Building strong foundations


For younger kids, tennis is gaining popularity in Seymour.

In just her second year hosting a weeklong camp, Owls girls tennis coach Jennifer Miller saw a surge in numbers.

This past week, the Seymour High School courts boasted 40 kids in grades 1 to 8 for camp.

Grades 1 to 4 took the courts first before the middle school kids tested their skills.

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“This year, we’re going four days in two groups,” Miller said. “We’re focusing more on basic skills with the younger group like volleys and footwork. We’re doing a little condition like our high school kids do, but it’s very new for the younger kids.”

The camp was open to both boys and girls.

Members of both the boys and girls tennis teams at Seymour High School assisted Miller in teaching the youngsters.

“I like working with the kids,” incoming Seymour senior Alex Berry said. “They try to keep the basics working. We try to teach them how to do things the correct way. As they get older, they will learn everything more in-depth.”

Miller said that the camp saw a handful of returning athletes.

“Our middle school group has a few that played on the team,” she said. “We also have some seventh-graders planning to play in the middle school this year. We have a handful returning from last year. For them we’re developing on their skill sets.

“This is more than we had last year. Having repeat campers, it’s nice. Both I and the high school kids know them.”

Miller said that tennis is a technical sport, and developing good habits goes a long way for players.

“It’s very easy to form bad habits at a young age,” she said. “If we can get them developing the right grips, stance, etc., those things don’t need to be corrected once they get to the high school.”

Following a warmup, the kids went through numerous drills without racquets in hand.

The campers then played a variety of games, and hitting drills to improve their game.

“They like the competition,” Miller said. “We play a lot of games that help develop hand-eye coordination. A lot of the kids go to school together, and it’s also a social time for them.”

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