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Eye on the future

Coach Alison Scott shows Owen Stone a few pointers at Westside Tennis Club.
Coach Alison Scott shows Owen Stone a few pointers at Westside Tennis Club. LEIGH JENSEN

WESTSIDE Tennis Club is working on producing the next generation of tennis stars by jumping aboard Tennis Australia’s official kid’s starter program – MLC Tennis Hot Shots.

Figures recently released by Tennis Australia state that there were 169,000 children registered in the Tennis Australia Hot Shots program last year – the most of any sport in Australia, even more than the AFL’s Auskick program.

Tennis Australia Club professional tennis coaches Allan Pade and Alison Scott began their Hot Shots program at the Westside Tennis Club at the start of term two with more than 20 juniors enrolling on a Friday afternoon and Saturday morning.

Both coaches admit that over the past six weeks the improvement in the kids’ tennis abilities has been noticeable.

The Hot Shots program is predominately a ‘play based’ program, with children on the go 100 per cent of the time. Hotshots kids are encouraged to participate in coaching in conjunction with the Hot Shots program where the kids use modified equipment such as mini nets, a smaller court configuration and softer tennis balls which makes it easier for them to rally which in turn provides a quicker progression to full court tennis.

This program far outweighs the past traditional platform for getting children into full court tennis and has been used in Europe for the last 10 years.

The traditional platform was a long drawn out process but the Hot Shots program expedites their progression into full court competition and/or match play.

Pade and Scott are already implementing the program in many schools in the district and are quick to encourage other schools to get on board.

The opportunity to trial this program for free is now open with the coaching pair taking bookings for term three and four.

The dedicated coaches are also holding a free trial of the Hot Shots Program for children under 12 at Westside on Saturday, June 26 at 10.00am.