abc123 Sports
Merging Sports Instruction with Math & Reading!

The abc123 Balls

The concept of abc123 is to bring athletics and academics together through cooperative game play.


Why Use a Different Kind of Ball?

There are two reasons:

  1. Kids need a ball that is sized and paced to their playing abilities. The typical yellow tennis ball moves too fast, bounces too high and is too heavy for smaller racquets.
  2. The letters and numbers on the balls combine teaching tennis along with teaching the fundamentals for improving math and reading skills.


Why Use Lower Compression Balls?

Teaching tennis has changed.  Age appropriate racquets, net size, court size and ball size are being introduced to help kids 10 & Under learn the game of tennis – quickly and in a positive, fun, movement environment.

Transition or lower compression tennis balls are a bit larger than the traditional tennis ball. The transition ball bounce is lower and slower making it more appropriate to the height of a child. Kids have more hit or playing time, which enables more practice and positive feedback.  These softer balls also help the kids develop stroke technique and better control.

Over-hitting, over-throwing and chasing balls are limited.


The abc123 Balls

The abc123 Tennis program uses a set of 26 marked low-compression transition tennis balls, along with a set of instructor guides. Ball game guides are also included. No additional equipment required.

The low compression balls are marked with a letter on one side and corresponding number on the other side.

(Example: a & 1, b & 2.)


The Letters and Numbers Combine Tennis with Fundamental Math and Reading

Kids select a marked ball to count, identify letters and numbers and associate letters with words while rolling, catching, bumping/hitting, running or bouncing a ball. The activities can be focused on fundamental reading skills (abc), on fundamental math skills (123), or both at the same time.

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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