For 35 years the Northern Illinois Traveling Tennis League has given women the opportunity to improve their game while enjoying the competitiveness and camaraderie of being on a team. The women’s league, attracting all abilities and ages, will soon kick off its 2018-19 season.
Run through the Norris Recreation Center in St. Charles the indoor, doubles league includes weekly drills and Thursday and Friday match play from the end of August to May. For players who want extra practice, pro-doubles lessons and private lessons are available for an additional fee. To join the league, players must be a Norris member and at least 18 years old.
Players travel to and compete with teams from other clubs including but not limited to, the Vaughan Athletic Center in Aurora, HealthTrack Sports Wellness in Glen Ellyn and the Naperville Tennis Club. The season concludes with a week of playoffs and a championship match.
“There are many reasons players join a league,” said Ande Masoncup, Assistant Superintendent of Recreation. “For some, the competiveness satisfies their need to have an outcome or a purpose for playing. For others, it’s for recreation and the social aspect of playing on a team. It’s also a great way to return to tennis after being away from the sport.”
With 13 different levels of play, league members are sure to find the best match for their ability and experience. Teams are formed based on an evaluation of the player by a Tennis Pro.
Once on a team, players participate in weekly drills to practice form and match play situations. The drills have a 5:1 ratio of players to instructors.
“We’ll work on situational aspects of tennis,” said Bill Dahm, Tennis Pro Supervisor, who has been involved with the travel league since its inception. “We instruct teams on defense and offense strategies and different styles of play. There are also form elements involved.”
Players who want to go above and beyond drills can sign-up for pro-doubles lessons and/or private lessons.
According to Dahm, the pro-doubles lessons include four players and an instructor, focused on strategic aspects of the game instead of form. And for those who want an individualized learning experience, private lessons are the way to go.
“It’s one-on-one; you work on what you need,” Dahm said. “Private lessons are the best way to quick start your skills.”
Just being on the league itself helps players see improvement, whether it’s monitoring team records, individual records or mastering one’s serve.
“I’ve seen players become more confident and add new skills they didn’t have at the start of the year,” Dahm said.
Additionally, the social aspect of the league is a motivator to join and continue playing tennis. “Teammates enjoy playing together but also socialize with each other off the court,” Masoncup said.
To sign-up for the league, contact Dahm at 630-377-1407 or firstname.lastname@example.org