I love tennis! I’ve played for years, since I was a teen and my girlfriends and I would spend our Saturday mornings playing at local tennis courts for hours. I really wanted my sons to try it out as well, because tennis is one of those sports that is both active and social, a wonderful way to spend summer days outdoors enjoying the fresh air and sun with friends, and maybe even enjoying a little friendly competition! This summer we began tennis lessons, and I was thrilled to discover that the boys love tennis too, and now we have an outdoor activity we can play together at our local park any time we’d like.
I’ve never liked watching tennis played- it’s not a spectator sport for me- but it’s definitely one of my favorite sports to play. I searched for tennis lessons for kids locally and found a great tennis league that teaches children throughout the year, and we started at the end of the school year on Saturdays at the tennis location closest to their grandparents. Lessons were three hours long- the first hour all the kids learn and play, the second hour the 5-8 age group is let go so the 9+ kids can continue, and finally 9 and 10 year olds are dismissed so the final hour can focus on 11+.
The boys were split into groups by their age, and each worked with volunteers who spent time with each child to introduce him to tennis basics, and to practice what he was learning. This was literally the first time the boys ever held tennis racquets, and by the end of their sessions, they were having a ball and looking forward to more tennis lessons. The lessons started with warm-ups, then moved on to drills, stance, and balance, and ended with practice hitting the ball (including back hand). My older son is a south paw, and as a lefty he sometimes needs different instructions. The wonderful tennis coaches obliged and worked with him a little more for this reason.
My younger son wasn’t thrilled at first to be separated from his older brother, but he loves to make new friends and is very social, so he got along great in his own age group of mini-tennis players very quickly.
After all the lessons were over, the head coach took the older children to the handball courts to explain to them how they can practice on their own if they don’t have someone to play with at times. It was incredibly well-rounded for a first lesson, and the second lesson was just as terrific (and the class size smaller because so many of the other students were in a tennis competition that day). Unfortunately, we joined the spring sessions when there were only two lessons left, so quickly signed up for their summer sessions at another location, but with the same New York Junior Tennis & Learning league, and today went for the first lesson there. It’s a bit further away, with a different coach, different tennis instructors, and different kids, but still fun. They organize it differently, and focus only on the youngest kids for 45 minutes, then the 9+ group has a lesson for 1 and 1/2 hours (no concurrent lessons with this location and group), so we now know that their many locations at various public schools around New York City have different set-ups. If you are looking into joining them with your kids (age 5-18 can participate), this is good to know.
When the lesson was over, the boys played each other ♥︎