The Houston City Club completed its most successful junior tennis program this August, teaching more than 300 children in its summer academy.
Greg Vinbladh, director of tennis, and Zeze de Moura, head of player development, credit the QuickStart format for the attraction and retention of the participation.
The club has become one of the first in the city to alter the appearance of two of its courts to embrace the new rule that the USTA is requiring for 10-and-under players, effective Jan. 1, 2012. Additional lines have been painted on the two courts to designate a 60 by 21 feet court, suitable for nine and ten-year-olds, and 36 by 18 feet courts for eight-and-under children.
"The club is committed financially and physically to develop a superb junior program," Vinbladh said.
"Sammy Giammalva, Jr., who has used QuickStart for several years at his Giammalva Racquet Club in Spring, showed me the value of the program and its appeal to families," he explained.
"Our membership has fully embraced the program, families love it, and our junior development program is the leader among clubs in the city proper," Vinbladh concluded.
De Moura described the simplicity and success of the QuickStart format.
"The kids learn tennis on a smaller court with lower-bouncing, slower-moving balls and lighter, shorter racquets," de Moura said.
"They have fun instantly and can increase their skills at their own pace," he added.
Five QuickStart certified pros direct activities in the program, which will continue after school in a shortened time span.
"We encourage families to participate in our sessions when they can," de Moura continued. "Our Saturday sessions are specifically designed for parent and child, and we instruct the parents on how to work with their child on their own time."
The club is accepting players for its fall after-school program. Juniors are divided into age-appropriate classes. For information call the club at (713) 840-9001.