• The City’s Top 3 Summer Activities Have Something For Everyone

    We talked to instructors at six of our favorite spots to putt, serve, and swim in NYC.

    By Brooke Schuldt

    SwimJim

    There are an unlimited number of things that make kids excited for the start of summer break, but there are three warm weather sports that come to mind when we think about keeping kids active all season long. We’re talking about swimming, golfing, and tennis—three of the city’s coolest and most popular sports. We talked to instructors at six of our favorite spots to putt, serve, and swim in NYC to see how they recommend parents get their kids active over summer break, from first timers to more experienced, competitive players.

    SWIMMING

    For First Timers: “Parents often overestimate their child’s ability to swim. This is particularly true if the pool or ocean is an enjoyable experience. Enjoyment means fun. It does not mean strong water safety or swimming skills. This is a subtle but real drowning risk issue. Every summer, always seek a return to water safety and swimming fundamentals. Unlike most other sports and activities, swimming is not only a lifelong health and fitness pursuit, but it is the only sport that can prevent accidental drowning. Awareness is your family’s friend. SwimJim’s curriculum and teachers get results that cultivate the whole child. We address each child’s physical coordination and development as well as cognitive, emotional, and social growth. We also teach water safety to the whole family. We support Stop Drowning Now, a national non-profit cause that seeks to eliminate drowning through education.” –Jim Spiers, owner of SwimJim and president of Stop Drowning Now

    For Competitive Kids: “Children who are already skilled but looking to enhance their skills should make it to the pool as much as possible. Endurance training will help enhance their skills as well as keep them active during the summer. Focusing on bilateral breathing will allow your child to relax more in the pool, and this will ultimately allow them to have more stamina for their workouts. Our competitive swim camp at Asphalt Green focuses a lot on drills during swim sessions rather than just instruction. These training drills will guide your child to become a faster swimmer as well as master each stroke.” –Kristin Pinkerton, aquatics manager at Asphalt Green

    Kate Tempesta’s Urban Golf Academy

    GOLF

    For First Timers: “Parents should seek out programs and coaches that take a whole child approach to learning. What I mean by that is that for the deepest learning to take place, coaches must create environments that promote discovery, exploration, and success. The best coach creates a joyful, connected environment. Find a coach that connects with and guides children rather than an instructor quickly willing to impart the next swing technique to ‘fix’ your child’s ‘faults.’ There are no faults. It is my firm belief that one thing the world lacks right now is connected relationships. In a fast-paced world filled with technology, children are more disconnected to things like play and time to breathe. Happy, connected children lead to happy, well-adjusted adults. Find programs that create joyful learning environments and provide some breathing room for your little one to grow. KTUGA is built from years of hands-on experience at one of the best pre-schools in NYC, St. Thomas More Play Group. Our coaches have a true passion for engaging and empowering children. We create and inspire a joy of learning and feel that when children are in a state of play, deeper learning takes place.” –Kate Tempesta, founder and president of Kate Tempesta’s Urban Golf Academy

    For Competitive Kids: “Here at the Golf Club at Chelsea Piers, we have a number of junior golf programs running year round. For our more experienced and skilled junior golfers looking to fine tune their game, there are a few things they can focus on to shoot lower scores. Much of the work of the golf swing is done before the club even begins moving. Ensuring that your child’s set up is fundamentally sound is crucial to giving them the best possible chance of hitting a good shot. Their grip, stance, posture, and ball position all have a major impact on the rest of their swing. A common occurrence here at the golf club is seeing both adults and juniors coming in for lessons and immediately wanting to pull out their driver. There is no doubt that few things in golf are as enjoyable as crushing your driver, but most golfers lose the majority of their strokes on the putting green. It may not be as fun as bashing drives, but spending more time working on distance control on the putting green will help bring your child’s scores down.” –Tom Bopp, director of summer camp at the Golf Club at Chelsea Piers

    Advantage Tennis, Photo by Andrew Schwartz

    TENNIS

    For First Timers: “Be sure to check that the coach or pro teaching your child is certified and has experience working with very young children. Student-teacher ratio is key. The program should also take into account the social and emotional needs of a young child. For them, tennis classes should be fun and safe, and success should always be in reach. Manhattan Tennis Company’s Toddler Tennis is a great program for your child because it focuses on tracking, balance, motor skills, movement, and basic athletic skills. Manhattan Tennis Company’s play-based program and equipment are specially modified for little hands, and MTC’s Toddler Tennis will help your young child to build an athletic foundation to be a successful tennis player. And you’ll see an increase in confidence, too!” –Jonathan Lipsit, director of education at Manhattan Tennis Company

    For Competitive Kids: “The All-City Junior Camp is ideal for tennis players looking to enhance their skill set and become more competitive. The camp runs for 12 weeks and helps kids grow on a player-by-player basis. Campers will work on drills, play matches, and have some fun competing in games with other campers. Kids are grouped according to age, and we hit the courts a lot over this 12-week span, but we are also sure to make time for off-court instruction and fun activities, like swimming. One of the best parts when it comes to both summer camps is that kids will meet like-minded kids who not only love tennis as much as they do, but are also looking to improve their game. This leads to a healthy, constructive, competitive environment among the campers, and you can see the improvement that the kids make in the singles and team competitions that we have them regularly do. When you couple this environment with the first-class instruction from the staff members and directors, the kids that go through these camps almost always leave as better players than from when they began. We focus on helping them fine-tune the strengths of their game and improve on any weaknesses, all in a fun, learning, and engaging environment.” –Xavier Luna, director of junior tennis for the Advantage All-City Junior Tennis Programs

    A Selective Guide To The Best Local Golf, Swimming & Tennis Programs

    GOLF

    Brooklyn Junior Golf, brooklyngolfcenter.com
    CityParks Gold, cityparksfoundation.org
    First Tee, thefirstteemetny.org
    Future Stars, fscamps.com
    The Golf Academy at Chelsea Piers, chelseapiers.com
    Golf Manhattan, golfmanhattan.com
    Inwood Country Club, inwoodcc.org
    Kate Tempesta’s Urban Golf Academy, ktuga.com
    Randall’s Island Golf Center, randallsislandgolfcenter.com

    SWIMMING

    The 14th Street Y, 14streety.org
    92Y, 92y.org
    Aqua Skills, aquaskills.com
    Asphalt Green, asphaltgreen.org
    Bees in Motion, beeinmotiongym.com
    Camelback Resort, camelbackresort.com
    Camp Olympia, campolympiany.com
    Chelsea Piers, chelseapiers.com
    Convent of the Sacred Heart’s Athletic & Wellness Center, cshnyc.org
    Inwood Country Club, inwoodcc.org
    Mamaroneck Beach & Yacht Club, mamaroneckbeachandyacht.com
    NYC Parks, nycgovparks.org/programs/aquatics
    NYU Swim Camp, gonyuathletics.com
    Physique Swim School, physiqueswimming.com
    Royal Athletic Swimming, royalswim.com
    Swim Swim Swim I Say, swimswimswimisay.com
    SwimJim, swimjim.com
    Take Me To the Water, takemetothewater.com
    The YMCA, ymcanyc.org

    TENNIS

    Advantage Tennis Clubs, advantagetennisclubs.com
    Asphalt Green, asphaltgreen.org
    Bees in Motion, beeinmotiongym.com
    Bumblebee Tennis, bumblebeetennis.com
    Central Park Tennis Center, centralparktenniscenter.com
    Chelsea Piers’ Little Aces, chelseapiers.com
    CityParks Tennis, cityparksfoundation.org
    Future Stars, fscamps.com
    Gotham Tennis, gothamtennis.com
    Inwood Country Club, inwoodcc.org
    Mamaroneck Beach & Yacht Club, mamaroneckbeachandyacht.com
    Manhattan Tennis Academy, manhattantennisacademy.com
    Manhattan Tennis Company, manhattan.tennis
    The New York Junior Tennis League, nyjtl.org
    NFCH Sports-Tennis for Kids, kidstennisatnfchsports.com
    The Riverside Clay Tennis Association, rcta.info
    SPORTIME Randall’s Island, sportimeny.com
    Tennis Innovators, tennisinnovators.com
    USTA, usta.com
    The Yorkville Youth Athletic Association with the Sutton East Tennis Club, yyaa.org & suttoneasttennis.com

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