Afterschool Program

The Lobs & Lessons afterschool program serves up to 40 youth a day, offering afterschool programming five days a week. Youth in the program are participants with one of several community partner organizations. Participants come to the center on selected days during the week, with some youth coming to the center once a week and others attending twice a week. The afterschool program gives students the opportunity to participate on and off the tennis court during their time at Lobs & Lessons.

2016-17 Partners

Afterschool Program Activities

Life Skills

Lobs & Lessons utilizes two National Junior Tennis & Learning (NJTL) curriculums, designed to guide youth through processes including decision making, problem solving and working together toward common goals. Each lesson includes an opening discussion, two or more hands-on activities and concludes with a debrief.

  • First Serve is a life skills curriculum designed to promote education and life skills through the sport of tennis. It takes at least three months to complete each of the three levels (Game, Set and Match).
  • Academic Creative Engagement is an academic curriculum connected to the Common Core state and national standards and is designed to encourage academic achievement, health/wellness and social/emotional skills.

Healthy lifestyles is embedded throughout the program through physical activity, nutrition lessons and hands-on cooking.

Homework Assistance and College & Career Exploration

Afterschool program participants are introduced to VCU's campus, and guest speakers visit the program to share their experiences about college, career possibilities and how success in school now equates to success later in life.


Participants in the afterschool program receive tennis instruction in one-on-one and clinic settings and practice skills in team format play.

Elementary participants use QuickStart Tennis, which is a teaching format to help younger children learn to play the game and become confident while acquiring skills. They learn about rules of the game, etiquette, sportsmanship, positive attitudes, fair play, self-esteem and how to take responsibility for choices. These life skills are integrated throughout the tennis program, and instructors routinely demonstrate how they apply to situations in all aspects of life. Cross training is also implemented, giving youth an opportunity to experience a different sport each month.

Middle school participants benefit from programming that uses the 60′ and 78′ courts with the green and yellow tennis balls. Youth participate in daily warm-up exercises, skills stations and play-based tennis games. The program helps youth develop skills to compete in matches during the middle school tennis program each spring. The program is held in partnership with Richmond Public Schools.