Tennis Takes on a New Opponent: Summer Brain Drain

Summer, summer, summertime…time to sit back and unwind…The lyrics to the hit song, “Summertime,” by DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince always seem to roll around in my head whenever I start to think about summer. And the lyrics couldn’t be truer; summertime is a time to relax and rejuvenate especially for school-age kids who are finishing up nine-ish months of schoolwork and learning.

But summer brain drain – when kids can experience learning loss – is a real thing parents have to consider and try to mitigate. Now is the time when parents are searching for summer camp options and other activities that ensure their children stay active, engaged and satisfied and not just become lumps in front of screens. We all want our children to have memorable and enriching experiences throughout the summer while making sure they are set up for success heading into the next school year. But how do you prevent the summer slide?

In the Washington Post, three local teachers offered tips for preventing summer brain drain. What are some of the tips for younger kids? Playing and trying a new sport.

This is where tennis can be an aggressive opponent to dominate summer brain drain.

Tennis is a safe sport that develops health and fitness as well as hand-eye coordination, balance and body coordination. Tennis also nurtures work ethic and discipline, while teaching young players responsibility and sportsmanship, all great lessons to work on during the summer to prepare for the school year ahead.

A great way to try a new sport and give kids a chance to play is through summer camps. In fact in a recent poll of about 60 parents, we asked them why they are interested in tennis camps. Their number one reason (63 percent) was so that their child could try a new sport.

Try tennis with TGA this summer

Loudoun Valley TGA

USTA Mid-Atlantic will host several tennis summer camps through our TGA Premier Youth Tennis program (TGA) located in Anne Arundel, Md., Loudoun County, Va., Richmond, Va. (RVA), and in areas of West Virginia. TGA introduces the lifelong sport of tennis at a young age through programs that provide a fun and enriching experience for children. The program offers a blend of skills development with character development and introduces STEM concepts for a fun and well-rounded experience.

TGA Premier Youth Tennis camps provide expert instruction and exciting activities that keep children entertained. Camp ratios are kept low so that the coaching staff can provide ample individual attention and instruction tailored to the skill levels of the participants.

A typical camp day includes:

  • Rotating among station-based activities that work on racquet and rally skills.
  • Fun games such as red light, green light, and desert island with a tennis twist.
  • Tennis-themed STEM experiments and lessons such as keeping score, the history of tennis, geometry of the tennis court and more.
  • Lots of fun with chances to win daily prizes and collect “winner tickets” throughout camp for good sportsmanship and other positive actions.

TGA Premier Youth Tennis camps are ideal for the beginner to intermediate between the age of 6 and 12 years old. They are offered as week-long camps in half- and full-day schedules and are located in convenient locations such as schools, park and recreation sites, community centers and other neighborhood locations. Registration is open for most TGA summer camps and more are being added. Visit the page of the chapter you are interested in for more detailed information.

TGA Camp

Other Tennis Camp Opportunities

If you live in the Prince William County, Virginia area, USTA MAS and Prince William Parks & Recreation have partnered on summer tennis camps for both pee wee (age 4 to 6) and youth (age 7 to 12) participants throughout the summer. These camps will teach all the tennis basics while having a lot of fun. Camps are offered in three locations: Veterans Memorial Park in Woodbridge, Locust Shade Park in Triangle, and Ben Lomond Regional Park in Manassas. Registration information is available through Prince William Parks & Recreation.

The USTA Mid-Atlantic Section Camp Scholarship Program gives dozens of young athletes the unique opportunity to attend a summer camp for one week, free of charge. The Camp Scholarship program is made possible by the USTA Mid-Atlantic Section and tennis camps that donate camp sessions from Nike and adidas. Review information on qualifications for the scholarships and applying.

Whether you are looking to provide your child the opportunity to learn a new sport, or take their current game to the next level, try tennis with USTA Mid-Atlantic this summer to bust brain drain and have some fun.

Lauren Hoffmann is the director of marketing, communications and membership at USTA Mid-Atlantic. She believes Summertime is one of the all-time best summer anthems, and that it isn’t really summer until the song comes on the radio. And yep, she still listens to the radio!