This summer people will swat, swipe, swing, squash, smash, slam and swish at the little yellow tennis ball . . . some harder, faster and with more consistency than others.
Those interested in increasing the odds of a good, solid hit won't lack opportunity this summer. Once again, tennis schools will abound around the state.Salt Lake City and County, Kearns, Murray, Sandy, Provo, Logan, Farmington and Bountiful are among the communities offering tennis instruction.
The United States Tennis Association is introducing a new program in Utah for the very new and returning "adults only."
Called "Play Tennis America," it is intended to put more adults, at the beginning level, out on the tennis courts. Offered will be two three-week sessions, with nine hours of instruction, at a cost of $40 per session.
The first will be June 3-22, the second July 8-31. The first session will cover basic instruction, while the second will involve applying the newly-learned skills in organized doubles play.
Deadline for the first session is May 20. Areas of instruction include: Kearns Tennis Center (966-4229), Park City Racquet Club (649-8080), Orem/Provo area (374-1246), Liberty Park (596-5036), Sandy City Recreation (566-1561) and Ogden Athletic Club (479-6500).
The USTA's National Junior Tennis League remains one of the more popular programs. Participants receive lessons and weekly matches, a T-shirt, and free use of tennis balls and rackets.
Lessons are: Saturday at Fairmont and Reservoir parks; Mondays and Wednesdays at Liberty, Glendale, Rose, Ensign and Dee Smith (Oak Hills) parks; and Tuesdays and Thursdays at Fairmont, 11th Ave, Dee Smith Reservoir and West High.
New this year is the Advanced Junior League. The fee here is $50 and players must have a current USTA card.
This program won two awards last year. Utah presented it the Outstanding Program Award and on a national level the USTA gave it the Chapter of the Year Award.
Both awards honored the program, organized and run by Kathryn Jones, Liberty Park tennis director, for its overall success.
Last summer 1,500 junior players were involved in the program.
"And for a number of reasons. The way we teach, kids learn the skills quickly and are playing the game quickly. Price is another reason. Also, it's offered all over the city and on Saturdays," she added. "But the best reason is it's fun."
The Salt Lake County Recreation summer tennis program is indicative of many other programs offered by communities.
For $20 young players between 6 and 18 can learn the basics of tennis with eight 50-minute group lessons, or step up to intermediate play in a similar package.
There is also a league for junior players who would like to play competitive tennis. Required is a basic knowledge of the game, scoring and court etiquette. Cost is $45 per session and includes T-shirt, instruction and USTA card. Group, semi-private and private lessons are also offered.
The first of five sessions will be June 10-21. Playing sites will be Cottonwood Heights Recreation Center, Bywater Park and Anzak Park. For information call 468-2560.