A day at Highgate Junior Tennis Camp

I arrived at the club just before 10am with my racket, bag with my lunch and drinks inside and a raincoat (just in case). I dropped my bag off inside the clubhouse and my mum gave me £1 to buy some snacks at the bar during break times.

I then went onto my courts with my mum to sign in with my coach for the day. The coach was very friendly and gave me a ball to practice some racket skills before we got going. I said bye to my mum and she left for the day. I was by myself but soon met a boy my age and we began playing together.

Once everyone arrived, the session began. We started off with our warm up so that we didn’t get injured. This began with some tennis movement steps, forwards, backwards and sideways before we introduced a ball and had to bounce and catch while moving around the court in different directions.

camp-banner book here

The exercises got harder as we got the hang of them. It was then time to use our racket with the ball and we were shown the skill to try and then were given time to practice before having a fun competition to see who could do the most in one minute.

Once we’d had a short break to get a drink, the coach told us that as it was Monday, the theme would be forehand. The coach demonstrated what this looked like and broke it down into three easy parts to remember. We were told to work in pairs and I worked with the boy I’d met when I first arrived.

We began with the coach hand feeding balls to me and my friend.  I had a go as the player who had to hit the ball with the correct technique whilst trying to land it over the net and into my friend’s hands. The coach would walk around and explain how we could improve our shot. Once we’d practised, we had a competition to see which pair could get to 20 catches first. We then changed roles and did the same things again. We got really good at this by the end.

We then got told it was break-time and so we went inside the clubhouse. I bought a snack from the lady at the bar.

Once break was over, the coach told us that we were going to do a drill. This meant that he would hit a ball over to me and I would have to hit it back over into a certain part of the court. I scored a point depending on where the ball landed. We were in two teams and the aim was for the first team to score 100 points. It was very fast and so much fun even though the other team won.

hiBook here

We then played a really fun game where we had to hit the ball over using the correct technique. If the ball missed then we had to come round to the coach’s side and try to catch another player’s ball to get back in the game. Eventually there was one player left and we were all trying to catch their ball but we didn’t manage to catch it and they won the game. We played this a few times and I managed to win the last game and got a clap from the coach.

It was then back to the clubhouse for lunch. I ate my sandwiches and bought another drink from the bar. We were told that we could go outside onto the field and play football, frisbee or cricket. My friend and I decided to play football with some other friends we had made in our group.

We got called back for the afternoon session but the group was a little smaller as some people only stayed for the morning. The afternoon started with learning what a rally was. We had to practice keeping the ball over the net with a partner so we had control of the ball. Again, the coach came round and gave me some advice about hitting the ball further in front of my body and it made a big difference. It was then time to see who could be the first pair to reach 50 shots with their partner.

It was then time to play some points against the other people in my group. We were put into pairs and we had to play against the other pairs. One pair were the kings/queens and if you beat them twice in a row you got to take their place. The team who won 15 crowns as kings/queens won the game and got a prize. My partner and I managed to win the game and we were given a smiley face dampener to put on our rackets. I was so happy.

Finals Day 2006.05

The day ended with a game of round the world. There were two lines and once you’d hit you’re forehand from one side of the court you had to run and join the line at the other side of the court. We started with 3 lives but every time we missed the ball we lost a life. The game got harder as more people got knocked out and I got to the last three but then used all my lives up. The two people played a best of three point decider to see who would win. My friend won!!!

It was then time to go and my mum came onto the court to sign me out. We then collected my bag and I told her what I had learnt about the forehand.

I can’t wait to learn about the backhand tomorrow…

You can book tennis camps here.