|Relay/Warm-up Drills – Anna Rose in pink skirt|
Editor’s Note: The U.S. Open Tennis Tournament is hands-down, my favorite local sporting event every year. I’ve been attending the annual tournament since I was ten years old (only missing one year due to bad weather) so it’s safe to say that when the U.S Open Billie Jean King National Tennis Center reached out to our NYC Dads Group to invite us in for a trial run of their “Tennis for Juniors Program” – we were all in! I couldn’t wait to take my son for his first real tennis lesson at the legendary US Tennis Center. Recapping our experience is NYC Dads Group member, Bill M., who shares his bonding experience with his five year old daughter, Anna Rose. – L.S.
“Why yes!,” a few Dads replied when the USTA National Tennis Center invited the NYC Dads group to participate in a discounted hour-long session with a team of their pro tennis coaches.
We all marveled when we entered the facility, which is truly impressive and is just filled with tennis history. It really feels like a professional tennis center, not an average tennis club. The kids enjoyed the cool, sleek design of the giant lobby area that feels like a combination of modern airport and sports arena. They happily jumped around on the oversized couches, which looked like they could be in a high-tech playground!
The small group of boys and girls were lucky enough to experience what it’s like to work with real tennis coaches. These pros were great with the kids and brought them through a series of warm-up drills, like “hot-potato” with tennis balls and small shovels as well as basic stretches and other exercises. The Dads were then invited to enter the mix and we worked on bouncing the tennis balls to and from our kids, which helped the kids with dexterity and getting familiar with how a tennis ball bounces.
It all seemed very simple and playful, but then then things got challenging! The kids were showed both a forehand and backhand stroke and we engaged in a drill to work on both these techniques. This was great for both the kids and the dads and we were all impressed by how advanced yet accessible the final drills were. The kids were great!
I don’t know about anyone else, but I definitely want my daughter to move further with tennis and she’s game! We were all given a kid’s- weight tennis ball which we can use at home to continue working on drills with our kids.
Thanks again to the USTA National Tennis Center for hosting us for a great NYC Dad’s visit and experience.