On any given day, carloads, even busloads, of people, young and old, are arriving at Armonk Indoor Sports Center. Because at Armonk Indoor Sports Center, the sports season never ends. With two bubbles, Armonk Indoor Sports gives baseball, field hockey, football, lacrosse, and soccer players a year-round turf field to compete and hone their skills all under one roof.
“This is one of the most versatile facilities around,” notes Stuart Smith, the Director of Sports Programs at the Center. “We cater to everyone, from birthday parties for two and three-year-olds to activities for senior citizens. This is a great place to come in and get active, whether you’re playing on the turf or on the tennis courts.”
On the other side, in the second bubble, Armonk Indoor Sports Center’s premier tennis facility affords players their own space on which to perfect their game. Since the early 2000’s, Armonk Indoor Sports Center has been training tennis players and giving them a competitive edge. Offering everything from development programs for juniors and adults to competitive league play, Armonk Indoor Sports Center caters to every potential tennis player. Additionally, Armonk Indoor’s tennis boasts five of the most effective tennis pros around, including Kevin Anderson, who is ranked as the fifth best tennis player in the world.
Armonk Indoor Sports Center, along with its sister facility a few miles down the road, Armonk Tennis, offers players a total of eight indoor and 10 outdoor tennis courts at the two locations. Armonk Tennis, one of the oldest tennis facilities in Westchester County, employs five additional tennis pros.
These facilities are home to the Armonk International Tennis Academy, run by Kevin’s brother, Greg Anderson. Their program, the Armonk International Tennis Academy Pathway offers a Beginners course at Armonk Tennis. Players graduate to Armonk Indoor Sports Center’s more competitive program. “Throughout the program, we are not only teaching tennis, we are building athletes,” notes Facility Manager Lisa Marie Bastardi. “We take our youngest players and foster their athletic growth, giving them a home throughout their junior tennis career and often times preparing them to play in college.”
The adult program includes high intensity clinics, a variety of USTA teams, and ample court time for open play. “We encourage tennis to be a family sport, helping everyone to achieve their individual tennis goals,” says Bastardi.
Tennis Pro, Webster Munyenyembe, who has worked as a High Performance and Ten & Under Tennis Professional for the past four years, believes that Armonk Indoor and Armonk Tennis’s program is an ideal environment for tennis lovers to achieve their goals. He has several suggestions to players who want to brush up on their tennis skills.
1. Work on your backhand.
Backhand strokes can be key in competitive match situations. Whether you use a one-handed or two-handed backhand, technique is the secret to mastering the backhand. The most powerful backhand strokes are most effective when the player’s body does more of the work than the racket. There is almost no swinging in a powerful backhand, and to master this technique, improve accuracy, and generate topspin, players should do repetitive drills.
2. Work on your serve.
To practice serving, try playing an extended game in which one person serves for the entire game. The “server” only gets one serve or loses the point. This is a great way to build up serving stamina, and after playing a few games this way, serving will become second nature.
3. Work on your footwork and line drills.
The most effective way to improve your footwork is to jump rope. Jumping rope helps people to improve balance and build stamina. Munyenyembe believes that this activity is essential to improving concentration.
4. Work on volleys and doubles skills.
If you are interested in playing high school tennis, playing an effective doubles game is essential. Learning how to move efficiently and effectively on the court prepares players to be on the attack. Skilled doubles teams are in the right place at the right time and can readily intercept a shot to back up a partner. If players practice moving forwards, backwards, and side to side together on the court, they will be more in sync.
5. Join a group lesson.
Munyenyembe feels that this activity has multiple benefits for junior players. From building social skills to competing with peers, group lessons also give players a chance to observe others’ techniques.
Ultimately, enjoying the game is essential to a great tennis match. And Munyenyembe thinks Armonk Indoor and Armonk Tennis both “strive to maintain a fun atmosphere,” making these facilities ideal for a competitive yet fun experience.