The USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center is expanding its Mommy and Me tennis program to accommodate more participants, and is adding an Orange 2 class to its 10 and Under Tennis program.
Young children begin tennis lessons with smaller racquets and tennis balls with 25 percent of the compression of a regular tennis ball, which bounces in the kids’ strike zone.
The United States Tennis Association’s Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, home to the US Open, is expanding its Mommy and Me (adult-child) program to more courts to allow for more participants. The program can now accommodate 20 kids per class. It is also adding an Orange 2 class for kids in the 10 and Under Tennis program.
The Mommy and Me program, for children ages 2½-5 and their adult caretaker, aims to introduce children to the game aspect of tennis before introducing it as a sport. Activities may include hitting balloons or throwing a ball through a hoop to learn the correct tennis motions. The activities aim to build the kids’ hand-eye coordination for successful tennis play in the future.
Coach Nouri El-Hajjar, who runs the Mommy and Me program and has been teaching all ages at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center since 2006, is accompanied by four assistants, who help teach the young children different techniques to be successful in tennis. “Coach Nouri’s philosophy is you’ve got to teach high-quality basic techniques that you’ll be able to build upon, so that as the student grows, their skills can then grow,” says Jan Adams-Richards, coordinator of tennis programs at Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.
The Orange 2 class in the 10 and Under Tennis program is for 9- to 10-year-olds who don’t have the skills to advance to the Green 1 level, but are too advanced in skill for the introductory Orange class.
The Mommy and Me program now accommodates 20 participants and runs Saturdays and Sundays at 9am. The Orange 2 class runs Saturdays and Sundays at 11:30am and Mondays and Wednesdays at 4pm. Both programs run from Sept. 20-Dec. 21.