TENNIS BUDDIES PRACTICES ARE BACK ON COURT AT THE MAPLE ATHLETIC COMPLEX.
Thank you for your willingness to volunteer for our Omaha Tennis Buddies program. Let us know when you can volunteer :
THANK YOU, VOLUNTEERS!
OMAHA TENNIS BUDDIES PRACTICES WILL RESUME ON APRIL 3, 2021
Maple Athletic Complex, 4718 No. 120th St.
Remember that 120th is closed from Maple to the north. If you come from the south you need to take 132nd or 108th to Fort to get to the MAC.
4/17, 5/1, 5/15
4/24, 5/8, 5/22
March 21 News from Nancy
We are starting back Saturday, April 3rd from 4:15-6:00. Right now I have 2 volunteers signed up and 12 athletes. Please look at your schedule and see if you might be able to help.
Please be sure that you complete any paperwork ahead of time so that you don't have to do it the day.
March 12 News from Nancy
It's official! We can get back to tennis! I hope that you have all been healthy and happy during this break time.
We can resume practices with 50 people, athletes and volunteers total. That will work for us, although we will stay with the alternate week practices so that we don't have the log jam of players passing in the facility. Our practices will begin on Saturday, April 3rd and end on May 22nd. The location will be at the MAC (the Tennis Club) and the times will be either 4:30-6:00 or 5:00-6:00. At the beginning of June we will transition to outdoor Play at Koch on Monday nights from 6:00-7:00. I am still confirming this with Koch and the MAC. If there are any changes I will let you know ASAP.
There are some housekeeping duties we need to take care of before we start back. These are time sensitive so please get to these as quickly as you can! First, all athletes MUST have a current physical on file with Tennis Buddies. There will be no exceptions to this rule. Kathleen Samland is handling the physicals for me and will keep you all informed if your athlete's physical is coming up for renewal. All of the appropriate forms are found on SONE.org and should be printed out and filled in by the Dr. at the time fo the physical. Please make sure that they date the forms! Tennis Buddies needs one copy and the other copy should be sent to Special Olympics for their files. You can email them or snail mail. The second thing is the COVID-19 code of conduct that must be filled out by all athletes, volunteers and coaches. If you are a parent that volunteers with us you also need to fill one out and have on file with Tennis Buddies. The third is a new form that all athletes, volunteers and coaches need to have on file. This is a COVID 19 waiver. I am attaching these forms to this email, but they all can be found on the SONE.org website under return to play. YOU MUST HAVE THESE FILLED OUT AND SIGNED BEFORE PLAY CAN RESUME.
1. current physical
2. COVID 19 Code of Conduct
3. COVID 19 waiver
***In addition, any athlete that has had a positive COVID diagnosis must have "Medical Clearance" prior to returning to play. This can be in any official form from the doctor that states that the athlete is free to resume all physical activity.
All of these forms should be filed with me and with SONE.
Thanks for getting to these right away. You can scan and email to me, print out and bring to the first practice or mail to my house.
18667 Nina St.
Thanks so much!
Volunteer paperwork. If you have not filed your paperwork yet, please do so before you arrive to coach. You will find everything you need to fill out on SONE.org. Go to "Volunteer" and follow the links. Become a Unified Partner: Code of Conduct, Cat A Application, Protective Behaviors Training (16+) and Background Check (19+). Complete, print and send one copy to SONE and bring one copy to us.
There are 2 groups of players. One group will come each week, alternating Saturdays. You will work with either the LOVE group or the DEUCE group on any given week. Please note that the times for practice differ each week. LOVE will practice from 4:15-6:00 and DEUCE will practice from 4:45-6:00.
The athletes will arrive at the 4:15 or 4:45 times. If you can come a bit earlier to get out equipment that would be very helpful. We have enough ball carts for each court. We will not be using the MAC carts of balls this year. Be sure to note that the LOVE group needs regulation balls and the DEUCE group uses low compression balls. PLEASE, be sure that you carefully collect these low compression balls after practice. Look behind the curtains and in the hall to make sure we get them all. Sorry for the paranoia, but they are about $1 a ball so not something we want to lose!
The LOVE group will drill for 1/2 hour on a set skill and then play doubles and or singles for the next hour. You should also use this as a teaching time to help with positioning, shot choice, technique and any other helpful instruction you can give. Rotate players around. Play mini games with perimeters. ex) start the score at Deuce, at least one return has to be a lob, only get one serve, play 2 points then change player and they have to start the game with that score...you can use your imagination. These are the higher level players. They can be challenged. Make sure that you are doing what is constructive for the level of group that you are coaching.
The DEUCE group will also drill for about a 1/2 hour. Mainly focus on forehands, backhands and serves. After drill pair each athlete with a volunteer and play unified doubles for a bit. Remember that they get unlimited bounces and serving should be done from an appropriate distance. You can determine according to the ability of the athlete. Once they have made 2 attempts to serve a volunteer should serve to get the point started. There are some athletes that are getting very good at playing doubles so you may want to encourage them to try to return after just one bounce. Again, gage this for the group that you have. In doubles play 3 points and then rotate unified teams so that no one stands for too long. If the volunteer is returning the ball it is helpful to call out the athlete's name to whom you are hitting the ball. Ex) Alan, here it comes! Get ready! or some variation. Keep them on their toes.
There will be no long lesson plans to read. We will have certain skills to cover each week and you can do what you think will promote that skill. Remember that these athletes are of higher abilities. Please challenge them according to the level that they play. We want them to improve their play. Just be as encouraging and constructive as you have always been!
There are ladders in each basket that you can use each week to improve their footwork and quickness.
Please arrive early so that you can help collect the equipment you will need for your court. Joe Meyers will be in charge of getting what you need.
Before play on each court the you will need to place dots for each athlete with corresponding hoppers/tubes distanced apart. This is where they will store their gear.
You will find the dots in the equipment basket along with any additional equipment needed.
Please wipe down the hopper handles and tubes after practice. Wipes will be in the basket.
Gloves will be available should you want to use them. You will find them in the basket.
Each court will have a ball cart. Regulation balls for the LOVE group. Low compression for the DEUCE group. We will not be using the MAC ball carts.
Collect any dots and aids that you have used in the lesson and return them to the equipment baskets. Volunteers should return the carts and equipment baskets to the storage room door on Court 1 to be put away before you leave. Joe will be available to accept the equipment. Please don't leave until everything is stowed away.
The safety protocols are listed below in the email that was sent to the athletes and their families. Most will apply to volunteers also.
1) Masks when you arrive and depart. During play they are personal preference.
2) Gloves will be provided for you if you choose to use them.
3) Hand sanitizer will be provided on each court for use when entering and departing. Found in the equipment basket.
4) Each athlete will have their own tube/hopper to use to pick up balls. They should not be shared. At the end of practice you should use a wipe, provided in the equipment basket, to wipe the handle of the hopper or the tube before returning the equipment to the storage room.
5) When you arrive you will proceed through the 3 stations, temperatures, COVID questions and court assignments just as the athletes do. You also need to have a COVID Code of Conduct on file. If you helped this Fall then you do not have to do another one. It really helps if you can have it filled out before you come. I am attaching the form for you to print, fill out and sign.
Feel free to print and keep for future reference. Thanks for taking the time to read all of this information. The most important thing now is to sign up to help use get started back to tennis. We appreciate you and the time that you share with out Buddies. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.
Tennis Buddies start up is just around the corner. Our first session will be 1/9/21 and will end on the last Saturday in February. Please go to Sign Up Genius now to sign up for the dates you can help with. We will only have one group each week so that we cut down on the numbers. The first week will be the LOVE group and they will arrive at 4:15. After check in they will clinic for a half hour and then play doubles for an hour. The next week will be the DUECE group and they will arrive at 4:45. They will clinic for a half hour and then play Unified Doubles for a half hour. All groups will end at 6:00. Please note the different start times each week.
When you go to Sign Up Genius you will see the start time for the clinics you choose. Please be sure to note this in you calendars!
Mask are required at arrival. You may remove them during play if you wish. They will be required at departure. We will have hand sanitizer to use for all as you enter and exit the courts. There will be dots for the floor so that you can social distance the athletes. All hoppers will be color coded so that the athletes use their own hopper. We will have gloves for you if you choose to wear them while feeding balls. We have put a lot of thought into this, but if you see a need please share your concerns.
Tentatively we will participate in a State Games tournament in May and also host the All Star Tournament in June. More information on this will be coming.
Thanks for your help in getting Tennis Buddies off the ground in 2021. We have about 42 of the 46 athletes that have expressed an interest in playing. They are very enthusiastic about returning to tennis. Please help us make this a reality! We need your help and cannot run this program without you! I am hoping that we will be able to garner enough help each week to play. Please sign up as soon as you can so that we can make court assignments very soon.
Happy New Year!