on the 10th day of giftmas: who needs the court?



Online offerings: There really is nothing better than getting out on the tennis court and playing some tennis. But before you do that, there’s plenty of tools online to maximize just how – and why – you play. Sure, the web is full of tennis news, but there is a unique niche that exists that helps you with your game and find out more about the sport you love than just the latest ATP scores.

The kids are all right: We’ll start at the bottom – or at least those who are closest to the ground. 10andundertennis.com was launched by the USTA this summer, and the site goes along with the rule changes that the national organization is starting to phase into the instructional world and will see at the competitive level in its entirety in 2012. Why do we love this site so much? The USTA has created such a wide-reaching hub for parents (and kids!) that you can head there to find out everything about how the game will change for the little tikes: from new equipment and gear to training, programs and events that kids can tap into, it’ll no longer be a dang big court for the first few years of swinging.

All you need is a racket, a ball and a screen: But for those of us who are over 10 (and we guess most (most!) of our readers are), there is a dang big court out there that we have to deal with. We’ve always been fans of FuzzyYellowBalls, the instructional web site that takes the games of the pros – in video! – and helps you learn how to improve your own. Head instructor Will Hamilton has been around since 2007, and the site has grown to be the most popular instructional site in the world. We dig the site for its visual advantage: if you learn best from watching and then doing, this is the place where you can watch how to do it right, and then put the practice to work out on the court.

Find a partner: Especially when you’re new to a place, the web can be the perfect place to find a tennis partner to play tennis. We’re going with LetsPlayTennis.com, where you can find profiles and USTA ratings of potential battle mates.

Rebounces has been around for a while, but this holiday season we’re digging their replay option, which allows you to ship balls to them and get them rebounced and playable once again. That’s seriously green. Or bright yellow. Or whatever color tennis balls are. Reasonable rates: 100 balls for $45, 250 for $100 or 500 for $185. And you’re saving plastic.

(photo by Ligia Cuevas-Johnson via usta.com)

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