Tennis Camp teaches basics to Compton youngsters
The five-day training focused on the rules of the sport and fundamentals, coach Larry Ready said, and he said the event was beyond successful.
“We had 35 kids participate, and they picked up the game quickly,” he said. “Youngsters from the United States Tennis Association Junior Team also participated and the kids got to see youngsters from Southern California show off their skills, as well.”
Coach Michael Jenkins said one critical challenge during the week was the heat.
“We bought the children water guns, and they used them to cool off,” he said. “The kids were serious about learning, but also took time and enjoyed themselves.”
The camp culminated in singles and doubles matches on Friday, Aug. 17, and students used their newfound skills effectively.
Fall leagues are just around the corner and there is room for anyone interested in the sport.
“My kids compete in tournaments,” he said. “New players develop skills at the club level and move forward to the competitive arena.”
Success in tennis requires total commitment, Jenkins said, and part-time efforts fall short on a full-time basis.
“My oldest daughter and son play at Cerritos College and my younger children will play for Cerritos High School this fall,” he said. “They practice in the morning and afternoon every day. It takes that much commitment if a player is serious.”
Brittany Jenkins, whose love for tennis began when she was two years old, also worked with the students.
“The kids looked up to me,” she said. “Tennis is a finesse game and I explained to the youngsters that hitting the ball with an open racquet-face means trouble,” she said. “The key is practicing until your shot becomes second nature.”
Tennis mom Ilika Lockett said Compton provides outstanding activities for children.
“This is a nice program,” she said. “My daughter had fun and learned all about tennis in an enjoyable, engaging environment.”
New friends and challenges made the week remarkable for Nylah Lockett.
“I learned how to serve the ball and won some tennis balls,” she said. “This was a fun week.”
Rose Downs said her daughter Jailah Collins will be the next Serena Williams.
“She is very competitive, and the coach said she would do very well,” she said. “I am going to sign her up for lessons and support her any way I can.”
Collins said tennis is her new sport.
“I learned a lot about how to make great shots,” she said. “Teacher Brittany is a great player, and she helped me this week. My friends missed out, and they should consider joining the club.”
Looking ahead, Ready called the camp the first of many to come.
“These kids have ability,” he said. “As they get older, many will be playing at a very high level.”
After spending 20 years teaching tennis to children, Ready said the best is yet to come.
“This program will continue for centuries,” he said. “My graduates will follow in my footsteps.”
For more information about tennis programs in Compton, email Ready at email@example.com.
“Put Compton tennis club in the heading,” he said.