Written by DJ ROBO BISCUIT
Grassroots tennis is how you build up tennis in an area where it does not exist. It is not needed in a community where there is a tennis club with an active populace. It is also not necessarily needed in an affluent area with a private club. Grassroots tennis is needed an area (or community) where the people are middle class or upper-lower class — This would imply that the parents are NOT college tennis players and there is not an ample supply of “Tennis Knowledge.”
One way to go about growing the game of tennis is for somebody who is a skilled player — let us say either a tennis coach or a 4.5 player or an ex-college player — to take up a protege or a young student. In this community ideally the young student would be a boy or a girl of the age of 10 or 11 0r 12; this is a good age for the kid to learn the game based on their height and general coordination (and they can learn as the coach teaches).
This coach will need to have a big heart. If tennis is entirely new to the community then one would suspect that the parents and/or adults will not see the value in the tennis because nobody is able to play and why should the parent pay a random stranger $20 or $30 or $40 per hour to show their kid how to hit some balls over a net???
The goal of the coach is to develop the young player from zero to hero. Take the kid and teach him/her strokes and movement so that, over time, the kid resembles the tennis players people would see on television. As this one player develops there will be some small miracles that will occur. 1) the parents will start to see a tennis player instead of just their kid struggling to hit some balls 2) Other people will see the player and coach while passing by; but more people will take notice of the small kid who looks like those professionals they see once or twice a year on television 3) Other children might start to take notice
A tennis coach has to do A LOT of talking in order to explain the game and “pitch” the idea of playing tennis to parents and curious people. Nothing and i mean NOTHING works more magic than the skill of the student. Once the young student (boy or girl) shows the ability to play tennis and run around and hit the ball and win points; YOU as the Coach has gained credibility and all of a sudden, you shall be a respected expert. There is also a high chance that other kids (hopefully athletic) will want to learn the game.
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