No doubt that with the U.S. Open tennis championships fast approaching, Valley residents will find themselves once again bitten by the tennis bug. And with all the excitement surrounding the pro matches, what better time is there to get the rest of your family involved? Craig Purcell, director of tennis at The Country Club at DC Ranch in Scottsdale, Ariz., shares a few tips for encouraging your littlest family members to hit the courts, too.
Sure, tennis is a solo sport, but it sure is more fun when you get a whole group involved. And perhaps no organization understands this better than the tennis community at The Country Club at DC Ranch. There, Clubhouse members have access to nine tennis courts and social events for both adult and youth players. Director of Tennis and former ATP Tour coach Craig Purcell has been instructing players of all ages and skill levels in the sport of tennis there at the club for more than 11 years.
Purcell shares a few tips for encouraging young people to pick up a racket, as well as reasons why he believes tennis teaches important skills that could benefit your child for the rest of his or her life:
- Start Young To Help Develop Skills. We start offering classes for juniors at the age of 4, a great age for developing confidence, athleticism, and basic swing technique in a group environment. The first classes a youngster will take will focus on developing the fundamentals of the sport, from hand-eye coordination to cardio fitness and strength training. It also lets kids experience a fun, healthy and social environment.
- Play With Them To Build Confidence & Family Ties. Tennis is one of the few sports where kids and parents can learn at the same time in a lesson setting. Sharing the experience of learning a sport with the whole family can build bonds and confidence. Our Parent/Child tennis lessons are one of our most popular offerings.
- Learn Life Lessons on The Court. One of the top rules for tennis is that players have to call their own lines. Wining and losing is a part of life and tennis teaches fair play, honesty and how to enjoy the challenges of competition.
- Tennis Is Not Your Average Sport. The option to play singles or doubles teaches kids how to be strong solo players, as well as how to work well with teammates when playing doubles. Tennis is also one of the most social and low-cost sports to play.
- Games Can Teach Tennis. The opportunity to create fun learning drills on the tennis court for kids are endless. Some of my favorites are “Foam Ball Goalie,” that uses 3-inch foam balls that kids can chase after and try to hit with their racket into a designated goal area that is guarded by a goalie. This is great way to introduce the concept and hand-eye coordination needed for tennis.
- Watch Tennis on TV. The U.S. Open is a great championship for kids to watch to start learning about tennis. It can help kids practice keeping score and learn the basic rules of the game. Most of the time, it also shows all of us how to have great sportsmanship.
All memberships at The Country Club at DC Ranch include access to the tennis facilities and programs. Memberships start at a $5,000 initiation fee for Clubhouse Memberships, which include access to all facilities, except golf. Programs specific to tennis include:
· Adult and Junior Tennis Academy – Player Development Programs
· Ladies and Gentlemen’s Inter-Club and League Match Play
· Game Arranging Service – Singles and Doubles Match Play
· Adult and Junior Singles and Doubles Challenge Ladders
· Monthly Adult and Junior Tournaments and Social Events
· Parent and Child Family Tennis Classes
· Complimentary New Member Tennis Classes
· Court Reservation System for Individual and Team Play
· Customized Tennis Racquets – Stringing and Repair Service
· Annual U.S. Open Watching Parties (matches shown on a big-screen TV in the club’s courtyard, and adults and kids enjoy tennis challenges, drill competitions, music, food and drinks)
The Country Club at DC Ranch is located at 9290 E. Thompson Peak Parkway in Scottsdale 480.342.7200