first serve program


First Serve Program

RCTA's Junior "First Serve" program is an introductory tennis program for children from 3 to 14 years old at the beginner to intermediate levels. These classes are for future recreational players. Emphasis is on fun and the basics of hitting a tennis ball over the net. There is focus on general movement and balance, in addition to tennis-specific skills. Classes are held after schools and on weekends in spring, summer and fall sessions. Cost depends on length of session: spring (8-weeks) is $280; summer & fall (6-weeks) is $210. See Schedule and Registration below for more details.

Ages: 3 to 12. Experience: Beginner & Intermediate for 3 to 9; Beginner for 9 to 12.

Emphasis is on fun. RCTA First Serve programs adhere to the philosophy and curricula the USTA’s 10 and Under Tennis initiatives, using age-appropriate rackets, balls, and court-size.

There up to five participants in each group. If you see a class size listed as larger than five, it means the class will be split into two groups, each with its own instructor and net. For children under 7, we split a single adult-size court into two mini-courts with a smaller nets. Within the 5 to 9 age groups, each class is divided into two groups based on the amount of prior tennis experience and/or skill levels.

Tennis shoes are recommended, but not essential. Courts are red clay and clothes will get dirty. Hats are recommended on sunny days. There is a water fountain at the courts, but kids may want to bring their water, especially on hot days. Racquets are provided for all age groups.

Classes are held one hour each week for the length of the session. Rained out dates will be added the week(s) following the scheduled end of the session. Call the RCTA hotline for weather-related cancellations: 212-978-0277. Make-up classes can be had on a standby basis (first-come/first-serve) at other equivalent age level classes in the same seasonal session.


Group Lesson FAQs


RCTA junior program instructors have experience with 10-and-under participants. Our staff has recently undergone extensive training with Tim Mayotte, former World Top Ten ATP Player and Olympic Silver Medalist. In 2014 RCTA staff will also be participating in USTA Eastern’s new Comprehensive 10-and-under Training Program. RCTA's junior programs are meant for children and grandchildren of RCTA members. While it is certainly fine if you join the RCTA solely to enroll your children in these programs, please do remember that you are joining a non-profit, volunteer community association dedicated to maintaining the public courts and surrounding landscape in Riverside Park.

Cancellation and Refund Policies

RCTA cannot guarantee a refund for any lessons. However, if you cancel at least 2 weeks prior to the first class, we will do our very best to sell your spot to someone else and have that person pay you for the spot. For makeup policies, please see Frequently Asked Questions: Group Lessons