By Matt Goisman
McALESTER — Approximately 70 kids ages 4-18 signed up for the McAlester Parks and Recreation 42nd Annual Summer Tennis Program, which began May 20 at Chadick Park. Nearly half have participated in the early-morning Beginners class, director and Buffs varsity tennis coach Chad Waller said Wednesday, and several others have signed up for both the Intermediate and Advanced classes.
“The camp’s been great this year,” Waller said.
“We’ve been lucky enough, we haven’t had the weather too bad out there. Some of those beginner kids, they get a little tired towards the end of their hour, but we’re doing our best to keep them entertained, get them their water breaks.”
The Beginners class, Waller said, has focused on getting kids to the point where they can actually volley back and forth on their own, building confidence and having fun as they play games such as “King of the Court.” With the intermediates, on the other hand, he’s focused on fixing technique, improving serving and developing a tactical approach to the game.
“A lot of them don’t like to follow through,” Waller said of the intermediates. “They kind of hit it and stop, and they don’t like to turn their hips through the ball and twist through the ball. On the serve, teach them to snap over the serve, to add more spin.”
In the Advanced class, Waller said the focus has been on the mental side of tennis. Participants have learned more advanced tactics, high-skill movements and how to plan out an approach even before the game begins.
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