Monday, September 14, 2015

Sequim: 2015 Summer Junior Tennis Accomplishments

Hi Everyone,
In order to promote the sport of tennis, and to provide tennis related activity throughout this past summer, the following tennis opportunities were available for our juniors and the community.  The following is a listing of the programs and assessments of their degrees of success: 
Youth Tennis Ladder Play:  Ladder play has already begun.  So far, there are 30 kids, organized in age groups, participating in the ladder.  There is the potential of many more joining in as they progress in private and group lessons, and as other youth tennis players learn of the program.  Sized-to-age courts, nets, and balls are being arranged for ten-and-under tennis (TAUT) players, as well.  The ladder will be displayed Saturday mornings at the group lessons and sent out weekly in email. 
[Limited success -- about 30 juniors participated;  but, not many challenged others.  Most ladder advances were due to lessons achievement rather than challenges.  Next year we need to offer incentives, or rewards, to get more playing.]
Sequim Youth Tennis Academy, 2015:  The three upper courts at SHS have been reserved from July 6 through July 10, 9 to noon, for the Academy.  Participants will be limited to 30 players.  Preference will be given to advanced and intermediate players who will be capable of participating in advanced drills and physical activity.  Volunteers will be accepted to assist in this event.  This program will consist of lectures, fitness training, stroke technique, drills, strategy training, and play.  We anticipate no fees -- unless, for snacks, water, and T-shirts.  We are looking for a possible sponsor to provide for snacks and water. 
[Very successful -- there were a total of 32 juniors participating, and 10 volunteers assisting.  There was no cost to the juniors.  Sponsors contributed funds to put on the event and others donated snacks and water.  Everyone felt that this event was hugely successful.]
Private Youth Tennis Lessons:  Private half-hour, no-cost lessons will continue throughout the summer, as per a Weekly Availability Schedule which will be emailed each week to interested youth.  At this time, there are approximately 45 kids taking private lessons.  Ladder players who participate in at least one lesson during a week will be moved up one rung of the ladder for that week.
[Very successful -- from 18 June until 30 August, I gave at least 244 tennis lessons to about 42 different juniors, from the ages of 6 to 18 years old.]  
Group Youth Tennis Lessons:  Saturday morning group lessons will continue to be available for our youth, at no cost.  Group lessons are divided into "beginners", "intermediate", and "advanced" groups.  Participants sign up as per Weekly Availability Schedule.  Again, ladder players will be able to move up one rung of the ladder for that week for group participation. 
[Moderately successful -- over the 8-week period, excluding 3 weekends, I gave 10 group lessons to about 30 juniors.]
Cardio-Tennis For All:  Thursday mornings, at 10am, will be set aside for Cardio-Tennis -- FOR ALL AGES.  Sign up as per Weekly Availability Schedule.  IT'S FUN TIME FOR EVERYONE.  Move to the music!  Tennis rackets and tennis shoes required.  From warm-ups to drills, we keep active for one full hour.  Tennis ability not required.  Swinging and missing is OK.  The racket is simply a prop.  FUN, FUN, FUN!!!
[Unsuccessful -- we just couldn't get it going this summer.  However, I attended a Cardio Tennis registration conference in Portland, OR, put on by the Tennis Industry Association (TIA), and qualified as a registered Cardio Tennis Authorized Provider.  I have already worked in some of the Cardio Tennis warm-ups, drills (called "games" in Cardio speak), and cool-downs.  So far, these lessons have gone very well with the older kids.  We will be making more Cardio Tennis available in the future to both juniors and adults.] 
Youth Tennis Tournaments:  Tournaments for those kids participating in the tennis ladder are anticipated.  Playing in 3 challenges in ladder play qualifies a player for tournament play.  Dates for the tournaments will be determined soon.   
[Successful -- There were a total of 18 juniors signed up for this round robin event.  They played a total of 49 matches over a 4 day period.  Eight volunteers assisted in putting on this event.  Through donations and sponsorships, we were able to provide for trophies and medals for all participants and volunteers.  This was the first junior's tournament put on in Sequim in recent times.] 
USTA Promotional:  At least one promotional, all invited, one day of "free tennis instruction for all ages" event to promote the sport of tennis and the USTA.  Planning is underway, and the date is to be determined.
[Not held -- but not too late.]
Away Playdays:  We'll try again this year to field a group to play at various area tennis clubs. 
[Unsuccessful -- we tried to put together a junior tennis exchange with the Kitsap Tennis and Athletic Club (KTAC), but we just couldn't get enough participants from this area to make it work.  I am still working with the director at KTAC to see if we can get something arranged for the Fall] 
USTA Tournament Play:  Six of our kids played in USTA sanctioned junior tournaments.  Congratulations to Emma Shogren, Stephanie LaCour, Kalli Wiker, Blake Wiker, Damon Little, and Garrett Little.  It was a great start for those wanting to compete on the next level. 
That's about it for this past summer.  We've learned some lessons this year, and we should be better prepared for next year.  Any comments, suggestions, solutions, etc.? 
Thanks for all you do.

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