I want my kids to play tennis. It's a great life sport that does not require a big, athletic body, you only need one other person to play the game, and you get a good workout. We've been taking some tennis lessons with the two kids. Helena had lessons twice a week last summer, and they both took lessons at Marshall in the spring. This summer, however, was going to be the summer of daily tennis in order to work on the skills that should be the foundation for their years of playing in the future. That was the plan, anyhow.
The class sizes were fairly small at Wick, which should be a good thing. However, the two instructors never really made the most out of having two of them there. This was understandable at first: one instructor tosses the ball and the other helps with form. By week two, however, the kids really could have been getting many more reps instead of standing in lines waiting to hit the ball. I'm fine with a little down time, but we took the kids to learn tennis AND get a lot of exercise.
The games the kids played worked a little bit on the skills, but not as much as the instructor from Marshall had done. Unfortunately, it seemed like ALL he wanted to do was skills work, and that method got boring to the kids. Honestly, it just seems like many of the Milwaukee Recreation classes need a simple lesson plan created for each session as the teachers seem to do well one day and then forget some activities the next.
Competitive games were set up, but I keep wishing we had the USTA kid nets and balls. Some of the kids hit the ball too hard and some can't get it over the net. The new system has bigger balls and smaller courts set up. Our kids were using very bouncy, hard balls all summer, and it just seems like they would have had more fun with the little kid version.
The instructors were there daily and nice to the kids, but as is par for the course with Milwaukee Rec, they were unprofessional in some ways. One rain out only needed a drying off of the courts to fix. The other rain out was made up on a Friday that was not a scheduled day, and the parents were told about it the day before. Last, and certainly least, was the bringing along of a two year-old nephew to babysit while teaching. He walked onto the court several times over several different days.
The kids made some new friends and I'm sure had some lasting memories, but this class was another example of how parents with a few resources can probably do better on their own.