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Murray Journal

Murray girls tennis team trains the next generation of players

Nov 02, 2021 12:03PM ● By Lenna Proctor

By Lenna Proctor | [email protected]

On Sept. 20 the Murray High School girls tennis team, and its 34 girls, hosted a fundraiser clinic. The purpose was to help aspiring young tennis players learn about tennis, the rules, and how the game works. This clinic was also an opportunity for the team as a whole—it allows them to teach and mentor and to improve their individual ability and skills as a player. 

Coach Andrea Perschon works hard to promote the sport as a whole. That evening they had 20 elementary and junior high-aged kids spread out between three courts. The kids rotated between different stations working on various skills from forehand and backhand, the importance of a strong serve and defending your court and lines. 

Several team players talked about what they enjoy most about hosting this camp. Senior Sadie Milne stated that she “feels that teaching younger players different skills helps me as a player focus on the technique, doing this helps me improve as a player and focus on the overall game.” 

Mira Martin believes that “this camp helps me think about where I started as a player. It also helps me reflect on how I play, how I can improve and, at times, when I should go back to the basics.” 

And Chichi Eke-Ukoh knows that “when you play tennis a lot, you forget the basics, it’s easy to focus on winning the point, rather than the technique and skill involved. Working with new, inexperienced players, it helps me remember where I started, rebuild from there and grow and improve as a player.” 

Perschon enjoys hosting this camp. She feels it not only benefits the clinic attendees but she sees the benefits to her team. She wants her players to have fun, learn how to hit the ball. Teaching younger players gives them the opportunity to learn how to improve their technique, gain a better understanding of the rules and proper tennis etiquette. 

Dakota Riches, a sixth-grader at Horizon Elementary school, said he enjoys “attending tennis camp because it gives me the chance to meet lots of new people and laugh. I learn a lot about tennis techniques, like top spins and smashes. The coaches make learning fun.”

Twelve-year-old Kloey Cottle has been attending the summer and fall clinics with Perschon since she was six. She likes how Perschon teaches her to notice any mistakes, learn to adjust and immediately fix them. 

“Coach Perschon teaches us different ways to work on our serve. I have learned how to place technical shots that are harder for the opposing player to hit.” Kloey enjoys that the clinics are full of games and drills that teach various aspects of the game, particularly AVO (approach shots, volleys and overheads, which focus on ball placement). 

“I have learned the skills necessary to win matches, as well as good technique at the Murray Tennis camps and clinics,” Cottle said.