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Trusted local news leader for Prescott area communities since 1882
2:48 PM Fri, Sept. 21st

Column: Start early getting involved in local tennis for the whole year

We've gone from bitter cold weather to pretty decent temperatures again. Spring is just around the corner, and tennis is back on the map here and in Australia where it happens to be summer.

There are some neat programs coming up to get ready for our tennis "high" season (May-October): USTA league play, Grand Prix events, mixers, and weekly play groups, and the smart money says join in on the Yavapai College tennis classes that begin March 4 and go through May 4 to prepare.

The afternoon (noon to 1:10 p.m.) and evening (5:30 to 6:40 p.m.) Monday through Wednesday classes consist of beginner to advanced intermediate players, with 16 to 20 participants.

The group is broken into ability levels that make each player feel comfortable yet competitively challenged, with room to grow and improve their game of tennis.

Players learn and practice basic fundamentals of stroke production in groundies, volleys, serves, return of serve, singles and doubles strategy, rules, scoring, etiquette and historical tennis events.

You'll meet a great group of people that will go from being acquaintances to friends in a kicked-back setting of learning the great, fun lifetime sport of tennis.

You can register by going online at yc.edu - the class number for the afternoon class is PHE 140G 104 Tennis 16697. The evening classes are PHE 140 G 105 Tennis 16698.

It doesn't matter if you're 18 or 80. The gel factor of playing this game at most any age is proven.

Now, if you want to add to your tennis identity, I would highly suggest that while you're at your computer to go to the Prescott Area Tennis Association website at prescotttennis.com. This site will give you all the local tennis information you might want to be aware of to enhance your chances of playing against many different people within your ability level, individually, in a league, tournament, clinic or playing group.

And the PATA would love for you to get on their membership list. It's free!

By doing this you'll have the opportunity to meet new players, make new friends, receive information on upcoming tennis events (if you want it), and our combined tennis voices as a group throughout the tri-city area help keep our public facilities maintained better.

All they ask for on their membership page is your name, address, email, age, area you live, playing level, type of play you enjoy (singles/doubles/mixed), and if you'd like to be on the players list.

Pretty simple and worth the five minutes to type that information in and hit submit. No muss, no fuss.

Learning and getting better at the game of tennis just makes it more enjoyable. Helping the local tennis association band their flock together also makes the game click.

Jump in with both feet and let's have a really fun 2013 year of tennis.

Chris Howard is a local USPTA Tennis Professional with over 40 years in the racquet and fitness industry. He can be reached at 928-642-6775 or choward4541@q.com.