WEST ORANGE, NJ —TAPintoTV Host Stephanie Willoughby spoke with Mike Smookler, Manager & Director of the West Orange Tennis Club, the largest tennis facility in New Jersey, about how tennis can be a way to stay both active and safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The facility has both indoor and outdoor courts, pickleball, instruction, teams and tournaments for children and adults alike. After the club closed as the pandemic took hold in New Jersey on March 20th, Smookler “kept working all the way through,” in order to prepare the club for reopening with additions like hand sanitizer stations and plexiglass shields, “getting it COVID-proof,” he said. Smookler, who was the 2019 Pro of the Year, explained that all coaches at the West Orange Tennis Club are certified.
In the wake of the pandemic, tennis has gained in popularity. “Tennis has a lot of natural social distancing,” said Smookler. “Even playing doubles, you can stay six feet away from your partner.” People are coming back to the sport, despite not having played for years because it's safe and they want to be active. Tennis is “not only just great for the body,” Smookler said, “it’s great for the mind.”
Over the last several years, the sport has instituted adaptations that kids and beginners can take advantage of, such as playing on a smaller court and starting off with larger balls with lower bounce, to make learning tennis an easier experience, Smookler explained. By using these modifications, tennis can be enjoyed with the whole family.
To learn more about the West Orange Tennis Club, visit them online at www.westorangetennisclub.com.