The Longfellow Tennis Club Junior Development Program is divided into four divisions: Zip 1,2, Zip 3, JEP and NETT (Natick Elite Tournament Team). We strive to meet the needs of all of our players, ages four to eighteen, through programs that are engaging, challenging and fun.
The Zip 1,2 program emphasizes lead- up and motor learning skills for four to six year olds who are new to tennis. Mini nets and Red Balls are used.
Taught on the 36 foot court using the Red Ball, the Zip 3 program focuses on stroke development and rally skills. Players in this group range in age from five to eight.
Junior Excellence Program (JEP):
This is the largest division in the Natick Junior Development Program. JEP players range in age from eight to eighteen, and are grouped by age and level. Players in his group are placed in clinics that best suit their needs, whether they are new to tennis, or seasoned players. Orange ( 50% compression), Green Dot (75% compression) and Yellow (full compression) balls are used, depending on age and level, to help players build skills and reach their goals. In addition to clinics, players in the JEP are offered match play, which is built into their schedule.
JEP players are placed in the following groups: Futures, age eight to eleven, Orange and Green Dot balls, Challengers, age ten to thirteen, Green Dot and Yellow balls, and Champions, age twelve to seventeen, Yellow balls.
In Futures, players begin to develop a solid foundation from which to build their game. Core fundamentals such as grips, racquet preparation and movement to contact for forehands and backhands are emphasized. Serve technique is taught, along with basic movement and footwork. The tactical focus in Futures clinics is consistency.
Players at the Champions level have had considerable tennis experience. Classes place heavy emphasis on both singles and doubles tactics, as well as the strokes and footwork necessary to achieve tactical goals. Hitting stances and contact moves are further refined, as well as progressive stroke technique, serve and return of serve. Patterns of play are also a focus. High school tennis players and aspiring USTA tournament players are part of the Champions program.
In Challengers, the skills taught at the Futures level are embellished. With regard to groundstrokes and serves, placement and spin are emphasized. Tactically, players are taught when and how to change direction, and when to move forward. Net play and basic doubles tactics are also introduced. Hitting stances and contact moves become the footwork focus.
NATICK ELITE TOURNAMENT TEAM (NETT):
This is an invitation- only program for serious USTA tournament players. Players in this group play more than 40 tournament matches during the indoor season. Players in this program are selected by (but not limited to) the following criteria: athleticism, technical foundation, inner drive to practice with high intensity, and overall level of play. Players learn an all court game and develop the tools for defining their individual style. Stroke technique and tactics are taught together, with footwork as a third key component of the program. Players practice specific shot patterns for point building, pressuring and finishing. Serve and return of serve are also emphasized. Players also participate in sports psychology sessions and fitness training. The NET Program is directed by a certified USTA High Performance Coach.
Welcome to another great season at The Longfellow Tennis Club! We are very excited for match play to begin, as we believe it is A VITAL SEGMENT to a player’s tennis development. Match play will begin Friday, September 25th.
An email blast will be sent out from every Tuesday, to participate that week you will need to respond no later than Thursday at 7:00pm or you will be placed on a wait list.
Friday Match Play will be for the Futures and Challenger levels 6:30-8:00pm.
Sunday Match Play will be for the Champion and NETT levels 3:30-5:00pm.
Match play costs $25.00, and are monitored by the NRC Professionals, who are there to coach, match strategy, and play if necessary.
The Longfellow Tennis Club will be offering Red and Orange ball clinics the week of December 28-31 from 9:00am to 12 noon. Green and Yellow Ball clinics will be offered on the same dates from 1:00pm to 4:00pm. All clinics will be a balance of stroke production, games and match play.Players can register on a daily basis ($75)or for the entire week ($300). Space is limited so please submit your application to The Longfellow Tennis Club prior to December 23rd. All players should bring a snack and plenty of fluids to drink. If you have any questions, please contact The Longfellow Tennis Club at 508-653-4606