/club Junior Tennis Committee meets monthly, and includes reps from all ball colours who will always be happy to help with your queries. Contact details are on the junior boards.
See you on court!
David Collins and the Tennis Team
Head Tennis Professional
St George’s Hill Lawn Tennis Club