Tennis clinic coming to Chilton County this summer

Published 2:34 pm Thursday, May 19, 2022

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By Carey Reeder | Staff Writer

Chilton County is football and baseball county, and will remain that for many years to come. However, Chilton County High School tennis coach David McCary is trying to bring tennis to prominence in the county as well.

McCary will host a tennis clinic for seventh, eighth and ninth graders on June 6-7 from 8:30-10 a.m. at the Clanton City Park in conjunction with Clanton Middle School.

McCary saw firsthand this season the level of talent among the high school tennis ranks, especially in Class 6A where the Tigers compete. High schools in CCHS’s area have enough solid players to field both an A-Team and B-Team.

“By the time they get to the 11th grade, they are seasoned players,” McCary said. “At CCHS, we have students coming out in the eighth, ninth and 10th grade wanting to learn how to play tennis.”

Without another way to get better, Chilton County will not be able to close the gap on other counties nearby with established high school tennis programs.

“You cannot teach tennis overnight,” McCary said. “It is a lot like golf, and it takes two or three years of hard work to become more than a casual player.”

That is where McCary steps in. He has been working with the school board to help get more tennis exposure at the middle school level, and it starts with the clinic in June.

“We’re hoping that we can spark the interest of many of them, not just a few,” McCary said.

McCary said the clinic will focus on teaching students the basic techniques of tennis and the rules of the game. Strategy in doubles play, playing the net and how to use it to a player’s advantage will be taught at the clinic, too. McCary said those attending the clinic must bring their own tennis racquet and “just show up.”

“I want to build and build the interest of tennis,” McCary said. “Teach them the right way, so they do not develop bad habits, which is common.”

Being in good shape and physical development is the biggest thing McCary said aspiring tennis players should focus on first before details of the game itself.

McCary offers free lessons for people year-round. He also encourages students who may not make another sports team they try out for, such as baseball or basketball, to come out and try tennis.

“There is no need to give up on all sports, anyone can learn tennis,” McCary said. “It is nothing but repetition, technique and muscle memory, but you have to like it to do all of that stuff.”

McCary’s main goal with his lessons is to grow the sport of tennis in Chilton County, but also to give back to the community. He wants to spread the game of tennis to every corner of Chilton County, one lesson at a time.

“I’m not interested in just Clanton, anyone from the county can come,” McCary said. “The more interest you build, the bigger it will grow so all people are welcome.”

Those interested in individual lessons can contact McCary at 205-258-8786.