Tompkins Tennis Club had a mini field trip this past Saturday--to Marcy Playground. Yup, Team Tompkins had a combined class with their neighbors--and rivals--and friends--at Marcy Tennis Club.
The volunteers at Marcy had already set up several stations by the time we arrived from Tompkins, so we just jumped right in. On the main tennis court and on the blacktop, we rotated through King/Queen of the Court, Forehands, Backhands, Serving, and Rallying stations. Tompkins and volunteers split up evenly, so each station had about an equal showing from each site. As a result, everyone had the opportunity to meet new people and play against new opponents during class. Also, because Marcy is this year's Davis Cup winner, playing with the best team in the league inspired Tompkins to work harder and play their absolute best.
Site Coordinators Gary and Renata led the off-court discussion, the subject of which was Good Sportsmanship. The students were invited to share how they feel in losing situations, and how to respond in cases of defeat. The conversation is especially important and timely as we approach the annual end-of-season tournament. In addition to talking, the kids unleashed some creativity with some markers-on-canvas artwork.
Tompkins Site Leader Tina says the highlight of the day was that her kids had the opportunity to play on a real court, which their site does not have. The students at Tompkins, she says, do just fine on their makeshift courts divided by portable nets, but the exposure to a full-sized tennis court ignited their energy.