It’s been a long time since tennis matches have been played. Obviously lockdown since March meant tennis was off for a long time, although lessons and some local matches have started back. But even before March, matches were in short supply after N refused to play any tournaments after a bad experience. The friendly matchplays he liked were also a bit quiet. But the first fun tennis tournament has been played to get them into the swing of things.
Our tennis lessons are a bit strange because they’re not actually run at the club we belong to. The coaching is usually held at a local private school because they’ve got outdoor courts, and the younger ones (or if it’s really wet ours) can play in the sports hall in winter. Summer camps are sometimes held at the tennis club, and N’s private lessons before lockdown had been held at the club courts too.
But the last 2 years the tennis club has really been trying to focus on building up the junior members and offering them official playing time. It’s been great for N because it’s meant another tennis session each week, and sometimes coaching when we can make it.
It’s hard to organise because the junior time is a Sunday morning for an hour. In that time they have 5 year olds who’ve hardly touched a racket, but then tweens and teens who range from nearly beginners to those who’ve had quite a lot of training. But they’ve managed and N’s enjoyed everytime he’s been there over the summer months.
Not only has he had lots of hitting practice, plus a bit of coaching, he’s also met other children, older and younger who obviously enjoy playing too. All of it’s been free, with Sunday sessions open to any child, and Tuesdays coaching for club members only. There’s not many clubs that would provide that.
At the end of the season, the club put on a friendly junior tournament. One for the younger ages who would be mini red age, and the rest in another competition. To make it more fun it was parent and child.
Apart from my terrible serving, I would have quite liked to have played, but N had decided he would prefer to partner his uncle, who is much more consistent. But in the end, it was decided that N and the older boy would be a doubles pair as they were the strongest 2 players who’ve been attending.
N was really pleased about this, and the boys seemed to get on well, chatting away about where they’ve played and been coached before.
I got to watch all the games and chat to various parents. To meet those whose children would be playing in the new teams we’ve set up.
Luckily it was a really gorgeous day. Not too hot, but still warm and sunny enough.
Everyone had fun, although it did take us a while to work out that they were taking the fun element literally, with double bounces allowed, and the reds playing on double width courts for some reason. We couldn’t work out how N and his partner had such a high score in their first match, then realised afterwards about double bounces. Weird to do that with the older children. Even more strange this was some of the children’s first chance to learn how to play a match ahead of them playing in the team.
Having so much tennis over the summer has really made the holidays less boring and less monotonous. We’ve had people to talk to, meet new friends, and get outside.
N and his partner didn’t win the tournament. Due to time they only got to play 2 other pairs rather than the 4 taking part. So they won one and lost one (by 1 sudden death point).
It looks like we can’t get private lessons at the moment in the diary, so hopefully there’ll be some continuation at the club while the weather is still playable. It’s been a good summer of tennis, now to team tennis, and back to county training, and see how it goes there.
Have your children been back at their sports yet?