Camp is in full swing after its month-long service of activities. With all the returning (and new) activities Falling Creek has to offer, it’s easy to forget the programs we have that remained a standard that other areas have fought to make deuce.
Here at Falling Creek, tennis is one of the longest standing programs, dating back to the start of camp in 1969. Even the tennis staff has boasted long returns, with Mike Nuckles around since 2009, and Andrew Cobb, assistant tennis coach at Reinhardt University, since 2011.
With daily games, drills, and workouts, the program has taken the sport to the next level. They’ve even included camper solo and doubles tournaments, as well as camper/counselor tournaments that pairs participants with members of the staff. It also boasts a long standing tradition of invitationals with nearby girls camps and viewings of French Open Finals as it happens. But the area has gone beyond the game.
They have made a ‘Tennis Ladder,’ a ranking system for the entirety of camp. In order to move up on the ladder, the boys must challenge each other to matches during free time. They’ve even created variations of the game including ‘Touch the Fence,’ ‘Jail,’ and ‘Puppy Dogs Vs. Velociraptors,’ each with their own set of rules that can be played with a raquet, on a court. But the most important difference is the sense of community the boys have with each other.
Andrew Cobb says, "We make it our goal to know the boys names within the first few days… I mean, just this weekend, when we needed ball boys for the tennis tournament, we didn’t just go up to random people and say, ‘Hey can you help us? What’s your name?’ We said, ‘Hey Daniel,’ or ‘Hey Martin,’ do you mind participating in the tournament with us?”
Although the program has had a long history, it’s not resistant to adjustments and tweaks to advance to new levels. The staff recently reworked its core progressions. “We used to have campers who could come in and make warrior in one session,” says Cobb. “So we made it more difficult. We made the target areas smaller and the balls you have to hit increase exponentially as you advance through the ranks.”
They also decided to start this year an advanced tennis camp August 3-9 where they plan on training boys for USTA junior tournaments and people competing at the High School level. At ATC, they will hold a college style tournament for doubles and singles with awards given out to the winners. One of the main goals is to get the boys comfortable in match scenarios when they are down and need to make a comeback without putting too much pressure on themselves. The boys will also be trained on how to string a tennis racquet and other important skills.
If you would like to get more information on our Advanced Tennis Camp, you can find it here
or contact the Falling Creek Camp program office- (828) 692-0262