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posted: 7/31/2014 7:36 AM

Game. Set. Match. Taking a Tennis Lesson at the Schaumburg Park District

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  • Andrew and I after my tennis lesson.Schaumburg Park District

    Andrew and I after my tennis lesson.Schaumburg Park District

Rosie Paparella, communications assistant, Schaumburg Park District

The most athletic thing I've ever done was band.

And here I am, working for the Schaumburg Park District in the Communications Department. After covering and writing about the District's tennis program, I became intrigued. Each week I would photograph lessons, drills, friendly matches and competitions. Now, it was my turn to make tennis my racquet (ok, bad pun, but I couldn't resist).

The Schaumburg Park District has one of the largest tennis programs in the area and is based at Schaumburg Tennis Plus, 1416 N. Payne Road. Schaumburg Tennis Plus is a multi-purpose athletic facility featuring tennis courts, fitness center, nursery, restaurant, pool and squash and racquetball courts. With around 575 people participating in summer tennis programs, it is one of the Park District's programs. Private and semi-private lessons are available for everyone including children as young as 4, teens and adults.

Growing up, I was never one for athletics, and here I was, deciding to try tennis. This was going to be good.

I met with Andrew Norte, a seven-year Schaumburg Park District tennis instructor. As I didn't want to embarrass myself too much, I asked for a private lesson.

"I love inspiring and empowering kids and adults of all ages," Andrew told me. "Each student is unique and I enjoy the challenge as well as the sense of accomplishment they encounter as they progress through their journey of tennis."

Andrew started the lesson with the most basic step: how to hold the racket. Once my grip was good, we moved on to the forehand stroke. He walked me through a couple initial drills before assessing my form. A few corrections later, my form was essentially there and we started a new drill. Once a semi-consistent shot was attained we moved on to a new drill.

Andrew was a phenomenal instructor. He coached me on how I should be moving and demonstrated little changes in form that made a big difference in my shots. After each drill he helped me reassess and figure out what changes I could make to do better. He made the lesson fun and interesting --- which helped me learn the sport faster. While I'm a long way from Wimbledon, I enjoyed laughing and learning at my Schaumburg Park District tennis lesson so much I am considering more lessons.

Whether a novice or a pro, Schaumburg Tennis Plus will accommodate. With a multitude of levels and concentrations, tennis lessons are available year-round for all abilities and ages. Schaumburg Tennis Plus also offers junior and adult events, leagues and year-round tennis drills.

For more information on group and private tennis lessons with the Schaumburg Park District, call (847) 884-0678 or visit