Wow, it’s felt like ages since tennis has been on. But step one of lockdown restriction easing was outdoor activities and sport, being able to meet up with 6 others, and organised sport, so it’s all a go with the return of tennis again.
For N it’s gone from 0 to 100%. Our tennis coaches have been organised early, with the first few weeks acting as catch ups for the previously cancelled sessions at last lockdown. So 3 weeks of 2 hour group sessions as catch up.
Then the new term starts after Easter holidays. They’ve managed to sort out the timings so the greens are training alone rather than in with orange level. That’s much better as it’s a much smaller group (only 6) and they’ll be able to train with green balls and on the proper sized court. Unfortunately 2 of my green team aren’t moving up – which I’m not best pleased about, especially as really there’s no difference in ability between the 4 who needed to move up age wise. But it does mean a nice small training group. The downside is the training is much later, and only 1 ¼ hours. Hopefully the smaller group means they’ll still be able to progress.
We’ve also booked N back in to Sunday club training which is for all ages. At the moment it’s catch up sessions again, so I’m not sure what ages or how many will attend once the term officially starts. We just treat that session as extra hitting practice, as there’s a mix of abilities attending.
N will start his private lessons back after Easter. That means he’ll be able to focus on the areas that really need work, and help get the focus on him. He also gets to play against his coach, so being challenged more.
Because all the children are moving up age groups for matches, and launching straight into matches having had very little time if any to prepare for new rules, the coach and club have organised team matchplay sessions. Just the 2 before matches start, but that’s 4 hours of training specific to matchplay.
They had the first session last week. Only 4 could make it for their age this time – there’s 5 in our squad. It meant they each got to play a single match and doubles so it worked out well. They practiced forehand and backhand drills. Then serving, which is a big change – full sized courts now means that’s a lot more effort getting the ball to and over the net. Getting used to the new green balls as well. It was a very focused session and just shows that really the children who are serious about playing and improving, need that specific time, rather than normal group sessions which are a bit more of a social occasion as well as the tennis.
The first week of tennis back, N had 5 hours 20 minutes of tennis, but he was thriving. He loved it, and in future weeks he’ll be playing 3 times a week, sometimes 4 if there’s a match on Saturdays.
Now I just need to get a response from the team opponents we’re due to play. So far, I’ve contacted 4 to either let them know times for our home matches, or to ask for confirmation for matches we’re playing away. I’ve only had one response and that was for the last match, from the league organiser. Given we’re due our first match away in 3 weekends, we need to get a response.
For me, I’m loving tennis being back. It means I have my ‘social’ life back. I get the chance to talk to adults who aren’t work colleagues. There’s lots of fresh air. I get to watch how they’re getting on. It’s something to break the monotony of being at home.
Fingers crossed tennis will be able to continue and we’ll not have any more lockdowns.
Have your children started back at their activities yet?