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Choosing a Child's Tennis Racquet

Roger Clarke, Hinsdale

As a tennis professional at the Hinsdale Racquet Club in Hinsdale, Illinois, west of Chicago, Roger Clarke offers lessons to players ranging in age from preschoolers to senior citizens. Also experienced in helping players select tennis equipment, Roger Clarke particularly enjoys accompanying his younger students to the pro shop of the Hinsdale Racquet Club to choose a racquet.

Over the past decade, tennis has increased in popularity as a sport for children. To keep it fun as well as safe for them, it is important to select an appropriately sized racquet.

If the child is under 3 and simply swinging a racquet or fun, a 17-inch model may be the most appropriate. Once the child gets a bit older, he or she can take up a 19-inch racquet. These racquets tend to be light in weight and thus easy to swing, which makes them ideal for children who are still developing their coordination.
Children typically graduate to a 21-inch racquet around 5 years old and are ready for a 23-inch racquet between the ages of 6 and 8. The next sizes are 25 inches and 26 inches in diameter, which may suit a child after two more years of growing.
However, because all children have different physical strengths and abilities, it is important to let them test racquets in person. Experts recommend placing a racquet next to the child with the tip of the racquet head on the ground and the handle pointing up. If the child can reach down and place the palm of his or her hand on the bottom of the racquet handle, the racquet is probably the right size.

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