Find the best tennis camp for kids in your region.
Though the best tennis academies focus on year-round instruction, parents can find a tennis camp for kids that can offer part-time programs during summer breaks and other holidays. Attending a camp is an opportunity for some intensive instruction that allows the player to improve in a short period of time. Most of these camps are designed for junior players who regularly compete in tournaments, but many offer instruction to beginners as well, making them a great recreational destination for kids of all ages.
Because of their warm climate, the Southern states have developed a strong crop of tennis academies for both adult players and juniors. Some of these academies, like Saddlebrook Tennis and the Bollettieri Tennis Academy in Florida, train players to compete for college scholarships and have produced world class athletes. Both academies have boarding programs for school-age players who want to train year-round, but Bollettieri offers an intense two to three week short program for players who have less time to spare. Its facilities, instructors and training atmosphere are all top-notch.
Major Southern universities like Clemson and the University of Georgia also run camps over the summer that are more appropriate for beginning and intermediate players. Kids at these camps train with other players at comparable skill levels, and have a chance to take group lessons with the head coaches of the schools' varsity tennis teams.
The Western states have an excellent assortment of tennis camps for kids of all ability levels. According to Tennis Magazine, the following are a few of this region's best:
Like the academies in Florida, these camps are most appropriate for competitive juniors who are serious about improving their skills.
Most of the strong tennis academies are based either in the Western or Southern states. However, both Nike and Adidas offer camps in other regions through a large number of smaller academies. Players and their families can find more information about these camps from US Sports Camps and Tenniscamper.com.
While most kids have a great time at tennis camp, they should come prepared to work. Most academies place an emphasis on mental preparation and physical fitness as well as tennis strategy and technique. Because of this, it is important for kids to prepare for camp by arriving in good shape and with a strong work ethic.