Our first volunteer training session is only two days away! Training co-hosts Deputy Executive Director Emily Roller and Director of Programming Meredith Brown are ecstatic to share the 2016 curriculum with new and returning volunteers.

The first two-and-a-half-hour workshop will be held on Saturday, April 16 at 1:00 PM in Jackie Robinson Park. The following group session is scheduled for Saturday, April 23 at the same time.

We'll review the curriculum, tennis drills, and safety. Beyond these areas, you what can you expect to learn? Here are five "big picture" lessons we hope you'll take away from your workshop:

  1. The Importance of Setting Expectations. You are the leader, so you must clearly let children know what they can and cannot do before each activity. Setting expectations prior to play helps to minimize conflicts.
  2. Your Position as a Role Model. Your students will mimic your actions and words. If you act disinterested or remain silent, they will, too. But if you display enthusiasm and keep the conversation going, the children will follow suit.
  3. Honest and Open Communication. Unless you work with children on a daily basis or you are a parent, communicating with our participants will seem challenging in the beginning. In general, you can build trust with your students by being open and asking questions without making assumptions.
  4. The Significance of Repetition.  Our off-court, educational lessons will frequently apply to tennis, so, whenever possible, tie activities back to terminology from our curriculum's core themes: healthy choices, cognitive awareness, and grit and resilience. Repetition reinforces learning for children.
  5. Dedication to your Students' Success. We bring tennis to the kids not for our benefit, but for theirs: to provide participants with new experiences and to expose them to new people and possibilities. Your biggest priority should always be the value students receive from KCTL.

If you've yet to register as a volunteer or for a training session, please follow the instructions here. We look forward to seeing everyone in the coming weeks. Here's to a great season!