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Category Archives: Lessons

Five kids, five tennis balls, three racquets, and sunshine still equals FUN!

Thank you! to the parents and guardians of John Paul, Anthony, Vanessa and the Genua siblings for bringing the kids out to Fulton Park, Waterbury for a fun day in the sun playing and learning tennis. We were able to have fun and progress their skills in hitting a tennis ball with the most limited of resources. Even with a hurricane bearing down on us, it was a beautiful day and we were able to run around the courts getting some exercise and a tan as an added bonus.

Thanks to Waterbury science teacher Jerry Genua for his expertise in keeping the kids interested and even retrieving wayward tennis balls. We started with only three balls and were able to scavenge a couple more around the outside of the courts (thank you to those past players who were not willing to look for them). This was enough for the kids to do some drills: learning racquet grip, hitting stance, hitting balls over the net not over the fence (this is not baseball guys) and moving to the ball for contact. After that we played “JAIL” and “1 on 1” tennis matches, all for about an hour and a half. Congratulations to the winners!

I am also very happy to see that we were not the only ones out on the beautiful Fulton Park courts. Two couples were out enjoying the day giving me the opportunity to remind the kids of tennis court etiquette; how important it is not to run or even walk on to another court when others are playing.

A fun and easy way to learn to play tennis, part one

US Open Tennis Tournament TV Schedule (http://www.tennis.com/articles/templates/ontv.aspx?articleid=787&zoneid=7)

The US Open is the fourth and last major of the tennis year and of course it is held in Flushing Meadows of New York City. Tickets sell out very fast but it is worth the trip down there to see tennis live from the greatest players from all around the world.

In contrast the former Pilot Pen up at Yale has always had trouble attracting spectators to the point that Pilot had to give it up this year and has become a ladies’ only tournament called New Haven Open. This is still a great place to go to see world class players and up and coming women playing the qualifying rounds and doubles. The number one tennis player in the world Caroline Wozniacki comes there every year, joined this year by three other top ten players, Li Na (5), Francesca Schiavone (8) and Marion Bartoli (9). The atmosphere is very cozy on the outside courts so you can get a close up look at each player’s style.

The purpose of this posting is to remind you that one of the best ways to learn to play is to watch the pros play and try to mimic what you see. Tennis is a sport where television allows you to see close up how each player swings the racket and of course with pause and slow mo you can study at your leisure. Two channels on Comcast carry 90% of tennis for our area.  The Tennis Channel shows the most tournaments throughout the year plus many great tennis programs including instructional features. On Comcast the channel is a part of their sports package requiring an additional charge. I believe it is a regular offering from DirecTV who also have some great additional feature like a channel for each of 12 courts at Flushing Meadows. The other channel is ESPN2 that will show a great deal of tennis from all major tournaments throughout the year.  Then the major networks (CBS, NBC) will have limited coverage of the majors usually on the weekends.

There will be plenty of tennis to watch in the next two weeks. So watch what the pro do and try to duplicate. The link to the TV schedule is  http://www.tennis.com/articles/templates/ontv.aspx?articleid=787&zoneid=7