First YMCA Kids Camp in Boise

Written by Kathy Getto

I recently visited with and watched a group of up-and-coming pickleball players who are ready to take the game to the next level…

And believe me, these kids have got GAME!

Campers played King and Queen of the Court and showed off their winning crowns!

Campers played King and Queen of the Court and showed off their winning crowns!

Earlier this week a Pickleball Camp for Kids was offered by Homecourt YMCA, and eight eager participants attended the four day camp. The camp was taught by Nick and Tami Leach who are well known throughout southwestern Idaho for their dedication to pickleball and their ability to train players at all levels.

The camp offered instruction on how to play, how to keep score, and how to incorporate strategies of the game.

It was amazing how well the kids learned the ins and outs of pickleball in four short days.

They kept score better than some long time playing adults…. 🙂

All the campers showed their good sportsmanship with a congratulatory paddle bump at the end of their games.

All the campers showed their good sportsmanship with a congratulatory paddle bump at the end of their games.

The children, whose ages ran from six to 11, were all very enthusiastic about the game.

Ten year old Ethan Fung is going to teach his mom how to play; he’s been talking to her every night about pickleball and can’t wait to teach her.

Even during breaks, the kids couldn't get enough and were practicing their wall work.

Even during breaks, the kids couldn’t get enough and were practicing their wall work.

Other campers included siblings Aiden, Skyler and Liam Siemons; Madero Tassi; and siblings Lucas and Hazel Roberts.

All of the children at the camp on the final day have played ping pong, so they already had much of the hand-eye coordination down.

The players learned controlled placement during targeted drills.

The players learned controlled placement during targeted drills.

But, frankly, I was surprised at how well they played when I watched five of them play on their last day at camp. They were sustaining rallies that lasted almost 20 hits! Incredible!

Brad Foreman, a YMCA employee who worked with Nick and Tami to put on the camp, had never played pickleball before. He has played tennis for many years, even playing competitively in college. He’d first heard about it years ago from his grandparents who winter in Arizona, but he’d never given the game a try until this week.

Players awaiting their turn during skills and drills.

Players awaiting their turn during skills and drills.

Now, he’s hooked! And hooked hard… As I talked with him a few minutes during a break at the camp his most often used word: “Addicted!” He loves the strategies of the game and can’t get over how fast paced the game can be even as he’s beginning to understand the strength that comes with controlled dinking.

When I asked all the campers and Brad if they would be playing again after the camp ended, the answer was a resounding, “YES!!!!”

So watch out Treasure Valley pickleball players; there’s a bunch of new kids on the court!

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