It's been a hot minute since I did a Tennis Tuesday so I wanted to talk a little about how to start playing if it is something that interests you!
I think the first time I picked up a racquet was in high school. A friend of mine had a local court near her house and we just fiddled around with "attempting" to hit back and forth when in actuality it was us mostly running after the ball. I played again in my young adult years around 18-22 when my then husband (now ex) was in the Navy and some of his shipmates would like to play from time to time and I would join them. Again, not much more than chasing the ball around. My current foray into tennis began when I saw a flyer at my local YMCA about tennis clinics and I thought I would check it out.
After that first lesson, I was completely hooked. I found my 'thing'!
Once I had a few very beginner lessons under my belt, the tennis pro suggested that I do a New Players Clinic that was starting soon. This was a great way to ease into playing actual matches and meeting people to play with. I also started going to the courts and renting a ball machine on my non-class days to start working on strokes and making sure my forehand and backhand forms were right. I would also do clinics that work on specific fundamentals (volley, serve, poaching, etc). After doing all of those, I think I was finally ready to dip my toe into league play.
If you are looking to start taking lessons or classes and aren't really sure where to start or even if you do not have anyone to play with, I highly encourage you to just start looking for programs in your area. One of the best links to start out is from the main usta.com website. From there, you can locate which section of the country you are in. Each of those regional usta websites, will break it down even further into State websites. Be sure to check out your regional and state USTA (United States Tennis Association)'s facebook pages and twitter feeds for the best source of local tournaments, area tennis events and league sign ups.
You can also google to see if there are any local city tennis sites. My local one is BatonRougeTennis.com. This page was even more valuable to me because it lists out local courts and if they are lighted or not. It also has plenty of information about new leagues and if there are any captains looking to fill spots on their teams (this was how I got on my Mixed Doubles team that went to the State Tournament and the Sectionals Tournament!). It also lists other local links that are a wonderful resource as a new player. And you can even find out when you can play recreationally, for example a listing of locations and offer Round Robin play. (Round Robin's are another great way to find local people who play on your level also!)
So there you have it. Hopefully if you are even remotely interested in tennis, you will find this helpful! If you are interested and want help with locating local places for you to play, I'm more than willing to try to help out those who are interested! Just shoot me an email at the above or comment below. I'm always looking to talk tennis with others (and secretly wish there were more tennis bloggers out there to talk with and obsess over tennis!) Sadly, I can't seem to find too many of us on the interwebz who play casual competitive tennis!
Aannnd the captain called me and apparently I am playing tonight after all! Match days make me a very happy girl!