Just last week, a Saturday night dinner at the Ram Restaurant in Sun Valley Village seemed like a great idea. One member of our party was anxious to try the nightly $25 special of Hungarian Goulash, and an evening spent at the beautiful eatery, accompanied by live piano music, and noshing on delicious food sounded perfect. Our decision proved even more prescient when the server announced that the Ram was running a spring special: fondue for two (free!) with the purchase of any two entrees. It was a bubbling, gold prize at the end of the proverbial rainbow!
Fondue for two with...
For the past two weeks, every cool summer morning has seen my family at the Sun Valley Tennis Courts. My 10-year-old son participated in Tennis Camp last week and Junior Clinics this week and the 17 hard courts are definitely the place to be during these last gorgeous weeks of summer.
Pros like Geordie Foster make tennis fun for children while building important skills
The tennis program at Sun Valley is set up to instill a love for the sport in children and young teens. The deep, experienced roster of pros keep the programs fun and energetic while working on all the important skills and strokes. All camps maintain a maximum of a 5:1 coach to player ratio and work on progressive drilling, active practice, supervised match play, and on and off court instruction.
According to Director of Tennis Mark Rodel, “The camp days are actually quite structured. We always have a lesson plan and we keep the pace moving. Players are paired up, moved around, and shifted throughout the morning. We have had great success this summer in finding pairings that work. Everything is done according to ability. We have really incredible coaches who put the pieces together for every group. They get all the credit.”
Time at Sun Valley tennis camps and clinics involves personalized instruction, drills, games and plenty of variety to keep kids interested
He continued, “There is a skill focus each day. The pros demonstrate it then the kids practice it and play, putting that skill into their game. It’s teach, practice, play.” Understanding that children’s attention can sometimes wander, Mark and his team always offer a mid-morning break to play field games. “We keep things moving to keep their interest,” Mark said.
At last week’s camp, my son and two of his local buddies joined a group of other kiddos, many on vacation in Sun Valley or visiting family and friends, for five days of games, drills and rallies. Camp ran from 9 a.m. to noon followed by a picnic lunch on the deck for the entire group.
They loved it.
Two local players get their game on during a recent week at tennis camp
Junior clinics run from 9 – 10:30 a.m. and will be offered through Labor Day weekend. Appropriate for children from 7 – 14 years old, again, the emphasis is on skill building and having fun. “I have complete confidence in our pros,” Mark said. “Even if a clinic group is made of players with different experience levels, they make sure everyone gets personalized attention and gets something great out of the day.” On the day that I peeked in at the end of the clinic, the players were working with pro Robert on their serve tosses. They were all smiles and working hard.
Even little Sun Valley campers enjoy the beautifully situated courts. The daily Adventure Camps often include a walk down to the courts to bounce tennis balls and learn some basics of the sport without even knowing it.
There are also numerous other ways to enjoy this terrific sport. Private and semi-private lessons are available for both children and adults and will be offered for the next few weeks. Cardio tennis and ball machine workouts are also a great option. The Lyle Pearson Labor Day Tournament is coming up from Saturday, September 5, to Monday, September 7. Entries close Sunday, August 31 and participants MUST sign up on USTA.com.
Kids and courts are a winning combination during the summer months in Sun Valley
Tennis camps and clinics are a fabulous way to build skills and learn the fundamentals of this lifelong sport for children. Be sure to get into the swing! We did and it was one of the highlights of the summer.
Director of Sun Valley Guest Services Tony Parkhill concluded, “this program is core to the Sun Valley experience and our commitment to family values and a great sport.”
Not sure which program is right for your children? Want to play? For more information or to book a lesson, ball machine, or court, please call the courteous and helpful staff at 208.622.2156.
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