Tennis Head Pro Update – May 14, 2012

It has been a little while since the last Junior update, so there is quite a bit to report. Forgive me if the update is too long, if broken it down into a few sections in case you’d like to skim. I’ll be reviewing our spring session, announcing the Junior Club Championships, and going over all of the summer tennis offerings.

The spring has been very busy despite some rain. There have been a number of recent USTA tournaments, and our Juniors have been performing quite well. Spring League and the newly formed USTA 10 and under team tennis have provided more of our young athletes with a taste of organized competition. All of this competition is doing wonders for our growth as it forces us to develop technical skills, tactical skills, focus, and emotional maturity.

What follows is a brief synopsis of what’s gone on this spring in each group:

Level 1
Our littlest athletes have learned the basics this spring. They have gone from simple ball tracking and direction following to complex coordination and cooperation. These kids can produce basic forehands, backhands, volleys and serves as well as track the ball, target the shot, and respond to each other. They’ve learned throwing skills, catching skills, cooperation, and all while having a whole lot of fun. These kids are likely to grow into some very confident athletes.

Level 2
This orange and red ball group has taken some major leaps forward this spring. Most of these little athletes have acquainted themselves with topspin and can produce it more often than not. They can hit their serves in the service box and maintain a rally. They are currently working on coordinating their unit turns and getting more comfortable positioning behind the ball. By the end of this spring, these kids should be ready for some competition.

Level 3
I mentioned in the winter update that this level had some really promising athletes. Since then a few have moved on to level 4, and the rest are continuing their fast progress towards becoming formidable tennis players. These kids take instruction beautifully and have been exposed to all of the basic spins as well as all of the basic mechanics of the game. There is still a lot of work to done before I can say that they have mastered the fundamentals, but progress is swift and steady. Precision of movement and positioning are the order of the day.

Level 4
Level 4 is a mixed bag. Some of these kids have expressed a clear desire to move on to Level 5. Unfortunately, we’re not quite ready for that. A few things that are necessary before that can happen include full mastery of the grips and spins, competitive intensity and drive, and the ability to maintain focus for long periods of time without fatigue. The progress of the bulk of this group is obvious, as they are starting to construct points well, and are beginning to choose shots wisely based on a number of variables. The best thing these kids can do for themselves is finish mastering the grips and spins, and start competing in order to learn what other skills need bolstering.

Level 5
Our Level 5 group is downright strong. With regular competition and some real drive this group has become a serious practice grounds for our next generation of competitive junior tennis players. The level 5 players have really taken advantage of the ladder and are supplementing their training with regular practice matches. Many of the kids in level 5 are starting to take responsibility for their own training and it is obvious who is self driven. Tournament play is improving, as are technical and tactical skills. There is always more to learn, but these players are starting to play the game at a much higher level.

Level 6
This, our strongest group of elite players, I encourage everyone to come out and see them practice. Many of these players are quite young, and very talented. The clarity of focus in this group is not matched in any of our other junior groups here, and admission into this group infers some serious dedication. Watching a 10 year old play a sophisticated tennis match against a 14 year old, without anybody pulling a punch or losing focus is a beautiful thing. We are very proud of our level 6 players and are thrilled to see them motivating each other. It is from this group that our nationally ranked Juniors will rise.

Junior Club Championships
Saturday and Sunday, June 16th and 17th

To end the spring and kick off summer with some fun, we are planning the Junior Club Championships for the weekend school gets out. The bulk of the tournament will be played on Saturday June the 16th with the finals of the 12’s and 14’s on Sunday the 17th.

Please sign up by e-mailing me: rick.e.g@gmail.com with the subject Line “TPC JCC”
Age divisions:

  • B&G 14 & under
  • B&G 12 & under
  • B&G 10 & under (green dot)
  • B&G 8 & under (orange ball)

All members are welcome, and encouraged to participate. Please sign up by Sunday June 10th

Summer 2012 – June 18th to August 17th

This summer at the TPC we are offering programs for all ages and types of player all summer long. You can read more about the programs for Summer 2012 on the Tennis Director’s Update.

Summer Tournaments

There will be three tournaments at and around the TPC this summer hosted by our favorite Tournament Director, Matt Holt.

  • The first is a Memorial Day Tourney being played May 22-28. Sign up here.
  • Then, The Marin Junior Tennis Summer Challenger being played June 9&10. Sign up here.
  • Finally, The Tiburon Summer Junior Open and Novice being played July 7 & 8 at TPC. Enjoy your home court advantage! Sign up here.

We’re looking forward to a great summer of learning and fun. Come join us!