Whether it was their first time picking up a racket, or seventh year in attendance, Seymour High School’s tennis camp offered a program for athletes of all ability levels.
Thirty boys and girls, from first through eighth grade, worked on skills and played games at the SHS courts Monday through Thursday.
Owls boys and girls varsity head coaches Brad Emerson and Jan Fenton ran the camp with their high school players.
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The younger group, which featured first- through fourth-graders, went through the basics.
“With the younger kids, we work on a lot more hand-eye coordination skills,” Emerson said. “We will do some ground strokes, but we don’t get as technical as we do with the older group. It’s important that the kids have fun at this age. We play games and try to survive the heat.”
Daniel Bode, an incoming fourth-grader at Immanuel Lutheran School, said it was his fourth time attending camp.
“I like that you aren’t in just one spot the entire time,” Bode said. “You have to move from one place to another. I’ve been working on serving and my backhand.”
Julia Hartung, a third-grader at St. Ambrose School, said she enjoyed playing games while getting better at serving.
“It’s fun trying to get better,” Hartung said. “My favorite part is serving because it challenges you to get the ball in the correct box. We’ve also worked on ground strokes.”
The fifth- through eighth-graders expanded on their returning skills while also adding some new facets to their games.
“We get more into strategy with them,” Emerson said. “We show them how to hit an approach shot the right way and how to play out points.”
Emerson said that it’s good to have kids get exposed to tennis at an early age, and that it’s a lifelong sport.
“Tennis is a good overall sport,” he said. “You work on footwork, hand-eye coordination, agility, strength. It has the whole package. It is good to get kids introduced to it. It’s not one of those sports that people know a lot about. It’s good from them to get exposed so that some pick it up as their main sport and take it through to the high school and maybe beyond.”