Welcome to Wheel Serve NC wheelchair tennis programming. We realize your lives are busy and your time is limited, so we are grateful you have joined us! We are so excited that you have chosen to volunteer your time, heart and energy to wheelchair tennis and our athletes. We are all here for a common love of tennis regardless of the adaptations needed to play or how well we play. We have listed a few guidelines to help everyone have a successful day of tennis.
1. Have passion for the game of tennis.
2. Have passion for helping others.
3. Be mindful that you are volunteering for an adaptive sports program that aims to expose individuals with physical disabilities to the sport of tennis.
4. Be sensitive and kind to the player and his or her limitations. Our goal is to instill confidence in our athletes’ capabilities and not make them feel inadequate or placated.
5. Treat each player as a human being that deserves the same respect as you. A person’s disability is just a small part of what makes that person whole. Try and remember that people in wheelchairs are the same as you, they just happen to be sitting down.
6. It’s not unusual for a player to share his or her injury/illness journey with you. If this happens, we welcome you to have conversation. We ask that you let the athlete tell his or her story first and that you do not initially ask about his or her injury/illness.
7. On clinic days, it’s your responsibility to do whatever is needed (i.e. ball pick up, work one-on-one with a beginner-level player, play doubles, or cheer from the sidelines) for the weekly tennis clinic to operate successfully.
8. As a volunteer, it is important that you first watch and learn how the program is organized before offering suggestions. Also, be mindful that as a volunteer it is your role to fit into the players game and not the other way around.
9. Listen for direction of who you are assigned to work with for that session.
10. Once assigned activity is finished, please return to Program Facilitator for additional direction.
11. Our goal is to have multiple courts operating at once and constantly rotating players and activities (i.e. drills, match play, one-on-one instruction, volley game, etc.) to maximize time and variety of skills incorporated into the weekly tennis clinic.
12. Encourage players on his or her progress and/or positive attitude. We want players uplifted and confident about his or her abilities on and off the court.
13. We encourage you to make new friendships with people you may have never had the opportunity to do so before.
14. Play hard, but not too hard (depending on skill-level of athlete). We want our athletes to feel challenged, but not discouraged.
15. Remember it’s ok to ask an athlete if he or she would like help. An athlete doesn’t mind saying yes or no.
16. Most of all, have fun and instill the joy of playing tennis at any level.