REGISTRATION OPEN for Spring Juniors Clinics—

Koko and Heather’s clinics are ongoing throughout January.

Joann and Susan will resume on Monday, January 30th (Spring Session 1).

Tips for new players…

Hand-eye coordination is the key to success for a newcomer
to tennis, try these exercises at home with your new player (ages 4 – 12)
to help get them started:

1) Roll a ball (preferably a foam ball or red ball) to your player, have them roll it back (underhanded, like bowling).
2)  Toss a ball to your your player, have them catch it after a bounce.  Have them underhand toss it back to you.
3) Give your player targets to practice tossing under-handed.
4)  Have your player bounce catch a ball between their racquet and hand (difficult for young players).
5) Have your player practice “bounce-ups” and “bounce-downs” with their racquet and ball.

Racquet size suggested for young players…

Older players can try an adult size racquet, or 27″.

Questions welcomed!  E-mail

New Year’s Family QC Doubles Tournament, Jan. 7th!

Exercise and family fun on the quarter court!
Saturday, January 7th, 2 to 5 pm—

Tennis on a quarter of a court using a smaller net and red low compression balls–small court, big fun! Partner up with mom or dad, husband or wife, partner, a grandparent, sibling, or friend.  Use any racquet!  All ages and abilities welcomed.

Two Divisions (must choose one):
(at least one beginner on the team) 
(both players are USTA league/tournament level juniors or adults)

Practice at home with a driveway net (10′ net recommended for driveway, available here) and some red balls.

Quarter Court Tip:  Return and volley, approach the net after returning the ball together as a team to take advantage of putting the ball away at the net, but have your hands ready because the ball will come more quickly than on the full court!  Reminder, serve and volley is not allowed in Quarter Court play.

Make your New Year’s resolution to get more exercise and spend more time with your family.  Join us on January 7th!


REGISTRATION OPEN for Spring Juniors Clinics—

Koko and Heather will resume clinics Tuesday, January 3rd.

Joann and Susan will resume on Monday, January 30th (Spring Session 1).

Sign up soon to secure your spot, space is limited!

The open court, spring clinic registration & more–

Tennis Tip — Opening up the Court

In our clinics, we work on basic tennis techniques, terminology and strategies, from groundstroke production to split-step to 
“approaching the net”.  One of the strategies we’ve worked on recently, even with our more beginner players is “opening up the court” in an attempt to win the point by hitting the next shot to the open court.  This can be challenging for a beginner of any age when playing on the full court, but we’ve found that many of our players can understand, and sometimes execute this strategy when playing on the quarter court (smaller net on a quarter of the court).  Most of the concepts we teach are simpler to comprehend, and easier to master, on the smaller

Red, lower compression balls

court, lower net with the slower-moving red balls (even for adults!).

Here’s a video of a drill which is very similar to a drill that we did with our players, but on the smaller quarter court for beginners, or the 60′ (orange ball) court with our Junior Academy and older players.  Susan and I get so excited when we see any of our players use this strategy in games or in match play.  If you have a small net at home, try it out!

Stocking stuffers and gift ideas 

Minion vibration dampeners, kids love to put these cute dampeners on their racquets, it helps to personalize their racquet and also to dampen the vibration of the ball hitting the racquet.  

Did you know that the official regulation for dampeners is that they be placed below (or above or to the side of) the last cross-string on the racquet?

More gift ideas here–

If your player needs a new racquet, maybe the next size up, check out the juniors racquets we have in stock at Holly Tree. We can also order you one if we don’t have what you’re looking for.  If you’re not sure what size is best for your player, just ask, we’re happy to advise!

Spring Clinic Registration 

Spring Session One, our first 4 week session of 2017, will begin Monday, January 30th and run through Thursday, February 23rd.  Sign up early to ensure a spot, as some days will fill up!  You can e-mail Joann at and we’ll pencil you in while you get your registration form and payment in.  You can drop it off at the club, or mail it to Joann at 5704 Oak Bluff Lane, Wilm, 28409 (check payable to Holly Tree Racquet Club). 


Saturday, January 7th, 2 to 4 pm
Registration info coming soon! 

Happy holidays from all of us at Holly Tree–see you in 2017!

FAMILY TENNIS over the holidays—learn, practice, compete!

1) Learn –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– 

PRIVATE LESSONS: If you’re interested in a Quarter Court, orange ball, or full-court lesson with Coaches Joann, Susan or Koko, let us know, we’ll offer private lessons in December and January.  E-mail to schedule.  For MOMS and DADS who would like to learn to play tennis, consider a private lesson or family Quarter Court lesson, you’ll see how much you love it.  Questions welcomed about getting involved in a USTA team, happy to help you self-rate, and get you on the right track.  Tennis is a sport you can play as a family forever!  I didn’t start playing until I was 37, and have made some of my closest friends playing on tennis teams 😀.

SPRING CLINICS coming soon:

Spring Session One will begin 
Monday, January 30th, 2017, watch for registration details mid-December. 

KOKO’s CLINICS:  Koko will continue his Intermediate (Mon/Wed) and Academy (Tues/Thurs) clinics for older players (12 and up) on a “pay as you go” basis through December 22nd, then resume January 2nd.  E-mail Koko at with questions.

December 17th – 18th, Seahawks Winter Tennis Camp, UNCW!
Highly recommended for all ages and skill levels.

2) Practice ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

FAMILY TENNIS at home:   Over the holidays, join the kids outside and play some family Quarter Court (QC) tennis in your driveway, great exercise and so much fun!

Practice rallying, ball control, serving and scoring.  All you need is a 10′ or 18′ tennis net like this one from Wilson, same brand we use at Holly Tree….or here’s one from Street Tennis Club, also perfect for your driveway…

…and some balls, preferably the lower-compression red balls like we use in class which don’t bounce up as high and are a bit slower for our new players.  

Quarter Court rules are very similar to tennis, or you can just practice hitting the ball back and forth and simplify the scoring as you see fit.

If playing in your driveway is not convenient, and you’re not a member of Holly Tree, you can call the Althea Gibson Tennis Center and ask about reserving a court and a small net to play QC tennis at the area’s largest public tennis facility.   Phone number is (910) 341-4631, the Tennis Director there is Tari-Ann Toro.   There are other public courts in town as well (Hugh MacRae Park, Ogden Park), and if you’re playing with your kids, try and stick with whatever balls they’re using in class, because regular yellow tennis balls will bounce out of a young person’s strike zone (no fun!).  Orange balls available here.

3) Compete ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

Save the date:  

Quarter Court Family Tournament, a great experience for the whole family, SATURDAY afternoon, January 7th, details to come!


More photos from one of our 2015 Quarter Court tournaments here.

Happy December!


Registrations now accepted for FALL 2016 Junior Tennis Clinics

FALL 2016 REGISTRATION FORM available here

(e-mail to check availability
before registering).

8U Clinics (ages 5 – 8): Mon, Tues, Wed, Thursday (choose one), 3 to 4 pm

12U Beginner/Adv. Beginner (ages 7 – 12):  Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday, 4 – 5:30 pm

10U Junior Academy (orange ball)  for experienced players: Thursday, 4 – 5:30 pm

Koko’s Intermediates (ages 12 – 17): Monday and/or Wednesday, 4 – 5:30 pm

Koko’s Academy (ages 12 – 17): Tuesday and/or Thursday, 4 – 5:30 pm


1) E-mail Joann at to check availability for the clinic you’ve selected. Some classes will fill up quickly!

2) Download and fill out the registration form, available here, and drop off at or mail to Holly Tree (with payment)–

Drop off here:  4950 Holly Tree Road (off Wallington Road) 
MAIL HERE:  5704 Oak Bluff Lane, Wilmington, NC  28409