Chadron State College students and community members had the opportunity to learn the basics of youth tennis education from United States Tennis Association (USTA) national trainer Dave Boon Oct. 1.
Boon, of Fort Collins, Colorado, led the free, 4-hour workshop sponsored by Chadron Community Recreation.
Health Physical Education and Recreation majors enrolled in Donna Ritzen’s Teaching Individual and Dual Sports course and John Ritzen’s Essential Studies course Individual Sports and Activities, participated, along with a few CSC employees and two guests from Bridgeport, Nebraska.
Boon explained the USTA directs an impressive amount of the proceeds from the U.S. Open, the nation’s largest annual professional sporting event, to support tennis education in schools and other youth organizations.
CSC student and Chadron High School assistant football coach Brandon Girard said he enjoyed learning innovative ways to interact with children and keep them active with tennis.
“Dave showed us how to keep the kids entertained and how to control them in fun ways. This workshop will add to my resume. How often do you get time with a national trainer from any other professional sport?” Girard said.
Both Girard and Dusty Stodola, a CSC student and 2014 All American wrestler, plan to take an online follow-up test. Successful completion of the USTA test will certify those who attended the workshop to teach youth tennis.
Stodola said Boon's enthusiasm was contagious and that he provided the 25 workshop attendees with valuable techniques to teach foundational skills for tennis. Boon emphasized that teachers and coaches should praise children based on their effort instead of their talent level.
“I need to remember that as I become a coach and P.E. teacher. If you don’t watch yourself, it’s easy to gradually focus on just the kids with the higher ability,” Stodola said.
Boon used small makeshift courts, large foam balls, and large racquets which, he explained, help children experience success as they progress.
Boon told the group that three main points of age 10 and under workshops can be summarized by ABC: Agility, Balance and Coordination. He used games to demonstrate that learning the ABCs can be fun.
“He was able to keep us working on developing the same skill even though he changed the activities every five minutes. He did exactly what I want to do as a coach and physical education teacher – focus on the fun of learning a lifelong sport,” Stodola said.
—Tena L. Cook, Marketing Coordinator