Skip to Content

Junior Drills & Tennis Team

2017 JUNIOR PROGRAMS

  • Non-members can participate in the instruction program listed below; however, all other programs are for members' kids only.

JUNIOR TENNIS & *FITNESS DRILLS (aka Classes)

*There will be some time each day devoted to fitness work.

Greg's Schedule-Friendly Registration: For June, July and August, you can simply send your "Star" up for as many drills as you like (Monday-Thursday) during each 4 week session. So take your vacation, schedule other camps/activities, etc. without worrying about how to fit in the kids' tennis.

There will be a minimum of 8 drills for each of the June and July sessions and just 6 drills for the August session charged to your account. If your child does more days, you are simply charged $10 ($13/non-members) each additional time. Participants can start at anytime during the session.

 
June Session: June 12 - July 6 (No Drill July 4)

July Session: July 10 - August 3 

August Session: August 7 - 31

~ Member rate: $10/drill - Non-members: $13/drill


Daily Schedule:

  • "Rising Stars" ages 11 & up, 10:10 - 11:10. This drill can include beginning teenage players as well as more advanced and high school j-v players. Players will be separated on-court by ability level.
  •  "Future Stars" ages *8 - 11, 11:10 - 12:00
  •  "Little Stars" ages 5 - *8, 12:20 - 1:00 - members only for August for Little Stars                                                                                        

  •  "JV Stars" Mondays & Wednesdays, 1:00 - 2:00.  NEW - June & July only

(*Beginning 11 yr olds should do at least one session of Future Stars before moving to Rising Stars. 8 year olds with lesson experience and the ability to rally a little from the service line can do Future Stars; those 8 year olds new to the game should register for Little Stars.)                                                                                                                  

  • High School Varsity level - private groups will be arranged for this level; email Greg if interested.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       


Need-to-Knows:

  • Members: To register for any of the above Drills, simply have your child come out for her/his first day. We will get them registered at that time. Non-members: click on "Registration Form" under Tennis, fill out and mail it in to the listed address. 
  • All payments for the Junior Program (and all other club fees) will be done through member acount billing (no cash or checks accepted). Non-member checks should be made out to Greg Hiers.
  • We group each drill by ability level. Only those going to the next age category should move up. Exception: A 7 year old who can rally from the service line with the orange ball or a 10 year old who can rally (not just from a feed) and serve with a yellow ball from the baseline. All others should register for their age group.
  • There are no drills nor rain make-ups on Fridays. If a day is rained out, simply come to another day you were not previously planning on attending.                                                                                                                                      

 

Greg's Teaching Philosophy for Kids

I teach our drills based on the "10 & under Tennis" and "Games-Based" methods of teaching: learning how to RALLY first then fine-tuning groundstroke technique second with appropriate sized rackets, courts and balls. This is the model the United States Tennis Association and tennis teaching associations endorse to get kids learning the games quickly, having fun and wanting to continue to play!

For our youngest group the "Little Stars", the focus is on fun ways of developing general athletic skills with racket skills being just a part, not the main focus of class. This is much more important that working stroke technique at this age.

 

I focus instruction for the entry-level and novice players in "Future and Rising Stars" on two important principles: 1. developing the ability to CONTROL the ball on the racket and 2. developing the ability to RALLY by "finding the ball" (tracking skills) when it is being hit to them. This involves working on their sending and receiving skills. The best and most fun way for kids to do this is through hitting back and forth with each other. They begin to "figure it out" over time and look more natural and comfortable on court. The long, fast swing may look great but there is no way to produce this stroke with control; therefore, no rallying (and no fun) can take place. Again, developing the above two skills as well as overall athletic skills is much more important for younger and/or entry-level players than focusing on the shape of the stroke!

 

We encourage our kids to get comfortable with just a few simple yet key things with their groundstrokes (and we emphasize these over and over!): 1. start in the ready position, 2. get sideways when the ball approaches and lastly 3. use short, slow swings in a low to high swing path (remember the big, long swings can’t be controlled). We first rally over the center service lines, "Two-Square Tennis" then over the net from the service line, "Mini-Tennis" followed by hitting between the “60’ lines” and finally rallying from the baseline. We do not spend a lot of time feeding balls to players standing in lines trying to develop perfect-looking strokes. It is boring for the kids and is simply not a good teaching method if the goal is to develop the ability to PLAY the game and have fun with it. The kids will do the majority of their learning through fun yet practical and relevant tennis games. And parents don’t worry, bad habits are not being developed! Once they can rally consistently from the baseline, stroke development begins to be emphasized.

 

A swim instruction comparison is interesting: Swimming is a relatively "closed skill" similar to a golf swing or playing the piano. Tennis is more of an "open skill" with much more happening outside of the actual stroke. If a young swimmer were able to learn a similar stroke to say an Olympian, that swimmer would have a great deal of success immediately. If a young tennis player learned Roger Federer's picture-perfect groundstrokes (before the all-important" above two skills), she would simply not be able to play the game because the ball would be hit all over the place with no control!

 

Please keep in mind these are fairly inexpensive group drills, not private instruction. General themes are talked about and periodic teaching tips are given. Remember this very important thing: information is communicated by instructors but may not be received and/or implemented by the kids (and even less if they are not really engaged or enjoying it!). The main objective during drills is getting the kids to rally and play the game while having fun. If you feel this is not enough or simply want more individual attention, private lessons would be a good additional option.

 

As parents, you can help by getting your kids on the court with the primary goal of being able to hit the ball back and forth with you. Make sure you are hitting with the appropriate balls (orange balls are sold in the shack) and on the right size court. Don't worry too much about what the strokes look like as long as they are trying to do the above things (but limit the coaching so the kids will want to keep hitting with you!). Emphasize short, slow and controlled swings with quick feet. Over time the strokes will begin to look a little more like those you see on t.v.!

______________________________________________________________

JUNIOR MIXER

Friday, July 7 1:00pm

Older, yellow ball and younger, orange ball players who can serve and play out points are encouraged to come out! No charge and no registration required.  


"ORANGE BALL OPEN"

Wednesday, July 26 11:00am

A fun, round robin tournament for players 8 -10 yrs old who can serve and rally with orange balls. No advance registration required. No charge


JUNIOR CLUB TOURNAMENT

Friday, August 4 11:00am

For any player 11 and older who can serve and play out points with yellow balls. You do not have to be on the junior team to participate. No advance registration required. No charge

 


JUNIOR TENNIS TEAM

To participate on the Junior Team, you must be able to serve and rally from the baseline with yellow balls with some consistencey, volley and hit overheads, basic understanding of playing singles and doubles play and can keep score.

Practices:

Mondays & Wednesdays, 2:00 - 3:00

First practice Monday, June 12 and the last on July 26 (with Junior Tournament July 28 at 11am)

Matches:

Fridays, 1:00 - 3:00

Match Schedule:

* We try to play matches against clubs with several courts Away to allow our team members a chance to play more.
Sign-up in the Junior folder in the Tennis Shack by Wednesday before each week's match. The match location will be determined by that Wednesday as well and announced at team practice and listed on the posted schedule. For Away matches, parents will be responsible for getting the players to/from the site. For liability reasons, our Pros are unable to drive players.

* We encourage players to take advantage of this great opportunity to improve your game through social match play! There is a participation fee of just $25/player for the practices and matches. This money is retained by the club to offset coaching fees.

* Team participants are asked to participate in at least one of the June or July drill sessions. There is no stroke instruction during team practice, only match play with positioning and strategy generally covered. It is important to have coaching on stroke technique to better prepare to play matches!

* No advance sign-up is required to be on the tennis team. Just show up for a practice, and you are on the team! However, you must sign-up for the matches each week.

June 16 - Intraclub Scrimmage

June 23 - Season Kickoff AT Mounds Park Academy

June 30 - AT SPTC

July 14 - AT SPTC

July 21 - AT *North Oaks Rec Center (*originally scheduled for Dellwood)

July 28 - Playoffs AT Mounds Park Academy

August 4 - Junior Club Tournament, 11:00am @ SPTC

Match locations will be announced at the Wednesday practice before each week's match and written on the sign-up sheet in the Juniors folder.

________________________________________________




Summer 2016 Award recipients:

Junior Team Awards
Most Dedicated - Isaiah Eby, Sophia Hoppe
Most Improved - Sam Wachlaritz 
Coaches Award - Tommy Hedman

Junior Tournament
Winner - Danny Eldredge
Runner-up - Liam Lynch

Orange Ball Open

Winner - Jacob Colton
Runner-up - Will Smith