Despite the threat of rain, Lafayette Gardens had a big turnout of 20 kids on Saturday. We focused on forehand and backhand fundamentals and rallying. We're grateful to have had class considering last week's rainout and next week's holiday cancellation.



As usual, class operated in four stations. The first was the Fitness Station, where each player hit a forehand, ran through a fitness obstacle course, picked up one ball, and returned to the line. Next, at the Ping Pong Tennis Station, we held doubles rallies where partners had to alternate hitting shots. Station three was for Forehand and Backhand Fundamentals, and, finally, a Beat the Pro Station let kids take turns playing points with a volunteer.

Efi, a volunteer, filled in for our Site Coordinator, Candice, to lead the off-court conversation. We discussed manners, etiquette, and communication. Another volunteer, Kirzia, cracked up our students with a theatrical demonstration of bad manners; the kids then explained what had made her behavior rude. Sadie, a student, impressively cited a quote by the Dalai Lama(!) to summarize the lesson: When talking, you're saying what you already know, but when listening, you can learn something new.

After off-court, we wrapped up class with a new game, Scramble. Scramble combines elements of tennis, volleyball, and pure fun. We lined up all four nets to form a single "mega court." There is one team on each side of the long net. One ball is in play, which a team can hit three times before it must go to the other side. No player can hit the ball twice in a row, and the point ends when the ball rolls--it can bounce any number of times--or a team breaks a rule. Despite some initial resistance to playing something besides Breakout, the kids loved Scramble.