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USTA Boca Training Center Hosts QuickStart Tennis Event

November 15, 2009 06:00 PM
The USTA Training Center in Boca Raton, Fla., hosted its first QuickStart Tennis event on Nov. 14, 2009, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., hosting 22 players 10-and-under from Jupiter, West Palm Beach, Boca Raton, Delray Beach, and Lighthouse Point.

"For more than half the kids it was their first tournament," said Bobby Bernstein, manager, Talent ID and Development, USTA. "It was played on clay courts, and we set up three 60' courts and four 36' courts."

The players and coaches started with a dynamic warm-up followed by some team games. Kids broke into groups to play singles and doubles, and also got a chance to rally with USTA Senior Director of Talent ID and Development Martin Blackman and coach Richard Ashby. Mario Martinez and Jessica Cove also assisted with the event.

"Although I've been using the QuickStart Tennis format for almost two years, this was my first experience with a QuickStart Tennis tournament," Blackman said. "It was more of a festival than a traditional tournament. We had games and racquet skills introduction. The kids played 4-6 matches and no one documented the results. They learned the rules of tennis and how to score, and at the end we had a great pizza party! I can't imagine a better semi-competitive experience for a young player, new to our game."

The day finished with a medal/certificate ceremony. USTA officials plan another QuickStart Tennis event at the Boca Raton facility in early 2010.

QuickStart Tennis is the USTA's official play format for 10-and-under children learning tennis, designed to bring kids into the game by utilizing smaller racquets and slower balls, shorter court dimensions and modified scoring, all tailored to age and size. QuickStart Tennis is divided into two different levels -- ages 8-and-under and ages 10-and-under.

"I think QuickStart is the best thing to happen to tennis in a long time," says Patrick McEnroe, general manager, Player Development, USTA. "I can't get over how good it is for the kids -- they can take full swings at the ball, they can keep rallies going. I'm really excited about it, I think it's going to be great for the [teaching] pros around the country that are getting kids interested. We've had trouble keeping [small] kids interested because the ball bounces over their heads and it's hard to keep a rally going, but this is outstanding."

For more information and to see videos of QuickStart Tennis in action, go to http://consumers.quickstarttennis.com/





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