Link between the ITN and Coaching

The ITN is one of the most versatile tools currently available to teaching. Through a multitude of applications, the ITF believes that the ITN will increase the number of players, and the enjoyment of those players, at private or public tennis facilities around the world.

The following points are some of the ways in which coaches can apply the ITN to the mutual benefit of increasing the number of players participating and enjoying tennis:

Maintaining player compatibility

  • Maintaining player compatibility among participants in group lessons is a factor that can determine the effectiveness and overall enjoyment of the group.
  • It also encourages students to practice between lessons.

For lesson programming

  • For lesson programming, the ITN offers an ideal progression for any tennis teaching programme. The distinction of basic strokes and strategies between one ITN level and the next makes an ideal guideline and sales tool to be used by coaches to promote their respective lesson programmes.
  • The ITN On-Court Assessment gives the participants the chance to measure their improvements and in many ways to make the coach more accountable.

Like a golf handicap

  • The one renowned aspect of golf is that players can judge their improvement and are further motivated by ‘playing against the course’ or by ‘improving their handicap’.
  • If properly positioned in the minds of the public, the ITN and the ITN On-Court Assessment is the tennis equivalent and the self-motivational tool for improvement.


  • The most successful coach is one who cares about the broad interests of the facility at which he works. At multisport facilities, there are opportunities to upgrade members from the social, health club or racketball categories to a full membership (including tennis), providing the proper interests and incentives can be generated.
  • The ITN through the ITN On-Court Assessment provides the teaching professional with a tool to encourage non-tennis players at any facility to make tennis their “second sport”.
  • Arranging an assessment followed by immediate and compatible games or lessons for starter players is a step towards converting that person to tennis.

Coaching different abilities

  • The ITN provides the imaginative tennis coach with a variety of ways to equalise individuals or teams during a match.
  • The difference between two ITN ratings can be used as a means of either adding to, subtracting from or working off points in order to win a game in any fun set or handicap / equalisation tournament. Click here to see information on handicapping.
  • The ITN makes the perfect equaliser for any fun tournaments at private or public facilities, which might benefit from different levels of competition. These include round robin tournaments, ladders, men’s, women’s and mixed doubles tournaments, parent-child events and team tournaments, for example.
  • The ITF recommendeds handicapping systems can be used in these social events as appropriate.

Variety of competition

  • The ITN can be used to assure truly competitive match-play in virtually every type of activity including league tennis, corporate leagues, inter-club leagues and intra-club leagues.
  • With player databases within club programmes (e.g dial-a-game), ITN ratings are one of the most important elements whether it is a manual or computerised list of available players.
  • Not being able to find compatible partners and opponents is often one of the major reasons people stop playing tennis.

Univiersal tennis language

  • As the ITN becomes a universal ratings language, coaches will be able to recommend games to visiting players from abroad.

Starter tennis programmes

  • For starter tennis programmes, the ITN 10.3, 10.2, 10.1 rating category provides a progressive path for adult and junior starter players to ensure that players can move from ITN 10.3 to ITN 10 and start to play competively on a full court with a regular Yellow ball.
  • The use of the slower Red, Orange and Green slower balls in all starter tennis programmes is strongly recommended by the ITF.

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