Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Tennis Pen Pal Program

Did you ever have a pen pal when you were a kid? One of my elementary school teachers organized a pen pal program for our class. We corresponded with some French students. This was very big doings for a bunch of fourth graders from Dallas, Texas. I remember the experience fondly, even after all these years. Oooh, la la!

Recently I was talking to someone about how Twitter is similar to the old pen pal concept as far as meeting interesting people from all over. That got me thinking about reviving the pen pal idea for my current tennis students. Some of you have already expressed interest in participating. That's awesome, but how to proceed??

Safety first! I will be approaching my students' parents and get permission from those who are interested in participating. We also need to come up with a way of having them communicate with each other that is acceptable to all. Facebook is an obvious choice since so many clubs and parents are already using it. Or, we could go old school and just have them correspond directly via snail mail.

I thought I would match individuals or groups by age and level of player. For example, Red Ball class to Red Ball class, or Orange Ball female player to Orange Ball female player. That way, at least they would have their basic tennis experiences in common to start off with.

As far as what will be communicated, depends on how we communicate. Using technology such as Facebook, I was thinking of group pictures, pictures of fun stuff going on in clinic, reports on tournament/JTT play, school team news, etc. If we go with individual communication via snail mail, that's up to the students and their parents.

This will probably evolve as we go along. Any thoughts or advice welcome - tweet to me @10U10S or leave a comment here. Thanks for participating! Should be fun!