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Florida Tennis Briefs(3): Parent Resources, 10U Festivals, More

April 2, 2013 12:38 PM
New Tennis Parent Content at 'Growing Champions' USTA Florida Website
 
Growing_Champions_For_LifeThis month's fresh tennis parent content is now available at the USTA Florida "Growing Champions for Life" website, a partnership with David Benzel's organization dedicated to creating cohesive families and principle-centered athletes who win at life, not just at sports.
 
New articles with additional audio and video include "The Mental Gymnastics of Winners" about the mental skills of peak performance, this month's Life-Skills Webinar "The Best-Kept Secret of Self-Confidence," and the Positive Parent Video Tip "Let's Do It Anyway."
 
"Check out the whole page to find other resources that will help you create the most positive sport family environment possible!" Benzel says.
 
 
 
USTA Highlights 10 and Under Tennis at White House Easter Egg Roll
 
white_house_easter_egg_roll_2013Once again the United States Tennis Association was on hand at the 2013 White House Easter Egg Roll, contributing to the National Park Foundation charity and introducing kids to the 10 and Under Tennis format, with current and former ATP and WTA stars as coaches.
 
The 2013 Easter Egg Roll, which took place Monday on the South Lawn of the White House, focused on promoting health and wellness with the theme, "Be Healthy, Be Active, Be You!" The event featured live music, sports courts, cooking stations, storytelling and, of course, Easter egg rolling. The activities encouraged children to lead healthy, active lives in support of the First Lady's "Let's Move!" initiative.
 
President Barack Obama played tennis with Nathaniel Pendleton Jr., a Chicago fifth-grader who lost his sister Hadiya to gunfire in January. The White House's 135th annual event hosted approximately 30,000 people with the entire Obama family, including First Lady Michelle, daughters Malia and Sasha, grandmother Marian Robinson, and family dog Bo welcoming visitors from every state in the U.S.
 
It is the fourth consecutive year the USTA has been involved in the annual event. The USTA's youth participation initiative, 10 and Under Tennis, is designed to encourage young people to get active and start playing tennis. Youth tennis is geared towards getting more kids to participate in the sport using modified equipment and courts tailored to a child's age and ability. By featuring shorter and lighter racquets, slower-bouncing balls, smaller courts and simplified scoring, children learn to play tennis more quickly and easily while having more fun in the process.
 
"The USTA is honored to again be part of the White House Easter Egg Roll," said Dave Haggerty, USTA chairman, CEO and president. "The day allows us a wonderful opportunity to introduce more young people to the lifetime sport of tennis, and to emphasize our support of the First Lady's 'Let's Move!' initiative. Tennis is a great way to get kids active and engaged."
 
Also participating were current and former tennis stars Katrina Adams, Jill Craybas, Liezel Huber, Denis Kudla and Brian Vahaly.
 
 
Sylvan Lake Park to Host Free 10 and Under Tennis Festival
 
Tennis_Festival_USTA_FL_graphicTennis right-sized for kids will be on display when Sylvan Lake Park in Sanford, Fla., hosts a free 10 and Under Tennis Festival on May 11, 2013, from 1-3 p.m.
 
"Our festivals include kids from a number of our local elementary schools, many who have recently received an all-day assembly showcasing 10 and Under Tennis at their schools," says 10 and Under Tennis Coordinator for Seminole County Sheryl Rivas. "Our festivals provide a fun way for the school kids and their families to come out and enjoy a day of snow cones, popcorn, music and tennis. We also have an end-of-festival raffle, which provides the opportunity to win a number of prizes including USTA racquets, t-shirts and even free tennis lessons at Sanlando. It's a great way to 'try' tennis, while having a lot of fun on our new 10 and Under equipment."
 
The event will showcase the USTA 10 and Under Tennis format, which allows smaller children to play tennis on smaller court sizes, with racquet sizes that fit their hands, foam and low-compression balls, a simple scoring system, all adjusted to ease kids into the sport. Similar mini-tennis formats have long been popular in Europe, where stars such as Roger Federer and Kim Clijsters first learned the game with age-adjusted racquets, balls and court sizes.
 
"I think that it is an advantage from the beginning," said long-time Florida resident Maria Sharapova regarding the USTA's 10 and Under Tennis initiative. "It is much easier to have the lighter balls, and much easier to have a smaller court and I think it gives them a better sense of the game in a way. Whereas you are coming onto the tennis courts for the first time, and since it is one-on-one sport, it can be quite overwhelming. So for a young player that is trying it out, I think it is a wonderful opportunity."
 
Information will also be available for parents and players on local youth tennis leagues and other play opportunities. Youth tennis leagues bring kids together in teams to play singles, doubles and mixed doubles against other teams. It promotes social skills and important values by fostering cooperation and unity, as well as individual self-growth. It is designed for kids ages 5-18, and matches can be held anywhere from a local park or school to a commercial or private club. Teams are co-ed and divided by the play levels Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced, and utilize the 10 and Under Tennis format for the 10-under and 8-under leagues.
 
Players age 10 and under new to the USTA can also sign-up for a free one-year USTA membership.
 
Sylvan Lake Park is located at 845 Lake Markham Road in Sanford.
 
For more event information contact Sheryl Rivas at rivas@florida.usta.com.
 
 
 
 
 
 

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