Saturday, 23 September 2017 08:34 am
  
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Youth/Junior

The purpose of this program is to help any junior tennis player to get started in the sport by learning the skills necessary in order to play a complete tennis match at a competitive level. Junior players will learn the basics of the sport by attending tennis classes which usually contain two parts:

        Drills which focus on teaching, correcting or improving a particular skill.
        Game situations, practice games, tennis rules, scoring and officiating.

Junior players who are starting out as beginning tennis players are encouraged to attend classes as frequently as possible since the maximum benefit from tennis is achieved by playing and practicing regularly. When a junior player plays frequently and consistently, his or her skills increase at a steady pace as the player gets better at hitting the ball. Certain skills, like serving, volleys, groundstrokes (hitting forehand and backhand strokes), and overheads (hitting smashes or lobs), can only be mastered by hitting hundreds of tennis balls on the court every week.

Tennis is best mastered through repetition. Drills where a player hits against a ball machine or where a player is consistently fed balls which need to be returned help prepare him or her for any situation which might come up during an actual game. Various shots need to be explained and practiced, such as cross-court and down-the-line, which are the most common shots in tennis. Furthermore, players learn how to hit using different styles of strokes, like hitting the ball flat, with topspin, or how to slice the ball. They will learn how, when and why to use each of these different methods since each one has advantages and disadvantages.

Lastly, junior players will enjoy the opportunity to play singles matches and doubles matches when they show up for practice. They can play alone or pick a partner and have fun when playing a game where they get to show off their skills. All players will be coached during game play on rules, etiquette, scoring, and good sportsmanship. The best test of their tennis skills is to play in a real match where every player is evaluated on their strengths and weaknesses. A game situation almost always reveals any areas of weakness and uncovers skills which need further training and development. That is why it is so important to come to class regularly. Missing a class will cause weeks of momentum to get lost.

Another aspect of the game which always gets discussed with junior players is equipment. Tennis players are required to have appropriate tennis gear. Do not come to practice without wearing athletic socks and court shoes with good soles. Wear comfortable, sporty clothing recommended for playing tennis at all times. Bring at least one tennis racket and a water bottle to every practice session. Do not wear excessive jewelry. Keep your outfit simple and minimize the number of colors of your outfit. Tennis players usually dress in all white.

Topics which will be discussed during class, aside from the rules of the game, will also include the composition of a tennis racket (frame, handle and strings), how to apply new grip, what type of racket to get, how to string a racket (once we get a string machine), the handle of a racket and the bevels on the handle and the different types of grip. Advances players will learn how to adjust their grip for different strokes (example: topspin).

Once a player has indicated a desire to play competitively, practice sessions will be scheduled for one-on-one training in preparation for any upcoming tournaments which will open a new door for the player's tennis career. Players as young as 8 years old can play in tournaments where they use all the skills they had learned during practice. When they succeed and win a few games, they could end up going home with some awards (medals, trophies)!




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