Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Hometown Hernando

Tennis camp gets players closer to competition

John and Louise Downey spent the summer shrinking the tennis court. That way, they can teach the younger kids, the ones that can't quite see over the net yet.

"These camps were used to reinforce the Quick Start method of teaching," Louise said. "The younger kids shouldn't be playing on a regular size court with a regular size racket and regular size net. The equipment is better for the little-sized bodies."

The Downeys run Ace Performance Tennis and also are the sanctioned tennis pros at Brooksville Golf and Country Club, where the camps were run. Pretty much any youth tennis in Hernando County is run by the Downeys, even pairing with i9 Sports to offer more tennis.

The Downeys, with camps for kids ages 5-15, lower the nets for the younger ones. The kids get foam, pressureless balls that don't bounce as high. John, however, takes on the older campers and readies them for tryouts for their middle or high school teams.

"It actually lets them play (tennis)," Louise said. "By the end of camp, they will play competitive tennis, they'll play like a better player and do everything from an overhand serve and rally."

The Downeys take the beginners and intermediate players and help them refine their skills to be more consistent. It's a way to sharpen their skills as the season gets closer.

"January (tryouts) can come fast at schools," Louise said.

September will be here even quicker, and that's when the Downeys will host the USTA Junior Team tennis programs starting Sept. 1 at Nature Coast from 6 to 8 p.m. There, kids play in tournaments and other local event.

"We want to improve all levels to they can play a better game," Louise said. "More than likely they're going to play somewhere else, too. We want them just to play well wherever that is."

For more information on local tennis, contact the Downeys at (352) 666-0658.

What's going on in your neighborhood?

Let us know and we may come document it. Tell us about a game, a practice, an outing, a tournament — just about anything! There's a lot going on in the community and we want to know about it. Contact community sports editor Mike Camunas and tell him what's happening. Call (352) 544-1771 or e-mail mcamunas@sptimes.com. We live in this community, so let's talk to each other.

Tennis camp gets players closer to competition 08/12/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, August 12, 2009 9:54am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Kevin Kiermaier: Return to action Thursday 'didn't set the world on fire'

    The Heater

    Rays center fielder Kevin Kiermaier's return from the hip injury that sidelined him since June 8 could have gone better Thursday in Port Charlotte. He broke two bats and went hitless in two at bats while playing for the Class A Charlotte Stone Crabs.

    Kevin Kiermaier takes cuts in the cage during batting practice before the game between the Rays and Texas Rangers Saturday at Tropicana Field. [WILL VRAGOVIC   |   Times]
  2. What you need to know about Bucs training camp

    Bucs

    Bucs training camp is here.

    This morning was the first of 13 practices that are free and open to the general public, so we have all the details to answer your questions about where and when and so on.

    Dirk Koetter is nothing if not precise, with practices starting at 8:45 a.m. and running until 10:27. [LOREN ELLIOTT | Times]
  3. Fennelly: It's high time for Bucs to take Tampa Bay back

    Bucs

    TAMPA — Welcome to the proving ground.

    Bucs training camp begins today.

    Hard Knocks and flop sweat.

    Work and more work.

    "We have a lot to prove,'' wide receiver Mike Evans (13) says. "We're good on paper, but we've got to do it." [LOREN ELLIOTT | Times]
  4. HomeTeam 100: Players 1-10

    Footballpreps

    When he's not holding things down on the O-line, Nicholas Petit-Frere is holding his own in the classroom with a 3.7 grade-point average. (Andres Leiva, Times)
  5. HomeTeam 100: Football's a slam dunk for Nicholas Petit-Frere

    Footballpreps

    Berkeley Prep senior Nicholas Petit-Frere is one of the nation's most coveted offensive tackle recruits in the class of 2018. (Andres Leiva, Times)