Sumner Tennis Club took break from groundstrokes on Saturday with an introduction to volleys. For some students, this lesson was truly their first instruction in hitting the ball without a bounce, while other, more experienced participants had already mastered the proper volley form. With sunshine and temperatures in the high 80s, Sumner's fifth class of the season was pleasant and productive.

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As usual, class was segmented into various tennis stations, all of which reinforced volley fundamentals. The Targets area helped our students to practice their aim and precision. A Volley Fundamentals station explored the nitty-gritty details of the volley, including proper grip, body positioning and footwork. Tennis Volleyball, the next station, was literally a big hit; the students definitely enjoyed the competition and teamwork of a game that mimics volleyball with tennis racquets. Next up, Volley-Volley Rally required two players' cooperation to volley back and forth without letting the ball hit the ground. Lastly, a fitness station served to teach the fast and agile footwork required in playing the net.

The off-court discussion topic was Family and Personal Values. Participants received a worksheet that listed commonly embraced values--including Getting Good Grades, Being Accepted by My Friends, Getting Along with Parents & Family, Being Good at Sports, Being Artistic and Creative, and Treating My Body with Respect--to facilitate the conversation. The students were encouraged to tell us which individuals in their lives are most influential, to illustrate how we come to adopt values from those around us. Special emphasis was placed on the fact that we often acquire values from persons other than family members, including friends, teachers and coaches. Additionally, the kids were called upon to share which values are most important to them personally, and to explain what they'd like to work on improving this summer.