Free junior team tennis starts Monday |

Free junior team tennis starts Monday

Looking for a new racket for your kids? Consider the United States Tennis Association and Tahoe Tennis Academy’s free National Junior Tennis League tennis program.

The program, which starts on Monday at South Tahoe High’s courts, will offer professional instruction along with a team tennis format to all aspiring junior tennis players ages 6-11. Players will learn proper tennis skills and technique in a constructive and fun environment.

“It’s a lot easier to teach them the basic strokes between the ages of 6 to 11,” said Justin Clark, who will direct the program. “They can get excited about it early in life, so when they get to middle school and high school they can pick it up easier.”

Ideally, the children will be able to carry on a rally by the end of the program. They will also learn how to serve and hit backhands, forehands and volleys. Rules, scoring, match formats and outlines of the courts will also be covered.

“This free program is a great way to introduce the Tahoe kids the lifetime sport of tennis,” said STHS tennis coach Pat Fagen. “We have been working with the USTA in offering an in-school tennis program to PE classes for the last couple of weeks and the response has been outstanding.”

According to Fagen, players will be grouped by age and ability and will receive quality instruction from certified professionals and the STHS coaching staff.

“Our goal is to build a strong developmental program for our future STHS teams,” Fagen said.

Clark has worked with the STHS program in recent years after coaching at North Carolina State, Wyoming and Washington Lee. He participated on the Satellite Tour from 1996-98 after playing for a perennial NCAA top-5 team at North Carolina.

The free classes will be held each Monday and Wednesday during June from 4:15 to 6:15 at the STHS tennis courts. Anyone who is interested in joining the program, should contact Clark as soon as possible at (480) 907-4447. There are 50 spots available.

Players are reminded to bring a hat, sunblock and a water bottle. Rackets and balls will be provided.

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