With about 30 students and 10 volunteers, Marcy Tennis Club was swarming as usual on Saturday, June 6. The lesson theme was Racquet and Ball Control, which we taught through exercises to strengthen dexterity and to facilitate comfort with tennis equipment.
Five groups of students moved about four unique Racquet and Ball Control stations and a fifth station that was used for the off-court discussion. Each student group was accompanied by one volunteer who followed them through the rotation. Meanwhile, one to two volunteers remained fixed at each station. This format provided students with constant attention from a single individual throughout the class along with detailed instruction and feedback at each station.
On one small court, the students practiced "Bump-Up and Tap-Downs" to master controlling small ball movements with their racquets.
On another small court, the name of the game was "Partner Bump-Ups," in which a pair of teammates stood about 10 feet apart and passed a ball back and forth using their racquets. The objective was to let the ball bounce on the rubber dot placed on the ground halfway between theme.
A third small court was used for a racquet-free, ball-free activity: footwork! Though nothing to do with tennis equipment, footwork exercises a ladder are great for improving agility.
Lastly, the big court was designated for Split Steps, and was far and away the students' favorite station. Here, the students practiced preparing for their groundstrokes with the proper movement--a split step--and enjoyed the excitement of attempting full-depth shots on a real tennis court.
In the shade, Marcy's Site Coordinator, Gary, conducted the off-court discussion on Healthy Lifestyles. The students reviewed the components of the Food Pyramid and shared their opinions regarding a list of health advice from tennis professionals.
We concluded with a mega game of breakout--and split steps were mandatory! So if players didn't start their groundstroke with a split step, they were automatically out! With so many participants, we only had time for one round. We look forward to resuming next week with our first lesson on forehands. Go Marcy!