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Tennis Camp: Unleashing your racquet warrior

I'm an avid tennis player. Now, this in no way means I'm a very good tennis player. In fact, many a colorful epithet has spewed forth from my mouth on the courts from time to time, but despite my frustration, I love this game. I played in high school but was not good enough to play in college. Then, after the birth of my son, I wanted to get back into a fitness routine, but the thought of going to the gym was as appealing as staying up all night with a screaming infant. So I decided to get back into tennis.

This meant taking classes and joining the USTA (United States Tennis Association) leagues in my area. 6 years later, I'm a much better player, though still known to unleash my inner Johnny Mac from time to time. And I've discovered that the best way to improve and get away from it all is by going to tennis camp.

Now, there are week-long camps and weekend camps, one-day camps, two-day camps and just about any other combination. I've done weekend camps twice now and recommend them highly. Not only is it nice to get away for the weekend, but you get about 6-8 hours of tennis each day, with a mix of instruction and drills. Groups are normally small, with about 4 people per court and one pro per group. Most places include food and lodging in their prices and it's not overly expensive considering all the hands-on help you're getting.

One word of caution: because you are getting instruction on how to fix what might be broke with your swing, it will get worse before it gets better. This, if you are like me, is immensely frustrating and difficult to deal with because your muscle memory is set and you're basically trying to teach an old muscle new tricks. Your brain will not like this very much. And neither will your game. But if you keep at it, eventually it will get better. At least that's what I tell myself.

The two camps I've attended are Total Tennis in Saugerties, NY and New England Tennis Holidays (NETH) in Sugarbush in VT. You can easily Google adult tennis camps to find one hopefully near you. And if you have money or time, there are camps at resorts all over the country and the world where you can play and bask in the sand and sun. Total Tennis was more affordable, closer to me and covered all meals and lodging but NETH was nicer, more picturesque and videotaped our strokes so we could see exactly what we were doing wrong. I found this more helpful and the advice I got there was the best I've ever received to help improve MY game. (Disclaimer: I won the trip to NETH, so I only paid for food/lodging, but I received all the tennis instruction for free.)

Anyway, whether you want to be Federer or Williams or just better than your neighbor, tennis camp can help take your game to the next level, and give you a nice weekend away to boot.

Have you ever done an adult sports camp? We'd love to hear all about it.

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