When can you “legally” wear white shorts after Labor Day? On the tennis court!
Whether you’ve never swung a racket or have one collecting dust in your closet, there are great reasons to get in the swing of things.
- You can learn from the best without going broke. The United States Tennis Association (USTA)3 has a self-paced course you can purchase that will help you learn or even teach others how to play wheelchair tennis. The course includes a manual - and thankfully for those of us who hate to read them - a DVD. You’ll learn the skills you need to play the game and drills you can do to master them.
- You can also go pro for free. There are free online videos to teach you the basics of the sport on sites like Let’s Roll, which is recognized by the International Tennis Federation (ITF).
- If you’re ready to start a league of you own, check out the free USTA Grassroots Guide.
- Your opponent doesn’t have to have a wheelchair. This game can be played on a regular tennis court with anyone who has a racket! That means you can play against someone who is able-bodied or play doubles with a partner who is able-bodied. The strokes, rackets and rules are the same with one exception. The wheelchair player gets two bounces of the ball before it’s hit instead of one.2
- You don’t have to have an opponent. That’s right! No one available to play with you? No problem. A backboard or wall can serve as a great substitute for a real live opponent. You can volley and do drills to sharpen your skills.
- You don’t have to invest in a special chair to learn to play. With many sports, a sports chair is essential right from the start but you can learn to play tennis in an everyday chair and then invest in a sports chair when you’ve got the basic skills down.2
- You don’t have to wear white. Unless you’re playing Wimbledon. The All English Club has a very strict dress code1 but if you’re heading for public courts feel free to wear your luckiest t-shirt, no matter what color it is.
Ready to get out there and play? Well, it’s easy to get started. Check out these great resources to get you going.
General Information, Resources, News and Grants:
- United States Tennis Association (USTA) - www.usta.com/Adult-Tennis/Wheelchair-Tennis/Wheelchair/
- Disabled Sports USA - www.disabledsportsusa.org/tennis/
Learn to play, improve and teach:
- United States Tennis Association self-paced course - netknacks.com/usta-wheelchair-tennis-manual-and-dvd.html#.VGnozIfB_sf
- Let’s Roll offers free online training and it is recognized by the International Tennis Federation (ITF) - www.letsrollwheelchairtennis.com/index.htm
- United States Professional Tennis Association (for coaches and teachers) - uspta.com/default.aspx/MenuItemID/2236/MenuGroup/About.htm
Leagues and Tournaments:
- International Tennis Federation (ITF) www.itftennis.com/wheelchair/tournaments/calendar.aspx
- United States Tennis Association (USTA) www.usta.com/Adult-Tennis/Wheelchair-Tennis/tournaments/
- Atlanta, GA - www.altatennis.org/Public/League.aspx?TypeID=12
- Southern California - www.scta.usta.com/Wheelchair-Tennis/22269_Wheelchair_Tennis_Home/
- Louisiana - www.louisianatennis.com/PageDisplay.asp?p1=2421
Baton Rouge, LA - www.batonrougetennis.com/page.php?name=wheelchair-tennis
- Kentucky - www.kentuckytennis.com/wheelchair.htm
- San Antonio, TX - www.jccsanantonio.org/index.php?src=gendocs&ref=Wheelchair%20Program&category=Tennis
- Fort Myers, FL - www.leecountytennis.com/pages/index.cfm?siteid=15419
- Tennessee - www.ustatn.com/wheelchair_tennis/
Start a program:
- USTA Grassroots Guide assets.usta.com/assets/576/15/Wheelchair_Tennis_Guide.pdf
- How to start a wheelchair tennis program www.s3.amazonaws.com/ustaassets/assets/1/usta_import/usta/dps/doc_13_15564.pdf
The opinions and experiences presented herein are for informational use only. Individual results may vary depending on your condition. Always consult with your health care professional. 1411-32