Start Your Child On A New Sport This Summer

instructor showing girl how to hit golf ball
Chelsea Piers

As the sun comes back out, it’s time for kids to celebrate: And what better way than trying a summer sport for the very first time? We talked to different camps that offer golf, swimming, and tennis and asked them why now is the perfect time to start.


“Golf is a sport like no other that teaches, nurtures, and develops ‘human skills.’ Learning golf goes way beyond learning physical, technical, and tactical skills. The process of learning the game involves emotional resilience, management of emotions, creativity, problem solving, self-talk, and so much more. These and many other things nurture the healthy development of children. Additionally, in a world moving so fast these days, golf encourages us to be present, connect with others and the outside world. Who wouldn’t want all that for their children?” –Kate Tempesta, Kate Tempesta’s Urban Golf Academy

“Golf is a life-long sport, one that can be played all your life for fitness, socializing, and business. Children can play golf in high school and college, then use it in business and all the way into retirement. Unlike many sports, golf is also a game where people of different levels can easily play together. A beginner in most sports could never share the playing field with someone accomplished. Golf is one of the few sports where a family can actually play together—children and adults—everyone playing at their own level. Traditionally, children are able to pick things up easily when they are young. With weeks and weeks of summer ahead, why not slip a life skill into one of the weeks—cloaked in fun! As with most sports, golf also teaches children how to follow rules, take turns, listen to the coach, and of course, etiquette. The Golf Club at Chelsea Piers offers a variety of junior golf programs for players of all ages and levels including Golf Summer Camp and Performance Golf Summer Camp.” –Paula Citera, Chelsea Piers


“Whether planning a beach getaway or lounging by the pool, kids will inevitably be around water more during the summer. There is no better time to take up the sport. Here’s why: No. 1: Swimming is an essential life skill, and it’s never too early or too late to start. Drowning is the second-leading cause of unintentional, injury-related death among children ages 1-14. A 2009 study found kids ages 1-4 who had taken swimming lessons showed a reduced risk of drowning by 88 percent. No. 2: June, July, and August heat up quickly, and kids will find themselves with many opportunities to have fun in the water. Every child wants to be able to swim independently at [events like pool parties]—and it helps parents rest easy too. No. 3: It keeps kids active. With less structure during the summer, it can be tempting for kids to spend a lot of hours in front of the TV. Encouraging children to swim helps develop a healthy lifestyle at an early age. No. 4: Swimming improves social skills. Classes and camps provide opportunities to meet new people while mastering new skills. No. 5: There is extra time to focus on tricky skills. Practice is crucial to progressing in the sport, and new swimmers can take advantage of the additional time to focus on honing their skills. Come fall, those who spent time in the water during the summer will have a leg up on their swimming progression.” –Andrew Bryan, Asphalt Green

“Summer means aquatic sports and activities. In the excitement, it’s easy to forget about drowning risk after a winter indoors. Drowning risk can seem very remote and easily avoidable. And it is—if your family has awareness, effective education, and training. Swimming skills are water safety’s foundation. Swimming is fun and incredibly healthy. It is also the only sport that can prevent accidental death in an emergency. Recent studies also find that learning swimming may actually accelerate kids’ developmental milestones. It’s not just a physical summer activity: Swimming is a skill you and your child can enjoy for a lifetime.” –David Gorman, SwimJim


“There’s no specific time when children or adults should ‘start’ playing tennis. Tennis is an all year round, life-long sport. However, the summer brings tennis to life. A time to be a little less overwhelmed and a little more relaxed, able to enjoy a new life-long venture. Tennis is more accessible now than ever before: With multiple opportunities in your local communities, you’re able to find tennis for all ages and levels. Tennis this summer will be easier to introduce versus any other time of the year due to all of the day camps and/or sleepaway camps that you may choose to endeavor. Tennis is also available through daily and weekend activities locally. To ensure you’re getting the best out of your Tennis, find a high-energy innovative tennis program.” –Juan Andrade, Tennis Innovators

“Summer is here and it’s time to play tennis! In city parks, at your club, on vacation, and at camp, tennis players are having fun playing ‘the game for a lifetime.’ Tennis can help kids develop many physical, social, and mental skills that they can use on other areas of life. So get your racquets, put on some sunscreen, and put on some cool shades: It is time to work on your game.” –Paul Fontana, Advantage QuickStart Tennis

Summer Sports Programs We Love

Chelsea Piers, chelseapiers.com/golf
Inwood Country Club, inwoodcc.org
Kate Tempesta’s Urban Golf Academy, ktuga.com

92Y, 92y.org
Asphalt Green, asphaltgreen.org
Camelback Resort, camelbackresort.com
Convent of the Sacred Heart’s Athletic & Wellness Center, cshnyc.org
Inwood Country Club, inwoodcc.org
Physique Swim School, physiqueswimming.com
Royal Athletic Swimming, royalswim.com
SwimJim, swimjim.com
Take Me To the Water, takemetothewater.com
YMCA, ymcanyc.org

Advantage Tennis Clubs, advantagetennisclubs.com
Asphalt Green, asphaltgreen.org
Chelsea Piers’ Little Aces, chelseapiers.com
Gotham Tennis, gothamtennis.com
Inwood Country Club, inwoodcc.org
The New York Junior Tennis League, nyjtl.org
SPORTIME Randall’s Island, sportimeny.com
Tennis Innovators, tennisinnovators.com
Yorkville Youth Athletic Association with the Sutton East Tennis Club, yyaa.org & suttoneasttennis.com