Gulf Shores boys tennis coach Ryan Moss ran two free events last week in Orange Beach and Gulf Shores
Sunday, July 23, 2006
By DEREK BELT
GULF SHORES -- Despite the sweltering heat and typical Gulf Coast humidity, a handful of kids from the Gulf Shores-Orange Beach area braved the elements last week and took to the courts for a series of free tennis lessons.
It was hot, yes. It was humid, for sure. But it was loads and loads of fun.
"Oh, we're having a great time," said Ryan Moss, who coaches the boys tennis team at Gulf Shores High School. "We had about eight kids come to camp (Tuesday) in Orange Beach and we've got 17 here (in Gulf Shores). I think word started to spread and that's great."
Tuesday's camp was held at the Orange Beach Tennis Center, while Wednesday's camp was held on the tennis courts behind the Bodenhamer Center in Gulf Shores.
Moss, who got help from several of the Dolphins' varsity tennis players, said the camp's focus was simple: learn the basics.
"We're trying to teach them the fundamentals and techniques of tennis," said Moss. "Most of the campers are beginners, so we're trying to start with the basics. The earlier they learn the basics the better they're going to be, especially if they want to play at the high school level."
Moss said campers were instructed in the proper grip and how to hit ground strokes, serves, lobs and overheads. They also learned how to volley and how to score a tennis match in addition to playing a few fun games.
Last week's tennis camps were part of a summer-long series of free camps being offered to local youths by the cities of Gulf Shores and Orange Beach.
In all, a baseball, basketball, softball and volleyball camp was held in each city earlier this summer. A two-day football camp recently wrapped up in Orange Beach.
GSHS coaches and city officials said the first year of free camps were an overwhelming success and they plan on offering a similar set next summer.