On Sunday afternoon March 11, high school tennis coaches and players took part in the Annual Long Island Scholastic Coaches Conference and Clinic at Bethpage Park Tennis Center. The clinic, run by Bethpage Park Tennis Directors Steve Kaplan and Keith Kambourian, taught coaches how to incorporate different exercises and drills into their routine to help their players with conditioning and agility. Frank Dolan, owner of All 4 Sports and Fitness in West Islip, and trainer with the New York Yankees, was on hand to offer tips on how to better stabilize one's body on the court and get the most out of preparatory exercises. It was the fourth year of the clinic, which brought together coaches from both Suffolk and Nassau County.
Kambourian demonstrated a two-part exercise using live ball and dead ball drills. He said that conditioning and consistency are the keys to improving a player's overall game.
"With the live ball drills, players can utilize only half of the court which helps them with their consistency," said Kambourian. "The dead ball drills really focus on moving side to side which helps with conditioning and explosive movements." He added that dead ball drills are great exercises for coaches to give to their players because they help build team camaraderie. "These drills let the top players on a team practice with the lower seeded players which is something that normally doesn't happen."
Kaplan performed drills with top-ranked junior player and Syosset High School standout, Hannah Camhi. With Camhi positioned at the net, Kaplan demonstrated the importance of accelerating and decelerating leg angles.
"Footwork and knowing when to start and stop to get the most power into your shots are such important elements in this game," said Kaplan.
Bethpage Tennis instructor, Levan Blagrove said that the clinic taught a lot of the same methods that he used with his players.
"It reinforced some of the things I do with the kids I teach," said Blagrove. "But there were a couple of new things, especially the stability exercises, that I will incorporate into my routine."
Credit all photos to Gary Simeone
<p> Gary Simeone is writing intern/public relations associate for <em>Long Island Tennis Magazine</em>.</p>