WEEK 14 RECAP FROM SUMNER

WEEK 14 RECAP FROM SUMNER

In the first hour, we practiced hitting half court with a partner while focusing on consistency and technique. We followed our warm-up with agility races using cones and different footwork patterns (side-shuffle, forward running). We tossed and returned balls while side-shuffling to work on movement and precisions. We played “balance the racquet” in pairs to work on hand-eye coordination. After working on reflexes and agility, we hit quick-volleys in pairs and practiced overheads.

During the second hour, our group practiced serves and focused primarily on tossing technique. We also practiced serving under pressure and using targets. This led to us playing doubles and singles while keeping traditional score.

The educational portion of our class was a conversation and reflection on the on-court demo at the US Open, which our players said was an amazing experience and they felt grateful for being able to participate. 

WEEK 13 RECAP FROM MARCY

WEEK 13 RECAP FROM MARCY

This past weekend, students at Marcy focused on getting ready to play some matches. The session started with our site leader leading the warm-up and stretching session. We then separated students into different groups based on their level. Our youngest and most beginner players drilled on basic forehand and backhand form. After hitting both backhands and forehands, they practiced their volleys and serve. Our intermediate and advanced students focused mainly on their ground strokes. While playing points, we took time to practice our serving techniques and strategy. As we played, students called the game and kept track of their points.

We started our off-court session with Acrostic Poems and a Hot Seat Interview. Students worked on poems while two of our volunteers assisted the students with the interview. Once finished with the off-court portion, students and volunteers got on the court to play a game of breakout. As usual, we ended class huddled with our hands in a circle cheering, “ Marcy Tennis!”

WEEK 12 RECAP FROM LAFAYETTE GARDENS

WEEK 12 RECAP FROM LAFAYETTE GARDENS

This week, Lafayette Gardens welcomed two talented players from Sumner to join our session for the week. Before class began, early birds took to the nets and walls to practice their hitting. The session officially started with one of our volunteers leading the stretches and running drills while the other volunteers encouraged students to finish strong. 

Students were then separated into groups by age and skill level. Each volunteer used the hour on the court to review technique, practice serving (advanced students), hit basic forehands and backhands (beginner students), as well as participate in fitness drills.

The off-court lesson began with our students learning more about one of our Volunteers, Yves-Marie, and his place of birth, Haiti. Afterwards, students worked on poems describing what tennis means to them.

The session ended with an all-class game and of course, a cheer to LG. 

WEEK EIGHT RECAP FROM LAFAYETTE GARDENS

WEEK EIGHT RECAP FROM LAFAYETTE GARDENS

This past weekend at Lafayette Gardens students focused on preparing for the upcoming KCTL Davis Cup Tournament.

Our youngest and most beginner players drilled on basic forehand and backhand form. After hitting both backhands and forehands, they played a few ball and racquet related games.

Our intermediate and advanced students focused on doubles play and strategy. While playing we took time to practice our serving techniques. As we played, students called the game and kept track of their points. 

We began our off-court session by celebrating a teammate’s birthday with cupcakes. As we ate, students shared the information they had prepared about Argentina, the country we’ll be representing at the Davis Cup. One of our volunteers then explained how doubles is traditionally played. 

Once finished with the off-court portion, students and volunteers got on the court to play a game of breakout. As usual, we ended class huddled with one hand in a circle cheering, “LG!”

Update from Kings County Tennis League - July 2018

KCTL to Host Annual Fundraiser Thursday, September 13

Once again, we're holding our Annual Fundraiser on Thursday, September 13 at M1-5 Lounge in Lower Manhattan. If you purchase your tickets before August 17, they will be $55 a piece. After the 17th, they will increase to $65.

Click here to purchase tickets

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Annual Davis Cup Tournament to take place this Saturday, July 28

On Saturday, July 28, KCTL is hosting the annual Davis Cup Tennis Tournament! This will be a team-based, doubles tournament featuring all five KCTL sites: Marcy, Lafayette Gardens, Tompkins, Sumner, and Jackie Robinson.

WHAT: A team-based, doubles tournament featuring all five KCTL sites

WHERE: Marcy Playground (753 Myrtle Ave, Brooklyn)

WHEN: Saturday, July 28 from 10:00 AM - 1:00 PM

Following the event, KCTL is hosting a happy hour for volunteers to celebrate the conclusion of the tournament! Come to Brooklyn Tap House after the tournament to meet and socialize with your fellow volunteers!

If you are a volunteer, you can register for the social by clicking here.

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KCTL Has New Tee Shirts

KCTL has a new tee shirt design! See our store to grab one!

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KCTL Forms its First Family Committee

KCTL is excited to announce the formation of our first Family Committee! This committee meets monthly to plan engaging activities, help attract more volunteers from the community, and much, much more!

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GoGirlGo! is looking for Volunteers and Students

Throughout the summer, we will be enriching our female students with an all girls tennis and education class that will enable many girls to participate in tennis and life-skills lessons. Our goal is to increase female participation throughout our programming by engaging and empowering our female students. 

Our Pee Wee Tennis Program is looking for Volunteers

Our new Pee Wee Tennis Program is off to an excellent start! Formed through a partnership with Brooklyn Kindergarten Society, this new program offers four-year old BKS students at Sumner and Tompkins tennis classes midweek. The program lasts until November 1, 2018. If you are available to volunteer, please click the button below.

WEEK SEVEN RECAP FROM MARCY

WEEK SEVEN RECAP FROM MARCY

Saturday, July 14, was great day at Marcy. The weather was perfect and the kids were excited to work on their game after last week's tournament at Highland Park!

Now that the Highland Park tournament was complete, the students started working towards the annual KCTL tournament, Davis Cup, on July 28. Amped for more tournament play, everyone was busy practicing competitive points and trying to build their all-around game. The younger students who use the red and orange balls played on the pop-up nets by the wall, utilizing games such as King of the court and breakout. The older kids were on the main court and worked both on their rallies and competitive points. Additionally, they played doubles points against each other and worked on basic doubles strategies such as covering your partner and attacking the net. 

After our tennis session was over, Gary, our education coordinator, led a lengthy discussion and helped us come to an agreement on our biggest debate to date, our Davis Cup Country. The Pick? Australia! 

 

WEEK FIVE RECAP FROM TOMPKINS

WEEK FIVE RECAP FROM TOMPKINS

For class this week, the students focused on getting ready for competition, specifically the Highland Park tournament coming up on July 7. The students were broken up by skill level: beginner, intermediate, and advanced. For the first couple of weeks, the younger students were getting used to holding the racquet and performing simple drills focusing on hand-eye coordination. For the fifth week class, the students started to hit and develop their swing. The intermediate students were focusing on bounce serves and forehand and backhand form, while the advanced kids focused purely on serves and returns.

During the off-court portion, the advanced students volunteered to demonstrate a mock tennis match from start to finish. The advanced students showed how to start a match and end a match with good etiquette. The other students watched and discussed what they learned and how they would apply it to the competition at Highland Park next week.

WEEK FOUR RECAP FROM JACKIE ROBINSON

WEEK FOUR RECAP FROM JACKIE ROBINSON

 

This week there was a tennis extravaganza like no other at Jackie Robinson Park. All of our tennis champions hit the courts and brought their family and friends along for Family Day! Everyone looks forward to Family Day each and every year for many reasons. One reason being that our students are so excited to share their love of tennis with friends and family. Another reason we love Family Day is that it gives King’s County Tennis League another great opportunity to strengthen the bond that we have with the families that makes our program so wonderful.

We rocked out with tons of fun games and activities, including a ball rolling race, a forehand volley challenge, and a fan favorite, “Breakout.” With students and parents alike, swinging low to high over their shoulder and running towards the net to hit a volley towards their team’s target, it was a fun-filled, action packed session. During the off-court portion of the class, the students were given the task of finding the measurements of the court and worked in team’s to get the job done. The Jackie Robinson Park tennis courts were filled with fun and learning on Saturday, just the way we like it.

WEEK THREE RECAP FROM SUMNER

WEEK THREE RECAP FROM SUMNER

This past Saturday, we had a full court of volunteers and three students: Jonathan (last 30 mins), Katelynn and Janelly. We warmed up with relay races and stretching followed by skills development. We focused on ball direction and hitting target areas of the court. We had volunteers stand in four corners of the court with each representing the letters B-A-L-L. If a player hits a ball near the volunteers, they get the letter. The object of the game is to spell BALL first. We did this with the carousel drill with forehands and backhands.

After the warm-up, the core skill we worked on was volleys. We played quick-volleys with three people on each side while rotating every three to four points. Volunteers and students played together and everyone had a lot of fun.

Then we drew two square boxes with chalk on the court and played rolling dodge ball. A student in the middle jumps over a ball that pairs across from each other roll. If the ball touches any part of the foot or ankle, the student is out and the person who rolled the ball goes into the middle to be the jumper. We all took turns playing and it was a good way to practice coordination and agility.

After practicing volleys and doing rolling dodge ball, we played champion of the court in pairs with students serving to start the point.

The session wrapped up with a group interview of Anna and Sahil. They asked insightful questions. Then students participated in a get to know each other exercise and completed Venn diagrams.

WEEK TWO RECAP FROM MARCY

WEEK TWO RECAP FROM MARCY

Saturday, June 9th was a beautiful day for tennis. The students started their session with a quick warm-up which included high knees, butt kicks, lunges and sprints, which eased them into an exciting morning of drilling and games. 

The session was split into different age groups: the older kids at the full-sized court and the younger kids at the pop-up nets by the wall. 

Team Marcy worked on their forehands, backhands, serves and volleys, with games in each station. The groups rotated throughout the stations and played a different game at each. One game they played was called “Bonzai,” where two teams hit volleys and raced to get to 10 points (a point per volley). When either team hit a target, they yelled out “Bonzai” and their opponent’s score would reset to zero. The kids loved the game and so did our volunteers!

After the tennis portion was over, Gary, our Educational Coordinator, led a session where the kids got into groups of two and wrote down their similarities and interests in a venn diagram. 

Overall, it was a fantastic session and everyone had a blast!

Update from Kings County Tennis League - May 2018

Wrapping up the 2018 Winter Program

On Sunday, March 25, KCTL wrapped up our Indoor Winter Tennis Program! Based in Pratt Institute's Activities Resource Center (ARC) Building, this year's program was a huge success. Pratt's indoor tennis courts are located just outside of Bed-Stuy in Clinton Hill, a short distance from the five housing developments we serve. Winter lessons prioritized high-intensity tennis with an emphasis on form, placement, and consistency. 

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KCTL Hosts its Inaugural Team Challenge

On Tuesday, April 24, KCTL hosted a round-robin doubles tennis tournament at McCarren Park Tennis Center to benefit towards Kings County Tennis League's 2018 goals. These goals include the renovation of our Lafayette Gardens site, the enrichment of our tennis and life-skills program which will offer even more students the chance to benefit from extra sessions and the introduction of the new ACE Program focusing on the social and emotional development of our students.


KCTL’s Junior Board is Hosting a Fundraiser to Help Renovate Lafayette Gardens

On Friday, May 4, KCTL’s Junior Board is hosting their first fundraising event of the 2018 season. Spend Friday night at TBA in Brooklyn for a good cause—renovating the courts in Lafayette Gardens, a housing development in Bed-Stuy. First two drinks are on us!

Our goal is to renovate the Lafayette Gardens site to create a unique training facility for our students and the local community. The project will mean that all five KCTL sites have a physical tennis court and a permanent space for our students to hone their skills. We will build between three and five tennis courts of varying sizes to ensure all students can learn tennis at the same site, regardless of age and ability.

Where: TBA Brooklyn (395 Wythe Avenue, Brooklyn)

When: 8:00pm - 11:00pm Friday, May 4

Tickets are $55 and are available below and at the door.


 

Starting up our new Pee Wee Program

KCTL is excited to announce that we are expanding our current programming with the addition of our new Pee Wee Tennis Program! Formed through a partnership with Brooklyn Kindergarten Society, this new program will offer four-year old BKS students at Sumner and Tompkins tennis classes midweek.

These 45 minute classes will take place on Tuesdays and Thursdays between 10:00AM - 12:00PM from now to November 1, 2018.


We're heading back to Lafayette Gardens, Marcy, Tompkins, Sumner, and Jackie Robinson

Season Opener: June 2 at all five KCTL sites. Can't wait to see you there!

Student Enrollment: Reserve a space for your child; register here

Volunteer Registration: Are you around to inspire kids through tennis this summer? Let us know.

To prep for our summer season, KCTL is once again hosting our annual Play Days at three of our sites.

  • Play Day #1: 10:00AM - 12:00PM Saturday, May 5 at Jackie Robinson

  • Play Day #2: 10:00AM - 12:00PM Saturday, May 12 at Lafayette Gardens

  • Play Day #3: 10:00AM - 12:00PM Saturday, May 19 at Sumner

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GoGirlGo!

Starting June 2, we we will be enriching our female students with an all girls tennis and education class that will enable many girls to participate in tennis and life-skills lessons. Our goal is to increase female participation throughout our programming by engaging and empowering our female students. 

Register to Volunteer

Register a Student

Upswing Program

This summer, we are developing our Upwing Program so that it will run at multiple sites during the week and on Saturday afternoons. The Upswing Program will enable many students to benefit from tennis and fitness sessions to improve technique, introduce strategy and matchplay scenarios and further their commitment to the sport. Through the Upswing Program we intend to have our first students compete in USTA sanctioned tournaments by the end of the year.

KCTL Sees Two New Staff Updates for 2018

KCTL is pleased to announce two changes in staff for 2018: Dave Webley, previously Program Manager, has been appointed our first-ever Executive Director. Taking Dave’s place is 2017 Marcy Site Leader Rob Gerstman.

The commitment to KCTL that Dave and Rob demonstrate will be valuable to the organization as we continue to learn and grow in the community. In 2018 alone, we aim to install youth tennis courts at the Lafayette Gardens site, introduce our new Pee Wee Program through partnership with Brooklyn Kindergarten Society, and increase more educational opportunities. 

See what both Dave and Rob have to say about their new roles:

                                          Dave Webley, Executive Director

                                        Dave Webley, Executive Director

"I am thrilled and honored to lead KCTL into its next phase of growth. I’m looking forward to working with everyone to continue delivering our mission by providing structured and meaningful tennis and life skills lessons for our KCTL students. By further developing the KCTL pathway, we will work to ensure that every one of our students has access to regular physical exercise and is given the opportunity to follow their dreams.” - Dave Webley


                                                                    Rob Gerstman, Program Manager

                                                                   Rob Gerstman, Program Manager

"It was my pleasure and privilege to be the Site Leader at Marcy last summer. I gained a lot of valuable experience and learned so much from the students, staff, volunteers, and families. Lots of fond memories were made teaching in the inaugural season of the Upswing and Go Girls Go! programs and these were just the beginning of a long journey together. Thanks for the opportunity to be your Program Manager. I look forward to sharing in the growth of the KCTL community.” - Rob Gerstman

KCTL Receives 2017 Member Organization of the Year Award from USTA Eastern

KCTL Receives 2017 Member Organization of the Year Award from USTA Eastern

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On Saturday, January 27, Kings County Tennis League was awarded the prestigious 2017 Member Organization of the Year Award by USTA Eastern at their annual awards dinner. KCTL was recognized for “its innovative use of tennis as an instrument for youth development and community building in underserved neighborhoods in Brooklyn.”

While honoring KCTL for this award, USTA Eastern referenced many of the historic feats our organization accomplished in 2017, including but not limited to completing our restoration project of the Sumner Houses Court, creating two youth-sized tennis courts at the Tompkins Houses Courtyard, and finishing our first full year of tennis programming, which includes fall, winter, and summer seasons. This was all completed while continuing to effectively serve the over 150 students in Bedford Stuyvesant that participate in our programming.

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“As a supporter of many tennis and learning programs, the KCTL story is one of our section’s favorites,” said Jenny Schnitzer, executive director and chief operations officer of USTA Eastern. “We are beyond proud of what Michael McCasland started and the continued work of KCTL’s staff and volunteers in making tennis more accessible to children who may not otherwise had an opportunity to play our sport.”

Receiving this award from USTA Eastern serves as a great boost to KCTL as we head full bore into our Indoor Winter Tennis Program which starts this Saturday, February 3, at Pratt Institute. We look forward to seeing everyone on the courts soon, and to continue to build upon all we accomplished in 2017!

Preview of KCTL's 2018 Winter Tennis Program

Preview of KCTL's 2018 Winter Tennis Program

Serving as a well-timed reprieve from this intense winter weather, we are excited to say that Kings County Tennis League (KCTL) will be back on the courts in less than a month!

On Saturday, February 3, KCTL will kick off this year’s Indoor Winter Tennis Program at Pratt Institute. 2018 will be our second year of year-round programming and everyone is looking forward to returning to tennis with our students!

Registration for the eight-week session reached capacity after just seven days which really goes to show how excited our students are to expand upon the skills they have learned in the summer and fall. Building on this base, this year’s Winter Program will continue to teach the fundamentals of tennis, facilitate strategy development on the court, and introduce specialty shots such as drop shots and lobs.

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“The eight-week Winter Program will focus on reinforcing correct grips and technique along with developing hand-eye coordination for the younger students and improving fitness and movement for the older students,” said Dave Webley, elaborating on Winter lesson plans. “A specially designed fitness program will be implemented as one of the stations so the students can look forward to a great Saturday morning workout along with plenty of tennis action!”

Much like last year’s Winter Program, KCTL will once again host a running series of field trips for its students in addition to time spent on the courts. One trip already scheduled is an outing to the tennis expo day at the New York Open on February 10, which is guaranteed to be an action packed day of tennis for all ages.

Alongside a large group of faithful volunteers and our Program Manager, Dave Webley, this year’s Winter Program’s staff will also include Kim Diehl and Shonda Bacchus, who work together at the Sumner site during the Summer Program.

We look forward to seeing you all in February!

KCTL's 2017 Fall Classic Photo Gallery

Saturday, November 4, ended up being a beautiful day for KCTL to hold our 2nd Annual Fall Classic Tennis Tournament. Kids from around the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood and beyond gathered at Marcy Playground for an afternoon of friendly competition in what proved to be an appropriate finale to this year's Fall After-School Tennis Program.

Below is a photo slideshow of the day courtesy of Ephraim Kirkwood.