Children hone their tennis skills
The Great Bend Recreation Commission has been hosting youth tennis lessons this summer.
“These lessons are a great way for these young people to really hone their skills and get not only the fundamentals down of tennis, but work on other skills that can be used in other sports,” instructor Shannon Schartz said after a recent session on the courts.
The day started with the children dribbling their tennis balls with their rackets and then bouncing the balls off the rackets about 30 times each. This lesson helps them with hand and eye coordination that can be useful in other sports.
After the warm-up, the players did some routine stretching before forming three different groups to practice more tennis skills.
The first station was set up to return the ball over the net with forward and backhand swings. The second station was set up to practise returning the ball to the opposing team and scoring a point. At the final station they practiced serving the ball.
“All these lessons teach different fundamentals of the game,” Schartz said. “The hardest thing to learn in tennis is the serve, so we work on this as much as we can to get the kids used to serving the ball.”
Although these lessons teach beginners the fundamentals of tennis, some of these young people are already on teams at their schools. For them, this is just a way for them to stay on top of their skills.
“These lessons are great for getting back into the sport,” sophomore Makenna Straub said. “I had to take a break from the game last year so having these lessons is really helping me to get the fundamentals of tennis back and really honing my skills as a player.”
Youth party on the court tennis tournament
The Great Bend Recreation Commission will host a Party On The Tennis Court Tournament this weekend, Saturday, June 24. There will be boys and girls singles and doubles divisions for different age groups.
“This tournament will be a great chance to challenge other people and to use your tennis skills against other tennis players that were learned during all the lessons,” Schartz said.
Play will begin at 8 a.m. at Vets West Tennis Courts located at 17th and McKinley St. Even though the sign-up for this event has expired, people are encouraged to come out to the tournament and cheer on the children.
Call the Great Bend Recreation Commission at 793-3755 ext. 2 for more information. This is a non-sanctioned tennis tournament.