Fit City Success: Free tennis classes in Tyler keep kids fit for summer

TYLER (KYTX) - No snoozing late for the kids attending the City of Tyler's Parks and Recreation Department's Summer Tennis Program. 

Coach asks, "What are we playing tennis?" Kids answer happily, "Tennis!"

They may be out of school for the summer, but tennis classes are in session.  "This particular program allows them to learn the basics of tennis, it's a very exciting program," says Marilyn Williams, grandmother to student, Caleb.

Marilyn Williams brings her grandson, Caleb.  She says he's having a lot of fun learning what it takes to be competitive on the court. Coach asks Caleb, "Boom! Show me what you got!" 

"Hey, Mom," says Daniel.  Daniel's mom, Tonya McClelland says it's important to keep her children active on summer break.  "He's 7.  He needs hand eye coordination and he doesn't want to be outside, so we came here because he needs experience to get outside, just a reason to play and not be in front of the TV."

The free classes are offered for beginners, intermediate and advanced players.  "I am really dedicated to tennis and I like it," says Elvin Prudhomme, a tennis student.  "I like serving the best," says Blake Smith. 

Coach Ronnie Blake teaches safety.  "Don't swing in line.  Safety, safety, safety," reminds Coach Blake.  He also teaches the tennis basics to get them loving the game.

"We do basic volleys where they get to the net and just punch a ball, or we get to the side where they can hit a ball and if they miss it to just continue swinging to try and make contact with that ball," says Coach Blake.

They're not only teaching hand and eye coordination at tennis camp, they're also teaching balance which is essential in the game of tennis.

"I'm really into tennis and I want to get better so I can do better at tennis than I did this year," says Ryan Jacks.

Between tennis strokes, the campers work on their cardio endurance. "You're wore out when you're done, but it's not like, I'm never going to do this again, its Iike yeah, that was kind of fun," says Ryan.

"If we can get them started early and enjoying it, maybe we can keep them doing it forever," says Coach Blake. 

Tennis adds up to a big calorie burner.  If you're playing a real game of tennis at full speed, you can burn at least 400 calories per hour.



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