Making Tennis Fun!
There are many challenges involved in junior tennis. Among the most common are (1) getting kids to choose tennis over other sports; and (2) keeping them interested in tennis, especially once they hit their teens. One tennis facility in the Southern California section came up with a great solution to both!
At the end of June, the Palisades Tennis Center had a camp for top players across the country. About 40 kids convened in the Pacific Palisades area of Los Angeles where they trained all day then went to the movies and the beach and basically hung out together at night.
On two of the camp days, PTC brought out a film crew with one of the fastest production cameras in the world and shot the kids moving and hitting forehands. To film at this high frame rate is a very challenging task: it’s not easy to move the camera around, and you can only record for 8 seconds at a time before the camera has to process the footage for several minutes. But, the film crew created some of the best super slo mo footage of top kids performing at a really high level. Actually some of the best tennis slo mo period that I have ever seen (not that I’m all that experienced in this area, but still . . .).
Mike Thoeresz, general manager of the PTC, says, “I believe that junior tennis is pushing the envelope more than any other sport right now. Our kids start earlier. They compete earlier. They have too much coaching when not in competition and then no coaching when in competition. But mostly because they have to do it all. They are the point guard, the forward and the center. They are the quarterback, the fullback, the wide receiver, the linebacker, the punter…tennis players have to do it all. They can hit 1000s of balls and run many miles in a match. So tennis players end up pushing the level of sport more and take it to higher places. When you watch some of these videos, you’ll can see the amazing skills that these kids have.”
Some of the kids at the PTC camp:
Claire Liu – won the Orange Bowl and National Clay Courts – highest ranking: #1 in nation singles
Keenan Mayo – won the Winter Nats – highest ranking: #1 in nation singles
Roscoe Bellamy – won the Hard Courts – highest ranking: #1 in nation singles & doubles
Aiden Mayo – won the Little Mo – highest ranking: #1 in nation singles
Ilana Oleynik – won the ITF Level 1 in Carson doubles
Caroline Vincent – won the Copper Bowl singles and doubles
Max Mendelsohn – won the Nationals in Dallas
Katie LaFrance – won the Nationals in Oklahoma City
Click here to take a look at PTC’s super slo mo videos. Of course, not every facility has access to this type of equipment, but is your child’s coach or facility doing something similar to keep the kids interested and having fun? If so, please share in the Comments below!