Tennis Classes & Camps for Kids

Parent Q&A

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  • Tennis lessons (summer)

    (3 replies)


    As this unique summer moves along, we’re looking for a teacher to give some tennis lessons to our ten year old son.

    Alexander Winslow has been recommended but must be out of range for the summer. Berkeley Tennis Club, Claremont and Aztec are offering camps and some lessons but are there any other options?


    Our daughter has done several weeks of tennis camp this summer at the Oakland Hills Tennis Club. They offer the camp to members and non-members. I am not a tennis player myself so I cannot speak to the quality of the instruction, but she has enjoyed herself and learned a lot. I think they will have more camps in August.

    Hello there, this is Alexander Winslow, owner of the Winslow Tennis Academy.  My assistant coach and I are here and teaching tennis full-time at Harding Park, on Ashbury Ave. in El Cerrito.  (My Berkeley location, the Rose Garden, is now undergoing a major redevelopment project and so those courts are unavailable.)  Apologies to any folks who have tried to reach me and haven't yet received a response, as I've been swamped with inquiries.  Our schedules are mostly full, but different openings occur every week with regular students sometimes coming and going, leaving town for vacation, etc., and so I'm delighted to make room in the schedule for new customers by taking advantage of these opportunities.  In keeping with health and safety guidelines, we are teaching only private and semi-private lessons no groups, clinics or camps.  My rate is $80/hour and Coach Nathan's rate is $60/hour.  For those who are still interested in lessons, please send me an email at: alexander [at]  Please do not call.  Thank you!

    Our family has used Aztec and Winslow and they are both good. Since you have provided no specifics as to what you are seeking, can’t recommend anyone else and would not know why you would need to look elsewhere. Both have been good options for our family....

  • Tennis in Pandemic Times

    (3 replies)

    I am worried about my son getting enough exercise, and I think that private tennis lessons might be a safe, socially distanced option. I have reached out to The Claremont, they are not doing private lessons. The Berkeley Tennis Club seems to be another dead end. I've reached out to Oakland Hills, haven't heard back. Maybe someone has some ideas for me?

    Many thanks

    Alexander Winslow is an excellent tennis coach. My kids have enjoyed their classes with him for years. We are especially grateful for these classes during the pandemic!

    Check out Aztec tennis at the King courts. Carleton and his team are doing private lessons and socially-distanced camps with pods of 12 kids at a time.  Our sons attended and we felt very comfortable with the compliance with safety guidelines, including wearing of masks by kids and counselors. Options are for 3-hour "1/2 days" or 9 AM-3 PM full days.


    My son has taken private lessons through Oakland's Davie Tennis Stadium. I don't know if they're open, but it's worth a call. If they're closed, they might be able to recommend a coach. Their number is (510) 444-5663. My teenager is also using the backboard at the Piedmont courts near LaSalle Avenue. Good luck!

Parent Reviews

Our 4YO is loving the City of Berkeley tennis class ("red ball") for kids their age. It's not that many kids and they're all around the same age, and many of us parents have commented that our kids are way more excited for tennis than they have been for soccer, etc. It's a good mix of learning tennis and just fun active playing. The "Tot Splash" time at various pools has been good too.

Archived Q&A and Reviews


Tennis camp for our 8 and 10 year old

April 2013

We are looking for a tennis camp for our 8 and 10 year old boys. Ideally it would be all day, although we'd be open to a half-day as long as they could be transported to another half-day program. They've had tennis lessons before and seemed to do well, but that was quite a while ago. I tried to take them out once recently and I think just ended up frustrating them. I'd love to find a camp that made tennis fun for them again. We'd be willing to go through the tunnel or Oakland/Berkeley would work as well. Desperately Seeking Summer Camps

My son goes to Sleep Hollow Swim and Tennis both during school year and summer. The director has done a fabulous job with the tennis program making it fun while strengthen the player's skills. I love it when he told my son that he is not competing with the other players but improve from his last record. My son has gone through different tennis program and he sticks with this one! It's in Orinda and there's full day program during summer. Check it out. Sophia

My boys love the Cal tennis Camp. There is a full day and a half day camp. I sent them 1/2 day the first year and they were mad at me - they wanted to stay all day! My younger son has been going since he was 9 so I think your kids would be perfect. The link is It's now part of the Nike Camp program, but the program is the same. My son also did the Nike overnight Camp in Santa Cruz last year and loved it. kristi

Aurora school has a wonderful half day Tennis camp, focused on skills and fun. My son is going to it for a second year in a row. They also offer other half day camps, so you can make it a full day experience without transportation. Check them out at Happy parent

Tennis for 6 and 8 year old boys - Oak Hills

March 2013

As I firmly believe that tennis is a near-perfect lifetime sport and has special meaning in the context of two fairly-close-in-age brothers, we'd like to expose our 6- and 8-year old sons to some tennis this summer, if not sooner. We're not thinking immersion, as in a tennis camp, but perhaps group lessons? Private is probably too costly to sustain if they develop interest, but perhaps a good start? We'd welcome any thoughts on getting kids started with tennis. We live in the Oakland Hills where there are several tennis facilities nearby. Anyone have experience with any of those? Grateful Dad

Oakland Hills Tennis Club at the top of Redwood Rd is great. Tons of youth programs and individual or group lessons are all available. Its exactly what you're looking for. And I believe it less expensive than most other private clubs.

My son and several of his friends worked with Marvin Samuels, a professional tennis development coach who works effectively and supportively with young boys and girls. The same kids who worked with him at age 5 and 6 still work with him today at age 18. He teaches the after school tennis classes at Prospect Sierra, but gives lessons in Oakland and Berkeley as well. He is a wonderfully sensitive and skilled teacher for young kids. His grace, bearing, and skills in self-discipline and self- care have made a huge difference in my son's life. His phone: 510 823 6690.

Oakland summer tennis clinic for 4 year olds

March 2012

I grew up playing tennis and would love to start my son this summer. I'm looking for a tennis clinic/group lessons in Oakland that I could put him in this summer for a few weeks. Thanks! Sarah

I don't have a recommendation for you, but I might encourage you to wait unless your child is really interested in taking a class. It might be more fun just to occasionally play around with a racket and ball on a court. When we lived in LA, I put our 4 y.o. in a tennis clinic over the course of about a year. While I don't think it caused any harm, I think in retrospect that she was too young. Most of the kids had fun, the instructors were sweet, but few of the kids were doing anything like playing tennis because they didn't have the hand-eye coordination yet. Over the course of the year, I saw a couple of kids who were natural athletes who actually could play a little, but mostly, it was an expensive 30 minutes of running around on the court chasing balls with a racket in hand. I guess it was nice for the stay at home parents who really needed an activity to fill the day. We started her again when she was 8, and then she was ready! We started my very coordinated younger daughter at 6, and it's been OK . . . she's good at it, but I still think it's a little early for it. I'd hate to have her burn out early. It IS a life sport, after all, so she has her life. my two cents

Good first time tennis camp for 6YO?

June 2011

My son who will be 6YO in May wants to take tennis lessons. I was thinking a fun Summer tennis camp would be a good way to get him introduced to the game. I'm looking at Aztec Tennis on Hopkins and the tennis camp at Aurora School in Oakland. Any feedback on these two. Any others I should consider? Thanks! Anon Mom

We have used Carlton and Aztec for three years and are very pleased.

We had a great experience with Clairmont Country Club tennis camp. Not as expensive as many others and the kids get to swim as well. Reenie

My child did one or two summer sessions at Aztec, a few years ago, and both times my child found the classes overly-large, and the children seemed to do a lot of waiting in line to have their turn to hit. The local tennis clubs (the Claremont and Berkeley Tennis Club) seem to have a very high enrollment, too). As well, I didn't like the lack of supervision during the break--the kids seem to run all over the Hopkins park without adults within earshot. On the recommendations of other tennis families, my child enrolled in AceFace Tennis. Ace Face is conscientiously run by Nate and another man, and their support staff (college and/or high school players) seem great and devoted. Kids really learn to play tennis. They're not just being warehoused. I think that half-day and full-day options are available as well as different price structures, depending on how many days a week your child attends. There are camps offered at the Bentley High courts in Lafayette and at some park in El Cerrito, although the summer camp may be limited to Bentley. There is also year-round tennis with Ace Face. I'm a tennis player, myself, and was impressed with the quality of instruction and the intimacy of the program. Nate is a great guy who runs a fine program. Anon

Tennis Lessons for 6 year old

June 2011

I am looking for some updated recommendations for tennis lessons for children in the Berkeley/Albany area. If you have had a good experience with private lessons or clinics for little kids (6 - 7 years old), I would appreciate your suggestions. Berkeley Mom

I'm a certified tennis instructor, I live in Berkeley with my wife and kids, and can recommend two different places/organizations hosting tennis camps for young children. The first is hosted by UC Berkeley and Men's Tennis Coach Peter Wright. I don't know any details re the camp but I do know Peter and he's a stand-up guy, so his camp must be good. The other place is the Berkeley Tennis Club (BTC) in south Berkeley off of Ashby Ave., where I'll be working as a tennis instructor this summer. BTC's tennis camps for kids including wee ones, are available t/o summer and are run by Lynne Rolley, who has an outstanding reputation. I helped teach the last couple of sessions of their spring clinics for young kids and it's a good format -- informal, active, the kids have fun and are kept busy with instruction but also lots of emphasis on games and running around. A.

Child-friendly tennis instructor in Berkeley/Oakland

Nov 2010

Appreciate recommendation for tennis instructor/s from Berkeley Tennis Club or other club/s in Oakland. Would like a child-friendly instructor. Thanks. tennis

Try Peter Benko in Berkeley. before you try anybody else. He charges a reasonable rate and he is very social.

Contact Peter Benko for Lessons. Email : benkotennis [at] or call @ 510-798-7561 or 510-644-9600

He teaches in public courts on Hopkins St and he has lots of kids as well as adults. He also works with the Berkeley High School Girls Team sometimes. He could connect your kid with other kids to play as well.

From 2007-2009, I coached the Piedmont High Girls JV Team. I can help also if you would like, but I am not a certified Pro.

I am a Berkeley Tennis Club member as well. You can call me if you want more info.


For anyone looking for a wonderful tennis instructor in Berkeley Peter Benko is fantastic with adults and little kids. He is a gifted teacher, observes well, hears your needs and has a way with teaching the skills. From tiny tots to high level adults. He truly cares! Contact me for more information. Holly

Tennis lessons for 6 year old

Jan 2010

Can anyone recommend a tennis instructor for a 6 year old boy? Preferably in Berkeley, Albany or El Cerrito. Thanks.

Our family connected with Jim Robinson [408-449-7720] when we purchased a lesson with him via our school's silent auction. We've had sporadic lessons with him since the Fall, about once a week, and my 8 year old son is enjoying it and improving. Plus, as it's usually private or semi-private, he doesn't get anxious about playing with kids he doesn't know. [the main reason it's been hard to get him involved in a sport]

Jim has been very patient with us, and he's great with kids who respond well to someone who's able to be silly and funny, yet also teach the game.

The one drawback, which isn't much of one, is that he's a little hard to get a regular schedule out of. But for the most part, it's been a really great experience. Oh, and to top it off, he gives me lessons too, while my son gets them, so I'm getting some needed exercise! -jmf

Earlier Reviews

7-year-old is asking for tennis class

Sept 2009

My son who is going to turn 7 in a week has been asking for tennis class for years. He attended Neighborhood school in Kensington for his preschool and enjoyed learning tennis so much that he wants to continue it. Yes, it's been 4 years and he is still askng for it so I figure he really wants it. Does anyboday know any tennis lesson for that age group?

City of Albany recreation department has a kids tennis program that runs all year. I'm not sure what the minimum age is, but the instructor might be flexible if your child can keep up with the group. My kids attended summer sessions and enjoyed the program. annon

My then 7-year-old had a good experience at a spring break tennis camp last year at the Claremont Resort & Spa. He had never played tennis before and he is not that athletic. He learned enough to be able to return balls across the net with decent looking form and he had fun, too. You don't have to be a member of the Claremont (we aren't). The class was 9-4 and you can pay a few dollars extra to have them order their lunch at the poolside grill, which is a Big Treat. In the summer, they have tennis in the morning and swimming in the afternoon. It was not that expensive compared to other camps I've used. Ginger

I have two recommendations for you: The first is Chuck Bleckinger. He and his wife use to own Bleckinger's Tennis Store on San Pablo in El Cerrito until a few years ago when they retired. He's still teaching and has coached several junior teams in the past. His number is:510-223-2483 or 510- 691-6308. He's highly recommended by the El Cerrito Tennis Club and a USTA professional. The second is Marvin Samuels, MAS1TENIS [at], a USTA professional who has taught in the El Cerrito area for a while. He is also recommended by the El Cerrito Tennis Club. Please give them a try. tennislover

May 2009: Tennis lessons for moms & kids together?

Some friends and I are looking for a tennis instructor to teach us and our daughters, who range in age from 10 to 16. We thought it would be fun to take lessons as our own class of about 6 to 8 people. Most existing classes seem to be divided by age group, though. We live in North Berkeley. Suggestions appreciated! Wanna-be tennis player

Heather Andersen is a great Tennis coach and teacher and her specialty is women and children. Her daughters, exclusively coached by her when younger, are excellent tennis players. She taught my children a couple of years ago and I was very impressed by her. She is a warm, professional gal from the South who is passionate about tennis. She has taught in Oakland/Berkeley but is now coaching at Sleepy Hollow Swim and Tennis Club in Orinda -I'm sure she does private lessons as well. She can be reached through the Club's main # : 925.254.1126 Luv tennis

Aug 2008: Tennis lessons for 7 year-old?

I am looking for a tennis class for my 7 year-old son. He has never played but is very interested in learning. I'd like to find a low-key environment where group lessons are offered once a week. I am not interested in private lessons at this time. Berkeley or North Oakland location preferred. Thanks!

Contact Berkeley Parks and Recreation Department. I took their adult beginner tennis lessons with instructor Jim Edwards, who teaches Tuesday/Thursday at Willard Park. I think he's Berkeley's best-kept secret. He is just amazing as an instructor and a truly wonderful person. The kids class was just before my class and I thought he was great with the kids. I think the kids lessons start at 8 years old, but talk to the Parks & Rec department if your child is an older 7 in case it's negotiable. I think the main thing is that they need to be mature enough to pay attention and follow instructions. L

May 2008: Need Tennis Teacher for 10 yrs old boy

I am looking for a tennis teacher for my 10yr old son for individual lessons. He has been taking group classes for the past 3 yrs. We live in the San Pablo area - any recommendations would be appreciated. manda

I'd try calling Lakeridge Athletic Club in El Sobrante. They have competitive tennis teams - part of the USTA. They're offering tennis camp every other week during the summer. Maybe they can recommend someone. The number is 222-2500. Happy Lakeridge Member

Jan 2008: Tennis (group) lessons for 9 year old

The lessons offered at Albany Rec. on Mondays are not a good time for us. Anyone have any recommendations? I am looking for group lessons, not individual. My son turns 9 in April. Thanks!

There are tennis clinics for kids Monday thru Thursday at the Clairmont...and you don't have to be a member. Its drop in, $18 a class. The junior program clinics ages 7-16 is from 4:15 to 6:15 Mon-Thurs Contact the tennis office at 510 549-8517 ext 852 Just register and show up. anon

Try - They teach classes at the courts on Hopkins St. near King Middle School. There are no fixed sessions; you buy 6 classes at a time and can join the beginners' class at any time. Our 10 tear old had a good time there before she decided to concentrate on swimming. soccerstepdad

April 2007: Tennis lessons for 4 year old boy

My son just turned 4 and I would like him to take tennis lessons. Does anyone know of a good place that you would really recommend where they would teach kids his age? We live in San Ramon so, the closer to this area, the better. Thanks a lot. Tennis mom

This isn't close to you at all, but just in case. . . My 4.5 y/o son has taken tennis lessons from ''Alex'' at his Kensington preschool for the past 18 months. It's set up through the preschool, but I know that the instructor works through the Kensington Parks & Rec dept as well. He's been working there forever and claims that his best players started at the preschool age and continued. My son, and the rest of the kids, seem to love him and look forward to tennis day.

Nov 2006: Tennis Teacher for 8 yo Beginner\t

My 8-yr old took tennis at camp this past summer (50 min./day for 3 weeks) and wants to continue. The person who taught her this summer agreed to teach her starting in Sept., but my repeated emails/calls about lessons have gone unanswered. My daughter is eager to learn the sport, energetic, and relatively coordinated. Can anyone recommend a teacher in Berkeley who is knowledgeable, good at teaching kids this age (i.e. encouraging instead of badgering), reasonably priced, and reliable? Jay

My daughter goes to drop-in tennis classes weekend mornings, 10- 11 am, at Bentley High School in Lafayette. On weekend mornings you can get there from Berkeley in 10-15 minutes. The kids are ages 6-9 and the coaches, Dan and Jimmy, are really great. Pay $15 each time your daughter attends. Email Dan at dangoeriz [at] if you have questions --Liz

You want Alex Brown. He's wonderful with children and a super-nice guy: alex.brown3 [at] Jane

April 2006: Toddler tennis lessons?

First I want to say that we are not a sports focused family and have almost no knowledge about tennis. But our 2 year old is obsessed with playing ''tennis'' which he plays with a little racquet and anything he can get his hands on - favorites include ping pong balls, shuttle cocks, and balloons. And he's been hitting at balls since he could actually make contact between the racquet and the ball (we used to hang a wiffel ball on a string from the ceiling). And I think he's got a knack for it. We don't want to spend a fortune for private lessons But since he does go to some activities we though it would be nice to expose him to something that he's already showing interest in and may have some innate talent at.

Looking back, I regret anything where in my anxiousness I put my kids in things, or expected things, too early. Even though your son shows lots of interest and talent, I would hesitate to do anything formal like a lesson. I suggest to just keep letting him have fun and let him direct the activity. I think a ''lesson'' where someone tells him what to do might kill the fun for him. Maybe hire a neighborhood teenager to go out and play ball with him, but again, letting your son direct it. There will be plenty of opportunity for lessons later, I do feel lessons are developmentally not recommended. I think the main goal is to keep his love for it alive. I wouldn't think about lessons til he was at least 5. Only my opinion, but there it is. anon

March 2005: Tennis lessons for 5-year-old

I am looking into tennis lessons for my 5 year old. Does anyone know where they offer group or private classes for children that young? Thanks! anon

Try the Orinda Community Center classes. They are offering tennis lessons for children as young as 5 yrs old. You can find the info at on the internet. Good luck. Maya

Albany Rec. Tiny Tots Tennis (age 4-5), Tue and Thur afternoon in the spring. Also summer classes. Phone: (510)524-9283 R..K.

1999: Classes for 4-year-old

My son is 4 years old and he would like to practice tennis. Are there good and fun tennis lessons for this age in Berkeley or Albany ? (we live in North Berkeley). Thanks for your recommendations. 

For the person inquiring about Tennis classes for a 4 year old: Roxanne Rohan is a great instructor who has a wonderful way with children. I was particularly impressed with the way she handled some difficulties my son had when he was taking classes with her. She has also been involved with community tennis events in El Cerrito. I'm not sure if she has classes for 4 year olds, but she has many ongoing classes. You can leave a voice mail for her at 451-0825, box 3.

March 2003: Classes for an 8-year-old

We would like to have our 8 year old daughter take tennis lessons. We have access to a court, and would ideally like someone who could come to our house. However, we would also be willing to go to the lessons. I looked at the recommendations on the website (2), but could not tell if the instructors mentioned specialized in teaching children or not. Also, we would like an instructor in the Berkeley area. Roger