Thursday, June 10, 2010

Shameless Plug: Tennis Anyone?

My 3 year daughter can jump, swim and run. She's the Bo Jackson of the family. She can flip, dance, shoot, kick, and swing a bat with more vigor than, dare I say, her 5 year old brother.  She is a competitive little go getter. My husband and I joke that Sophia, our dirt loving, car playing, princess will grow up to be a tennis star mom as her coach.

And, in reality, we'd love it to happen.

My mom claims she was going to go Pro in Tennis until she became pregnant with me.
I don't doubt it for a second. With a mean serve that could make Venus Williams think twice and a powerful forehand that could give any tennis player a run for their money, my mom probably could have been Serena before Serena, minus the sibling. And this time of year is my mom's favorite. Tennis is in the air and on TV. She can literally eat, breath and live tennis.

We grew up on the courts.

Where most parents were taking their kids to the park, mine would take us to the tennis courts, whether it was to hang out court side while my parents hit the ball around, my mom always delivering a beating to my dad (sorry dad) or to play in the grass next to the courts, as my mom coached a tennis lesson or played in a round robin. My sister and I also did our fair share of hitting the ball around, and unfortunately that's all it became. When we went out to play, instead of just playing, my mom wanted to coach and and mold us into little tennis players and I think that's where we slowly grew away from tennis. After all, as a kid, you are more likely to take instruction from a perfect stranger than from your own parents. So off I went, onto become a swimmer, and my sister a runner. But my mom still hangs around the courts, where swimming is truly the place I call home, her home is the tennis court. On the courts my mom becomes a different person, confident. She knows the court like the back of her hand. If you were to blindfold, her she could probably still coach tennis, hearing where the ball dropped and immediately knowing whether it was out or in and the sound of the ball bouncing off the racket would let her know if the ball was flat and your grip was loose.

My mom is involved in tennis year round, coaching the North Penn Varsity girls tennis in the fall,  coaching the boys Junior Varsity tennis in the spring, and in the summer, running her tennis program at Upper Gwynedd. She is totally in her element, hundreds of kids come every summer, and return every summer to spend mornings or evening on the court with my mom. Some of them come for fun, to get involved and stay active. Some of them advance to receive private lessons, grow up to be on the tennis team at the high school and  some come back from college in the summer to work as instructors in her Upper Gwynedd program. My mom is great with tennis, but she is great with the kids. Not only does she care about each kid as if they were her own, taking a vested interest in them, she matches them minute for minute with energy.

Children love my mother.

My parents used to accompany us to every sporting event as a child, whether to the pool or on the track, not as the parents who were telling you what to do , pushing you, but as supportive parents, just to be there and watch you succeed. They encouraged us to be involved and stay committed. Teaching us to win humbly, loose gracefully and most importantly have fun in the process. This not only made an impression on us, but our teammates. I remember going to events and when my teammates saw me, they would ask if my parents were there too. They also took interest in and encouraged the other athletes.

And now, my children love my mom.

She's is a hands on grandmother, creating crafts for them to do, playing in the back yard, chasing them around the block on their bikes or on foot and walking them up to the train station.  I think they look at her less as a grandmother and more as one of them, as she matches their energy, the energy of kids under the age of 5. She is fully involved. I would trust my mom fully with my children on any day, and my friends children and a strangers children.

So, as summer comes upon us, my mom is about to bloom into her element as she begins her tennis program at Upper Gwynedd. She will be taking her post, not just court side, but running up and down the court, surrounded by kids, rackets and tennis balls, loving every single minute. 

As for Tennis is not only her game, but her life.

Whether you child has interest in tennis, wants to work on their skill, improve their game, or you just want to get your child out of the house, this program is perfect for everyone, with different instructional levels  tailored to your child. The tennis program, for kids and teens ranging in age from 7 to 17 and adults, runs from June to August with multiple sessions and days including instructional lessons, games and tournaments.

For more information on the Upper Gwynedd Tennis Program  and Tournaments happening through out the summer please visit the Upper Gwynedd website. If you would like some information or have questions about this program, private lessons, or the summer tournaments for adults, please contact my mom, Dannette Strader at

                                                      My mom (in the middle) with some
                                                                   of her tennis players.

Children's Class 2007

Adult and Teen July 2007

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for stopping by! I love comments!