Youth tennis has been a pillar of the USTA National Campus since it opened its doors in Lake Nona in January. With a robust slate of youth programming, a variety of clinics and junior tournaments, young players can always be seen on the grounds.
Now, youth tennis is getting a new look, as the USTA has debuted its revolutionary new youth tennis brand, “Net Generation.” For the first time, American tennis will have one unified youth brand for children to get into the sport, making it easier for kids and their parents to learn about tennis and participate in the game in schools, parks and clubs across the country. The movement embraces all aspects of youth play for kids ages 5-18.
“Net Generation is a bold approach to empower kids to play the game while elevating and setting new standards on how we deliver and engage children in our sport,” said Craig Morris, General Manager, USTA Community Tennis and Youth Tennis. “These efforts will make a lasting impact to help drive youth participation throughout the country.”
The objective of Net Generation is to provide a kid-friendly, safe connection to the sport, as well as a platform to celebrate individuality and self-expression. To ensure a safe environment, all Net Generation providers – including coaches, teachers, players and volunteers – must first go through a Safe Play Program. Safe Play is a three-step process that includes a background check to ensure childhood safety. This system will be the first-of-its-kind in the sports landscape, requiring all providers to submit to a comprehensive screening and education program.
The USTA has a longstanding commitment to encouraging healthy and active lifestyles among children. Over the last decade, youth tennis has brought hundreds of thousands of kids into the sport by using shorter courts, lower-bouncing balls and lighter racquets to allow them to play more quickly and easily.
To further evolve these efforts, the USTA will be working closely with schools and school districts, providing equipment, trainings and resources for teachers. In addition, the USTA has developed a new schools tennis curriculum and will encourage schools to have a community partner to help kids find a tennis facility to play after school in partnership with the Society of Health and Physical Educators.
In addition, Net Generation will be integrated throughout all competitive levels, including youth tennis, team tennis and junior competition. By setting new standards and collaborating with programs across the board, these efforts will help unite the tennis industry by sharing the same mission: to get more kids playing tennis.
While youth tennis is getting a new look this fall, adult programming at the National Campus is also adding a major new program. Over the coming months, the National Campus will be offering Adult Camp Experiences, for individuals or groups who want an enhanced training experience.
The Adult Camp Experiences are being offered in half-day, full-day and three-day options. The half-day camp experience consists of an hour-and-a-half of open play and two hours of pro-led drills. The session also includes a campus tour and lunch at the Net Post Grill.
The one-day camp experience takes a day of training to the next level. The morning includes open play and drills, as well as a campus tour. After lunch at the Net Post Grill, players will get an equipment demo before returning to the courts for match play and additional drills. There will be one-day camp experience options for 3.5 and below players, as well as 4.0 and above players.
The most action-packed option is the three-day camp experience. The weekend of tennis kicks off Thursday night with a social mixer. Friday and Saturday are two days full of tennis with a combination of drills and match play. The weekend wraps up on Sunday with a skills challenge. There will be three-day camp experiences designed for players of all skill levels.
To check dates and reserve your Adult Camp Experience, or to sign up for any other fall programming, visit the USTA National Campus website at www.ustanationalcampus.com.