The young Lady Knights take their tennis racquets to the high school courts

Southington coach Robin Thompson held her Girls’ Tennis Skills Camp from July 6-9 at the high school for a group of about 11 girls entering grades four through nine. Thompson started the camp last year.

“The purpose of this whole camp really is to introduce kids to the sport that either have zero experience or have a little bit of experience,” said Thompson. We approach that starting at square one. We’re teaching fundamental forehands and backhands. We’re trying to gauge each player’s skill level and trying to keep them with players of their similar abilities. It’s been a little aggressive, but without trying to be too onerous and overwhelming for the kids. One of our approaches is that we try to get them to understand that it’s a little more complicated than it looks, but it can be a lot of fun when played really well. Hopefully, it gets kids to fall in love with the sport.”

Everyday featured a different set of two skills that Thompson had the girls work on. Monday, the girls worked on forehands and backhands, Tuesday was volleys and serves, and Thursday was the lob shot and smash. Friday brought basic skills for about an hour and games for fun and contests. The girls also played games against each other and were taught the proper way to keep score during a match.

Thompson said that one of the ways she has gotten kids to sign up for her camp was through her involvement with coaching girls’ volleyball. She also said that she hopes that her connection with volleyball will start to attract more interest in the sport.

“I’m trying to build a following,” said Thompson. “I’m hoping that the more success we have, especially the success we’ve had this year, will gain momentum and we become more of a premiere sport in town.”

Photos by BRIAN JENNINGS

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