Our development pathway called the ‘Highlands Tennis Journey’ is designed to keep parents and players more connected, engaged and informed and it combines our unique teaching concepts and developmental pathway milestones, years of accumulated experience delivering tennis programs in 4 different countries and cutting edge technology with insightful analytics to help us develop smarter, faster and better, ultimately allowing us to offer a better experience to you and your children.
At the beginning of the journey, the students play with ping pong, pickleball and small size junior racquets; ping pong, pickleball, foam and low compression balls; and mini tennis nets and reduced court sizes. They learn how to use the racquet and make contact with the ball, but most importantly, they come to have fun through games designed to facilitate development of general gross motor skills.
Our ‘Journey’ is divided in three stages: FUNdamentals, Junior Development and Junior Performance. At the same time, there are two substages in each one of the first two. ‘FUNdamentals’ is integrated by ‘Preschoolers Tennis’ and ‘Kinder Tennis’, and ‘Junior Development’ is integrated by ‘Mini Tennis’ and ‘Full Court’.
The ‘Highlands Tennis Journey’ Developmental Pathway enables players of all ages and abilities to have a clear understanding of their tennis progress and all of the opportunities tennis has to offer at the right age and level.
The three stages (FUNdamentals, Junior Development and Junior Performance) of the ‘Highlands Tennis Journey’ consist of:
- Learning through our online portal
- On court tennis lessons options for all
- Age and level of play- guided stages
- Stage- guided equipment (racquets, balls, court sizes)
- Play opportunities at the appropriate level and age of the individual
- A focus on coaching themes and learning areas.
The FUNdamental levels
There are 12 levels in our pathway for children to achieve ‘Junior Performance’ level of play.
- A player starting at the age of 3 to 5 years old will go through each one of those levels,
- A player starting to play at the age of 6 years old and 7 years old will most likely start at level ‘Advantage’ and will only move to ‘Kinder Tennis’ once completed all the competencies for all levels in ‘Preschoolers Tennis’.
- A player starting to play at the age of 8 to 10 years old will most likely start at level ‘Game’ and will be moving through to ‘Set’ once acquired all competencies for FUNdamentals up to that level including ‘Game’.
- A player starting at the age of 11+ can choose to whether take private lessons and an assessment to join a ‘Mini Tennis’, ‘Full Court’ or ‘Performance’ level or opt to join one of our recreational programs for preteens and teens.
Each achievement level comes with a certificate and is closely aligned with the national Hot Shots program.
In the last levels of ‘FUNdamentals’, children play with red and orange balls and start to play points (half a court) and understand a tennis match (serving, returning, scoring) to then slowly progress back into a full size court in the upcoming levels of ‘Junior Development’.
The key at the ‘FUNdamental levels’ is to encourage fun engagement, with the goal of getting children to want to come back for more. This category of the ‘Journey’ has been created so that children can explore and improve their motor skills, gain an understanding of the game in a fun and positive atmosphere whilst developing a love for the sport. At the same time, there is an emphasis on what we call ‘tennis for life’ foundations (court, ball and opponent awareness) and fundamentals (balance, contact area and the use of the non dominant hand), which are all understructures for building a solid gameplay and sound technique.