The OKM junior tennis program began in 1980 and has grown from just a handful of kids to over 100 participants in recent years. Known as the Sand Sharks, the OKM program is designed for children aged 5-18, from true beginners who have never held a racquet to teens hoping to play college tennis. Our main objectives are having fun, learning solid tennis basics, and showing good sportsmanship.
NVTL & 2021 KEY DATES
OKM is a member of the Northern Virginia Tennis League (NVTL), which is made up of other community pools and country clubs in the area. The more advanced players aged 11-18 are eligible for weekly competitions against other NVTL teams.
Here are some key dates
- No parent meeting due to Covid restrictions. Information will be sent out via email
- May 20/21: Tennis Evaluations for all players, including new players, 4:30-6:00 PM (optional but strongly recommended; please choose either day)
- May 24-June 11: After school practices start. Beginners practice Tues/Thurs and more advanced players practice M/W/F.
- June 16: Morning practices start. All players will have practice for one hour every weekday except Wednesday. On Wednesdays, eligible players will compete in NVTL competitions, 10-unders will compete against other area clubs.
JUNIOR TENNIS REGISTRATION
We will open registration by May 1, 2021. The registration fee is $125 for Bonded Members and $150 for Associate Members. The third junior team registration and beyond within a family is discounted by $25. This fee covers the entire summer of practices, the OKM tournament, Wednesday round robins, evaluations throughout the season, Wednesday junior competitions for those who qualify, games on the courts, and more.
Tennis Team registration will open in early May and email notices will go to all OKM members. Please try to sign up as soon as registration opens so we will have a good sense of numbers. Refunds are available up until June 10 with a reduction of a $10 processing fee.
Round Robins are simply tennis social time when the kids bring snacks to share in the pavilion and the coaches team the older kids with the younger ones so they can learn how to give back by helping teach younger kids. This is also fun for the little ones who usually look up to the older kids. They enjoy this time to play tennis with their friends and siblings in a relaxed atmosphere.
Challenging on the Ladder
We provide a system of learning on your own called “challenging on the ladder.” The coaches teach and encourage the kids to play each other on the ladder. This is where the kids really learn to play tennis by challenging each other. The top four kids in each age group play in the Wednesday competitive matches against other tennis clubs. Ladder rules are listed at the court.
1. Every person will play every other person at the beginning of the ranking period. if this is not possible, the coach will set the initial ladder positions.
2.1st Ladder challenge can be anywhere on the ladder. Eg. (14 position can challenge 1 position). If challenger wins she/he will win that spot and the person challenged falls one position. If the challenger loses, she/he falls back to to her/his original position. Herein after, you could only challenge four positions up.
3. If you win when challenging up, you earn that position you challenged for and the loser goes down on position. (This practice keeps people from being complacent). You must be actively challenging if you want to stay in the running. If you move down because someone else lost, then in order for you to retain your position you must take action and challenge. The person who lost their position because of someone else's loss always has the last right to make a final challenge. This comes critical for final rankings. If this is not possible, the coach will make the final decision on rankings.
4.When challenging, you have one opportunity to challenge up then you must allow someone to challenge you before challenging up again. If you have no challenges within 24 hours, you may continue to challenge up. All challenges must be made through the coach to eliminate problems(when needed).
5. A person has 24 hours (during school days) to respond to a challenge or forfeit their position. to the challenger. Only valid excuse is sickness.
6. The FINAL CHALLENGE FOR LADDER POSITION for the following week's match must be made by Thursday 3pm and played by 3pm Friday. The ladder will be considered closed by 3pm Friday for the following week's matches.
Note: The coach has the option to adjust the ladder if:
1) A person is on vacation
2) A person has been sick and has not practiced
3) Coach feels person is gaming the system (avoiding challenges)
4)The coach will always make the final decision. It is coaches prerogative to adjust the team as they see fit for the benefit of the team.
Player Points & Season Awards
1)To earn a trophy or medal at the end of the season, you must have gone to at least 12 days of practice.
2)The color of your medal will depend on the number of points a player accumulates from the start of the season to July 18th.
How points you can earn:
Practice: 1 per practice
Challenge Match-1 set- 1 per challenge match
Hit against the wall- 30 min--1 point per 30 min
Matches Won in NVTL : 6 per match
Matches Lost in NVTL : 3 per match
Sportsmanship: +10 to -10
* Lessons or time at other tennis clubs will not count for our program.
Trophy Size or Medal Color depends on points earned:
100 or Greater Points: 20-25 inch Trophy
75-99 Points: Gold Medal
45-74 Points: Silver Medal
12-44 Points: Bronze Medal
Special End-of-Season Awards
IMUA, Hot Dog of the Year, Espirit De Corps, Sportsmanship, Most Improved, MVP, Coaches Award – To learn more about earning these prestigious awards, ask one of the coaches or Mr. Lee.
There is a week-long OKM tennis tournament towards the end of the season. This is for kids who have played all summer in the OKM program. They compete throughout the week, with the last day of the tournament featuring the players who have made it to the finals. The courts are decorated for extra excitement, and the coaches sit up on ladders calling the shots through the microphone. Crowds gather to watch these great matches, which you won’t want to miss!
OKM Varsity Program
There is also a special varsity program for those who would like to train to play at a very competitive level (participants must be at the 2.5 level or higher).
Practice will be cancelled when there is lightning or thunder, heavy rain, continuous/steady rain for the morning, or the pool closes due to the weather. Watch your email as we will try and send a message out in a timely manner. Or you can call the pool at 703-455-1312 to find out if tennis has been cancelled. The coaches will leave word with the pool if tennis is cancelled.
OKM’s Championship History in the NVTL
In addition to focusing on fun and fundamentals, both our boys and girls teams are highly competitive in the NVTL. The Girl’s Team (ages 11-18) won the NVTL Juniors Championship in 2016, 2017, and 2018. Since 2000, the Boy’s Team (ages 11-18) has won twelve NVTL Championships and the Girls Team has won nine Championships. Our co-ed 10 & Under Team also participates in an intra-squad league on Wednesday mornings and will play other clubs as time permits. In 2009, 2011, and 2018 the OKM Junior Team was the recipient of the “Neighborgall Trophy of Junior Excellence.” This honor was inspired by its namesake Roger Neighborgall, who started the NVTL in 1971. It is awarded to the club with the highest average power rating playing two or more Juniors teams. Historically, our OKM Tennis Teams have won more than 50 NVTL Championships. The OKM Tennis Program has also been recognized nationally by the selection of Gordon Lee as one of six coaches named as a “Double Goal Coach of the Year” by Stanford University’s Positive Coaching Alliance.In addition to this honor, the OKM tennis program was recognized by USTA’s Mid-Atlantic Region in 2003 when Gordon Lee was selected as “The Community’s Pro of the Year.”
For more info about OKM Tennis, feel free to reach out to our Tennis Rep,
Barb Novitske, with any questions!