PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – At 4 and 5 years old, they’re already mastering the fundamentals. And to make it to the top, these kids at Legacy Youth Tennis and Education in the East Falls neighborhood of Philadelphia are learning it not only takes heart, but discipline as well.
“It has been probably the most rewarding and enriching thing that I have ever done in my professional life,” senior staff coach Charles “Cha” Goods said.
Dedicated coaches like Charles “Cha” Goods help groom the youngsters, developing them into more advanced players, like 11-year-old Samir Mouzon, who instructors say is on a “path to the pros.”
Samir has been training since he was 4.
“My dream is to go as far as I can and use tennis for as long as I can, and help my mom and my grandma,” Mouzon said.
The leaders of Legacy Tennis also work to introduce the sport to kids in neighborhoods where tennis may not be as accessible through their community programs.
“That’s the lifeblood of Legacy Youth Tennis and Education,” senior director of community programs Derrick T. Billups Sr. said.
Billups came up through the program himself.
They partner with Parks and Recreation of Philadelphia and area schools, bringing tennis to their neighborhoods with instruction at a low cost.
“They’re important because not only is it tennis but it’s character building, it’s education, it’s fitness,” Billups said.
For these players, the possibilities are endless.
“I see myself holding one of the plates at the U.S. Open, Australian Open, French Open,” Mouzon said.
And Wimbledon too, he says. With his hard work and talent, it’s hard not to believe, we’ll see him there.