The Binghamton Tennis Center has designed a comprehensive junior pathway, the Junior Competitive Tennis Programs (JCTP), to take your child through age-appropriate stages of tennis skill development in a systematic engaging and fun way.
Fore more information on ranking or where to begin, email Ryan Cummings, junior development director.
Tennis training consists of 4 core competencies - Physical, technical, tactical and mental skills. If you’re interested to know what your junior is working on, below is a brief description of each:
Physical skills, in relation to tennis-specific athleticism, is segmented as agility, balance, coordination, speed, strength and flexibility or sometimes merely referred to as ABCs. This category also encompasses broader but skill defining subjects such as preparation, spacing and positioning and timing.
Technical skills development establishes knowledge, self-awareness and execution of the phases of stroke production. We cover forehand and backhand groundstrokes, volleys, overheads, serves and return and specialty shots such as approach shots, slices, taking the shot on the rise, swinging volleys, dropshots, etc. Each of these strokes the players are expected to know and execute the techniques, as they are taught through our curriculum, whether their goal is to perform at tournament level or recreationally. The curriculum covers the preparation and loading phase, efficient movement with precision footwork arriving with disciplined weight distribution and the unloading phase. As most other sports, tennis has common practices utilized by high performers (D1 athletes to touring pro) that allow for better consistency, precision, speed, spin, versatility and ultimately power.
The tactical element covers shot selection (offensive, defensive and neutral shots), the court zones and court position (situational awareness) which drive our shot selection process (when to try to win with a winner vs when to try to make the opponent make an error while, yourself, not succumbing to mistakes), shot tolerance (patience and consistency) and the stages of point construction, patterns of play, and general tennis IQ.
Mental skills is a broad topic but whether your player intends to reach high performance levels or a social player, this area directly translates off-court. Things like persistent focus to detail and committing to excelling at the basics force our players to learn that they can still win, even in loss, by influencing what is in their immediate control. The ability to unlearn habits, becoming aware of one's own limbs, body and thoughts, and rewiring the mind and body for new mechanical adjustments are not easy for anyone but over time players that persevere are rewarded as they establish the necessary foundation for optimal growth. Learning through failure is never comfortable but we encourage our juniors to see opportunity.
ADDITIONAL PLAYING OPPORTUNITIES
JUNIOR TEAM TENNIS
Binghamton Tennis Center has USTA Junior Team Tennis (JTT) and run an 18-and-under JTT league.
Teams are coed and match-ups are not gender specific but rather by level and ability.
Participating in junior ladders is the first step in development towards tournament play. Our ladders are a great compliment to our JCTP and lesson programs.
Binghamton Tennis Center hosts tournaments yearly as well as summer round robins. This is a great step for juniors who love the game and want to start competing!
Our summer tennis camps run all summer and are a great way for juniors to stay active. There are programs for every age group and skill level within our junior summer camps. Learn more, here.