These ladies can whack a ball


Kids learn the game and how to hit a ball from Douglas James of the Grand Slam Tennis Academy at Tennis Rhode Island at 636 Centerville Road. The trio pictured here stepped on the court at 9 a.m. Saturday for an hour-long lesson with a five-minute intermission for swigs from their water bottles and to munch a treat. The academy runs a junior program with an enrollment of more than 150 kids. The price of lessons varies on the number of students in a group. James is a level 1 USPTA instructor who has been teaching tennis for 31 years. He was an all-state high school player for Our Lady of Providence where he received the RI Coaches Student Athlete Award in 1984. He played number 1 for Rhode Island College, and as an adult has been ranked as high a 7 in New England in doubles and as high as 20 in New England in singles. On the court Saturday, James encouraged the girls to swing through on their strokes and regularly checked on how they were holding their rackets. And, too, he reminded them “this isn’t ballet.”


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