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New coaches making a difference in growth of tennis

May 12, 2006 11:10 AM

Daytona Beach, FL—Tennis participation is growing according to the Sporting Goods Manufacturing Association (SGMA). In fact, in a recent study by SGMA of 16 traditional participation sports, tennis (up 8%) and swimming (up 1%) were the only two sports to show an increase in participation nationwide.

Recognizing this trend, Florida Tennis Center Director and Manager Dave Brown conducted one of several Recreational Coach Workshops in Central Florida on April 29.

Twenty recreational coaches spent the day at the Florida Tennis Center learning all about teaching tennis skills to beginning and intermediate players. The workshop was put together by USPTA Master Professional Dave Brown, citing cooperation with several organizations: the City of Daytona Beach, USTA Florida, USPTA, PTR, and Volusia County Schools.

From teaching professionals that were interested in sharpening their skills to parents with interested kids, teachers, recreation leaders, and community tennis leaders all had one common goal: become better tennis teachers, especially with large groups of kids. Tennis skills development, large group management, basic strokes, feeding techniques, play based drills and games, and what to do on a rainy day were the topics of most interest for the day.

The Recreational Coach Workshop brings new approaches to teaching tennis. More specifically, it is the “Games Approach” to teaching.

“Kids and adults learn more quickly when they are having fun,” Brown said.  “Introducing games early on with the help of alternative equipment such as shorter racquets, softer and slower balls (called transitional balls,) makes it easier to learn, therefore increasing the desire to play.”

These new coaches left the workshop with a new- found enthusiasm, heading back to their neighborhoods with a better understanding on how to bring out the best in their students.

“I truly enjoyed participating in the workshop. Dave was awesome!” participant and USTA Florida staff member Kelly Cassady said.  “He kept us busy and active while he shared just a portion of his wealth of knowledge of the sport of tennis.”

Local schools, parks, and tennis facilities will soon see better programming, more play, and a healthier lifestyle in the community as a result of these new recreational coaches.

Kelly said she left the workshop excited about the teaching skills she had just learned.

“I can’t wait to put them into action!”






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