Since it opened its doors in 1958, Armonk Tennis Club has been a staple to the community, providing a spot for tennis lovers–and learners–to hone their skills. A family business that was taken over 20 years ago, by Tim Shea, the facility is now run by Shea and his daughter Kelsey, 28, sporting indoor and outdoor courts, a swimming pool/lounge, and two turf playing fields field for other sports like soccer, lacrosse, and flag football.The club also has a pro shop that sells tennis clothing and accessories and does racket restringing.
Tennis has been a part of Tim’s life since childhood- from playing to coaching to eventually managing and owning the clubs.The love for the sport seems to be in the blood, as Kelsey played tennis at Colgate while taking business courses to prepare for running the club, which she’s wanted to do since she was young. At just six years old, she was part of the club’s first ever summer camp class.
For Tim, working with family means knowing you can trust your business partner. “I know Kelsey always has the club’s best interests in mind, that she has the ability to run it, and that she won’t hesitate to ask questions because she is comfortable.”
In addition to being run by family, the clubs have proven to be a respite for families looking to escape the quarantine blues.The clubs closed briefly last season to COVID, but were able to open last spring and summer, taking every measure possible to keep members and campers safe, implementing temperature checks, mask guidelines, and new traffic patterns.
“Tennis is the perfect sport for for social distancing because you’re separated by the net,” said Beau Shea, Tim’s nephew who does marketing for the clubs. “Even playing doubles, one player’s generally at the baseline and the other’s at the net, so there’s a natural spacing that a lot of other sports don’t have.”
Tennis is also a fantastic family sport: Beau comments that their players and members range from 3-90 years old, so you see multiple generations on the courts together. He notes that it’s truly never too early–or too late–to pick up a racket. “Regardless of age, there’s always that physical and emotional benefit to playing and especially playing together.”
With indoor courts, Armonk Tennis os open year round offering seasonal programs and teams, private and group lessons, after-school programs, and the Armonk International Tennis Academy, a higher intensity program. In the spring and summer, memberships are available for tennis, pool, or both as well as camps for kids.
“Our members are like family,” says Beau. We have people here who started at age four taking lessons and are now playing in tournaments with their kids. It truly is a family affair.”
It’s important to focus on movement skills and footwork as much as stroke technique; if you can’t get to the ball on time and under control, you won’t be able to properly execute the shot.
Recognize the mental aspect of tennis. All sports have a mental component, but it’s especially important in tennis, where you don’t have a group of teammates you can rely on; if you can control your nerves and your temper, you’ll be off to a good start before even stepping onto the court.
For more information visit www.armonktennis.com