In an effort to introduce more people to the game of tennis, Lake Travis Tennis Association (LTTA) recently partnered with the Sweetwater Community to host a string of Family Tennis Clinics. The three-part series, which began on Saturday, July 27, is being held at the Sweetwater Community Sport Court.
"Our ultimate goal is to enhance lives through tennis," said Richard Evans, the organization's founder. "We want to help make tennis available to all in the Lake Travis community."
The clinics are being coached by LTTA volunteer and longtime tennis coach, Bob Haugen, who brings with him decades of tennis coaching experience. He served as the Assistant Women’s Tennis Coach for The University of Texas from 1983-1990 and the Director of Instruction/Tennis Coordinator for school's Department of Kinesiology from 1983-2013. More recently, he has coached at Washington University, St. Louis, St. Stephen’s High School, St. Stephen’s Tennis Academy and Arlington Tennis Center.
Bob encourages each child to bring a participating parent. "If a parent has never played tennis, they can learn the basics with their child and continue to play and practice together in the appropriate way," he explained. "In addition, teaching these classes on the sport court at Sweetwater shows parents that if you use the right equipment and keep things simple, you can enjoy hitting balls together in a variety of settings besides an actual tennis court."
The clinics, which are designed for children age seven and up and an accompanying parent, utilize smaller courts and racquets, which are provided by LTTA. The larger, lower-compression "red" tennis balls travel slower and bounce less, making it much easier for young players to hit and rally while they are still in the development stage. In addition to the instructional benefits, the more age-appropriate equipment also increases the level of interest and enjoyment by children.
The Sweetwater clinics are the first in a variety of play opportunities offered by LTTA, whose primary focus is to promote the long-term health benefits of playing tennis as well as the mental and physical development aspects provided by the game.