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School Tennis Is Fun For Kids

Glen Head Elementary School
June 16, 2015 04:25 PM
Tennis in the schools
After school tennis
Kids enjoy after school tennis
Kids learn to play tennis
 Students at several North Shore schools are getting active and learning to have fun playing tennis thanks to a special program provided by Robbie Wagner’s Tournament Training Center in Glen Cove and the USTA Long Island.

During the 2014-15 school year, the team from Robbie Wagner’s has been bringing the USTA’s 10-and-Under Tennis (TAUT) program to Temple Sinai/Roslyn, The North Shore School District (Glenwood Landing School, Sea Cliff Elementary School), The Greenvale School and The Portledge School this year as part of the schools’ afternoon activities.

“We set up after-school programs in the school gyms to educate elementary school children about the sport of tennis,” says Hilary Bressler, sales manager, Robbie Wagner’s. “We provide the pros and some high-performance junior players who go to each site and help the children.”  Instructors follow the USTA’s TAUT format, in which equipment and courts are sized for children.

“Tennis is fun, easy and will get students of all ages active,” says Daniel Burgess, USTA LI president. “The USTA Long Island Region supports tennis in schools and we can provide many resources for launching and coordinating school  programs that are fun for kids and easy for PE teachers to start and operate. No courts are required!”

 Why tennis? According to the USTA, youth who play tennis:

 1) Get better grades – 48% have an “A” average

2) Have college aspirations – 81% say they will attend college

3) Are better behaved – 73% never have been sent to the principal’s office

4) Are more well-rounded – 82% volunteer in their communities

The USTA’s Tennis in the Schools is available to any school seeking to launch an in-school or after-school tennis program. It includes:

  • Training: it's easy to teach the game and fun for kids of all ages and levels – no experience required. Free school teacher in-services, organized play training and recreational coach workshops are provided.
  • Curriculum: An easy-to-follow curriculum includes lesson plans and activities for teaching tennis in any space.
  • Equipment: Kid-friendly equipment that is just the right size for students of any age.
  • Teacher In-Service Workshops: These workshops complement a teacher’s large group management skills and demonstrate how to quickly transform a school gym or playground into a dynamic tennis-playing environment and allow students to experience instant success in a fun and safe manner.
  • Equipment Support: Equipment loans and discounts are available to qualifying schools that are linked with an after-school tennis program. Modified tennis equipment including easy-to-rally tennis balls and portable nets make the game fun and engaging from the moment a child first picks up a racquet.
  • In Class or After School: Information and resources are available through the USTA on how to organize both in-class and after-school tennis programs.

For more information on School Tennis Programs available through the USTA, please visit www.usta.com or email ustaonlongisland@gmail.com.

Top Reasons for School Tennis Programs

1.       "Playing tennis is an excellent way to engage kids in regular physical activity to help them live longer, healthier lives." - American Heart Association

2.      Every child should have the opportunity to engage in healthy, lifelong activities in a safe and supportive environment with their peers.

3.      Over 20% of children ages 6-18 are overweight, and that number has increased 200% over the past three decades. A recent study by the National Association for Sports & Physical Education showed that physically fit children performed better academically. Tennis is one of the few sports that can be played for a lifetime and uniquely benefits children like no other sport. Through tennis kids gain both physical and psychological benefits.

4.      Tennis players score higher in vigor, optimism, and self-esteem, and lower in depression, anger, confusion, anxiety, and tension than other athletes and non-athletes. (Dr. Joan Finn and colleagues at Southern Connecticut University)

5.      Tennis outperforms golf, running, weight-lifting, and many other sports in developing positive personality characteristics like sociability, mental focus, competitiveness, adventurousness, spontaneity, creativity, and assertiveness. (Dr. Jim Galvin, author of The Exercise Habit)

6.      The average person burns more calories playing tennis than doing low impact aerobics, weightlifting, riding a stationary bike, hiking, walking a golf course, or playing softball, baseball, or volleyball. (www.nutristrategy.com)