New Blog covering the importance of matchplay.
Over the next few entries, we plan on breaking down the steps that we believe are the most important to hitting a forehand in the modern game. Below you will be able to read more about the grip and preparation but don't worry! We will cover footwork, contact, and finish in later installments.
1. The Grip
o There are few different grips that are utilized when hitting a forehand.
2. The preparation
o Upper body
§ Turn shoulders towards your dominant side (Right for righties; left for lefties)
§ Hold the racquet so that it is perpendicular to the group. Pretend like you are hanging the racquet on an invisible wall.*
§ Use the non-dominant hand for balance and tracking the ball.
o Lower body
§ Turn hips and stance towards the dominant side to a semi-open stance (see below).
§ Be sure to bend knees in preparation for contact
If you have any questions on how this applies to your game specifically or for more granular details, please do not hesitate reaching out to any of our coaches. For information about later stages of the forehand, stay tuned for the next post!
See you out on the court!
To celebrate the 20th annual SKTA summer camp, I thought that I'd ask a few questions of the guy that started it all. Enjoy!
Q: What was the camp like in the first few years compared to today?
A: "I was in my mid-20s and we worked out of the Scottsdale Plaza Resort. I remember jumping from pool to pool because security didn't like us swimming in the pools. The first year was memorable because I bought squirt guns for every student, had 30-40 students, and even though I didn't make any money, I was happy.
Now, times have changed and I have to oversee so many different components and all facets of the business. So much is required minute of the camp everyday. "
Q: What gave you the idea to start a tennis camp?
A: "I didn't know what I wanted to. I had so many jobs. I knew that I needed to tie in tennis with psychology and business degree. Back in the beginning, I never thought it would be something I'd do for the rest of my life and even considered going go to grad school at some point. However, it is gratifying working with 1000s of kids over the years. Over time, I learned what to do and not to do growing up playing in many camps."
Q: How has tennis in Arizona changed since you began your program?
A: "Overall, there are so many different tennis camps and multi-sport camps. I've noticed pickleball grow in popularity. Across the state, tennis is not as popular but by looking at the attendance of our camp, you wouldn't know. Also, with the introduction of red, orange, green dot ball tennis, you see success from players as young as 4."
Q: What are some of your favorite memories running a tennis camp over the last 20 years?
A: "Some of the best memories don't involve tennis but include water balloon fights that went on for 30 min, kids enjoying the pool, and movies each week. Also, some former students are now sending their kids."
Q: What makes you excited for this year?
A: "The most gratifying is seeing students happy and improving. Knowing that we have introduced tennis to 1000s of students and that we are able to help players grow from early age to elite level."
By Steven Gilliam
Hope everyone is having a phenomenal holiday season with friends and family members. We wanted to take a moment and extend a few well-deserved thank-yous. Firstly, to our players for putting in hours of hard work throughout the year and then, to the parents for not only creating a positive environment for their young players but also for supporting Seth Korey Tennis.
This year has been on for the record books. Overall, as this year comes to an end, we wanted to share with you some of our memories of 2017 and of course mention what excites us in the new year. In 2017, we saw enrollment reach highs in years and the expansion to working with even more schools for our after-school programs. Our players and coaches all bought into the red/ orange/ green ball progression and as a result, we noticed big strides in the improvement of our players. Furthermore, our match-play days have boasted more than 50 players during which players each generally played 3 different opponents. This renewed focus on matches can only improve a young player’s performance and opportunities to reach their individual goals. We continued to develop age-appropriate athletic development in each of our programs so that our students establish healthy habits as they grow up. With the introduction of adult classes, we are able provide an opportunity for some to pick up a racquet for the first time in years or learn a new skill. Looking forward to the new year, we are excited to continue to work with our students by expanding to more schools. Also, staring January 7th, each Sunday from 9 AM-10:30 AM, we are continuing our Adult Classes.
Thank you all again for an amazing year and we look forward to a great 2018!
Over the past few months we have received a ton of great questions from parents regarding their child’s development as a tennis player and what are the best practices. With this post, we aim to shine more light on what we have learned from our own experience as well as from various sources.
1. How many times should a child practice each week?
a. Below is advice as provided by the International Tennis Federation (ITF) for Junior Tennis players (Tennisconsult.com).
6-8 years olds: 3-4 sessions a week, each session no longer than 45 minutes. Group lessons, practice on mini court. 50% tennis – 50% other sports. Soccer, handball, basketball, swimming, etc.
9-11 years olds: 1 hour, 3-4 times a week. 70% tennis – 30% other sport.
12-14 years olds: 2-3 hours a day, 4-5 times a week of group lessons. 85% tennis – 15% other sport.
15-16 year old (intermediate level): 3-4 hours of training a day, 4-5 times a week.
16-18 year old (advanced level): 3-4 hours a day, 5-6 times a week.
2. When should my child specialize in tennis (or any other sport)?
a. There are several studies regarding when the appropriate time to specialize in a sport is. It’s easy to look at certain stars of their respective sport such as LeBron James and Tiger Woods and assume that early specialization in a sport is the only way to reach one’s potential. Furthermore, it has been proven to not only lead to one-dimensional athletes but also cause a player to become more injury prone. While many studies vary slightly on the optimal time to specialize on a sport, most agree that late adolescence (Around age 16) is the time when most athletes have developed the physical, social, Emotional, and motor skills needed to effectively specialize in a sport (Long-Term Athlete Development, Balyi, Way, Higgs)
3. What should the parent’s role be in their child’s practice?
a. No matter which sport you think about, parents play a substantial role in the development of their child’s athletic ability, but not in the way that most assume. One success story that highlights this fact in tennis is that of Canadian Milos Raonic (#3 in the world). He is known for continually crediting his success to his parents for not knowing anything about tennis (National Post).
According to tennisconsult.com, it’s important for tennis parents to realize that the emphasis for a young child playing sports should be on developing their social skills rather than their athletic skills. Furthermore, as cliché as it sounds, they should be excited to go to practice.
Furthermore, sports psychologists agree that the car ride home is not the time to coach your child on how they can improve on the court, especially if they lose a match. Children respond differently to these situations but the general conclusion is that it is more discouraging than helpful (More information).
4. When can my child start playing tournaments?
a. Many of you may have noticed that we use different colored balls and various sizes of racquets. This trend follows the USTA 10u rules and to learn more about where to sign up click the link below.
We hope that this information is helpful and if you have any questions about what we covered today or would like us to address another subject, do not hesitate letting us know!
Until next time,
Steven and Sam
We are beyond excited to announce a new monthly blog series that is intended to cover the essential topics that our program uses to influence the development of junior tennis players. As many of you are aware, tennis is a unique sport with many intricate details that make it a fun yet challenging activity! We are privileged to benefit from a staff with such diverse experience. Much of what we will share will be a culmination of our own experiences and the well established systems set in motion by the USTA guidelines and philosophies from esteemed coaches such as Nick Bollettieri and PA Nilhagen.
To begin, one of the most common questions that parents ask is, "Why are the balls different colors?" The answer is quite simple. A tennis court, racquet, and ball are all designed with adults in mind. Just as it wouldn't make sense for a child to play basketball on a ten-foot rim, tennis professionals around the world have realized that something had to change. Thus, courts sizes were adjusted, racquets were modified, and last but not least, the balls were designed to not bounce as high.
Here is a brief video from the USTA (Note: USTA 10u Tournaments have followed this guidelines since 2012.)
Over the next few posts we plan to cover the following topics:
- Tennis (The basics)
- Stroke Fundamentals
- Stroke Development
- Proper Equipment
- The Healthy Balance (Fun Vs. Too Serious)
- High Performance Instruction
Overall, we hope these entries will encourage an open dialogue between coaches, parents, and players. Do not hesitate to approach us with any questions or if you'd like us to highlight a specific topic in future articles.
Thanks for your time and see you on the court!
Sam and Steven