Learning the basics

GWINN – The Gwinn tennis camp came to a close last Thursday after eight sessions over a two-week period.

Kids from kindergarten through high school learned the fundamentals of the game and not only how to become better players, but better people, as well.

“We took a different approach,” said Gwinn High School boys tennis head coach Dan Turecky, one of the camp’s directors. “We wanted to build minds a little bit, having other coaches come in and talk about integrity and how to play the game.

“Each day, we started out with basics and fundamentals like different strokes (forehand, backhand, etc.).

“Basketball coach Bill Hill (also) came in and talked about competition and etiquette and being a sponge and a rock. Sponges absorb good values, and a rock, if you’re not really listening, bounces off.”

Turecky said between 30 and 35 kids participated in the camp, with a few more girls than boys. The kids had a wide variety of teachers.

“We had 5-year-olds all the way to 17-year-olds,” he said. “It was a big spread, but we had some really good junior instructors.

“Me and (GHS girls head coach) Darcia Mattson both helped out so it was the best of both worlds.”

Mattson served as the other camp director.

One of the junior instructors was Modeltowners junior Lorraine Vandermate, who is hoping to compete as a singles player on the high school girls’ team this fall.

As a lefty, she spent the majority of her time teaching the left-handed participants and she enjoyed teaching the kids.

“Darcia asked me to come out here and I enjoy tennis and I feel like if I’m teaching it to little kids, I’m going to use those skills more often,” she said. “All the kids did really well.

“At the beginning, they were beginners and toward the end, they really improved.

“It was really fun and I think it was a good experience for all of us.”

Ryan Stieg can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 246.