COST OF TENNIS

If you are interested in having your child learn quality technical tennis at a high level please factor in the following costs:

Ideal start age 5 - 7

Year 1 (2*30 minute private lessons): $4,000

Year 2: (2*60 minute private lessons + 1 squad): $10,000

Year 3: (3*90 minute private lessons + 2 squads ): $18,000

Do not try and save money through group lessons and avoid holiday camps at all costs. Make sure the coach has other good juniors and is still passionate about tennis (if you can find one). Also remember tennis coaching is not rocket science and to make it affordable at least one parent will have to train with them to make this feasible. This is also fraught with difficulty and of course all this is contingent on the child wanting to compete in the first place.

By 8 years old they need to be doing a mix of private lessons and squads (though few if any good ones exist in the Eastern Suburbs for under 9s). They need to compete in JDS 10 and under from the age of 8 which takes up maybe fifteen Sunday’s in year 4. If they excel and love competing then you may have to consider moving to Europe for their high school years. In Australia no professional tennis academy exists for 12 - 16 year olds. Voyager Tennis runs a tennis program with McDonald College at Homebush but it is struggling to keep the best juniors who all move to Europe or US where facilities and programs are better equipped for ITF pathway.

Avoid the Australian points system which is logistically punishing and lacks quality opponents. With no proper club system talented juniors get no support which leaves parents having to do everything. At least in Europe the academies take care of the competitions and cut costs by pooling the kids together.

The cost is close to $100,000 per year after the age of 12. If they achieve national or international success by 16 Tennis Australia will usually step in and assist. This is critical for the final phase to pro. But rarely do they get involved earlier. This is a sport for the rich and most parents fail to see their kids succeed because they lack enough talent, received inadequate training, had bad luck with injuries or where not tough enough to handle the circuit. Which usually goes back to the character of the junior or the training.