The French Open starts this weekend. Every year, I see a huge spike in players on local courts right around this time. The combo of the tennis-friendly weather and the subliminal messages the brain sends while watching pros play tennis from Paris seems to act as a catalyst to get off the couch and personally hit some balls. This year, when your brain gets that urge, both you and your small fry might decide to improve your skills close to home. Holabird Sports Tennis Camp at UMBC powered by Babolat is a great option for adults and children in the Baltimore Area.
The adult camp is an evening program from June 24-27. The juniors camp has openings for the June 23-28, July 7-12, July 14-19 and July 21-26 programs.
The juniors camp has been in existence for years. Last year, Holabird Sports took on the naming rights and sponsorship with partner Babolat. For twenty years prior to that, Adidas sponsored the camp at UMBC.
Sol Schwartz of Holabird Schwartz is proud of the camp and Holabird’s sponsorship.
The secret weapon of the camp is certainly the coaching staff, led by former pro Rob Hubbard, who has spent over 30 years coaching after an ATP career and stellar college career at the University of Texas Pan-American . Hubbard is a Calvert Hall graduate and a Baltimore native. He serves as Head Coach of the Men’s and Women’s Tennis programs at UMBC.
Rob was one of my coaches growing up, recalls Schwartz. Rob was coached as a tour player by Lenny Scheurmann. When Lenny started a tennis camp, he brought Rob in. Rob is a gift to any kid who wants to play college tennis.
What makes Rob unique is the experiences that he’s had in the game from a playing standpoint, from a teaching standpoint and a coaching standpoint. He’s got every base covered that a parent who wants to put their kid in a program would want running it.
A kid that’s playing in college still has it in the back of their mind that one day they might go pro. Rob’s been there. From a mechanics standpoint, he can break down any stroke any time to any level and repair it.
Between Coach Hubbard, Oliver Steil, and Robin Hubbard, Rob’s spouse, the camp is loaded with top-notch instructors. Steil is the Assistant Coach at UMBC and a former Division I player at the University of Texas Pan American, while Robin Hubbard was a nationally-ranked player at North Texas University. On top of that, Schwartz himself will offer instruction at the adult camp.
Instructing kids and adults presents different challenges, and the coaches are prepared to give them what they want and what they need.
Schwartz mentioned that “the whole thing with teaching adults is they expect different things out of a lesson. Their primary goal may be to get a workout and the technical side second.”
The 5:1 Instructor to Student ratio also allows for numerous breakout 1-on-1 lessons for each player’s particular needs.
Last year, a wide range of players from their early twenties to their early sixties participated in the adult camp. As Schwartz notes, “age doesn’t dictate performance.”
The juniors camp now has full-day, half-day, extended-day and overnight programs, with the minimum participation age of 6 and 9 for extended day and sleepover options.
Kids can be hard to keep focused, so the day is broken up to maximize the fun and the concentration. The morning is virtually all drills and cardio, with a focus on match play in the afternoon. A 90-minute lunch break is offered each day as a way to cool down and make friends.
The range of experience of the youngsters varies widely and all are encouraged to play, and Schwartz notes that last year, “we had extreme beginners and juniors with a national ranking”.
The camp uses adult balls and nets, a personal sticking point of Schwartz’s. “Real-sized everything”. But he does defer to Coach Hubbard to use any equipment he see fit.
The max enrollment is 36 kids and 30 adults to maintain a 5:1 student/instructor ratio.
For more information, click on the logo at the top of this post.
Next week, I’ll tell you about the best tennis camp the D.C. area has to offer.
USTA SMASHZONE MOBILE TOUR TO VISIT DICK’S SPORTING GOODS
IN BUFORD ON SATURDAY FROM 11 A.M. TO 7 P.M.
Interactive Fan Attraction to Introduce Tennis to
Youth and Families across the Nation
BUFORD, Ga., (May 9, 2013)–The United States Tennis Association (USTA) SmashZone Mobile Tour continues its 22-city tour run this weekend when it visits the Buford Dick’s Sporting Goods Store (3333 Buford Drive) this Saturday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
SmashZone introduces youth tennis to kids and parents across the country and began as the premier fan interactive attraction at the US Open before being showcased across the country. Since its inception in 2011, SmashZone has attracted more than 2 million people to its tennis courts.
SmashZone is a way to showcase tennis in a fun and interactive way by making stops at fairs, festivals, airshows, retail environments and city centers.At SmashZone,children have the opportunity to play tennis games in a fun, festive atmosphere that allows participants to get active playing tennis from the start.
“The SmashZone Mobile Tour is a great platform to bring tennis to the masses through an interactive experience,” said Kurt Kamperman, USTA Chief Executive, Community Tennis. “It provides an opportunity for kids to try tennis for the first time, allowing them to experience the fun and excitement that comes with playing the game.”
The SmashZone Mobile Tour includes a 53-foot trailer, which anchors four kid-sized tennis courts for youth play. Courts will feature games such as Xerox Rally Court, racquet drills and activities, as well as a Target Challenge. The trailer itself, which is handicap accessible, will feature activities for visitors that will include a Tennis Magazine Green Screen Cover Shoot, Wii Tennis and Touch Screen Kiosks. SmashZone Mobile is a complement to the USTA’s successful youth participation initiative, 10 and Under Tennis.
10 and Under Tennis is an ongoing effort to encourage young people to get active by playing tennis. The initiative uses modified equipment and courts tailored to a child’s age and ability. By featuring shorter and lighter racquets, slower-bouncing balls, smaller courts and simplified scoring, children learn to play more quickly and easily while having more fun in the process.
Junior Tennis Champions Center Hosts Free Tennis Festival
DC/Baltimore’s Premier Tennis Training Center Hosts Free Tennis Clinic for Local Children
The Junior Tennis Champions Center (JTCC), the world-class tennis training center in College Park, Md., will host its 14th annual Tennis Festival on Saturday, May 4 from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. The complimentary tennis clinic for children of all skill levels, including those without any previous experience, will provide tennis techniques and tips. Kids ages 5 to 12 are invited to join JTCC’s esteemed coaching staff and junior tennis champions to practice game skills and participate in agility drills. Throughout the clinic, coaches will be noting the skill level of each participant and will invite 20 promising participants to enroll in the first three weeks of JTCC’s training summer camp free of charge.
This might be the best thing you do for your kid all year. There are two schools of thought when it comes to encouraging a sport and both of them come together on May 4. You want to expose your child to the sport you love. And at some point, you want to know how they compare against other youngsters in the game. Come out to College Park and do both. In addition to games and activities for the kids, they’ll also get some complimentary pointers from some of the world’s coaching on staff. So if your child looks like she has the incredible potential required of a junior champion, you might get an expert opinion right on the spot.
Due to the limited number of participant slots available for the JTCC Free Tennis Festival, parents are encouraged to register their children as soon as possible. To register, send child’s name and age as well as the family’s contact information to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Saturday, May 4, 3:00 – 5:00 p.m.
Junior Tennis Champions Center
5200 Paint Branch Parkway
College Park, MD 20740
RSVP: To reserve your child’s spot, send an email with child’s name and age along with family contact information to email@example.com.
About Junior Tennis Champions Center
The Junior Tennis Champions Center (JTCC) is a non-profit 501 (c)(3) organization and a world-class training program that provides highly motivated young people with the athletic and academic instruction they need to excel on the tennis court and in the classroom. Since its inception in 1999, JTCC has placed all 95 of its graduates at top universities, with graduates earning more than $1.6 million in athletic scholarships.
Time for another installment of Kids Day coverage.
The New Haven edition featured Wayne Bryan’s all-ages show material, with prizes and a hit with Bethanie Mattek Sands. While the longest lines on the summer ATP/WTA continue to be for the face painting booths, there was also an intense indoor clinic at the Cullman-Heyman Tennis Center. Tournament Director Anne Worcester and tournament staff gave extra attention to this event, and it showed. There were chances all over the grounds for kids to win and compete. Though it seemed a little strange at first to see McDonald’s handing out prizes to kids at a tennis tournament, it was good to see all sponsors so engaged with the young audience. If my daughter plays a long day of tennis, I’ll take her to McDonald’s.
The Senate campaign of wrestling magnate Linda McMahon was handing out little chairs for the kids to break over their heads. Not really, but her campaign has a booth here. This is the first time I have ever witnessed political campaigning at a tennis tournament of any kind. But hey, she is a Republican and there are some really nice cars in the parking lot. It may be money well spent and raised.
The name of the tournament may have changed, but the long-standing National Parks Recreation Family Day remains at Washington’s pro tennis tourney. I’m happy to report that it continues to be one of the best kids days in tennis nation. Due to the inclusion of the WTA this year and the doubling of the number of matches, the footprint of fun had to be compacted from previous years. The close quarters didn’t bother the kids. The first 3,000 family members attending today’s session received free admission and a free lunch. Facepainting, moon bounces, the Washington Kastles Mascot Topspin, appearances by pro players and a 10 and Under Tennis playoff kept kids occupied while their parents longed to watch the professional tennis that surrounded them on all sides.
There were also dogs. PetConnect Rescue is a pet rescue agency that must be in at least its third year at Family Day. The organization started in the wake of Hurricane Katrina and has saved thousands of animals slated for euthanasia. After a brief trip to the media center, I found my family getting photographed with a cute pooch. As I chatted about the organization with a knowledgeable rescue volunteer, I learned that the volunteer was none other than Carole Dell herself, the first lady of the CitiOpen. Her dedication to the animals on a steamy day was impressive. As the wife of the founder of the event, she has access to an impressive suite on Stadium Court. Yet here she was, in the heat, trying to send some sweet dogs to good homes. Some people give money. Some people give time. When they do both, that’s dedication.
Sometimes, the tennis community seems so small. You’re never more than three degrees of separation from anyone in the sport. Yesterday, I held a door for a volunteer and helped her get a cart down some steps. Her name was Erin Querrey. Yep. The little sister to Big Sam and a summer intern at Lagardere, the tournament’s host and Sam’s agency.
USTA SMASHZONE AT ASIAN FOOD & TENNIS IN DC AREA THIS WEEKEND
US Open’s Premier Fan Interactive Attraction to Introduce Tennis to Youth
WHITE PLAINS, N.Y., July 17, 2012 – The USTA announced today that the SmashZone Mobile Tour, the premiere fan interactive attraction, will be part of the Asian Food & Tennis Festival this Saturday and Sunday, July 21-22, on the campus of George Mason University in Fairfax, Va., with operating hours from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
SmashZone Mobile Tour engages audiences by introducing them to the game in a fun and interactive way by makings stops at fairs, festivals, and air shows. Children will have the opportunity to play tennis games and it will allow participants to get a racquet in their hand from the start.
The Asian Food and Tennis Festival is the largest Asian Festival in the Mid-Atlantic area and features unique music, cultural performances, food, and entertainment to promote greater understanding of Asian countries and cultures. This year’s festival theme is “The Year of Dragon”.
SmashZone Mobile includes a 53-foot trailer, which anchors four kid-sized tennis courts for youth play. Courts which will feature games such as Xerox Rally Courts, Esurance Sweet Spot and a Target Challenge. The trailer itself, which is handicap accessible, will feature interactive activities for visitors that will include video game kiosks featuring Mario Tennis Open for the Nintendo 3DS, a TENNIS Magazine Green Screen Cover Shoot, and Touch Screen Kiosks.
SmashZone Mobile is a complement to the USTA’s ongoing youth participation initiative, 10 and Under Tennis. 10 and Under Tennis is part of an effort to encourage young people across the country to get moving and start playing tennis.
The 10 and Under Tennis initiative is geared towards getting more kids to take part in tennis using modified equipment and courts tailored to a child’s size. By featuring shorter and lighter racquets, slower-bouncing balls, smaller courts and simplified scoring, children learn to play more quickly and easily while having more fun in the process.
“We are thrilled to have the SmashZone Mobile Tour provide an opportunity for thousands of children to experience tennis for the first time,” said Kurt Kamperman, USTA Chief Executive, Community Tennis. “The tour will introduce our 10 and Under Tennis program which is a wonderful approach to ensure children build confidence in their skills while having fun and leading a healthy lifestyle.”
For more info on the SmashZone mobile tour, check out www.10andundertennis.com.
The rain cleared just in time to hold the USTA Mid Atlantic’s “Battle Against Obesity” Family Tennis Day outdoors in Baltimore’s Patterson Park last Sunday. About a hundred local kids, including tennis clubs from city public schools, enjoyed the three-hour long festival.
The program featured instruction from some former USPTA professionals, and children of different age groups were sent to separate courts for the activities. The lessons for the very young involved children catching tennis balls in buckets and learning how to balance a ball on a racquet. Older children enjoyed target practice and advanced instruction.
The only long lines at the event were for the face-painting booth. Even USTA Maryland Executive Director Lynn Coddington got into the act–as Hello Kitty. In addition to the free healthy food options available that day, there were nutritional information advisors on hand to answer questions about food choices for children.
The highlight of the day was a visit from the Washington Kastles mascot. Slice posed for lots of photos with the kids, even allowing himself to occasionally be used as target practice for the eager fans.
The entire event was free and the USTA has staged these family days throughout the nation over the spring. On Sunday, most of the kids in attendance walked off with free tennis racquets and other sporting gear. Participants had to hit a prize with a tennis ball to win in the ‘Hit It and Get It Zone’. A sporting goods company even donated STX Lacrosse sticks. How very Maryland.
Tennis is a tough sell in Baltimore. But on this one Sunday in May, Patterson Park could have stood in for Atlanta or Charleston as kids got very, very excited. About tennis. Tennis East Coast also learned this weekend that kids tennis clinics will return to East Baltimore’s Patterson Park this summer for the first time in several years.
Linwood and Eastern Avenues, Baltimore, MD 21231
For more information, contact Lynn Gertzog (firstname.lastname@example.org)
USTA Supports Nationwide March Promotion to get Kids Playing Tennis With Youth Tennis Events in Baltimore
The United States Tennis Association (USTA) is conducting a month-long drive, March Into Tennis, to get more kids playing the sport. Throughout the month, a record 1,200 USTA youth tennis events will take place across the country.
A variety of organizers including clubs, after-school programs, parks and recreation, Community Tennis Associations and others will host Youth Registration Events, Play Days and launching Kids’ Tennis Clubs as part of the USTA’s youth tennis efforts.
Parents and children can find more information about all the March Into Tennis promotions by visiting www.marchintotennis.com. The following are youth tennis events taking place in the Baltimore area:
Youth Registration Events
Youth Registration Events will allow parents to sign-up their children for spring and summer tennis programs at local tennis facilities and youth serving organizations.
Date: March 11 from 10 AM – 12 PM
Host: Howard County Recreation & Parks Tennis Event
Where: 5001 Meadowbrook Lane, Ellicott City, MD
Play Days will provide kids of all skill levels the opportunity to experience the fun of competition in a social and fun setting. These events will take place in short, continuous matches over a two-to-three hour period.
Date: March 31 from 2:30 PM – 4 PM
Where: Forty West Racquet Club, 6421 Baltimore National Pike, Baltimore, MD
Steve Pratt/Dana Gordon, Brener Zwikel and Associates
(310) 408-4555/(856) 397-2917 or SteveP@email@example.com
Trina Singian, Communications Coordinator, USTA
(914) 697-2223 or firstname.lastname@example.org
This came in a few minutes ago from the fine folks at the Family Circle Cup.
The Family Circle Cup is poised to welcome their 1,000,000th fan in Charleston, S.C. during its 2012 event, and the tournament has assembled an extensive list of prizes totaling over $5,000 in retail value for reward this lucky ticket patron. Marking the tournament’s 40th year, the Family Circle Cup will be held March 31 – April 8, 2012 at the Family Circle Tennis Center in the Best Tennis Town in America, Charleston, S.C. “We have to thank the fans for making our move to Charleston such a success over the past 11 years,” said Eleanor Adams, Family Circle Cup Tournament Manager. “We couldn’t be happier to welcome our 1,000,000th ticket patron through our gates on Daniel Island, and we’re thrilled it’s going to happen during our 40th year celebration.”
The winner will be treated to a tennis fan’s favorite things: VIP Box Seats, merchandise credit, signed memorabilia from the top 8 seeds, coin toss, cocktails with the players, and a month of tennis instruction.
Considering historical attendance figures at the Family Circle Tennis Center, it is plausible that with strong attendance throughout Family Weekend, March 31 – April 1, the 1,000,000th fan in Charleston may enter the facility as early as Sunday, April 1.