Practicing in the Off-Season


Practicing in the off-season can be very important to both maintain and improve in a sport. Many high school students have a favorite sport that they enjoy playing and want to get better at it each year.  My favorite sport is tennis, and I constantly want to improve for the next upcoming season. I play during my off-season in the fall with the boy’s team and during the winter I go to Greentown.

There are not many super close places to go to practice in the off-season, since it is so cold outside. In Greentown, the Howard County Indoor Tennis Center has four courts lined up. There are 7 different classes available to take during the winter, and they are all different days and levels of ability. There are classes for elementary kids that are just starting and classes for advanced players that are higher up on varsity teams. Each class session goes for 6 weeks, and there are three 6-week sessions that you can sign up for. If you don’t want to take a class, then there are also private lessons with a coach from there that you can take instead. 

Last year, I signed up for the Accelerators class, which was on Sunday, and some private lessons on the side. It was my first year going, and I was very nervous, even though I had two other friends I knew of in the same class it still made me nervous to go to a new place. I completed about three Sundays worth, and it turned into one of my favorite things to do during the week. I then broke my wrist and had to take a couple of months off of playing. After I was healed I got back into the Sunday class and picked up a class on Wednesday called Power Players. 

Once that year of Greentown was over, it led straight into my season of girls’ tennis. I was already prepared to play because I had been practicing most of the winter. Then this October came back around to where it was time to sign up for classes again. This year I signed up for the class on Monday, Advanced Fundamentals, and on Wednesday, Power Players. Dixie Wagoner and I both signed up for these two classes which means I always have a friend with me to play with. We also have a few private lessons that we get to take with a coach from Madison Grant. We both drive to Greentown together, and then we will warm up together before the official class start time. On Monday, there are a lot of good players to practice with which is fun to play against different levels from different schools. The coach of the Monday class is from Western, and he makes the class very interactive and fun. On Wednesday, there are also a lot of good players, but the coach is from Peru. He splits us up into different courts of different people each week to work on different strategies. Then on the days that we might have a private lesson, our coach plans out drills that help with the parts of tennis we want to work on the most. 

Overall, taking classes and playing in the off-season helped me enjoy tennis more, and made me a better player. I am excited for the rest of the off-season because taking these classes means playing more, making new friends, and learning new things. I am also excited to see how much I can improve before my senior season of tennis in the spring.