Local clinic opens youngsters to joys of tennis | TheUnion.com

Local clinic opens youngsters to joys of tennis

Damian Christen, 13, works on his serve during a tennis clinic for juniors held at Club Sierra and run by Cheryl Rubin.
Walter Ford/wford@theunion.com |

Before attending a local tennis clinic, Abby Weir had never played tennis.

“I couldn’t even hit a tennis ball before I came,” Weir said. “Now I can serve and pretty much do anything anyone here can do. I’ve learned a lot, and it’s been really helpful.”

Weir, 12, who only attended the clinic because a friend did, said she has now caught the tennis bug and plans to continue building her skill set.

“It’s the excitement and feeling of hitting the ball and realizing I can actually do this,” Weir said. “When you watch it on TV, it looks really hard, but now I know I can actually do this.”

The tennis clinic was the last of several summer sessions hosted by Cheryl Rubin at Club Sierra, but the lessons and impressions on her students will carry on.

“She has help me a lot,” Weir said. “Whenever I didn’t get something, she was there to help.”

In addition to running a beginners clinic for kids this past week, she also ran one for intermediate-level players.

“I’ve been learning a lot of stuff that I thought I had down,” Damian Christen said. “But now I have it really down.”

Damian, 13, was part of the intermediate group with his sister, Sophia, 9.

“(Rubin) taught me some stuff I didn’t know,” Sophia said. “How to look at the ball during my serve so I could get it in the box easier and returning serves.”

Rubin’s whole approach to teaching revolves around fun and simply planting the tennis seeds that will eventually grow in a player

“It’s all about having a lot of fun and getting the feel of tennis,” Rubin said. “It’s been awesome, and for the whole summer, we’ve had around 40 kids throughout the summer, and kids from all different backgrounds.”

Kids of all ages with varying interests gave the clinic a go this summer and most found it to be an exhilarating way to spend a portion of their summer, said Rubin.

“That’s the main thing,” she said. “Kids were getting excited. I saw some fist pumping from kids you would never expect. And that’s the thing for me — keep it fun, keep it simple.”

For some of the kids at the clinic it was about taking what they had learned at home and putting it into action.

“The reason I got into tennis was I was playing it on the Wii, and I really liked it,” Keegan Thompson said. “I got a pamphlet at school that showed the tennis camp, and I wanted to try it. My mom said playing tennis on the Wii is nothing like real tennis. When we asked Cheryl, she said it was just with a lot more running.”

While the clinics are done for the summer, Rubin said the turnout gives her optimism for the future of tennis.

“It’s keeping the legacy of tennis going,” Rubin said. “It’s a great game. Anybody who is a tennis player knows how fun it is, so to get all these kids exposed to it has been a real thrilling thing.”

Kids of all ages are encouraged to partake in tennis lessons and future clinics, said Rubin, who recommends kids as young as 4 get into the sport.

Rubin is a professional certified tennis instructor, and her background includes USTA 5.0 league, tournament and intercollegiate play. She is also a recipient of the Outstanding College Athletes of America Award.

Rubin will be doing personal lessons until more clinics creep up in the fall. To contact Rubin for a lesson, call 530-210-9913.

To contact Sports Editor Walter Ford, call 530-477-4232 or email wford@theunion.com.

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