It was a busy week last week at the Seymour tennis courts when the Owls high school team hosted a five-day youth camp.
Most camps don’t go every day, but Seymour was able to keep it fun and engaging all week.
They divided the camp into two groups, with the elementary kids doing one hour from 5:30 to 6:30 pm, and then the middle school kids would go from 6:30 to 7:30 pm.
For first-year head coach Jacob Hunt, having an annual camp is a good way to get younger kids involved in the program to hopefully strengthen Seymour’s tennis portfolio.
“It’s definitely about infrastructure,” Hunt said. “Keeping kids playing tennis for several years, that’s how a good program starts.”
There were multiple stations each day of the camp, all focused on different skills.
The main areas Seymour taught were groundstrokes, volleys at the net, either over or behind, and also serving.
One day for serving, the children competed with tic tac toe. If they got a serve, they could place an “X” or an “O”, so whoever could get the most serves would end up winning.
At the end of each day, one child from each group would receive a star, signifying that they did very well that day of camp.
Little games and prizes like that are what kept camp fun and gave the campers something to strive for while they worked on their skills.
“We focused on three main groups, your groundstroke game, your volley game and your serves,” Hunt said. “It’s kind of like playing those three main groups as the main building blocks for your tennis game.”
Hunt ran the camp with assistant coaches Liz Davis and Will Rinehart, and they also got a lot of help from members of the boys’ and girls’ tennis teams.
High school kids would be assigned to a group of campers and taken to each station. That not only helps build connections with younger players, but Hunt believes that coaching the game helps players improve as well.
“It’s also great that our high school kids are here and help out,” he said. “Teaching tennis is a great way to learn how to play tennis better, so obviously it’s a win for everyone involved.”
The Seymour men’s tennis team will begin their practices the first week of August before officially kicking off the 2023 season on August 14 at Waldron.