abc123 Sports
Merging Sports Instruction with Math & Reading!

A New Way of Teaching Tennis
for Kids 10 & Under

Changing How Kids Learn and Enjoy The Game of Tennis

For many years other sports programs have understood that kids need equipment and playing facilities that fit their age, size and ability levels.

The USTA (United States Tennis Association) has formulated a program for 10 & Under that uses smaller racquets, transition balls along with shorter nets and smaller court sizes. Keeping score was changed so that kids would not have to learn and use the traditional scoring of 15, 30, 40, Game.

The counting and set score were changed so kids play at a faster pace and are able to participate in more matches. Kids have fun, success and are able to play with their friends and family.

Courts Are Smaller, Balls Bounce Lower and Racquets Fit Smaller Hands

10 & Under tennis transition balls bounce lower, do not move as fast through the air and are easier to hit. The tennis racquets are sized for small hands and courts are smaller. The benefits are immediate and within a short time kids are rallying, playing, and excited about the game.


Transition Tennis Ball

transition ballsThe tennis transition balls were created and sized for a kids pace of play and ability. A regulation tennis ball bounces too high and moves too fast for young kids to handle.





Age Appropriate-Sized Tennis Racquets

tennis racquets

An appropriately sized tennis racquet –one designed for kid-sized hands and strengths helps kids develop skills and have success while learning the game of tennis.


The Tennis Court

A regulation tennis court is 36 feet wide by 78 feet long. On a regulation court, young children spend 80% of their time chasing balls. The 10 & Under program uses courts and nets that are sized to help kids aged 10 & Under experience success, fun and improvement.  A regulation court can be converted into four!

tennis court regulation

regulation-size tennis court

tennis court small

ten and under tennis courts

Keeping Score

The scoring for 10 & Under tennis was changed to shorten matches; the more children play the faster they learn. The scoring was modified to allow for shorter matches and more competitive experiences for children.


abc123 Tennis Enhances the 10 & Under Philosophy

girl with transitional tennis ball

The abc123 Tennis Program teaches tennis through cooperative game play. This means that kids work together as partners to learn tennis; they are no longer required to stand in lines waiting to hit! Instructor ball feeding is limited.  abc123 Tennis is interactive and Instructors are free to help with skill and technique as they move around to teach.

The abc123 Tennis Program requires the use of 26 marked balls. These transition or lower compression balls are a bit larger than the traditional tennis ball. The transition ball’s bounce is lower and slower making it more appropriate to the height of a child. Kids have more hitting or playing time, which enables more practice and positive feedback. These softer balls also help the kids develop stroke production and better control.


Modifying The Program to Meet Your Needs

The abc123 Program includes instructor guides of more than 70 progressions for player improvement (developmental drills) and 100 energetic and movement games.  In addition to instruction for teaching tennis, guidance for teaching reading and math skills is included in the curriculum.

All introductions, warm ups, progressions, games and cheers can be modified to fit age, ability, skill and improvement by altering math and reading applications, distance, speed, power, net size, racquet size and court size.

The abc123 Instructor Guides consist of:

Player Introduction – Drills and Games to meet each other. (Instructor selects)

Warm up – Drills and Games to get ready to play/learn. (Standard Warmup is suggested)

Progressions for Player Improvement – The curriculum or teaching sequences – clearly defined tennis skill lessons.  The Progressions start with teaching rolling and catching skills, using a ball and racquet, tennis forehand, backhand, volley and serve.

  • Flexible lesson plans– Instructor teaches at children’s or class pace.
    • The progressions have math and reading functions entered as examples but they can easily be substituted to fit any age, skill level, what skill kids are working on in class, ability and improvement.

Games – Games to reinforce and have fun with tennis. (Instructor selects)

Cheer – The kids leave with a smile. (Instructor selects.)

abc123 Programs

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“I have used the ABC letter balls to help with letter identification, letter sounds and spelling first names in my Physical Education classes.  They are light weight and perfect for 3-6 years old to throw around the gym.  I would highly recommend purchasing them for your PE curriculum to help reinforce reading in the gym setting.”

Roxie Williams/Physical Education Teacher
Hmong International Academy
Minneapolis Public Schools

“The abc123 balls are a great added addition to any Developmental Adapted Physical Education (DAPE) program for students of varying abilities. They enhance active learning with added academic emphasis to include Math and reading skills. The abc123 balls can be used in so many ways to engage kids in fun and simple learning while they move and improve eye-hand coordination. I recommend the abc123 balls for physical education programs, special education programs and for students that want to learn in an active way! They are great!”

Bonnie Moren
Adapted Physical Education teacher

“I am using the abc123 Tennis format for our young tennis players. The system really works and keeps the kids interested throughout their group lessons. The kids continue to learn and improve their math, spelling, and reading skills by way of using the abc123 Tennis. Learning while playing tennis! What a wonderful concept!”

Raman Jayapathy

“abc123 is an amazing program! It should be used by any organization working with children and the development of their academic and athletic skills. The program is built with fantastic progressions that allow an instructor to work with very diverse groups of kids exhibiting wide ranges of academic and athletic skill levels. The cooperative design of the drills, games and lessons encourages and helps build very valuable leadership skills that are rarely addressed in other programs. Kids of all academic and athletic abilities are easily engaged. The kids are challenged with physical activity and at the same time practice their literacy and math skills. This is simply a BRILLIANT program!”

Marc Miller
Former Executive Director, Saint Paul Urban Tennis
Former Director of Player Development – USTA Northern

“The Players love it!, the Parents love it! And the Insructors love it!”

“ABC 123 is a fun program that combines academic and athletic skills taught to 10 and under players of all abilities enjoy. The skills games and progressions make it easy for the instructors to plan and improvise their lessons if needed. The parents are all for it - academic skills combined with tennis skills, what a plus!”

Peggy Niccolai
Tennis Director Tuckaway Country Club

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