Best Tennis Rackets for Your Playful Kids

Most, if not all, of the world’s best tennis players start their careers in junior tennis tournaments, such as Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi, who became professionals when they were 16 years old. The term “junior tennis” refers to amateur tennis games played by participants 19 years old and younger. 

In 2017, the world’s top three men’s junior players are Miomir Kecmanovic, Felix Auger-Aliassime, and Yibing Wu, all of whom also started their tennis training at a young age.

My Top 10 Choices for the Best Tennis Rackets for Young Players

Parents who want their young kids to follow in the footsteps of these top-ranked junior players should choose the best tennis rackets for them. Kids can learn better — and faster, too — when they have the best in the sport’s basic equipment!

1. Wilson US Open Junior

Wilson US Open Junior

Suitable for: 10 years and below

This is a lightweight, yet effective, strung aluminum racket suitable for beginners in the game, usually 7 years old and above.

The short but sweet grip is easy on the hands and wrists of younger kids, which means better racket handling and ball control. The strung arrangement allows it to be used right out of the box, a convenience for parents whose kids like to test the racket ASAP.

What's Great About It: This is a great racket for beginners, thanks to its lightweight quality. You will observe that your child has improved skills, since he can hold and swing it well, even with his shorter limbs and smaller hands.

2. Wilson Junior Burn

Wilson Junior Burn

Suitable for: 10 years and below

This racket is suitable for a tennis player with intermediate skills due to its more sophisticated features. The spin effect technology adds to the greater power in every swing, a must for junior players who want to get an edge over their competition.

The racket has the right balance between being light enough for comfortable handling and heavy enough for powerful strokes.

What's Great About It: This has the look and feel of a professional tour racket, so it’s a great transition racket for older kids. When handled with confidence, the aggressive power that comes with the swing makes it a must-have for junior players.

3. Head Ti S5 Comfort Zone

Head Ti S5 Comfort Zone

Suitable for: 10 years and above

This racket is best for use by beginners and intermediate-level players, particularly those whose swing speed ranges from slow to medium. The open pattern on the strings coupled with the cone-shaped grommets increases its sweet spot — and, in general, the larger the sweet spot, the faster the ball’s acceleration. The strings’ reduced vibrations are also instrumental in getting more power and precision from the swing.

What's Great About It: Players with intermediate skills will appreciate the racket’s improved performance under pressure, particularly in competitive situations where spin on the ball is required. However, its specs are still within the comfortable range of juniors, so it still handles nicely in kids’ hands.

4. Babolat AeroPro Drive GT Plus

Babolat AeroPro Drive GT Plus

Suitable for: 10 years and above

This is for older children with longer reach and greater speed, thanks to its faster head speed. The brand is known for its unique Cortex Dampening System.

In laymen’s terms, means that ball handling becomes smoother, yet more powerful. Even more experienced junior players find the Babolat’s faster swing and tighter spin capacity to be more suitable for their aggressive playing styles.

What's Great About It: The larger frame, longer reach, and better balance when strung make it a great transition racket for intermediate players. Even the larger grip makes it more comfortable for older kids to hold in their hands.

5. Wilson Roger Federer Junior

Wilson Roger Federer Junior

Suitable for: 4-10 years with varying sizes from 19” to 25”

Even the great Roger Federer had to start as a junior player, and he probably would have used the same kind of racket as the one named after him.

This features a larger sweet spot within an ergonomic and aerodynamic frame, a must when your child is already in the intermediate stage. However, this can also be used by beginners who started out playing well after their peers, say 7 years old, compared to their peers’ 5 years old.

What's Great About It: This is an affordable, yet quality racket from a well-known brand, not to mention that it bears the Roger Federer seal — and most parents dig it. The varying sizes means that your child can grow with the racket, in a manner of speaking, especially when he already likes the feel of it in his hands.

6. Babolat Pure Aero Junior

Babolat Pure Aero Junior

Suitable for: 9-12 years depending in size

This pre-strung racket comes in varying sizes suitable for use by beginner and intermediate junior players. The frame was designed to provide greater air penetration, as well as a larger and higher sweet spot on the strings. The strings are also arranged in a tighter pattern.

The result: Every swings feels more powerful and more precise, which can contribute to better performance for your young player.

What's Great About It: This was apparently inspired by Rafael Nadal’s racket, as well as equipped with many of the technologies in it, including the ones for faster speed and tighter spin. Plus, I like the bag, with its multiple compartments for rackets and accessories.

7. Prince Global Sports Tour 23 ESP Strung Junior

Prince Global Sports Tour 23 ESP Strung Junior

Suitable for: 10 years and above

The general rule in tennis is the better the spin, the better the play, so the promise of 30% more spin is a come-on feature for the Prince Tour 23 racket.

The head and racket sizes are also right for beginners who want to advance to the next level in their game. The graphite construction ensures a lightweight, yet sturdy frame and handle, without being too light and flying out of your kid’s hand.

What's Great About It: This is a strung racket, so it can be used right out of the box, perhaps with a few adjustments. Your kid should be able to use it for a few months before progressing to a more advanced racket.

8. Babolat Nadal 26 Junior

Babolat Nadal 26 Junior

Suitable for: 10-12 years, and approximately 55” in height

The aluminum frame and handle combines sturdiness, strength, and optimum handling in each swing and stroke. This was also modeled after the AeroPro Drive GT used by Rafael Nadal, so it’s suitable for children who want to emulate his playing style.

The 8.6-ounce racket is lightweight enough for young arms, while the 4-inch grip size is suitable for young hands.

What's Great About It: This racket feels like an extension of the player’s arm because of its size and length. You will want to buy it for your intermediate-level player.

9. Street Tennis Club

Street Tennis Club

Suitable for: 4-10 years with different sizes

The aluminum handle and frame come in different sizes and colors, so there’s one for almost every age and skill level in the junior set up to 10 years old.

The choices include 17-inch, 19-inch, and 21-inch rackets that, when used properly, become an effective tool. This is among the more popular rackets because of its lightweight feel.

What's Great About It: It comes with a free video game, which can be played in the driveway and used to improve your child’s game. The racket itself is well-made, so it can withstand use even on asphalt.

10. Prince 2016 Tour Junior

Prince 2016 Tour Junior

Suitable for: 10 years and below

This black-and-green aluminum racket is suitable for slow and compact swings for beginners, especially with its nice feel when handled. There are also several sizes available from the 17-inch for 4-year-old boys to the 25-inch for 10-year-olds.

What's Great About It: This is a great practice racket for beginners who are still working on their swings, thus, the relatively slow speed.

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How to Encourage Your Kids to Play Tennis

Love for tennis isn’t an inherited trait. Instead, parents have to see the potential in their kids and encourage them to become the best players they can be.

Keep in mind, nonetheless, that the emphasis should be on making tennis a fun playtime activity for your kids instead of pushing them beyond their capacity — at least when the kids are being introduced to the sport.

Parents and coaches can take the necessary steps to encourage kids to become successful tennis players, whatever their definition of success may be. Here are a few simple, yet effective, steps that can be applied for beginners, such as 5-year old kids.

Make it a fun activity

Kids learn tennis fundamentals faster when they are introduced as part of an enjoyable game, especially when it’s played between parents and siblings. Tennis involves hitting the ball and running after it, both of which are natural movements for a pre-school kid who has likely played other ballgames, such as baseball. At first, tennis should be played with a non-competitive spirit, so kids will be encouraged to play as much as possible.

Enroll in organized programs

When your child wants to learn more about the game, you may want to look into organized programs in your community. These aren’t the tennis programs depicted in movies, where kids are subjected to intensive drills, competitive games, and obnoxious coaches — far from it.

Instead, the best programs feature professional coaches who encourage the junior players to adopt the right techniques and attitudes toward the game and their fellow players. Your child will also learn the basics of camaraderie, teamwork, and sportsmanship, aside from mastering the fundamentals of the game.

In the end, your child has the final decision about whether he wants to try to be a successful junior player and, hopefully, a successful professional player, in the mold of Andre Agassi, Roger Federer, and Rafael Nadal. You, the parent, can only support his decision.

How to Choose the Best Rackets for Your Kids

There are a lot of options for tennis rackets for junior players, with dozens of brands available, just like in case of tennis shoes. Every racket should be chosen based on its user’s specific needs and preferences. Parents, coaches, and kids must work together to find the appropriate racket, which can involve trial and error, especially for kids transitioning from beginner to intermediate levels.

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Look at the sizing chart first

Bear in mind that the sizing chart should only be used to determine the approximate racket length for each child. Every junior player has to determine whether a racket feels right in his hands, which can be affected by its length, weight, and frame.

Age

Height

Length of Racket

4 years and below

40” and below

19”

4-5 years

40” to 44”

21”

6-8 years

45” to 49”

23”

9-10 years

50” to 55”

25”

10 years and up

55” and taller

26”

Consider the length

This is undoubtedly the most important aspect of choosing the right junior racket, since the player’s swing and stroke will be affected by it. There are a few steps to determine the right length, as follows:

  • Have your child stand tall, yet relaxed.
  • Place the racket next to his side, with its head resting on the ground and its handle’s butt end pointing upwards.
  • Let your child place the palm of his hand on its butt cap, as if he’s holding a cane.

Your child’s arm should be extended comfortably while resting on the racket’s butt cap for the right fit. Your child shouldn’t be bending or overstretching his arm while resting on the racket’s butt cap. Otherwise, you'll have to different-sized racket.

You must listen to your child’s input about the lengths of the racket he’s holding. If he’s shaking his wrist, arm, or hand frequently while playing, then the racket may have to be replaced. Otherwise, he’s at higher risk for injuries, such as the dreaded tennis elbow.

As for the grip size, this is a minor matter, since manufacturers make uniform 4-inch grip sizes for most, if not all, junior rackets. However, you can also have it adjusted by a local tennis shop, or an overgrip can be added to increase the grip size.

Conclusion

Tennis is a sport that can teach your child physical and mental fortitude that can be applied in everyday situations. Be sure to start them on the right path by choosing the right racket for their age, height, skill level, and sports aspirations.

    Sandra Cobain
     

    Sandra is the head of content for BestForTheKids. When she’s not busy crafting posts & researching about compelling content ideas, she can be spotted playing outdoors with her two adorable children.

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