Tennis is a great way to stay active, whether just rallying for fun or playing in a competitive match.
During the past year, it’s been one of the sports that people have been able to continue to enjoy although with some health protocol modifications.
With the arrival of warmer weather, it’s a great time to get out on the courts and brush up the skills for a new season. The demand for tennis in the Parksville Qualicum Beach area is growing.
For many people, tennis can seem quite difficult at first. Fortunately, there are easy ways to get started these days.
Tennis Canada adopted the “Progressive Tennis” model, primarily to have equipment and court size modified to fit different ages and levels of kids. The main difference is in the three progressive balls (red, orange and green dot). They are much easier to control and rally with. The progressive balls are also great for new adult players learning to play.
Through the Regional District of Nanaimo Parks and Recreation department, Parksville tennis instructor Alan Oslie has been leading several youth and adult group tennis clinics at the Springwood courts for the past several years. As there won’t be a printed parks and rec active guide this year, Oslie wanted to get the word out to create awareness of the offerings.
Oslie said they anticipate provincial COVID policies will permit small group tennis activities in the near future. If permitted, starting May 31, Oslie will lead adult beginner tennis lessons on Monday evenings at Springwood tennis courts in Parksville. Monday afternoon will be junior group instruction for ages eight to 13.
The lessons are run in a fun, active “clinic-style” setup, with a different theme each week. Forehand, backhand, volleys, overheads, serve and footwork are all covered. These programs can be booked through the RDN Recreation and Parks website www.rdn.bc.ca/recreation
Tip of the month
Move Your Feet. The most common mistake with recreational players is that they don’t move quickly to set up for their next shot. Many take footwork for granted, and it’s true that it isn’t overly difficult to move to the ball. However, many players arrive to the ball late and are not set up in their best position to hit the shot, which causes the wrong contact point resulting in miss-hits.
The first key to improving footwork is to watch your opponent hit, which will help you anticipate where the ball is going to end up in your court. You then move quickly to that area while preparing your racquet for backhand or forehand. If you moved quickly and prepared by getting your racquet back, you will usually have time to adjust by using little shuffle steps to move your body so that ball ends up in your strike zone.
Arrowsmith Tennis Club update
There are good quality, accessible outdoor tennis courts in Parksville Qualicum Beach. The Springwood and Qualicum courts are largely maintained by volunteers from Arrowsmith Tennis Club. Recently, the Qualicum Beach Tennis club has decided to join forces with the Arrowsmith club. The Arrowsmith club plays on both the Qualicum tennis courts and the Springwood courts in Parksville. For membership information, events and updated court times please visit the website at arrowsmithtennis.ca.
Submitted by Alan Oslie who is an experienced Tennis Canada certified coach and member of the Tennis Professionals Association. For more information contact Alantennis@shaw.ca