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USTA School Tennis Program

Why Tennis in School?

  • Tennis players score higher in vigor, optimism, and self-esteem, and lower in depression, anger, confusion, anxiety, and tension than other athletes and non-athletes. (Dr. Joan Finn and colleagues at Southern Connecticut University)
  • Tennis outperforms golf, running, weight-lifting, and many other sports in developing positive personality characteristics like sociability, mental focus, competitiveness, adventurousness, spontaneity, creativity, and assertiveness. (Dr. Jim Galvin, author of The Exercise Habit)
  • The average person burns more calories playing tennis than doing low impact aerobics, weightlifting, riding a stationary bike, hiking, walking a golf course, or playing softball, baseball, or volleyball. (
  • Over 20% of children ages 6-18 are overweight, and that number has increased 200% over the past 3 decades. A recent study by the National Association for Sports & Physical Education showed that physically fit children performed better academically. Tennis is one of the few sports that can be played for a lifetime and uniquely benefits children like no other sport. Through tennis kids gain both physical and psychological benefits.

How the USTA School Tennis Program Works

As part of its mission to promote and develop the growth of tennis, the United States Tennis Association is dedicated to introducing tennis to children of all ages in schools across the country. Starting in 1985 under the leadership of Arthur Ashe, the USTA Schools Program has brought the joy of tennis to millions of students in schools across the United States. The USTA provides the training and resources necessary to implement the program and relies on dedicated teachers, administrators, program leaders and volunteers like yourself to put the program into action.

Physical Education Resources

The United States Tennis Association has developed a cutting edge in-school curriculum and teacher training program to help educators feel more comfortable offering tennis in school settings. Additionally, the USTA has partnered with tennis equipment suppliers and manufactures to assist schools in obtaining equipment.

Qualifying schools are eligible to receive the following resources:

  • Teacher In-Service Workshops - These workshops complement a teacher’s large group management skills and demonstrate how to quickly transform a school gym or playground into a dynamic tennis-playing environment and allow students to experience instant success in a fun and safe manner.
  • In-School Curriculum Materials - Newly developed teacher friendly lesson plans, station signs, and instructional DVD’s are available to assist teachers with limited or no previous tennis experience and without requiring access to traditional tennis courts! These lessons can be taught in your school’s cafeteria or gym---with minimal time, effort and expense. The school curriculum will help teachers with their lesson plans as well by displaying the NASPE standards that each lesson meets. Follow this link to download your USTA School Tennis curriculum guide.
  • Equipment Support - Equipment loans and discounts are available to qualifying schools that are linked with an after school tennis program. Modified tennis equipment including easy-to-rally tennis balls and portable nets make the game fun and engaging from the moment a child first picks up a racquet.

Intramural and Interscholastic Program Resources (Middle School & Elementary School)

Providing an opportunity for students to play tennis for their schools with friends is a priority of the USTA School Tennis Program. Schools, parks, tennis facilities, youth organizations, community tennis associations, or independent organizers can sponsor intramural and interscholastic programs.

The following types of assistance are available to qualifying programs:

  • Funding for development or expansion of intramural and/or interscholastic tennis leagues through matching grants. This grant provides $500-$3000 in matching funds available to new or expanding programs. The amount granted will be approximately $10 per player for a new league or for each additional player in an existing league. The league must have at least 50 players with at least two schools participating to be eligible. Click here for the application.
  • Support in forming student tennis clubs to foster playing opportunities year round.
  • Program formats, best practices and tips for coaches and organizers.
  • Assistance in acquiring needed equipment and supplies to start and develop programs
  • Recreational Coach Workshops – Training for new coaches and program organizers interested in working with school teams.

No-Cut Coaches Recognition and Resource Program (High School)

The USTA wants to recognize and thank all high school tennis coaches who implement a no-cut policy for their teams. The USTA realizes this requires greater commitment and dedication on behalf of the coach and school. Such a policy ensures not only that all interested students are given a chance to develop as better tennis players but also, more importantly, to become well rounded student athletes.

Support and resources offered for no-cut high school tennis programs:

  • Official USTA No-Cut Coach Recognition Certificate and one-year subscription to Racquet Sports Industry magazine.
  • Recognition letters and press release templates to the school Principal and Athletic Director.
  • Funding and No-Cut Advisory Team support for coaches to encourage the development and expansion of no-cut programs. Click here for the funding application.
  • Special clinics and workshops at U.S. Open Series Events.
  • Listing and publicity as part of a national registry of No-Cut Coaches.
  • National No-Cut Coach Award Winners recognized at the USTA Tennis Teachers Conference during the U.S. Open.


  • Assemblies are typically 30 – 60 minutes in length and are intended to get kids excited about tennis and promote after school tennis opportunities.

For additional information about USTA School Tennis program resources contact Jonathan Polson at USTA South Carolina, 800-644-7282 or