Think your child could be the next Serena Williams or Rafael Nadal? Why not sign them up for a round of tennis lessons? Tennis is a great way for active kids to burn off energy and improve their coordination. Thankfully, NYC is full of venues that teach children through private and group lessons. Some of the following top six tennis lessons are public and some are private, but they all preach the same message: sportsmanship and fun.
The game attraction. At Chelsea Piers’ Field House Little Aces Tennis is a new program for kids 5 to 6 that teaches small group tennis in a fun way. Classes focus on movement, muscle coordination and game fundamentals. Lessons are held on a basketball court that has been outfitted with new tennis equipment. 62 Chelsea Piers, Chelsea
The place for rain or shine. A classic venue that opened in the 1960s, Midtown Tennis Club has no membership fees; lessons for kids and teens are all indoors, leading to fewer cancellations due to inclement weather. QuickStart is for kids ages 4 to 8 (mini nets and low-pressure balls are used). There’s a Junior Program for ages 8 to 16; summer camp sessions are also available. Children’s ages and experience levels are matched to a specific racquet and ball; lessons are taught by certified members of the Manhattan Tennis Academy. 341 Eighth Ave., Chelsea
Where everybody knows your name. Known for its friendly vibe and personal touch, Alley Pond of Queens Village is a smaller, more intimate tennis club open year-round. Alley Pond’s small teaching staff of men and women have played competitively themselves. Private and group lessons are available for kiddies as young as 3 years old and birthday party packages are available too. (Note: May to October lessons are outdoors, while winter lessons are held indoors.) 79-20 Winchester Blvd., Queens Village
The Queens hotspot. Located in Forest Hills, Queens is the beautiful West Side Tennis Club, the former home of the U.S. Open. Lessons are available for both young members and non-members alike. Kiddie classes – including a 30-minute Mommy and Me class for 3 year olds and their caretakers takes a lighthearted approach to tennis that’s also, of course, fun. Mommy and Me classes focus on just the basics for youngsters: How to hold a racquet, how to catch, and so forth; paving the way for more serious training later on. 1 Tennis Place., Forest Hills, Queens
Brooklyn and beyond. The buzz on Bumble Bee Tennis is that it has five locations for lessons – Soho, Gramercy, Columbus Circle @ John Jay College, Fort Greene and Astoria. Small group lessons are available for kids as young as 3 years old, but Tiny Tennis, for kids ages 4 to 7, is Bumble Bee’s most popular. Every class begins with running and stretching and half the court is used for basic skills. For kids aged 7 to 10 and 9 to 13 there are Junior programs at various skill levels. User-friendly online scheduling allows parents to register their children for lessons at various Bumble Bee locations.
Free NYC-sponsored programs. NYJTL Community Tennis Programs offers kids ages 5 to 18 free tennis in all five boroughs, year round. Community Tennis operates in over 30 schoolyards and public parks from 3 p.m. – 6 p.m. during the Spring and at 39 summer camp locations from 9 a.m.- 4 p.m. during the week. NYJTL Community Tennis Programs provide racquets, balls and nets for children to play so all they need is a pair of sneakers.
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