FAQ – Junior Program

Frequently asked Junior Program questions

The  Junior Program is a fun place for kids to work on their tennis skills. It will run year round. Classes are offered at various times and skill levels throughout the week. The flexible program is designed to allow for your after school and summer plans. Your schedule can vary from week to week according to your child’s other activities. I just ask that you let me know ahead of time days they will be attending. If they are a regular to a class and can not make it please give me a 24 hour cancellation notice.

Nikki’s Tennis Crew Junior programs are designed for your children to learn tennis in a fun supportive group. The staff is energetic and they love teaching tennis We not only focus on tennis skills but your child learns the importance of team work, great sportsmanship and life skills.

What does my child need to bring to tennis? 

Your child needs to be wearing comfortable cloths. Running shoes, crocs are not permitted. They should have water or gatorade, a hat and sunscreen are recommended. For the older kids who are playing more hours, a change of socks, t-shirt and a towel is recommended.

Are parents allowed to stay and watch? 

Parents are more than welcome to stay especially for the 4 year old class. I ask that parents do not sit on the court. It is always great to bring a folding chair. Please make sure that all cell phone conversations are kept to a minimum and at low levels. When a group of parents stay to watch, sometimes their conversations get a bit loud. Please keep group discussions at a low level too.

Does my child have to come on the same day each week?

No it can vary each week. For example, the Junior Clinics is offered throughout the week at various afternoon hours. One week your child can come Monday and Wednesday. The following week they can play Tuesday and Friday. I ask that you sign up ahead of time.

What if I sign up for a class and realize my child can not make it?

If you sign up for a class and realize your summer plans have changed just let me know and you can reschedule for another day. Likewise you did not sign up for a class and your child wants to play, just let me know ahead of time. You will pay only for the classes you sign your child up for. Please respect the 24 hour cancellation policy.

Can I help pick up balls?

No. Kids have a short attention span and when you start picking up balls in the middle of the drill, they will watch you and not pay attention to what is going on. I ask that parents not stand or sit on court. Parents are welcome on court during private lesson. Please do not pick up balls during instruction just during water breaks or ball pick up times.

I see my child isn’t doing what you instructed them to do last week?

I ask that parents only offer encouragement not instruction during the class. When parents tell their kids what to do it undermines my authority as the teacher on the court. Plus your child will listen to you and not to the coach so the coach will not have control of the class. The coach might see your child might be doing several things wrong and is only focusing on one at that moment. You see what they were working on last week and want to remind them. A child can only process a certain number of things at a time so by correcting them, they won’t be able to focus on what is being worked on at the moment. It is a process not an event.

How many kids per instructor?

The class size varies from 4-6 kids per instructor. Because of the flexibility sometimes the class size for the day is slightly larger and some times there are only two kids per teacher. I try my best to keep the class size small.

My child is 4 can they come to the Junior Stars?

It depends on your child’s attention span. The Peanuts (30 minutes) and the Junior Star (60 minutes) class is offered at the same time so kids who can pay attention for a longer time can just stay longer in the class.

My child is 7 which class is better for them?

Once again it depends on your child’s attention span. I know some 7 year olds who pay much better attention than 9 year olds. It really will vary from child to child. I don’t have an exact age cut off because of how different kids are. Junior Stars and Junior Clinic classes do over lap so if one is better, the switch can happen easy.


Why do you have high school students teaching?

Kids love teenagers! They look up to them. They want to be like them. Teenagers have unlimited energy and they relate really well to younger kids. The junior assistants are all players in the Junior Touring Pro class who have asked to help. They spend a semester teaching with me before they are on their own. More importantly it gives younger kids a goal. Kids in the junior clinic are asking if one day they can help. “Of course” I say “But you really need to focus on your tennis skills.” I started teaching when I was 12 and it taught me so much. It is a great opportunity for all involved.

How much tennis will my kids learn?

Depends on the individual child’s attention span. Nikki’s Tennis Crew always does it best to teach children good technique while making it enjoyable as well. Private lessons are always a great way to supplement group classes. As group classes are a great way for juniors to play with their peers to improve skills

Red and Orange Ball Clarification

There has been some confusion with the use of red and orange balls and I just wanted to clarify the purpose of the red and orange ball. The USTA has implemented a new format of play for all juniors in the 10 and under division and below. They have done much study about “our” methods of instruction and have found we are behind in the game. Europe has been using these low pressure balls for many years. All tournaments for 10 and under will be using a form of these balls with a smaller court. Trying to follow along with what the USTA deems the “best” way to teach our youth, my program is using their new method. Some parents feel their child is missing out by not using the “yellow” ball and being demoted by having their children use the rally ball the whole class. Have no worries!! Your children are NOT being demoted and are actually getting ahead of the game! Here is why… By using the red and orange balls, children learn how to construct points. They learn how to hit through the balls. They are able to work on serve and volleys where before the net was to far away and if they did go to the net and get hit with a ball, it hurt and they NEVER wanted to go to the net again. The low bounce of the balls allows the kids to hold the proper grip keeping their stroke production to a high level. Plus the higher level of success really gets the kids excited about the game. Tennis is the only sport that kids were using adult size field. Can you imagine a kids running around on an adult size soccer field to score goals. Or trying to shoot a basketball in adult height hoops. US tennis is finally catching on.  So please don’t f eel your kids are behind by not using the “adult” yellow or green dot tennis balls. The transition is easy and when the time is right, their strokes/technique will be solid, their ability to construct points fantastic, their serve and volley game amazing and their enjoyment of the game a lifetime. I am here to serve your children the best I can!

Nikki Robbins