I know it’s hard to believe, but summer is almost here. I would love to hear from y’all what you have planned for your junior player and your family. If you’re still trying to come up with ideas of how to spend the Dog Days of Summer, here are a few suggestions:
Camp: If you missed last year’s article on summer tennis camps, click here to check out some of them. Going to a college camp is what really turned my son onto his dream of pursuing tennis beyond just one half-hour lesson each week. These camps can be a great learning experience for any level of player. I urge you to take a look around to find one that fits your child’s needs. I can almost guarantee it will be money well spent!
Tournaments: Summer is a great time to explore tournaments outside of your geographic area, whether that means traveling to another section of the country or even traveling internationally. For players 13 and older, ITF events will give your child exposure to an international field of competitors. For high schoolers, the ITA Summer Circuit offers some wonderful competitive experiences. Also, be sure to check out the New Balance High School Tennis Championships being held on the Harvard University campus this July.
Match Play: One of my readers, SeminoleG, posted on another article that he and a few other families are joining forces this summer to take their kids all over Florida to play practice matches at various academies across the state. They are combining tennis with sight-seeing, too, making stops at Busch Gardens, Universal Studios, and the like to keep things fun. I love this idea! I’m a huge proponent of match play and don’t think kids and coaches do enough of it. Maybe you can convince your child’s coach to partner up with another area coach this summer to do Match Play Days, alternating sites, providing lunch, and, if available, maybe swimming later in the day? If your coach isn’t up for that, there’s nothing to stop you from arranging something similar. If you get 4 players together, they can do a singles round-robin then partner up for some doubles as well. There’s no reason match play has to only happen during tournaments!
Attending Pro Events: There are professional tennis events of various levels happening all over the country and all over the world. Many of them are very inexpensive to attend and can provide hours of entertainment. If your child has never seen a professional tennis match live, he/she is in for a big treat! There’s so much to learn by watching these amazing athletes compete. There may even be an opportunity for your child to be a ball kid – how fun is that?!?
Taking a Break: Summer break can also mean a break from tennis if that’s what your child and your family need. Your child may be mentally and physically burned out from the rigors of competing and training and performing in school. Respect that and give him/her some time to relax and just be a kid. You may be surprised at how much stronger and more dedicated your child is after that time away from the game.
Okay, what am I leaving out? Please comment and let me know what you’re up to this summer!