Speed up your new year with F.A.S.T. tennis

A man holding a tennis racket to his chest and wearing a cap leans against a wood-trimmed wall in a well-lit lobby
Coach Dale has been teaching, coaching, and playing his favorite game at The J for more than three decades.

Coach Dale Clark is going to launch a new round of his popular Fun Adult Starter Tennis lessons (also known as FAST!) starting February 1. The 10-lesson program will run Tuesdays and Thursdays in the Wood Gym, 8-9 a.m.

“Since just picking up a racket and thinking you’re going to learn tennis in a few lessons can seem intimidating, FAST uses a progression of larger, slower low-compression tennis balls along with a smaller court area,” Dale explains. “This combination makes learning to hit the ball easier, resulting in a lot more fun from the start.”

The size and speed of the tennis balls increase as adult students gain confidence. The court area also increases accordingly.

‘F’ stands for ‘Fun’

“Although kids usually know how to have fun on the court from the very start, adults sometimes have to learn how to have fun,” Dale explains. “Missing the ball too often can be discouraging. That’s where the FAST method does a great job of counteracting those issues — because remember that the ‘F’ stands for ‘fun.’”

The 10-lesson program is spread out over two days a week for five weeks, at which point students should see a dramatic improvement in their footwork as well as their control over the ball. 

“Tennis is a sport of a lifetime, and the more you practice, the better you get,” Dale says. With his more than three decades of coaching at The J, he might just know what he’s talking about.