WHEELCHAIR TENNIS GETAWAY AND CHECKLIST!
-Attitude and passion to play lots of tennis and improve your game
-$300 for hotel
-$40 for general food on trip
-$120 gas or $250 flight for round trip
-playing lots of tennis with friends= PRICELESS
-wheelchair tennis chair in good working order and good tire --tread
-tennis hat or sweatband
-cloth tape to tape wrists
-Ice packs, ADVIL, Aspirin, or Ibuprofen and Super-Glue for cuts
-personal travel items
-change of tires and tubes
I’d like to share with you a my experience at a recent USTA wheelchair “All-Comers” tennis camp I attended in February.
My name is Phillip Duke Rossiter Peabody, and I play wheelchair tennis. Tennis has changed my life for the better! I am backed and supported in many non financial avenues by the USTA and the CWTF which enables me to be able to learn and promote the sport of tennis. I get to play this sport my whole life and I can attend tournaments and camps all over the world!
The drive was beautiful and easy from my hometown in Denver, Colorado, to Salt Lake City but the drive back during a snowstorm was a little sketchy in my front wheel drive Volkswagen. Nonetheless, I made it out of the snow packed valley and made my way back home. Small 8 hour road trips such as these are great to be able to really appreciate the beauty this earth has to offer and is a great way to catch up on a personal reset or catching up on that next audiobook. Always make sure your car is in good shape and you have full gas, bring water, snacks and download those audio books. This was not without a speeding ticket before the Colorado border (DO NOT SPEED). Speeding does not make a major time difference and I was wrong to speed, which is something I work on improving on any road trip. The All-Comers camp was something I could not miss and chances will be taken.
Let me just fill y'all in on a little secret….
The Salt Lake City Wheelchair Tennis All Comers Camp presented by USTA Utah Tennis Association and Laurie Lampert (USTA Executive Director of Utah Tennis) is a camp that no one should miss out on if you want to become a better tennis player. This camp was capped at 20ish players and we had a blast hitting thousands of balls in an indoor facility named, The Sports Mall. Our coaches ranged from David Wagner, Jason Allen, Jason Harnett, Kendall Chitambar and many other great coaches and volunteers with a HUGE THANK YOU to Laurie Lambert!
We had drills Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday which covered wheelchair mobility, serves, forehands, backhands, doubles play and singles play. The camp even had a mini tournament on Sunday and each player got to hit thousands of types of tennis balls, for instance, we hit with green dot balls which are softer and allow a more controlled shot. These controlled shots allowed for longer rally’s which in turn allows the players to perfect shots and form. I specifically learned to throw the ball higher up on my serve and to start pushing my wheelchair immediately. I also learned and perfected my slice backhand which can help me in situations where I’m stuck hitting the ball close to my front wheels. Overall my game needs a lot of work especially in moving my chair (mobility) and my serves need to be much more controlled but aggressive.
Not only was the camp experience great, the city of Salt Lake has a lot to offer. I went to a nightclub on a Friday night and met some great people and had a good time networking. No harm, no foul. I booked a different hotel which was cheaper and a 15 minute drive from the tennis camp but this hotel had a great pool and hot tub that was open late, great snack bar and the room and bathroom were very wheelchair accessible. I always recommend doing extra research on costs, hotels, ACCESSIBILITY , and any other variable with trips and make it fun!
Overall The Salt Lake City Wheelchair Tennis All Comers Camp was a total success due to the great atmosphere, the great people and the GREAT TENNIS!