Noah Timmerman, 5, reaches down to hit a forehand return.
Abigail Timmerman and Madison Case, both 9, smash return after return, practicing with a ball machine.
Gem Grimshaw, 12, delivers a perfect forehand and follows up with a smooth backhand,
They are all part of the summer tennis programs, led by Wayne Clark, tennis professional at the Marco Island Racquet Center.
Monday through Friday, Clark puts tennis players, ages 4 to 13, through various levels of instruction, all with the intention of playing on a school tennis team.
Future Stars, ages 4 to 6, have an introduction to tennis that has an emphasis on stroke production, taught through fundamental training and fun games as rewards for improvement.
"I want them to learn to have a love for the game," Clark said. Basic fundamentals include timing, balance and stroke improvement are a good portion of their lessons.
They have five "balls" to advance their skills. They start out with a Nerf ball, up to a 50 percent pressure tennis ball, 70 percent, then a hard, regular ball used by all players.
They move up in class of ball as they hit consecutive shots.
Cost is $5 for Marco residents and $10 for nonresidents in this 45-minute class.
The next level is the tennis camp group, 7 to 12. Players learn stroke production, and rules of the game, while playing challenging games to improve skills and agility. On this day, Abigail Timmerman and Madison case return balls from a ball machine as Clark examines their form. A version of Walleyball for this group is going on a racquet ball court, hitting beach balls over the net, with side walls in play.
"It involves hitting overhead shots and improving service motion," Clark said. The two-hour class, from 10 a.m. to noon, is $10 for Marco residents and $15 for nonresidents for the two-hour class, 10 a.m. to noon.
The final class is Elite Players Junior Tennis.
This advance group involves players who are, or will be trying out for the middle school and then high school tennis teams. The drills and match play are coordinated with advanced strategy theories and training methods to keep players on the top of their games, Clark said.
On this day Emily Bailey and Spencer Baldwin, 10, Olivia Wivestad, 11 and Grimnshaw, are involved in a game, rotating on each shot, trying to hit shots balls that stay in play that Clark can't reach.
This group will also travel to compete with other junior players.
The cost for Elite Players is $15 each session. For more information and to register, call 394-5454.