The 2019 edition of Wimbledon saw the viral spread of a mind-boggling story- that of a 15-year-old American, Coco Gauff, beating the odds to make headway into her first grand slam. She eventually fell to Simona Halep’s ruthless return-of-serve ability and exhilarating speed, but this year’s Wimbledon truly belonged to Coco and her surreal run.
She made a statement with tennis and poise beyond her years, but also brought into the spotlight the effect, and importance, of starting early and starting right. Gauff isn’t the only one. Rafa Nadal started playing at the age of four, while Serena Williams began at the age of five.
Equally important is selecting the right gear for your budding tennis champion. With revolutionary racquet, shoe and apparel technologies, the appropriate gear can help juniors elevate their game and hone their talents.
For apparel, the miscellaneous choices and fancy tech can be daunting. The process isn’t made any easier when you have to factor in the issues of cost and durability. To aid this decision-making process, we’ve compiled a list of apparel for your young champion that will help them optimize their performance during practice sessions and match-days alike.
Crew-necks are a classic; they can transition from practice to competition easily and allow for chafe-free comfort. Most performance crew-necks will boast some type of moisture management ability to help prevent sweat build-up. They hero soft, lightweight fabric so their play remains the centre of your champions’ focus.
If you’re looking to recreate the classic tennis look for your budding star, go for a polo instead.
While it may seem a rarity, the sleeveless top is also an optimal choice. If your junior player naturally sweats more than most children his age, the extra ventilation of a sleeveless design comes in handy. The sleeveless cut can also improve their range of motion without impeding their swing.
Shorts will come with similar features, with many incorporating stretch technologies or stretchy fabric to enhance their freedom of movement on court. As for the inseam length, that will depend on their height, but the standard length for a boys’ short is 6 inches.
Tanks are an essential here, but cap-sleeves and crew-necks are just as promising if she prefers that extra bit of coverage. Racerbacks, in specific, allow arms a freer range of motion to help her develop those shots right. Like the boys’ apparel, moisture-wicking properties and lightweight, airy materials are a must-have.
Shorts follow a similar trend. Because of their versatility they’re indispensable when it comes to her tennis wardrobe. She can go from training at the gym or running outside to tennis with zero fuss!
If she prefers a more traditional tennis look for competitive matches, there are multiple skort options that have been fashioned after their respective adult versions, and offer the same combination of performance and style.
Match-day looks are also achieved through tennis dresses. The one-piece design is definitely big on convenience and low on upkeep, but it isn’t as versatile as the tank and short pairing.
Juniors are going to be logging in long hours moving around the courts to get their game to the desired level so it’s important that their feet receive the right kind of cushioning and support. Like apparel, sweat management is required to help them stay dry and comfortable.
The Nike Boys’ Banded Cotton Socks are equipped with all the essential features, and perfect for your juniors if they prefer the no-show, ankle-sock cut. For girls, the Under Armour Girls’ Logo Socks achieve the same results.
If longer crew socks are more their style, they’ll love the Wilson Youth Seasonal Core Crew Tennis Socks. With similar moisture-wicking ability and supportive cushioning, these will be a valuable addition to their gear.
The sun can get in the way of play, but it doesn’t have to. Especially not if your juniors are equipped with headgear that keeps the blinding sunlight at bay and their heads cool without obstructing their vision.
The Nike Young Athletes Featherlight Tennis Cap does all of the above, with the added benefit of Nike’s sweat-wicking Dri-FIT technology built into the sweatband. It also features laser-perforated vents for top-notch ventilation. Browse through and find their favorite color!
You can shop these styles, and more for both boys and girls at Tennis Express to help your champion-in-the-making find their fit!
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