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The Best Field Trip Ever!!

April 20, 2012 04:39 PM
Visit with Loren Dils and you will find this is one of his dreams.  Lots and lots of little tennis players at the Lobo Tennis Club on the campus of the University of New Mexico.   Who's coaching them?  The Men and Women's Tennis Teams and their coaches, along with the pros and staff of the tennis center.  Probably one of the largest, most experencied, and talented collection of tennis players in the State, all in one place, teaching 6 year olds to love tennis.  What a great experience.   
LoboMatchPlayOn Monday, April 16th, Bandelier Elementary School went on a field trip.  They brought 88 kindergarteners to the UNM Lobo Tennis Club for a morning of tennis.  The enthusiasm and energy was contagious as teachers, parents and kids buzzed around the courts playing tennis. 
Loren Dils brought the Field Trip Program to the Lobo Tennis Club in 2011. Equipment grants provided by the USTA Southwest Section made the large number of kids that attend the field trips possible.
The Lobo Tennis Club field trips are designed to show kids and parents what "10 and Under Tennis" is all about.  The Lobo Tennis Club uses the QuickStart format to introduce young players to the game.  QuickStart uses smaller and shorter racquets, foam balls or low compression felt balls (commonly referred to as the red and orange balls), and mini nets placed on shorter courts to scale down the game of tennis to a playable level for small children.  This exciting new format for the 10 and under kids has swept the country in recent years.  
LoboJohnnyAt right, Johnny Kowalski plays spider ball with a class of Bandelier kindergarteners. Johnny and the staff of the Lobo Performance Tennis Academy (LPTA) donate their time and energy to make the field trips successful.
Future plans at the Lobo Tennis Club include permanent QuickStart short courts for the orange and red ball events. A quick visit with Tim Cass, a senior associate athletics director at UNM, reveals that big plans for tennis are in store for the University.  A new UNM tennis facility is planned using the McKinnon gift, along with other UNM funds and private donations.  With the addition of the new facility, upgrades are anticipated for the existing UNM Lobo Tennis Club to include permanent QuickStart tennis courts. The vision would be to eventually host regional and National junior tennis events on the UNM campus.  
When:  Weekdays, Monday thru Friday.  Call and schedule a day for your elementary school.  All class levels are invited.
Times:  10am - Noon
Cost:  Free but you must provide your own transportation and sack lunch.
Sign-up:  Contact Loren Dils, pictured right with tennis QuickStart professional Amy Badger, at email eldils@aol.com or phone 505-925-5732. Loren will work with you on your specific field trip needs and details.
Tennis Details:  A minimum of 1.25 hours of on-court group activities are provided.  The activities include foot drills, racquet handling skills, tracking and striking skills, and just some good old goofy fun.   
Lunch Break Details:  Bring your own sack lunch and sit either on the patio or beneath the shade trees next to the rose bushes that line Court 4 for a quiet lunch.  Enjoy either an exhibition match or watch the Men's Tennis Team practice at noon. 
Field Trip Program Flyer:  Print the attached flyer and take it to your school principal. Visit about the benefits of providing insight to afterschool tennis opportunities.  Tennis can teach a young player grace in winning and losing, social skills, and healthy habits.  Advanced players show better problem solving and strategic thinking skills.   The Field Trip Program ends with a brief discussion on where parents and kids can find afterschool tennis programming in their neighborhoods. 
The Lobo Tennis Club offers tennis lessons using the QuickStart format. Tennis professional Amy Badger runs the program for the Club. Parents can sign their kids up for a variety of times and days. The program provides individual attention to each child's development. To contact Amy about the Lobo QuickStart Lesson Program, call the Club at 505-925-5991.
If you do not live near the UNM Lobo Tennis Club, there is still a QuickStart program in YOUR neighborhood. Most clubs and parks are now incorporating the format into their league and lesson programs. Please contact Becky Lee at nnmtaprograms@gmail.com to discuss where you might be able to find a program in your area.