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Todd Martin to Serve as Spokesperson for USTA Florida 10 and Under Tennis

June 5, 2012 01:04 PM
 
Long-time Florida resident and former world No. 4-ranked ATP pro Todd Martin will serve as the United States Tennis Association-Florida Section's (USTA Florida) first spokesperson for 10 and Under Tennis. Martin and his wife Amy have two sons and a daughter under the age of 10.
 
 
 
10 and Under Tennis starts very young players on smaller courts (compared to an adult 78-foot court) with age-appropriate, lighter racquets and low-bounce balls. 10 and Under Tennis is designed to provide children the optimal conditions for learning proper strokes, accelerated swing speed, and the development of a variety of tennis shots that are difficult for children to master with high-bouncing heavy regular balls and large adult racquets on full-size adult tennis courts.
 
"I made the mistake of teaching my first son with regular yellow tennis balls," said Martin, an advisor to the USTA High Performance program and a current member of the national USTA Board of Directors. "Once I learned about the orange balls, and got him playing the right way, it was so much fun to watch him play, and be on the court with him. Now he plays the game the right way."
 
Different commercial spots featuring Martin geared toward parents and tennis coaches will air in select Florida media markets in 2012, and will be featured on the web as well as in select schools and other locations. The video can also be downloaded from the USTA Florida YouTube website at www.youtube.com/user/ustafl1.
 
USTA Florida was one of the first USTA sections to fully integrate the 10 and Under Tennis format into tournament and Jr. Team Tennis play. Last year the International Tennis Federation (ITF), which oversees the junior world rankings and international tournaments, approved a rule mandating that all 10-and-under competition around the world be played on child-appropriate smaller courts with slower balls and age-appropriate racquets.
 
"10 and Under Tennis makes great sense from the physical standpoint for children, but it also makes good sense from an emotional and developmental standpoint," Martin says. "It's a great way to get kids involved, and keep them involved in the great sport of tennis."
 
A resident of Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., Martin has coached top players Novak Djokovic and Mardy Fish among others. He remains active running tennis camps and academies, as well as participating in numerous tennis charity events in the Jacksonville area.
 
10 and Under Tennis allows smaller children to emulate adult play on smaller court sizes, with racquet sizes that fit their hands, foam and low-compression balls, a simple scoring system, all adjusted to ease kids into the sport. Similar mini-tennis formats have long been popular in Europe, where current stars such as Roger Federer and Kim Clijsters first learned the game with age-adjusted racquets, balls and court sizes.
 
"USTA Florida Section is thrilled to have someone as respected as both a former touring pro and development coach as Todd Martin supporting the 10 and Under Tennis initiative," said USTA Florida Associate Executive Director Andy McFarland. "As a father of children under the age of 10 and a coach of young competitive players, if anyone knows how important developing players the right way, it has to be Todd.  We are very excited to have Todd be our advocate for 10 and Under Tennis in Florida."
 
For more information, or information on facilities offering 10 and Under Tennis in Florida, go to www.florida.usta.com/youth_tennis/10_and_under_tennis.
 
 

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