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Tennis in Prison

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  • Tennis in Prison

    Personally I think this is a great idea. I am not sure some if any of the inmates deserve it, but tennis certainly seems to have a positive effect on those that play.

    Your thoughts...?

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p03m42n3
    Stotty

  • #2
    I love it, what's most striking is that I'd imagine these characters would regard tennis as one of the most uncool things ever, when on the outside!

    How many potential tennis superstars never even think about picking up a racket and trying it out, simply because their social circumstances dictate that tennis is simply not cool.

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    • #3
      I've seen worse tennis at a lot of clubs...

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      • #4
        Hi Stotty.

        Great video. Nice of you to post this. I actually am friendly with a Palm Beach County Sheriff's deputy who also happens to be a certified tennis teaching professional. He does a "Jailhouse tennis" program. I have on numerous occasions volunteered to go and help him out with the program. There is a high security prison about 45 minutes away from where I live where we hold this program. I have been out in the prison yard giving clinics to inmates. Vast majority of them are serving time for non-violent crimes such as burglary, theft, drugs, arson, fraud etc. They usually keep the murderers and sex offenders in solitary. There are a few out there that have been there too long for me to even guess, they have been "rehabbed".

        The prisoners I have taught have been extremely respectful and appreciative of the time I spend with them. We give them racquets (that must be ok'd by prison guards/security as to not be too heavy, hard edged, or sharp. I can't bring in my battle ax Head Prestige classic at 13=oz ) and we go over some basic strokes, we play a few games. They get a kick out of "beat the pro". They all understand that this is a privilege and their time spent with us is productive. They ask questions about form and technique like any other student and they get excited when they hit great shots and win points and they get upset when their technique and/or shots land out or they lose. But they quickly realize that the worst day on the makeshift tennis court is still better than the best day in the big house.

        Whether we agree on if they should receive this tennis treatment is indifferent. The county and state and their citizens pay $0.00 for this or to us. We do this because we love to share our love of tennis to whoever is interested. This is our time and our knowledge that we offer to men who have made some bad decisions in their life, they do not need to be reminded of that, vast majority are trying to rehab and serve their sentences that the gov. has ordered for them. There are no victims in the yard, they admit to their crimes and the pain they have caused to those that were affected. But they can't take back time.

        They enjoy tennis. The same sport that you and I also cherish. There is that common bond. And its a strong one.
        They thank me for my time and always ask when I'm coming back. The link you posted and thread you started reminds me to check my calendar and make some time for the boys in the big house.

        Oh, and in case you are wondering, I have taught many one-handers, and just as many enjoy serve and volley. Serve and volley is not dead, it is just thriving in a place you would least expect.

        Prison Yard Centre Court. It may not be Wimbledon centre court for me, but I'm still making an impact. Game. Set. Match.

        Kyle LaCroix USPTA
        Boca Raton
        Last edited by klacr; 04-09-2016, 03:48 PM.

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        • #5
          John Yandell: "I've seen worse tennis at a lot of clubs..."
          ^LoL^
          I remember hearing a respected teaching pro speaking about another pro, "Her students serve with a forehand grip, and cannot handle pace or take a ball early. She should be jailed for teaching kids that jerky behind-the-back looped forehand!"

          Me: Yeah, but then she would be teaching her fellow inmates that same forehand on the prison courts.

          Cool of you kyle, to share our great game with the guys at the penitentiary.
          Last edited by maxply; 04-09-2016, 06:00 PM.

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          • #6
            Doesn't surprise me Kyle: big guys are usually big hearted...
            Regards, Phil

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            • #7
              The racket looks right in their hands...

              Thanks Kyle...nice work you're doing there. I should do the same. We both look like a couple of inmates so I should blend in well too.

              I think John is right. The racket really looks right in the hands of a couple the inmates, and there court position for doubles is better than you see in many clubs also. Like nickw says, it makes you wonder about missed opportunity...or no opportunity at all as the case may be.
              Stotty

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              • #8
                Agreed, great post Kyle, and sounds like fun to be a part of that.

                I even saw quite a few split steps too!

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                • #9
                  It's amazing how quickly some of them have improved. Goes to show you the potential of someone when they truly appreciate the opportunity. They take advantage of it and soak up the information like a sponge. For many, their only freedom will only be inside those white lines.

                  Kyle LaCroix USPTA
                  Boca Raton

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                  • #10
                    Potential Improvement when one is in a Quiet Place

                    Originally posted by klacr View Post
                    It's amazing how quickly some of them have improved. Goes to show you the potential of someone when they truly appreciate the opportunity. They take advantage of it and soak up the information like a sponge. For many, their only freedom will be inside those white lines.

                    Kyle LaCroix USPTA
                    Boca Raton
                    Good point. And I would suggest, having taught composition in two of the worst prisons in Massachusetts, that part of their quick improvement is due to boredom. Guys behind the walls get sick of watching TV with an earphone in a cell not much bigger than its bed and its toilet. Some-- not all-- start to seriously read. They get good at chess. They pursue some interest.

                    Then they are released, return to society. Some make it, some don't and have to come back. I don't know which world eventually proves meaner for them.

                    But on the question of whether they deserve something as nice as tennis-- of course they do. They're human beings, right?

                    And many face long imprisonment for very small stuff.

                    And what about all the wrongful imprisonment and the many who should not be there? Anyone ever heard of "The Innocence Project?" What about the hysterical over-abundance of expensive prisons in The United States? The number of people on Death Row who later are proven innocent through a procedure just as valid as the one that convicted them? And the people who are proven innocent after they have been executed. After they "perished" as the psychologically challenged Sea World would say.

                    Oh, I'm off the track by getting into imprisoned Orcas. Sorry. I do think Sea World in its current ad should talk about any attendant dragged into the water by her shoelaces.
                    Last edited by bottle; 04-10-2016, 04:44 AM.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by bottle View Post
                      Good point. And I would suggest, having taught composition in two of the worst prisons in Massachusetts, that part of their quick improvement is due to boredom. Guys behind the walls get sick of watching TV with an earphone in a cell not much bigger than its bed and its toilet. Some-- not all-- start to seriously read. They get good at chess. They pursue some interest.
                      Great point. I hadn't thought of that...the boredom factor that is.
                      Stotty

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                      • #12
                        How Interesting

                        Now Ill Have Joe Mccormicks Legal Serve Up This Week. Joe.

                        But What Joe Mccormick Didnt No Was That You Cant Aim The Tennis Ball On Every Shot, Joe Mccormick Still Aims The Tennis Ball On Every Shot. But The Tennis Ball Lands Exactly Half Way Between The Singles Sideline And The Baseline Every Single Forehand. Joe.

                        But It Uses Extra Muscle To Aim The Tennis Ball There But The Ball Goes There.

                        Now In About 1000 Joe Mccormick Forehand Crosscourt Points Joe Mccormick Has Lost About 3 Tennis Points All Missed Into The Net But Maby Missed Crosscourt 1 Time And That Shot Might Have Went Over The Net. But There Have Been Sets In Doubles Were Joe Mccormick Could Not Swing The Tennis Racquet Slow Enough To Make The Forehand IN THE TENNIS COURT AIMING Halfway To The Singles Sideline And The Base Line. Joe.

                        Problem With This Is That Tennis Stratigy Dosent Play 100 Matches So. Joe.
                        Last edited by stickman; 04-19-2016, 07:14 PM. Reason: DONE

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                        • #13
                          I guess Joe lives in his own personal prison.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by bottle View Post
                            I guess Joe lives in his own personal prison.
                            LOL

                            Well played Bottle.

                            Kyle LaCroix USPTA
                            Boca Raton

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Trapped…Bruce Springsteen

                              Originally posted by bottle View Post
                              I guess Joe lives in his own personal prison.
                              Originally posted by klacr View Post
                              LOL

                              Well played Bottle.

                              Kyle LaCroix USPTA
                              Boca Raton
                              "Well, it seems like I'm caught up in your trap again
                              And it seems like I'll be wearing the same old chains
                              Good will conquer evil and the truth will set me free
                              And I know someday I will find the key
                              And I know somewhere I will find the key"

                              A lot of us are trapped one way or another. Personal prisons. Whether we know it or not. Whether we admit it or not. Locked up in prison without a key. Come to think of it all I see are prisoners and slaves nowadays. Very few free men.

                              Tennis in prison? I have been an advocate for tennis and golf for the incarcerated and the mentally ill for some years. I know that it has served as my therapy all of these years. Hitting the ball…therapeutically. Hitting inanimate objects. It's better than kicking the dog or the wife or the kids…no?

                              "Well, it seems like I've been playing your game way too long
                              And it seems the game I've played has made you strong
                              But when the game is over I won't walk out the loser
                              And I know that I'll walk out of here again
                              And I know someday I'll walk out of here again"

                              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LzzOs0Da43Y

                              Playing tennis and golf are two of the best ways that I have found to escape…from being trapped.

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