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HCPRD offers academic tennis camp for youth
by Matt Nascone
mnascone@neighbornewspapers.com
June 21, 2012 12:36 PM | 1207 views | 0 0 comments | 17 17 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Mackenzie PhakonKhan, 11, gets lessons from Joeann Compton at Richard Craig Park Tennis Center in McDonough. (Staff photo by Joe Livingston)
Mackenzie PhakonKhan, 11, gets lessons from Joeann Compton at Richard Craig Park Tennis Center in McDonough. (Staff photo by Joe Livingston)
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She may be retired, but each summer for the past seven years, Joeann Compton has been teaching children.

Compton holds what she calls an academic tennis camp at Richard Craig Park in McDonough in the summer. She wants to help children learn more about the game they are being taught.

“We teach the fundamentals and techniques of tennis, but they also learn about the different terminology associated with the game,” Compton said. “We teach them about the professional game and about which players in the professional game came from Georgia.”

Compton said she wants the children to have an all-around understanding of the game of tennis. She said she does not want to teach the basics of the game and send

the children home.

“We not only want to teach them how to hit the ball, but why they have to do certain things during a match,” Compton said. “We teach them all about the origin of the different courts and surfaces. We teach them about the four major grand slam events (Wimbledon, the French Open, the U.S. Open and the Australian Open).”

Compton is a retired schoolteacher and tennis coach. She taught and coached at Henry County for 18 years. She said she started the camp to help children learn the game of tennis at a younger age.

“All the things we teach in our camp are things I wish all of my players would have known before they got to me when I was at Henry County,” Compton said. “I want them to have what they need to know when they start to play competitively.”

To break up the educational feel of the week-long camp, Compton said she added a craft day and a game day a few years ago for the children.

“The kids were telling me that they did not want so much school since they just got out of school,” she said. “So, now we have a craft day on Wednesdays and a fun and games day on Fridays.”

Compton said 60 children have been through the camp this summer.

She said the progress the children make in the week at the camp is exciting.

“I love to see how the kids develop their shots at the camp and through the years,” she said. “I am amazed at these kids and I hope they continue to progress through the years.”
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