It’s okay to admit this parents. Part of you dreads Summer break.
You now have ten weeks to fill around your vacation plans to get the kids out of the house and off their electronic devices. You want them to get exposed to the life long sport of tennis but you don’t want simply a glorified baby sitting service.
I feel your pain and have taken the liberty of putting together some tips to guide you in finding the best camp for your kid. The main goal is to get some peace of mind while your offspring burn energy and develop their skills and confidence on the tennis court.
So let me qualify this I’m not a junior tennis expert I’m just and Uncle who happens to teach tennis for thirty-three years. My first professional paying gig was as an Assistant Tennis Professional at a Country Club in the Northeast. My main duty was: Summer Tennis Camp! With this in mind we will break down three areas to evaluate when selecting a Summer tennis program.
So the first question is who is teaching the camp? Grown ups (adult teaching pro’s) or kids (high school or college tennis players). This very fact will address the investment level you want to consider when just thinking about their tennis development. Naturally, there will be a grown up in charge of the camp but will it be a figure head like a University head coach who delegates the work to a grad assistant or a Director of Tennis who does the same with summer help.
Ideally, the camp director is on the court overseeing the camp operations and the staff. It’s not that the teenager or college age coach can’t relate to your kids but it becomes a question of how much value you want to put into someone who is doing something part-time versus a full time professional.
Naturally, convenience plays a big part of the choice because you will have to have someone be responsible to pick them up depending if it is a half-day or full day camp. Some private tennis clubs will allow non members to enroll their kids at tennis camp. Many of the municipal parks offer tennis camps as well including concession professionals who are not affiliated with city tennis programs. The nicer the facility and amenities naturally the more you will pay for tennis camp.
It’s a huge bonus if the camp has a pool but a las it’s hard to find. The ones without make adjustments so kids aren’t playing tennis in the searing Summertime heat.
Tennis camps typically tend to be young. If you have a 16 year old who wants to learn tennis it might be difficult to find a camp that suits your needs. You would be better off finding a beginner adult tennis program for them. The sweet spot for these camps is 8-14 years of age. So if your child is in this age range you will have a lot of options to choose from.
Like anything spend some time doing some research. Ask a lot of questions and I highly recommend stopping by the club to check out the facility and meet the director of the tennis camp. Here are a few camps listed below here in Miami to get you started on the process. Also type into google: “Miami Summer Tennis Camps” depending on your zip code you will get different options listed.
There are lots of options to choose from so do your homework and focus your questions on the three areas I highlighted above. If you have any luck you will be enjoying a mid morning latte all to yourself while you kids have a great time burning off some youthful exuberance.
Brian Lutz / Director of Adult Tennis
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Photo courtesy of MFTA