As the COVID-19 pandemic stretches into summer and states work to re-open with caution, we know return to play is top-of-mind for many in our community who are weighing their options with careful consideration. USTA is urging everyone to Get Out and Play! Tennis is one sport that is leading the way because it lets you keep your social distance without being socially distant. With simple modifications, you can make it an inclusive game for standing and seated players to compete against each other, or even be teammates in mixed doubles.
In its simplest terms, the only difference between the traditional game of tennis and wheelchair tennis is a bounce – seated players may have 2 bounces to return the ball, if needed. When learning the basics of tennis, an everyday wheelchair can suffice, but as players become serious about the sport, most opt to invest in a wheelchair made for court sports. USTA offers a fantastic video library on YouTube to improve your game – Progressions, Mobility Patterns, Serving, Groundstrokes, Wheelchair Setup, and Singles Tactics. Find your local Move United member organization or USTA wheelchair program to arrange for in-person instruction. A recent webinar hosted by Move United highlights ways that USTA is working to support established or aspiring coaches interested in getting involved with wheelchair tennis.
USTA has published tips and recommendations for playing tennis safely to minimize exposure to the virus at http://usta.com/playersafety and there are additional precautions wheelchair tennis players may consider.
Tennis Industry United is a culmination of efforts to analyze the needs and concerns of all involved in the sport and collaborate on programs that can provide both immediate and long-term support. Webinars, podcasts, and other resources are freely available to help support players, coaches, and facilities as they return to play. Move United also maintains a library of COVID-19 resources specific to athletes with disabilities.
If you’re not yet ready to venture out to the tennis court, you can find endless ways to stay active and fine tune your skills through Move United’s #adaptathome initiative and USTA’s “Tennis At Home” resources for children and adults.
The first-ever Net Generation Virtual Summer Camp will be hosted July 20-24, featuring a variety of games and activities and a few surprises! “Campers” will receive a free camp pack while supplies last.