Even with the threat of thunderstorms and a tornado warning in the area, tennis instructors Gillian Driscoll and Nancy Cupek still squeezed a couple of lessons in on Wednesday. Driscoll and Cupek held their instructional sessions up at the Hillside Courts in Hastings-on-Hudson right next to the Chemka Pool. The duo used a lighthearted and fun atmosphere while still giving advice to get the children to respond. There will be lessons held throughout the summer, more information on the sessions can be found here .
Dozens of tennis balls lay across the courts as each child stepped up to the line and took their swings as Driscoll and Cupek lobbed balls over the net. In a short period of time the kids started to progress and by the end of the session, each one was hitting the ball consistently. It's this type of quick improvement that helps to motivate the two instructors.
"Some of the kids that were with us in the fall come back in the spring and I can't believe how good they are, especially if they have an interest," Driscoll said.
With many of the children being so young, with ages ranging anywhere from four to 12, sometimes the instructors need to get creative to keep their students' attention. On Wednesday they used team games to help teach the basics of tennis, which the kids were more than enthusiastic about. Driscoll and Cupek have been teaching tennis in the program for seven years and have seen many of their students improve greatly, but say it is crucial that they "make sure the child wants to be here" in order for them to improve. The ones that truly enjoy the game progress miles according to the two.
"They have to want to come," Cupek said. "We want to encourage them in something they're going to love to do. And when they are interested we can teach them."
Courses are offered in the summer and in the fall at the Hillside Courts and since the sessions are broken up over such a period of time it gives them the opportunity to witness the progress of their students.
"They want to be here and then they really make an effort and it's very satisfying when they come back the second time and you see the improvement in them," Cupek said. "It really is."
Do you know of any summer programs for people in Hastings?
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