Low Compression Tennis Balls
One of the best developments in the area of tennis instructional tools has been the "low compression" tennis ball. These tennis balls are also called "ROG" (Red, Orange, Green) tennis balls. These tennis balls have less compression (i.e. the amount of air injected into the ball) than a regulation tennis ball, helping to maximize a player's success and enjoyment of tennis.
The benefits of the low-compression ball are:
- The ball travels through the air more slowly, allowing the player more time to prepare their racquet and their footwork.
- After hitting the ground, the bounces toward the player more slowly, allowing the player more time to make contact with the ball at the correct contact point for each specific stroke.
- The ball bounces lower, allowing the player to contact the ball in the optimum "strike zone" (about waist high).
- MORE FUN ! These balls maximize the success the student has in making contact with the ball and hitting the ball over the net. The more success they have, the more FUN they have!
The "age" recommendations listed below for each ball are general guidelines. Younger players of a higher ability can benefit from advancing to a faster ball. Adults of a lower ability level can benefit from using a slower ball, which will make their rallies last longer.
Make sure that your junior player is using the correct ball for his or her age and ability level! They will progress faster and have more fun!
Large Foam (Nerf) 36 Ball (up to 5 years of age)
About the size of a regulation softball, this large slow-moving ball maximizes the success of the 3-5-year-old player. It is also an excellent ball for adults and older junior players to use for warming up; or as a training aid for developing faster racquet head speed and recognizing spin.
Larger Red and Yellow 36 Ball (ages 5-8)
This ball has 75% less compression than a regulation ball. It is larger than a regulation ball, but smaller than a foam ball. Because it travels through the air very slowly, it also is great to use for rallying with older children.
Orange and Yellow 60 Ball (ages 9-10)
This ball has 50% less compression than a regulation ball, but is the same size as a regulation ball.
Green Dot Ball (ages 9-12)
This ball has only 25% less compression than a regulation ball. It is a great transitional ball to use before moving to the regulation ball. This ball may also be colored half green and half yellow.
Regulation Tennis Ball
The junior player should only be using this ball if he or she can rally with it, consistently, using proper racquet technique and footwork.