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QuickStart Tennis Taking Hold in Jacksonville

October 14, 2009 07:00 PM
Baseball has always had T-ball -- now tennis has its own child-friendly "mini" version of the sport in QuickStart Tennis. QuickStart was formally introduced to Jacksonville-area teaching pros by USTA Florida in a High Performance QuickStart Workshop hosted on Oct. 9, 2009, at Deerwood Country Club in Jacksonville.

Twenty-five teaching pros, including two police officers from the Jacksonville Police Athletic League (PAL) received training at the workshop. The Jacksonville PAL is looking to add QuickStart Tennis to its sports offerings in 2010. The workshop drew participants from all over the state, including three from the Tampa area and four from Gainesville.

USTA National Trainer Craig Jones from Augusta, Ga., facilitated the workshop with the help of regional USTA Florida Tennis Program Coordinator Amanda Becker.

"Craig did such a great job, he stayed an extra half hour, he was there for 4-1/2 hours working with the teaching pros and others," Becker said. "We had on-court demonstrations, and used 10-and-under and 8-and-under children to show how QuickStart really works. I'm excited that so many of the Jacksonville pros came and that we can get QuickStart into facilities, and get more children transitioning from QuickStart into Jr. Team Tennis."

Jacksonville currently has the highest number of USTA Florida Jr. Team Tennis participants in the state. Jr. Team Tennis is the team league that caters to beginners, intermediate and advanced juniors.

Diana Gardner is the Jacksonville-area local league coordinator for QuickStart and Jr. Team Tennis.

QuickStart Tennis, introduced nation-wide by the USTA in 2008, is the exciting play format for learning tennis, designed to bring kids into the game by utilizing age-appropriate racquets and foam or depressurized balls, shorter court dimensions and modified scoring, all tailored to age and size. It is divided into two different levels -- ages 8-and-under and ages 10-and-under, and designed to reduce the frustration of small children learning tennis with large adult racquets and high-bouncing balls.

A number of schools in the Jacksonville area have already adopted the QuickStart Tennis format for use in during- and after-school programs.

Workshop participants also received a High Performance QuickStart workbook containing lesson plans for working with children from the beginner to advanced levels.

For info on QuickStart or USTA Florida Jr. Team Tennis in the Jacksonville area contact Diana Gardner at (904) 247-5460 or hgc2mail@yahoo.com.

For more info on QuickStart or JTT in the Northeast region of Florida contact Amanda Becker at becker@florida.usta.com, or to see QuickStart in action go to http://consumers.quickstarttennis.com/






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