The boys thrive in sports and we participate in our share of team sports throughout the year. Around Mandeville it seems like the majority of organized sports take a short summer hiatus and come back in the fall. I continually look for something new and exciting for the boys to participate in during the months of June and July. Junior Tennis just seemed like the way to go.
This year we decided to enroll them into the Junior Tennis program at Pelican Athletic Club. Having played tennis in high school I was excited about getting them into a sport we could potentially play as a family. The Junior Tennis program starts as young as 4 and there were several weekly options for us to choose from. We stuck with one day a week to get them started and see how they liked the sport.
The first thing I will tell you is that they take this program for the kids as seriously as they do the adult programs. From the first lesson the instructors were working with each child to develop correct form. They also were teaching them the proper tennis terminology. Each lesson they separated the class into smaller groups and would work on one skill per station. This meant that my kids were learning forehand, backhand and serving principles at each lesson. We love this way of teaching for our boys. We do not put them in sports unless they are learning fundamentals and how to play the game correctly.
At each weekly lesson we had two tennis pro’s available to the kids. Their coaches also included a college tennis player and a high school student. The children spent at least 15 minutes with each coach while training in their stations. An additional portion of the program taught appropriate tennis etiquette. They showed the children how to clean up the court after they practiced by retrieving balls. They also stressed the importance of staying somewhat quiet so they didn’t bother the other players while still allowing them to have a good time.
Both Peyton and Paxton picked up on the swings quickly and started practicing in our backyard at home too. Their skills improved over the summer. They are now able to return the ball and control where they are hitting as well as the power of their swing. We aren’t exactly signing up for Wimbledon. But I can see they retained a lot of the basics.
For the fall they both asked to play soccer again but I can see us back on the tennis courts in the spring and summer.
One more thing. Mrs. Barbara who manages the tennis programs at PAC is wonderful. She is very thorough with making sure your child is using the appropriate sized racket. They have rackets that the kids can use for their weekly lesson but if you are interested in purchasing one they will fit and measure your child for the right size.
Like many things we have done I am glad that we decided to try tennis. My initial thoughts were that they were not going to learn that much or would not enjoy it. I was wrong. The lessons were fun for the kids and have me ready to pick up my racket again. I am waiting for the temp to drop, just a little, and then I am signing up for my own lessons.
I have the perfect tennis dress…