I love the holidays and especially enjoy celebrating with friends and family. While presents are a wonderful treat, a lot of stuff accumulates in our house this time of year! We get a lot of questions from family about gift ideas for our kids and it gets much harder as the kids get older. I’ve found that gift certificates for lessons and activities are the perfect answer for the kid who has everything. So if you need a last minute gift suggestion, tennis lessons might be the perfect choice!
I’m thrilled to introduce you to my friend Meg who is a multi-talented mom. We met years ago in my beloved book club and she and her husband John own the Charlotte Indoor Tennis Club. So whether you need that perfect gift for your youngster or you want to get yourself fit and fabulous in 2018, Meg can help!
Name: Meg Hollingsworth
Married to: John
Mom of: Hannah and Jack
Alma Mater: UNC
Years in Charlotte: 45!
So one night at book club you casually mentioned that you and your husband purchased a tennis club! How did this come about?
My husband played tennis competitively as a junior, going on to play in college. After college he played in local tournaments and leagues and at Charlotte Indoor. When the club was going to be sold in 2012, it seemed to be a good fit for us to become the next owners.
Your club offers memberships but can non-members sign up for lessons and clinics?
Yes, we have a lot of non-members who play at our club. They can take lessons and clinics as well as rent indoor courts and play in USTA leagues. However, members have priority in reserving indoor courts, have access to the outdoor courts and can play on Queen City and Interclub leagues.
I tried playing tennis last week in the freezing cold wearing lots of layers and the tennis balls barely bounced at that temperature! I quickly realized that indoor courts might be the way to go this time of year. How many courts do you have?
We have 6 indoor courts and 10 outdoor (clay) courts. Playing indoors is great this time of year – you don’t have to worry about a match being canceled because of rain or ice or just cold weather! Instead of having to give up tennis for the winter, indoor courts allow you to stay active throughout the year and keep your game in top shape!
The Tennis Academy is known for high-level play. Do you have any programs for recreational players?
We have a team of 5 teaching professionals who are available for private lessons and clinics.
We host two adult tournaments each year – an outdoor tournament in the summer and our annual New Year’s tournament is held indoors in December. Registration information can be found on tennislink.com
Tennis is such a terrific option for a kids as a winter sport. What types of programs do you offer for them?
We offer year round kids’ programs – lessons for all ages and levels from beginner to intermediate and an elite academy for aspiring college players. We even offer birthday parties! Our Academy players are instructed by our world-class coaches in a comprehensive training program that prepares them for tournaments and playing tennis in college. We develop players to play to their greatest potential. In 2018 we will host three junior tournaments at Charlotte Indoor! We will hold outdoor junior tournaments in June and August and an indoor junior tournament in December.
At what age do you recommend kids start taking tennis lessons?
Five is usually a good age, especially if they have an interest in learning the game. We have clinics designed for younger children and offer day camps in the summer months to introduce children to the game. There are a lot of learning games that can be played on a tennis court to keep the younger kids engaged!
I started playing tennis in the past couple of years and I absolutely love it. I’m proof that it’s never too late to start! Tennis is great exercise and very social (especially when you play doubles!) What tips do you have for gals like me with little to no experience who want to take up the sport?
You just need a racquet to get started! I recommend starting with some private lessons to learn techniques – and keep from developing any bad habits. Tennis clinics are a cost-effective and social way to get started. Private lessons are pricier but a great way to get instructor feedback. You might find a friend to learn the game with you and share the lessons (and split the price!)
And now for the lightning round—you are one of my only friends who grew up in Charlotte so you have a particular level of expertise here!
Favorite family restaurant: Viva Chicken
Favorite date night location: Ilios Noche
Best place to find a hostess gift: Creative by Nature at Blakeney
Your home is stunning—best place to find home decor? High Cotton is a local favorite of mine; I also love to find new things for my house when I am traveling!
Favorite book of 2017: America’s First Daughter – great historical fiction.
Who created your fantastic logo? Dawn Newsome of Moonlight Creative Group (another great book club member!)
Charlotte’s best kept secret: Charlotte Indoor Tennis Club!