Tennis South Africa has recently enforced that all tournaments for 12 and under are to use the stage 1 green ball. My opinion is that this is really great. We need the coaches, clubs and parents to help promote Play and Stay because, after all, it was designed for just that, to keep players in the game.
Countries like Spain and France have used this program really well which explains why their depth of tennis is so good. The reason that I have embraced this program is that the structure and principles are so good. The focus is on (as the pay off line says below the logo) serve, rally, score by getting the players playing rallies as quick as possible by creating fun competitive games.
One of the biggest benefits is that there is a strong focus on the tactics of the game, as in move your opponent, play to their weakness, play to your strengths etc. These tactics are combined with different situations of play and presented as a fun game. The correct equipment is out lined nicely per level. If you need more info please click here. Summed up, if your child or even you as a beginner is not being offered this program then you really are missing out.
The balls of the Play and stay program, combined with the correct court and the correct racket size are some of the essential ingredients to the success of the program. I am of the opinion that doing a green ball product review would assist the tennis community in making an informed decision. We got most of the known brands available on the market. Unfortunately Prince and Karakal did not participate. Have a look at our infographic of the top six green/ stage one balls in that are currently available in South Africa and feel free to post your comments below.
Written by Craig Sander, Sports24seven.