HARRINGTON PARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – The US Open starts Aug. 27 in Queens, but some tennis camps in the area are in full swing.
For one group, they are following the usual lessons. As CBS2’s Clark Fouraker found out, these kids are learning about science and engineering while on the court.
“We learned how to control the ball and use the power, like reducing the power and making the ball shorter and adding more power so the ball can go farther,” said Luke Oh.
If you’re talking tennis, the edge of the court boundary is just a line, but coaches here try to teach the science behind being in or out, how things like force and the angle of racket impacts where the ball goes.”
“It’s one thing for them to be able to say that, but it’s another for them to be on the court feeling it with the racket and the ball and I think that made a difference,” said Katherine Na, a mother of one of the students.
In partnership with the US Tennis Association, camp organizer Teach Grow Achieve emphasizes science, math and engineering, important academic areas part of the STEAM curriculum.
At 11-year-old, Asher Amar has played with his dad before, but this is the first time he’s understood the forces that influence where the ball goes.
“Top spin puts more spin on the ball so it doesn’t go out, it just curves back in,” said Amar. “Back spin does the same thing just on back hand.”
“We also teach them about the racket,” said coach Kevin Rooney of TGA Bergen County. “They’re not always going to hit it off the center of the racket and how it’s going to effect the ball.”
He says students who enroll in a school year program get a workbook that further explains the physics behind the game.
“I think they get to actually try it and see it as opposed to sitting in a classroom learning, watching a screen or listening to a teacher just talk about it,” said Rooney.
“Much better than school,” said Gavi Horwitz, another 11-year-old student.
“I can do strong and soft,” said Elliot Na, another 11-yearold putting his knowledge to immedia use. “And I can fool my opponents easily.”
While serves and backhands may still need work, these aspiring pros have got the science behind the game down pat.