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Lafayette Gardens

Week 2: Recap from Lafayette Gardens


Week 2: Recap from Lafayette Gardens

The second week of Lafayette Gardens began with additional introductions from students and volunteers. To help everyone get to know each other better, LG's Site Leader, Efi, directed each student and volunteer to give their name and a fact about him or herself. All who shared the same fact raised their hands as each person took a turn.

Warmups followed with three laps around the nets and stretches. Racquets were distributed and students were divided into groups. 

There were two groups of beginners and two groups of more advanced students. The more advanced students practiced control, guiding the ball in a certain direction, some backhand drills, and participated in some volleying games. Newer students practiced control as well through drills of bouncing the ball upward and downward. They reviewed the ready, step back, and swing with follow through positions before utilizing them while balls were fed.. 

During our off-court session, Ari, our Educational Coordinator, discussed healthy food choices as KIND Bars were handed out (YUM!). Volunteers then helped students fill out a survey that measured students' knowledge of food and nutrition.

To finish, students were back on the court for an exciting game of Scramble. After Scramble, the students circled up with hands in the center and yelled, "Lafayette Gardens!" as their arms came up.


Class Recap: Forehand/Backhand Combo


Class Recap: Forehand/Backhand Combo

Another great week for KCTL at all four sites. We worked on forehands and backhands and then switching between the two strokes based on where the ball lands. A helpful tip for kids who aren't motivated to do the stroke correctly, because they manage to get the ball over the net any which way: Remind kids that as they get older and play better opponents, the ball will be coming at them very fast and have a strong stroke foundation will prepare them to handle increasing speed and force and tricks like top-spin and slices.

One way to teach the forehand:

GRIP: We tell the kids to shake hands with their racquet using the hand they write with.

MOTION 1: Then we tell them to "open the door," swinging their arm out to the side behind them.

MOTION 2: Then they "close the door," swinging their racquet in front of their body.

END: The kids should catch the racket with their opposite hand above their shoulder and shift back into the "ready position."

One way to teach the backhand, building on the forehand:

STEP 1: We have the kids grip their racket like they're doing a forehand and then add their other hand to the grip slightly above the racquet.

STEP 2: Take a small step forward with their dominant foot, which is the same side as the hand they write with.

STEP 3: Then they "open the door" using both hands on the opposite side of the body than the forehand.

STEP 4: They "close the door," swinging the racket across their body and ending above the opposite shoulder.

Here's a pic from class at Lafayette Gardens! Cya on Saturday!