Starting Tennis Young
Tennis for Tots
We do not place many athletic limitations on young children at Golden Ocala Golf & Equestrian Club, especially when it comes to multigenerational sports like tennis. Director of Tennis Thiroshan “T” Chetty and his team of tennis professionals accept students as young as 3-years-old, around the same time that children begin to develop an extensive vocabulary, identify themselves, exercise their imagination, follow three-part commands, and, ironically, catch a ball, among other things.
So, we attempt to recruit kids right out of the developmental starting gate. There, they can soak up countless pieces of information, as well as grasp and build upon technique before they develop any bad habits. After all, tennis is one of the few sports that can be played for a lifetime, so why not begin right now?
Golden Ocala tennis professionals encourage parents to enroll their youngsters early, not because it is their favorite game, but because it teaches kids to be independent and creative thinkers. You may not think a ball, racket and space to serve could generate innovative concepts. However, since no two tennis shots or
situations are identical and so many variables come into play, children are being given a forum for completing tasks through improvisation. Basically, this is an opportunity for them to think on their feet — quite literally.
Off the court, T and his crew have a plethora of fun features that Golden Ocala’s new Playmate Ball machine can readily provide — side to side, lobs and overheads, volleys and half volleys, and player versus machine. The best part, all you need is a smartphone to customize said workout or drill, as well as track that workout, track balls hit and compare results with others. But safety first — children under the age of 8 should be supervised by their parent or a pro.
If you are a member or nonmember of Golden Ocala who wants their 3- to 6-year-old to get the most out of tennis, ask the pro shop about the Peewee group. It runs on Mondays and Wednesdays, from 3:15 to 4 p.m., and includes the basic fundamentals of hitting the ball (tennis skills and sports), as well as developing hand-eye coordination. At the same time, the key to tennis is acquiring a love for the sport, so the games played in clinics are critical to sticking with it. The more fun a peewee is having, the easier the learning process becomes. Just remember, success first, competition later.
Peewee tennis is played on a 36’ court with stage-three balls. The rates are:
- Per Day Rate: $10 for members, $12 for nonmembers
- Session 1 (Nine days): $72 for members, $90 for nonmembers
- Session 2 (Seven days): $56 for members, $70 for nonmembers
- Session 3 (Ten days): $80 for members, $100 for nonmembers
- Session 4 (Eight Days): $64 for members, $80 for nonmembers
There is a 10% discount for multiple family members.
Grab your ball and racket, and let the tennis team take it from here! For printable forms, please refer to the Weekly Gazette. And to dive right in, call the pro shop at (352) 402-4351.