Tennis & Life Skills

     

Free Special Tennis & Life Skills Events June 4,  June 18, July 16,  July 30   
5:00-7:00PM at Rolland Moore Racquet Center  

Sponsored by Lewis Tennis & NJTL 

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We believe at Lewis Tennis School that tennis is truly a sport for life.  You can play it from the age of 4 to well into your 90’s.  We also believe that the life skills that you can learn participating in this game will enhance all areas of life.   That is why we have systematic approach to teaching life skills to our students.   
         We incorporate life skill lessons into each day of our programs for beginning and intermediate level juniors.  As players learn the proper technical fundamentals of the game they are also learning Life Skills.

Below are some of the topics we touch on in the Life Skills portion of each  lesson:

·         FUN, SAFETY, INTERACTION, FITNESS, FRIENDSHIPS

·         GOAL SETTING

·         STAYING POSITIVE WITH A WINNING ATTITUDE & TEAMWORK

·         MOTIVATION

·         PERSEVERANCE –KEEP ON KEEPING ON

·         RULES & INTEGRITY

·         HEALTHY HABITS

·         SECOND CHANCES

            Most of our students will not become professional tennis players or receive college tennis scholarships, but they they will learn the technical skills necessary to become life time tennis players and the life skills to become champions in life.

TENNIS & LIFE SKILLS  SPEAKERS

DAVE BOON                     June 4         5:00-7:00PM    at Rolland Moore Park Racquet Center        SIGN UP

My calling in life is to “save kids’ lives.” I cannot stand to lose a kid to drugs, alcohol or crime and it hurts me to my very soul to see young people not reach their full potential in life. I used to work with “at risk” youth, but show me a youth that is not at risk in today’s world! I prefer to say that I work with children and teens with “unmet potential.” I have only one goal through my presentations at schools, my web site, this book, and my interaction with kids on a daily basis. That goal, my purpose in life, my wish, is to help teens and young adults discover their gifts and their direction in life. I want each and every one of you to become a healthy, happy, and productive member of our world. I don’t want you to get “swept away” by drugs, alcohol or negative associations. That is why I wrote this book. That is my purpose—that is my wish!

 

Dave has coached national champions in two different sports, spoken at a White House conference by invitation of the Vice President of the United States, and traveled the world's largest sand desert as a teen. He holds B.A. and M.S. degrees and has been a high school teacher, as well as a community college and university professor.

 

Dave's innovative ideas and successful programs have been featured in The New Yorker and Shape magazines and highlighted by award winning Wall Street Journal reporters Bob Davis and David Wessel, in Prosperity: The Coming 20 Year Boom and What It Means to You.

The extraordinary story about Dave, his wife June and a 13 year old teen, Gary Martinez, being buried alive by an avalanche on January 6, 2007, received worldwide coverage. His miracle survival story was featured on Oprah, CNN, MSNBC, The Today Show and in USA Today. Dave is convinced that he survived for a reason. Today his life work is focused on teaching goals, good choices, and value-based decisions in order to place everyone, but especially our youth, on the road to hope and happiness.

 

Dave conducts leadership presentations throughout the United States and in Europe. Dave enjoys river rafting, snow skiing, tennis, traveling, and spending time with his family and friends. He lives in Fort Collins, Colorado with his wife June. Check out  Dave's website for inspirational stories.

 

AKIJI KOIWALAKAI       June 18th    5:00-7:00PM  at Rolland Moore Park Racquet Center              SIGN UP

“I discovered a sport that benefited me my whole life because I had a great instructor who took the time to work with me,” said Koiwalakai, now 43. “So I want to pass that on to the kids that I work with. Make the sport fun, make it easy to learn and keep the kids wanting more. That excites me and makes me want to give them my best.”


Eighty percent of the kids that Akiji works with live below the poverty line, according to Pat Kelly, executive director of the NJTL Adams 50. She’s seen Koiwalakai and his assistance dog, Merlin, bring the best out of children born into tough situations – but likely none tougher than his own.


Koiwalakai earned his first tennis tournament title at the age of 11 and kept going with the sport despite spending his childhood in and out of hospitals. He suffered from bad asthma and Osgood-Schlatter disease, a painful malady which brought about severe inflammation in his legs. In spite of these challenges, he stayed with tennis and became a teaching pro as an adult. Away from the court, he also spent years in training to become a second-degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do.


“He’s a very modest person,” said Kelly. “He’s totally extroverted with the kids but really desires no spotlight for himself.”


“Tennis extended my life and made me physically and emotionally stronger,” said Koiwalakai.


In 2000, Koiwalakai was out walking when he was run over by a truck and dragged underneath the wheels. The accident broke his back in three places, paralyzing him. Moreover, in treating the back fractures, doctors also discovered that he had a brain tumor. The tumor would rob Koiwalakai of his ability to hear. Today he primarily reads lips, though hearing aids through the years have helped.


Through everything, the tennis court remained his lifeline – a path to rehabilitation and to closure. As a wheelchair player, Koiwalakai relearned the game and eventually returned to tournament play, competing against both wheelchair and able-bodied players.


In 2010, at 38, he competed at the US Open USTA Wheelchair Championships in St. Louis, one of the biggest professional tournaments in the world.


“It's the only social outlet that I have, and because of tennis, I have met so many wonderful people,” said Koiwalakai. His work with Kelly and NJTL, alongside Merlin, the black Labrador, continues to provide happiness in his long journey back to normalcy.


According to Koiwalakai, Merlin could be classified as the world’s first “tennis dog.” He carries Koiwalakai’s equipment to and from the court and patiently observes matches. He’ll fetch balls which hop over the fencing around the courts. The NJTL students, for their part, get a rise out of Merlin’s abilities. When many kids are initially shy or don’t want to be part of the class, Merlin inspires them to participate.


“He gets upset if I don’t let him do his work,” said Koiwalakai. “He is learning to play tennis. He has his own junior racquet and he sits with the tennis racquet in his mouth. As I feed balls to him, he watches the ball. When he hits one, he gets very excited. I can talk about Merlin all day if you let me.”


Koiwalakai doesn’t foresee a time when his teaching days will end. He ascribes to the adage that tennis is the sport for a lifetime. And in his own lifetime, things have rarely been dull – sometimes sad, but in many spots joyous. He’s made friends, young and old, human and canine, and learned to look forward to a rewarding future.


“Akiji’s life and love is the lesson for these kids,” said Kelly. “He’s a person who has brought himself up from humble beginnings, only to fall back down and then lift himself up once again.”



MARC RADEMACHER   July 18th    5:00-7:00PM  at Rolland Moore Park Racquet Center                   SIGN UP



SCOTT LUMPKIN & MARIA LANDSTROM  August   1  5:00-7:00PM at Rolland Moore Racquet Center  SIGN UP