Tennis instructor out to keep up children’ enthusiasm | Information, Sports activities, Jobs

Tennis instructor out to keep up children’ enthusiasm | Information, Sports activities, Jobs

Nashua longtime Park-Rec tennis teacher Scott McDougald offers a number of tricks to Ella Galetta of Hollis and Zach Urim of Nashua throughout a current camp day on the Sargent Ave. courts by Holman Stadium. (Telegraph picture by TOM KING)
NASHUA – Scott McDougald stopped what he was doing and yelled out one thing that just about appeared in code.
“Coach Lindsay,” he mentioned. “What’s No. 9?”
“Cat,” Lindsay Gasdia responded.
“Cat,” McDougald defined, “is the endurance of a cat.”
“Coach Jack, what’s the R phrase?” McDougald shouts.
“Chill out,” the reply comes again.
Sure, you need to be in your toes for those who’re both a pupil or a coach on the Nashua Park-Recreation Division Tennis Camps run by McDougald, an teacher on the Longfellow Tennis & Swim Membership on the Sargent Avenue Courts in entrance of Holman Stadium.
He makes it enjoyable, and he makes everybody study.
“Oh undoubtedly,” mentioned Gasdia. “The children like it, a few of them come 5 – 6 instances.”
McDougald, who has been working these camps for about 27 years provides so much to the tennis. You understand it’s a camp week once you drive down Sargent Ave and see flags posted alongside the road. McDougald pays for them, and they’re the flags from nations that his college students through the years have been from. And that’s 50 nations.
“I simply acquired two new college students, a 4-year outdated boy and 6-year outdated,” he mentioned. “One is from Hungary and he simply began tennis with me. So each time I get a pupil from one other nation I am going out and purchase a flag. It’s been nice as a result of we’ve acquired those who come by, cease and take selfies in entrance of their flag. The most recent nation he had a pupil from is Bulgaria, and the flag is on order.
“I taught a younger woman from Nepal, they usually had by no means seen a Napal flag in the US they usually have been so excited. I attempt to let all people know we’re all a part of the identical world, we’re doing tennis and having a good time.”
For youths who’ve to attend their flip to get on the courts, McDougald offers them puzzles, most of them with some form of academic theme. Camp numbers vary from 20 to 36 youths.
“I train them historical past, I train them geography, I train them a number of various things,” he mentioned. “It simply challenges the children so that they’re not simply sitting at house.”
In the event that they get their puzzles or quizzes proper, he fingers out $2 greenback payments, or golden {dollars}. Additionally with regard to tennis, he fingers out ribbons. No youth goes house empty handed, “so all the children have one thing to be ok with.”
McDougald, who was born in Kentucky however grew up in North Carolina, has been instructing the sport for 27 years, and is in actual property gross sales. He’s performed competitively, however he acquired registered as an expert teacher by in Hilton Head, S.C., studying from late tennis instructing professional Dennis Van Dermeer from South Africa.
It’s simply one of many folks he’s had the pleasure of both studying from or instructing through the years.
“We had a younger boy, he had one arm, one leg, and one eye,” McDougald mentioned. “We had to determine how he may serve, not having the ability to toss the ball. And that younger man did it. It’s the explanation I really like tennis, the folks we meet.”
“There was a research throughout COVID, and it mentioned for those who play tennis you reside seven years longer. It’s the one sport in addition to golf that you are able to do all of your life. However (golf) is just not free. Tennis is free.”
However instruction isn’t, however he and his crew of volunteer instructors will even head out of city to show children who can’t afford the instruction. A few weeks in the past they went as much as Derryfield Faculty and he was on the courts from 7 a.m.-8:30 p.m.
“Not dangerous for 73-years outdated,” he mentioned with a chuckle.
There’s been tragedy in McDougald’s tennis world as nicely. In 2006 certainly one of McDougald’s tennis college students, Nicole Scontsas, was killed in a auto accident off Nashua’s Exit 8. Each camp he offers out an award in her honor to the coed who “has one of the best angle, effort, all the time attempting, by no means offers up” it says on the plaque.
“I let the children understand how fortunate we’re to be wholesome and completely satisfied and doing one thing we like to do,” he mentioned.
Certainly one of his instructors is Gasdia, who was a part of the profitable doubles crew that was the deciding match in Alvirne’s Division II state title win over Portsmouth. She can be certainly one of McDougald’s college students, and through that deciding match McDougald was on the telephone along with her mom. He informed her to go over and inform her daughter “No. 9 and 11”
“9, she knew she was attempting to hit too many massive photographs, and she or he went for endurance,” McDougald mentioned. “They began profitable. And 11 means goalpost, because it seems to be like a purpose publish. And what meaning is hit down the center. The primary place in doubles is down the center. They went from down 5-2 to win 9-7.”
McDougald will set up the gamers by means with every group assigned an animal: Cheetahs, panthers, leopards, and so on.
The cheetahs are the youngest and least skilled, however they’ll problem different children a stage above them, McDougald mentioned, “to say, ‘Wait a minute, I can do that too.’ “
What’s the most important factor McDougald has to show youths about tennis? Truly, he has an inventory of six.
“One, get the ball over the online,” he mentioned. “Objective quantity two is within the courtroom. Objective quantity three – I inform them that is the place I earn my cash – you need to look good doing it.”
4, he says, is probably the most crucial: Have enjoyable. He has some children who do all 4 camps yearly.
“That lets me know we’re doing OK, as a result of I’ve to maintain altering them,” McDougald mentioned.
Objective No. 5 is the principles, which incorporates sportsmanship and etiquette, And No. 6 isn’t quit.
If a participant misses a ball, they should go get three of the flags after which get again on the courtroom.
“It’s totally different each time,” Gasdia mentioned of the camp format. “He all the time tries to include totally different drills, totally different enjoyable video games; he has us search for video games and herald stuff, we form of have inventive management over that. He’s superior.”
A tennis camp not like every other, with swimming (pool is true throughout the way in which), water balloons, and so on. However nonetheless, tennis is the main focus.
“He makes certain that they’re all following the principles, and provides little incentives,” Gasdia mentioned. “However it’s actually nice to see them progressively all through the week getting higher and higher, and seeing their confidence constructed up. It’s nice.”
Lots of his camp counselors are former campers themselves. McDougald started doing the camps when the late Invoice Longua informed him in regards to the camps needing somebody. Longua ran the previous Nashua Swim & Tennis, which is now Longfellow. He involves the courts at 7 a.m. to arrange. Camp begins at 9 a.m.
How for much longer will McDougald train tennis? He had an uncle that lived to be 103.
“My purpose is 104,” he mentioned.
However how lengthy on the courts?
“In all probability,” he mentioned with fun, ” ’til 103.”

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