Jack has been taking tennis lesson about a year and a half. He really enjoys it and feels apart of the Temple Terrace Junior Tennis scene (even though it is fairly small). Jack’s coach, Peter Adler, does a phenomenal job making the lessons fun while getting the most out of practice time. Based on Peter’s recommendation plus Jack REALLY wanting to play competitively, Jack played in his first rookie tournament in Plant City on September 25, 2010.
In order to play his first rookie tournament, Jack had to become a member of the USTA. Also, the youngest age group in which a player can register is 10 and under. Since the kid is 7, he was almost certain to play against older players. Both Peter and I explained to Jack this is a first tournament and the goal will be to gain experience playing against an opponent, scoring, and learning court etiquette. Frankly, our expectations had nothing to do with winning or losing.
Unfortunately (or fortunately based on your point of view), Jack’s age group only had a total of 3 players.
One of the players, Michael, was 9 years old and had considerable experience playing in rookie tournaments. Michael was also a “lefty” which was different. Not to mention, Jack had never played on a clay court before, but it did not seem to bother him at all.
Michael beat Jack 8-2 in the first tennis match of the tournament. While Jack was not victorious, he had a blast. He was competing really well and was scoring points in every game. The kids were talking during breaks and having a good time.
In the second match of the tournament, Jack played another TRUE rookie (first tournament), Devin who was 8 years old. Jack defeated his opponent 8-0. Just like the previous match, both players were having a good time chatting with each other and exchanging phone numbers about a possible rematch.
While the next tournament at Tampa Palms in November 2010 will, most likely, have more participants – this first tournament was a tremendously positive experience.