UNION — Local tennis pro Brad Tate is seeing positive results from the athletes participating in the annual tennis camp he’s holding this week at Foster Park.
“All the beginners have done really well, more so than usual,” said Tate. “You really have to work at your strokes in tennis. Kids like Caroline (Berry) and her brother (John Berry) have just been picking it up really fast and it’s been exciting for me, very rewarding.”
In addition to the progression of newcomers to the program, Tate is pleased with the level of talent that his veterans are reaching.
“Most of these kids have taken lessons with me for a couple of years or so and they’re just moving on to another level,” he said. “You’re going to hear a lot of good things out of Alexa Nance. She’s very competitive and she loves the game. She’s been playing tennis for one year and I’ve never seen anybody progress as fast as she has.”
Tate added that Nance has been giving his assistant, UCHS tennis ace, Matt Haney, a run for his money on the court this week.
“Matt’s been playing tennis since he was six years old, she’s giving him fits,” said Tate. “I’ve been teaching her pro techniques and she’s already got a pro-style serve, which is unheard of. Usually you have to work up to that and start with basic techniques.”
Tate feels that athletes who begin learning their chosen sport at a young age have a much better chance of excelling.
“It’s really key with tennis,” he said. “If you start when you’re young, it’s easy to pick back up whereas if you try to start when you’re 14, 15, the strokes are just not there. The younger you can start, the better.”
Tate’s tennis camp will conclude on Friday after rain forced a postponement to the start of this week’s lessons.