My son just spent the past 5 days in Athens, Georgia, at UGA’s tennis camp as he has done each of the last 7 years. It is typically the highlight of his summer. The boys stay in the dorms, order late-night takeout, and spend literally all day on the tennis courts hitting with each other and the UGA team members and coaches. What a life, right?
Some will argue that tennis camp is a waste of time for high-level players, that their time would be better spent in drills or playing practice sets or at actual tournaments. I respectfully disagree.
Here’s what my son has gotten out of seven years of tennis camp (so far):
- A realization that he really really really wants to play college tennis
- An understanding of what it takes to progress as a junior player
- The opportunity to talk to real-life college players and hear firsthand what’s involved in playing for your school
- Understanding the importance of tradition: we have our annual photos with the coach and assistant coach, our annual lunch at the same restaurant (The Varsity), our file of camp evaluations – you get the picture!
- Developing a relationship with a coach and his team which gives my son some go-to people as we navigate the college recruiting process
I’m sure there are many, many more benefits that my son could list, not counting improving his tennis playing skills over that 5-day period. But, that’s not the point. The point is that there’s so much more to this junior tennis stuff than just hitting fuzzy yellow balls across the net in order to win trophies and ranking points. And spending a few days away from home with other players who also love the sport is a great way to learn how tennis figures into the Big Picture.
So, if you’re looking for a camp for your child to attend this summer, it’s not too late. I just googled “tennis camp” and came up with over 50 pages of results. There are plenty of camps available, and I’m sure there are several that would be a great fit for your player.
If your child has attended a camp, I would love to hear about his/her experiences there. Please share them in the Comments box below.