One day as we were perusing our Facebook feed, we came across a post about Tennis Yoga. Say what? Tennis and Yoga together? How is it possible to combine an intense motion packed sport with a spiritual and body posture-focused form of meditation? We went to the expert to learn more. Meet Erika Cook, owner and operator of Delmarva Beach Tennis, in addition to holding the title of Youth Coach of the Year by Coastal Style Magazine.
It all began at the age of 6 when Erika’s dad began teaching her how to play tennis in her hometown in New Jersey. Erika played the sport as a child, then on her high school team before eventually moving onto her college team at Salisbury University (SU). It was there that she met her husband, Jacob, who also played for The Gulls. “Tennis has always been a part of my life. I have met some of my greatest friends through playing tennis,” said Cook.
After graduating from SU, Erika began teaching tennis lessons while working a professional job. She always loved teaching the sport, but couldn’t quite fathom earning a living in the sport that she loved. After marrying Jacob, they welcomed a beautiful baby boy into the Cook family. It wasn’t too long into Erika’s maternity leave when she realized that her passion for tennis was even stronger. She loved teaching people and she loved the game, so why not give it a go? It was a now-or-never situation and the Cooks were all in, thus establishing Delmarva Beach Tennis.
“Tennis is unique because it can be taught anywhere. As long as you have an open space, a net of some kind, the racquets and balls, you’re all set,” said Cook. “I can easily teach a tennis lesson in an urban setting or rural community and achieve my goals for a great lesson.”
On most days, you can find Erika teaching tennis clinics for the Ocean Pines Association or the YMCA. She teaches clinics to the very new beginners at ages 3 & 4 up to adults. While the summer season is coming to a close, please mark your calendars for the 2017 tennis camps that will be back in session before we know it. And, for all of our Baby Boomers – remember that list of things you were going to do when you “retired”? Well, here is your chance!
Ages 3 & 4: Parents can expect their children to learn the basics of tennis including footwork and hand-eye coordination with the help of songs and games. They play with foam balls and a smaller net.
Ages 5 – 7: This class includes a step up in the game of hand-eye coordination in addition to learning the basics of the forehand and backhand movements.
Ages 8 – 10: In this class, junior tennis players will learn how to become more comfortable with their racquet and a smaller ball. Erika likes to maintain this clinic as a non-competitive event and the team itself will earn points working together.
Ages 10+: If your kids are considering trying out for the high school team, this is the perfect clinic for them. This particular age group will work towards honing the fundamentals of tennis and learning strategies that will help them in their future game.
Upcoming Event: the Ocean Pines Junior Open is scheduled for September 24th 2016. This is a non-sanctioned competitive tournament offered to current high school students. For event details and registration info, click here!
But let’s not stray from the very event that brought us here in the first place: Tennis Yoga. In this class, each participant will spend the first 45 minutes with Erika learning beginner cardio tennis, followed by a 30-minute yoga cool down led by Dawn Ehman of Yoga Vibez. “The goal for this class is to introduce tennis to new players in a fun environment that is not intimidating. Tennis really is a great way to work out and not have to think about the actual working out. It really is all cardio, but a very fun cardio,” said Cook.
For more information on how you can schedule lessons with Erika Cook and Delmarva Beach Tennis, please follow the links below. There’s never been a better time to try something new and to get your kids involved in a fun outdoor activity.