Tennis Campers Get Swinging into the Summer Program

By Chris Paul

The Londonderry Tennis Camp had its two-week program take place at the LAFA Complex last week into this week with a few dozen participating in the program.
This was the second year of the United States Tennis Association (USTA) Net Generation platform aimed at introducing, teaching and developing youngsters the game of tennis.


The program, run by the Roberta Davis, the coach of the Londonderry High School Boys’ Varsity Tennis team, is a comprehensive program, covering beginners through the advanced player, and competency-based, spelling out the skills and knowledge each player needs before moving on to the next ball (orange, green, yellow) and court size. Each player starts in a modified court with a red ball where they develop building blocks for serve, rally and score and advance through developing tactics, techniques, and movement. If a player is 10 or older or has advanced through the skills in red ball, they move to a larger court size and smaller orange ball. The curriculum, developed by tennis professionals, is a proven technique that makes learning fun and allows players at every level to feel success.

Davis revived the summer program last year with the help of Betty Mak, the LHS girls’ head coach, and her husband who have branched off this year to offer a more advanced tennis camp and some private lessons.
Over the last few years, Davis has been trying to get the younger generation more interested in the sport of tennis, with the ultimate result being more students signing up for tennis when they got to the high school level.
Hoping to create a natural feeder system into the high school program through the camp, Davis has also approached the principal at Londonderry Middle School. “I’ve been working with the Middle School Principal, William Van Bennekum, to restart the Tennis Club that has been defunct for many years. Having an option to play tennis at the middle school gives every kid the chance to try out the sport and consider participating on the team at the Division I high school level and introduces them to a healthy activity and lifestyle choice that they can play at any age,” Davis said.
The summer camp has incorporated high school tennis players to work with children this year. The older students mentor the younger kids, and according to Davis, “It’s been a win-win, the younger kids love learning from high school players and the varsity players get leadership/teaching skills, which continues to reinforce their own tennis skills and helps them pass the torch to the next generation of players.”
The high school girls and boys team have also taken responsibility to clean up the courts prior to the season and maintain some of the upkeep as they go along.
There will also be a Fall Tennis Camp offered this year, starting Wednesday, Sept. 8, from 4:30-6 p.m. and running for five consecutive Wednesday evenings.
For more information or to register your child, contact londonderrytenniscamp@gmail.com.

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