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Tips to help
increase your

Racquet Tech

for cross strings

Tennis Research

U.S. tennis

JUNE 2016 / VOLUME 44 / NUMBER 6 / $5.00

private courts

Local Heroes
are growing
the game at the


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JUNE 2016



Our Serve

Industry News

14 TIA News
17 Court Construction
18 Racquet Tech
20 Retailing Tip
36 String Playtest: Pacific Poly Force
38 Ask the Experts
40 Your Serve, by Holly Chomyn


Participation, play occasions

increase in the U.S.

Ninth Annual TIA Forum set

for Aug. 29 in NYC

Tennis Machines joins

String n Swing Tennis



ITA to move to Arizona;

elects new Board

22 Clothes Calls

Reyes, Fish to work with

USTA Player Development

World Tennis Fitness

Conference in July

Is selling apparel a challenge for your shop?

These retailers make it look easy.

Powershares Series kicks

off 10th year

24 Residential Development
Three award-winning private courts are great
examples of tennis facility construction.

10 Short Sets
10 USTA takes part in White
House Easter Egg Roll

28 Local Heroes

10 Spinfire launches in U.S.

and Canada
11 Zondag is new PBI president
11 ESPNs McKendry focuses on
Grand Slams

12 Peoplewatch

These dedicated volunteers, from each

of the USTAs 17 sections, are helping to
grow this game where it counts the
mostat the grassroots.


42 CEOs Message
44 Vice Presidents Message

Start Making
Plans for the


The Tiebreaker

PHIT America

46 Endorsee News
48 USPTA World Conference
50 Master Pro Corner
52 Inside Coaching
54 USPTA News
58 Career Development

Read more articles online at

2 TennisIndustry

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June 2016

60 Member News

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Our Serve


What We Do

years USTA Annual Meeting in March

was the chance to hear from Craig
Morris, who the USTA hired in November as the new general manager for
Community Tennis & Youth Tennis.
Morris came from Tennis Australia,
where he served in the key role of director of participation.
Morris said things many of us have
been pushing for years. When it comes
to getting people, especially kids, into
tennis, he stressed that everything
needs to be seen through the eye of the
consumer. This is not about us; its
about the next generation of players.
What is it about tennis that appeals
to children? How easy is it for them
to find what they need to get into the
game? What will make them choose the
sport, and continue to play it?
And then he said the magic words we
too often ignore in this industry: We
have to keep it simple.
Many of us have hammered on that
theme over the years. To me, part of
keeping it simple is using all the tools at
our disposal to grow the game, no matter where they come from. Lets not
duplicate efforts and waste more time
and money. Lets no longer fall victim to
the not invented here syndrome.
The USTAs influence and resources
are vast, but many things in this
industry that may well help grow the
gamesensibly, simply and cost-effectivelyjust wont happen if the USTA
isnt behind it. This isnt any sort of
revelation; weve all known this.
With Morris on board, Im hopeful
on many fronts that we can use all
our tools to grow this sport. Lets take
Cardio Tennis. Yes, the USTA helped

4 TennisIndustry

06_TI_FOB_Our_Serve.indd 4

June 2016

fund it in 2005, but back then it was all

just the TIA promoting it, with limited
budget and resources. Now, Cardio
Tennis has 1.8 million participantsno
program in tennis has ever had that
kind of growth. In Australia, Morris
realized the value of a tennis product
that focuses on health and fitness,
so they licensed Cardio Tennis from
the TIA. With Morris now part of the
USTA, I look forward to the organization seeing the value in using Cardio
Tennis to reach new consumers.
In the keep-it-simple and not-duplicate-efforts categories, lets look at, an unbranded website
simply devoted to getting and keeping
people playing. Again, with limited
resources, the TIA has grown to hundreds of thousands of users and registrants who
can find partners, matches, lessons,
coaches, courts, etc.but there is more
to do. Im hopeful now this industry can
come together to grow participation for
all ages through, rather
than trying to re-invent it.
Im looking forward to the future,
and to what I hope will be a constructive re-evaluation of what were doing,
and how were doing it.

Peter Francesconi
Editorial Director


48 W 21st St., New York, NY 10010


770-650-1102, x.125

Tennis Industry is published 10 times per year:
monthly January through August and combined issues
in September/October and November/ December by
Tennis Industry and USRSA, 48 W 21st St., New York,
NY 10010. Periodcal postage paid at Duluth, GA and
at additional mailing offices (USPS #004-354). June
2016, Volume 44, Number 6 2016 by USRSA and
Tennis Industry. All rights reserved. Tennis Industry,
TI and logo are trademarks of USRSA. Printed in
the U.S.A. Phone advertising: 770-650-1102 x 125.
Phone circulation and editorial: 646-783-1450.
Yearly subscriptions $25 in the U.S., $40 elsewhere.
POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Tennis
Industry, 48 W 21st St., New York, NY 10010. TI is the
official magazine of the USRSA, TIA,and ASBA.
Looking for back issues of Tennis Industry/Racquet
Sports Industry? Visit the archives at our website
at for free digital versions
back to 2004.

4/29/16 4:45 PM



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Information tohelpyou run your business

Tennis Participation, Play

Occasions Increase in the U.S.


he number of people
playing tennis in the
U.S. and the number
of tennis play occasions
increased in 2015, according
to the latest figures released by
the TIA and USTA, which were
part of the Physical Activity
Council (PAC) Annual Participation Study.
In addition, the PAC study
shows tennis is the only
traditional participation sport
to see an increase in overall
participation over the last
eight yearsup 6 percent since
2007. All other traditional
participation sportssoccer,
basketball, baseball, football,
volleyball, golf, fishing and racquetballsaw declines in that
time period. The PAC study is
the largest single-source independent sports participation survey in the U.S., measuring
participation in more than 120 sports and activities.
For 2015, total tennis players numbered 17.96 million, which is a .3 percent increase
from 2014, according to the PAC study. Core tennis playersthose who play 10 or
more times a yearincreased .5 percent to 9.96 million. The number of tennis play occasions also increased in 2015, both overall and for core players. Overall play occasions
were up .8 percent to 446.4 million; core players accounted for 418.3 million of those
play occasions.
Last year, there were 2.07 million new tennis players, which is a 3.8 percent increase
compared to 2014. Another 2.2 million players returned to the game in 2015, which is
a 14.8 percent increase. The total for combined new and returning players in 2015 is a
9.2 percent increase from 2014. In addition, 14.75 million Americans who are non-players are interested in playing tennis, and another 12.8 million who may not have played
in the past year consider themselves tennis players.
Youth participation saw slight declines for ages 6 to 12, with participation at 2.11 million, a 1.1 percent drop from 2014, and for ages 13 to 17, which fell 5.5 percent, also to 2.11
million players, while overall "core" youth participation rose in 2015 by 5 percent.
Of particular note is the Cardio Tennis program, which in 2015 alone grew 12.6
percent in participation, to 1.82 million players. Cardio Tennis, which was developed in
2005, was first measured by the PAC study in 2008 and has grown 119 percent in participation in the past seven years.
Also noteworthy is increasing tennis participation among Hispanics in the U.S., which
has been a priority for the USTA. In 2015, Hispanic tennis players jumped 12.2 percent,
to 1.79 million players. Participation among Asians in the U.S. increased 5.6 percent in
2015 to 1.98 million. However, African-American players declined by 1.7 percent to 1.9
million, and Caucasian participation dropped .8 percent to 11.89 million.

Ninth Annual TIA Forum

Set for Aug. 29 in NYC
The ninth annual TIA Tennis Forum
will be held on Monday morning,
Aug. 29the first day of play at the
2016 US Openat the Grand Hyatt
New York City (42nd Street and Lexington Avenue).
At the Forum, which is free to
attend, tennis industry executives will
present the latest news about the state
of the industry, including participation
research, equipment sales data, Youth
Tennis, and updates from the USTA.
The Forum also will outline ways to
better define and boost the economic
growth and impact of the tennis
industry, and ways to distribute clear,
consistent messaging of health, fitness
and reasons to play tennis.
The Forum also will honor the 2016
inductee(s) into the Tennis Industry
Hall of Fame.
The morning will include a Tennis Tech Fair, which will highlight the
latest products, trends and interactive
resources in the sport. Attendees also
will receive information on the 2016
State of the Tennis Industry report.

Terry Ward, Tennis Machines

Joins String n Swing Tennis
String n Swing Tennis, with tennis retail stores in Memphis and
Nashville, is adding a new store in
the St. Louis suburb of Frontenac. It
has also added a new investor, Terry
Ward of St. Louis. In addition, String
n Swing Tennis has purchased the
assets of Tennis Machines, Sales and
Service of St. Louis.
Tennis Machines, Sales and Service traces its roots to the early
manufacture of tennis stringing
machines, dating back to the early
1930s. The new String n Swing Tennis location will also house the St.
Louis Tennis Hall of Fame. Founded
in 1972, String n Swing Tennis carries tennis equipment, apparel,
stringing machines, court equipment and accessories from manufacturers all over the world.

June 2016

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TennisIndustry 7

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Reyes, Fish to Work With
USTA Player Development
Gil Reyes, Andre Agassis longtime
strength and conditioning trainer, will begin
working with USTA Player Development as a
master strength and conditioning coach,
while former world No. 7 Mardy Fish will
continue his work with Player Development
as an expert consultant for Mens Tennis,
coaching and advising men in the Top 100.
Reyes will host select groups of American
junior, collegiate and professional mens and
womens players for strength and conditioning training camps at his Las Vegas facility.
Widely known for training Agassi throughout
his career, Reyes has also worked with Caro-

line Wozniacki, Fernando Verdasco, Grigor

Dimitrov and Sania Mirza.
Fish began working with Player Development in the off-season at the USTA Training
CenterWest in Carson, Calif., and will focus
on coaching and advising Top 100 men.

World Tennis Fitness

Conference Set for July
The World Tennis Fitness Conference
will be held July 30-31 at Life University in
Marietta, Ga., presented by the International Tennis Performance Association
(iTPA). The conference chair is Dr. Mark
Kovacs, iTPA founder. The conference is
for tennis coaches, strength and condi-

ITA Announces Move to Ariz.;

Elects New Board of Directors

he Intercollegiate Tennis Association, the

governing body of college tennis, will move its
headquarters to the campus of Arizona State
University in Tempe, from its longtime home in
Princeton, N.J. In a statement, the ITA said the move
is a strategic alliance that will leverage the resources of a research-based university to grow the sport of
tennis locally, nationally and globally. The ITA said
it will work with Sun Devil Athletics to expand community outreach and accessibility, develop researchbased initiatives, and create a new collegiate tennis
model centered on advancing the sport.
The organization announced a new board of directors to serve a two-year term beginning July 1. The
ITA board chairman is Jon Vegosen (top) of Chicago,
a former USTA president. Also on the board is the
ITAs CEO, Dr. Timothy Russell (bottom) of Phoenix.
ITA Member Coaches are Betsy Kuhle, retired
head womens tennis coach at Western Michigan
University; Geoff Mcdonald of Vanderbilt University; David Roditi, head coach at Texas Christian
University; Bryan Shelton, mens head coach at the
University of Florida; Alison Swain, womens head coach at Williams; and Vince
Westbrook, mens head coach at the University of Tulsa.
University administrators on the ITA board are: Dr. Charles M. Ambrose, president of the University of Central Missouri; Rick Dickson, director of athletics at
Tulane; and Dr. Karin Lee, senior associate athletic director at Ball State University.
Other executives on the new ITA board are: William Dutton, partner at Skyline
Asset Management; Harold Edwards, president and CEO of Limoneira Co.; Barbara
Georgescu, retired ad executive with Young & Rubicam; Neel Grover, founder and
CEO of and chairman of and The SWI Group; Dr. Mark
Kovacs, a performance physiologist, researcher, author, coach and professor; and
Sean S. Mayo, former top bond broker for JP Morgan.

8 TennisIndustry

June 2016

06_TI_FOB_Industry_News.indd 8

tioning coaches, physical trainers, certified athletic trainers, physical therapists,

chiropractors, physicians, healthcare
providers and tennis enthusiasts interested in learning the latest tennis-specific
fitness education. In addition to Kovacs,
speakers include Dr. Ben Kibler, Gil Reyes,
Robby Ginepri, Dr. Paul Lubbers, Lane
Evans, Page Love and Allistair McCaw.
Registration is $170 for iTPA members
and $199 for non-members. Visit

PowerShares Series
Kicks Off 10th Year
The PowerShares Series, a tennis circuit for
champion players over the age of 30, kicked
off its 10th anniversary season on April 8 in
Chicago. Each event features two one-set
semifinal matches and a one-set championship match. For the second straight year,
players will make their own line calls, with
the assistance of electronic line-calling.
Players for 2016 include Andre Agassi,
James Blake, Jim Courier, Mardy Fish, John
McEnroe and 2015 champion Andy Roddick.
Upcoming stops are: July 17Newport, R.I.;
Aug. 21Winston-Salem, N.C.; Aug. 25,
26New Haven, Conn.; Nov. 4Portland,
Ore.; Nov. 5Denver; Dec. 1Orlando, Fla.;
and Dec. 3, New York City. For tickets and
information, visit

ITA Partners With will serve as the digital
platform for all Intercollegiate Tennis
Association officials and will be the online
hub for communications, training, education and certification.
works with over 20 sports, including collegiate Olympic and professional sports. has the infrastructure
in place to allow our officials to access all
of the tools they need to succeed, says
ITA CEO Timothy Russell. We're confident this collaboration will be fruitful for
ITA officials for years to come. will allow the ITA to
track all the details about an official (experience, tenure, certification, personal
information), and allows officials to
update their records. Meeting attendance, dues and training collateral can
also be managed, and it will allow the ITA
to offer the capabilities to perform online
testing and online meetings.

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The U.S. Fed Cup team
beat Australia, 4-0, in Brisbane, Australia, in a World
Group Playoff in April. The
win puts the U.S. back
into the World Group for
the 2017 competition.
The Fed Cup is the largest
annual international team
competition in womens
sports, with 102 nations
taking part in 2016. The
U.S. leads all nations with
17 Fed Cup titles, the last
in 2000.

Nominations, which are

due by June 1, can be in
any of four categories:
Inventors, Founders,
Innovators or Contributors. Those inducted
into the 2016 Tennis
Industry Hall of Fame
class will be honored at
the TIA Tennis Forum
in New York City on
Monday, Aug. 29, the
first day of play at the
US Open.
Criteria for nominating and a short nomination form are available

The Tennis Industry

Association is accepting
nominations for the Tennis Industry Hall of Fame
for 2016, which honors
individuals who have
made a significant impact
on the sport of tennis.

Amazon has designated PHIT America

as one of the Amazon
Smile charities. When
you designate PHIT
America Foundation as
your charity with Amazon, they will donate,

at no additional cost,
one-half of 1 percent of
your purchase to PHIT
America. PHIT America
will then use these funds
and other donations it
receives to put physical education back in
schools by expanding the
PHIT America GO! Grants
programs. Founded in
2013, PHIT America is a
non-profit campaign focused on three strategic
supporting school-based
activity programs, and
advocatingto get
Americans, especially
youth, more active, fit
and healthy. The TIA
is a partner with PHIT

national title in a supertiebreaker, 23-22, over

the University of North
CarolinaChapel Hill in
April. Auburn was trailing 18-15 heading into
the final mixed-doubles
Since 2009, more
than 3,100 Florida Play
Tennis! license plates
have been purchased,
providing the USTA
Florida Section Founda-

The University of
Auburn came back to
win its first-ever USTA
Tennis on Campus

USTA, Foundation Take Part in

White House Easter Egg Roll

resident Obama took to the tennis court on March 28 for the annual White
House Easter Egg Roll on the South Lawn. It was the seventh straight year
that the USTA and the USTA Foundation have been involved in the event.
The USTA offered families and kids of all ages and skill levels the opportunity to try
tennis in support of the First Ladys Lets Move initiative. 

10 TennisIndustry

June 2016

06_TI_FOB_Industry_News.indd 10

tions grant programs

with $359,000, as of
January. The revenue,
which represents 90
percent of all proceeds
from the sale of the
plates, goes to assisting
charitable organizations in operating
tennis programs for
Floridas youth and special needs populations,
as well as building and
renovating public tennis courts.

Spinfire Launches in U.S.

and Canada
Spinfire of Melbourne, Australia, has
announced the formation of Spinfire USA
Inc., the exclusive North American distributor of the Spinfire Pro line of tennis ball
machines and accessories and Spinfire
stringing machines in the U.S. and Canada.
We are excited to be able to further
increase product availability, brand awareness and product support and service for
Spinfire in the U.S. and Canada, says Spinfire USA President Leon Rudanycz.
Among the companys products is the
Spinfire Pro 2 ball machine, developed in
Australia and introduced into the U.S. more
than four years ago. One of the innovative
features of the Spinfire Pro 2 is its internal
oscillation, which allows the machine to
throw balls in different directions without
the machine itself moving. The machine also
now offers an external portable battery, as
well as an internal battery or AC power.
The company is looking to expand its
dealer network. For more, visit spinfireusa.
com. In the U.S. email,
or call 888-244-0003; in Canada, contact or 888-299-2021.

4/29/16 12:04 AM

Ren Zondag Named

New PBI President

New Tennis Event Targets

Miamis Underserved Youth

Peter Burwash International has

announced the promotion of Ren
Zondag to serve as the tennis management companys president. Company
founder and chairman Peter Burwash
will remain active in the growth and
development of PBI and its employees.
Rens contributions to our company over the last 19 years have been
exceptional and there is no one more
uniquely qualified to take on this position, said Burwash. He has been
instrumental in PBIs growth wherever
he has served, exemplifying our core
service standards, developing new PBI
programs and enhancing our existing
programs for our client facilities, guests
and members.
Zondag has most recently served as
PBIs vice president for the Middle East,
Europe and Asia, overseeing the companys programs, professionals and
growth in these regions. In his new
role, he will be in charge of PBIs global
growth and operations, including the
companys tennis programs at five-star
resorts and clubs in 32 countries.

Before the Miami Open this March,

the city's underserved youth were the
recipients of The Big Serve, a first-time
professional tennis play event and
clinic that is planned to be an annual
event. More than 400 kids participated
at the Flamingo Center in Miami Beach,
mingling with celebrities such as Olympic gold medalist Nicolas Massu, fellow
tennis pro Alexander Peya, former
Miami Heat star Alonzo Mourning, local
favorite DJ Irie and Miami Beach Mayor
Phillip Levine.
The event was organized by Jonathan Nussbaum and Flamingo Park
Tennis Director Howie Orlin in partnership with USTA Florida. Student
participants ages 6 to 14 were from
the Overtown Youth Center, the DJ Irie
Foundation, Wades World Foundation
and the Orlin Foundation.
Using 13 courts with tennis teaching pros and volunteers, the children
for two hours experienced tennis
activities and games, a fitness station
and a short pro exhibition. Each child
received a racquet and red tennis ball,
a T-shirt, and packs of Lace Clips. For
more info, visit

ESPNs McKendry to Focus

On Grand Slam Coverage
Longtime ESPN SportsCenter anchor
Chris McKendry has reached a new agreement with the network that ends her time
at SportsCenter but will place a focus on
tennis. McKendry will continue to front
ESPNs start-to-finish coverage of the Australian Open, Wimbledon and US Open.
McKendry joined ESPNs SportsCenter
in 1996. But when ESPN first assigned
me to the Australian Open in 2010, I knew
instantly that I was working on my future,
says McKendry, a tennis player at Drexel
University. I've decided the future is now.

USRSA Adds Two New

Certification Testers
The U.S. Racquet Stringers Association
has added two new Certification Testers:
Liam Nolen of Norwich, England, and Troy
Russell of Toronto, Canada.
Nolen has been a USRSA member for
more than 30 years and an MRT for more
than 20 years. He served on the Wimbledon stringing team, including a stint as
head stringer. In 2002 Nolen launched the
United Kingdom Racquet Stringers Association (UKRSA), providing workshops on
stringing and racquet service for tennis,
squash and badminton throughout the
U.K. He will now be offering the USRSA
Certification Test in conjunction with
UKRSA workshops and seminars.
Russell, an active player, has been a
USRSA member for more than 25 years
and an MRT for over 15 years. His familyowned business, Racquet Guys (formerly
RCS Racquet Sports), serves all racquet
sports in the Toronto metro area, servicing
and selling racquets for tennis, racquetball, squash and badminton. Russell has
several USRSA MRTs on staff.

06_TI_FOB_Industry_News.indd 11

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Media industry veteran
Randy Master has joined the
Connecticut Open in its corporate partnerships department. He most recently was
vice president and director of
East Coast ad sales for Tennis
Channel, working closely with
major consumer brands.

ment from Legacy Youth

Tennis & Education in
Philadelphia, where he was
the director of player development since September
2009. Riffice, a former top
player at UC-Santa Barbara,
has been a tennis instructor
in the private sector for the
past 30 years.

Jon Glover and Lori Riffice

have joined USTA Player
Development as national
coachesPlayer ID and
Development, to help identify and develop top junior
boys and girls, respectively.
Both coaches will be based
out of the USTA National
Campus in Orlando. Glover
joins USTA Player Develop-

Geoffrey S. Norton has been

named executive director for
USTA Mississippi. He succeeds
Ann Brady, who is retiring
after 20 years in the position.
Norton most recently was a
tennis service rep in Mississippi for the USTA Southern
Section. He is the former USTA
National Manager for Adult/
Senior Competition & Techni-

06_TI_FOB_Industry_News.indd 12

conviction against Hewitt on

two counts of rape and one
count of sexual assault. Hewitt,
who was inducted in 1992, was
indefinitely suspended from
the ITHOF in November 2012.
At that time, his Hall of Fame
plaque and all references to
him among the Hall of Famers
were removed.
cal Programs as well as the
former director of development
for PTR, where he continues to
serve as a clinician.
Former South African player
Bob Hewitt was expelled from
the International Tennis Hall
of Fame in April, the first time
the sports highest honor has
been revoked from an inductee.
The expulsion is a result of a

World No. 1 racquetball

player Paola Longoria won gold
in both womens singles and
doubles at the 2016 Pan American Championships in March.
Chicago-based advertising
sales veteran John Ward is
Tennis Channels new director
of advertising sales, Midwest
and Central regions.

4/29/16 12:54 PM

Eight Boys Named to USA

National Junior Team
Eight top junior boys qualified for the
2016 Team USA National Junior Team, a
training program designed to give a collection of Americas best young players,
born in either 2000 or 2001, opportunities to train together during the summer
and travel to play against top junior
competition from around the world.
Players were invited to a playoff in
April in Florida, based on tournament
results and USTA and ITF rankings.
USTA Player Development will provide
the National Junior Team with training
opportunities and coaching and travel assistance to select ITF junior tournaments
throughout the summer.
The 2016 Boys USA National Junior
Team is: Christian Alshon, Andrew Fenty,
Michael Heller, Jaycer Lyeons, Govind
Nanda, Adam Neff, Axel Nefve and
Sangeet Sridhar.

USRSA Announces
New CSs and MRTs
Certified Stringers
Drew CliftonDallas
Lee RollinsBirmingham, Ala.
Master Racquet Technicians
Mike BaughFort Myers, Fla.
Geoff BrowneFranklin, Tenn.

Cortiglia Debuts New Tennis

Recently released from Cortiglia are
two stylish tote bags suitable to go from
the office to the court, and to the restaurant afterward. Detailed in turquoise, the
Tiburon Tennis Tote (suggested retail
$295) can hold two racquets, but also
features a computer sleeve, jewelry
pouch and two outside pockets for easy
accessibility to cell phone or keys. The
newest addition to the Cortiglia line
is the Rendezvous Tennis Tote ($395),
which is made in Italy and also holds two
racquets. For more information, visit

06_TI_FOB_Industry_News.indd 13

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More than 250 people took part in the third annual Tennis Owners & Managers (T.O.M.) Conference in March in Miami, presented
by the TIA. The conference brought together leading experts in facility management, programming,
personnel and other key areas, who provided dozens of best practices, tips and other vital
information to grow tennis businesses and bring in more tennis players. Here are some of the key
takeaways from the 2016 T.O.M. Conference. For many more takeaways, visit
The four roles of management are to: Produce
Results (short-term effectiveness, driving/
goal-oriented), Administer (short-term
efficiency, organized/systematic), Entrepreneur
and adaptive,
creative/risktaking), and
Integrate (create
a team, have a
common vision/
Gerry Faust,
President, Faust
Management Co.
All organizations
go through
stages of growth and aging. Along the
way, they may or may not deal well with
their challenges; if they dont handle them
well, they can begin to slow down and age
prematurely.Dr. Gerry Faust

Dr. Gerry Faust

To develop responsible employees, you must:

1) Give them work they can be successful at.
2) Give a clear understanding of the difference
between a vision and a mission. 3) Let them
know you care about them. 4) Let them know
there is something in it for them. 5) Give them
meaningful work.Dr. Gerry Faust
As a manager, you want engaged problemsolvers. Empower employeeseveryone
needs to know they matter and can make a
difference. Use these six magic words: What
would you suggest we do?Dr. Gerry Faust
Networking and
partnerships are a key
to filling courts and
successful programming.
Look to friends,
supporters, advocates,
community members
and leaders, key
stakeholders, your own
members, employees,
Mike Woody
etc.Mike Woody,
National Director of
Tennis, Genesis Health Clubs

14 TennisIndustry

TIA pages.indd 14

Its all about programming, programming,

programmingand finding the right person to
deliver the programs!Mike Woody
Conduct an energy audit. Local utilities offer
free energy audits that can help uncover
cost-effective energy savings and rebates.
Also check out for tips.P.J.
Simmons, Founder, The Tennis Congress and
NetGains Foundation
Cardio Tennis is the No. 1
way for tennis to get into the
fitness industry. Tennis can
be a game-changer in the
health & fitness industry.
Dr. Jack Groppel, Co-Founder,
Johnson & Johnson Human
Performance Institute

ask staff
if theyve
their professional development requirements,
or better yet, tie continuing education into
compensation or job security.John Embree,
We need to reach kids in high
school about a career in tennis. We
need more internships and PTM
programs.Scott Schultz, Managing
Director, USTA University
Teachers and coaches must
be R.E.A.L.I.S.T.I.C: Respectful,
Engaging, Attentive,
Lively, Inspirational,
Social, Timely, Involved,
Compassionate and
have to also know how
to teach tennis!Gigi
Fernandez, Hall of
Famer, Coach

Dr. Jack Groppel

Wellness needs to become a business strategy

for tennis facilities. Incorporating fitness into
tennis facilities should be seamless, not just an
add-on.Dr. Jack Groppel
Taconic Sport & Racquet added pickleball lines
to a basketball court, which complements
what members are looking for, but doesnt lose
tennis real estate.Simon Gale, Owner/GM,
Taconic Sport & Racquet
A high-performance junior program helps
bring attention to your facility; gets ex-players
involved with the club; provides exposure
through p.r. and
social media;
provides top-notch
competition for
junior development;
provides juniors
with a sense of
Sanchez, Owner,
Academia SanchezEmilio Sanchez
Make the teaching pro an entrepreneur, finding
ways they can help the business grow. And
incentivize the pro so he or she will grow the
business off the court, too.Dan Santorum,

Compensation dictates
Gigi Fernandez
behavior. Recognize
and reward those who
make improvements in whatever they are
doing. Doug Cash, Owner, CashFlow Tennis
For organizing events, follow the five Ps: Proper
planning prevents poor performance.
Fernando Velasco, Owner/Manager,
Grey Rocks Tennis Club
Nearly 83 million Americans, or 28% of the
population, are totally
inactive. Each year, more
Americans die from
inactivity (5.3 million) than
smoking (5 million).Jim
Baugh, Founder, PHIT
48% of schools have no
physical education, and

Jim Baugh

June 2016

5/2/16 9:54 AM

Safety is a focus with modular surfaces, which

have more left to right lateral stiffness, making
it forgiving when sliding. Modular provides
shock absorption and is environmentally
safe.Lee Sponaugle, National Sales Director,
Sport Court International

recess has been eliminated in many schools.

The average school budget for PE is $764 per
year. A Pediatrics Study found that on average,
kids move only 23 minutes per day in school.
Jim Baugh
73% of tennis clubs and facilities have never
had a valuation performed on them, 15% had
one recently, and 13% had a valuation over
a year ago.Jim Bates, Co-Founder, Sports
Club Advisors
Facilities are choosing cushioned surfaces. You
can vary the speed of play, and dont need to
resurface as often.Randy Futty, V.P.-Business
California Sports
Look for those pros
with a commitment
to the profession
and who arent
just passing
through. They must
understand that
tennis can be fun,
Cliff Drysdale
and they need to
know how to keep
everyone engaged. They need to inspire more
people to play, not steal players and members
from other clubs in town.Cliff Drysdale, Hall
of Famer, OwnerCliff Drysdale Tennis
Tools for successful retail include a racquet
demo program, a demo program with ball
machine use, and a visible stringing center.
Become your new students equipment expert
and supplier at their first lesson.Kevin
Brandt, Owner, Brandt Sports

Gary Stewart

Tennis programming and

the social interaction in
clubs is what make people
stay.Gary Stewart,
Head of Racquet Sports,
Virgin Active

Even though half of all

clay courts are still watered from above,
subsurface irrigation is a big trend, since
it reduces the amount of water needed
and has lower maintenance costs.Pat
Hanssen, General Manager, Har-Tru Sports

You need
sellers. Also,
follow or
establish a
specific sales
will help
Casey Conrad
where you
may be losing
sales. Manage by the numbers. Goal-setting
is critical. Casey Conrad, President,
Communication Consultants WBS Inc.
The customer must be engaged at least once
per week with some sort of intervention or
phone call if they dont show up. Personal
interaction must be a part of the process.
Casey Conrad
Partnerships are
crucial. Work
with the business
community, chamber
of commerce,
schools, etc.Virgil
Christian, Senior
Director, Market/
Facility Development,



Prior to the start of the T.O.M., the

TIA presented a State of the Industry
Forum, which brought attendees from
all industry segments. Some of the key
points delivered at the Forum:
We need to work more closely together to
grow the game, the industry and the business.Jeff Williams, TIA President and
Managing Partner, Tennis Media Co.
Despite flat core and overall player participation, tennis is an industry with a $5.73 billion economy projected to grow another $1
billion by 2020. Core players (playing 10 or
more times a year) spent $823 million on
equipment in 2014.Keith Storey, Vice
President, Sports Marketing Surveys USA.
Tennis remains the only major traditional
participation sport to show growth (6%)
over the last eight years; all other traditional participation sports declined.Jolyn de
Boer, TIA Executive Director

Jeff Williams

Opportunities for
health insurance reimbursement
programs include senior
reimbursement programs,
National Independent Health
Club Association (,
independent health insurance
companies.Reid Hans, Athletic
Club Financial Consultant
As of 2015, 65% of U.S. adults used social
networking sites, including 35% of adults age
65+. Over 90% of adults
under age 35 used social
media regularly. Many will
not go to a local business if
they cant verify information
about that business
online.Bill Konstand,
President & CEO, TAG
The top four member
complaints are: 1) I want
my kid in the next (higher)
class. 2) Pros contradict each other. 3) Classes
have no purpose. 4) There are no fun
special events.Jorge Capestany,
Manager, DeWitt Tennis Center

Jorge Capestany

Establish a teaching doctrine that

is collaborative. It will reduce
complaints, create a more effective
staff, and is a great training tool for
pros.Jorge Capestany

One-third of all the money we

spend is at retail.Mark Byrd,
Chief Customer Officer, RetailNet

John Suchenski

ESPN tennis viewership increased

45 percent over the last four years,
with 10 times tennis growth over
the last five years on the Wat
WatchESPN app.John Suchenski,
Senior Manager, Programming &
Acquisitions, ESPN

At the new USTA National Campus in Orlando, We want to create a learning lab for
anyone who delivers tennis and foster innovation in our delivery system.Kurt Kamperman, Chief Executive, Community Tennis and
USTA National Campus, USTA
We are going to
put a concerted effort toward a shortcourt version of tennis
called POP Tennis.
Kurt Kamperman
The tennis industry
needs to do a better job
Kurt Kamperman
of telling its own story
about ease of play and
the benefits of an active lifestyle. We need to
do a better job of marketing health benefits
data to decision-makers outside of this industry.Dr. Jack Groppel
June 2016

TIA pages.indd 15

TennisIndustry 15

5/2/16 9:54 AM

Industry Endorses
NPAP and CEO Pledge
The tennis industry became the first sports industry to endorse
the new National Physical Activity Plan (NPAP) and the CEO
Pledge for Physical Activity.
The NPAP was unveiled on April 20 in a
press conference at the National Press
Club in Washington, D.C., followed by a
Congressional briefing at the U.S. Capitol.
At the announcement, the sport of tennis
was cited by Dr. Jack Groppel as the first of
hopefully many entire sports to endorse this
pledge and this plan.
The NPAP is a roadmap for actions
supporting and encouraging physical
activity for all Americans. The Tennis
Industry Association (TIA) Board of Directors
represents all sectors of the tennis industry,
and in our efforts to support the NPAP and
bring more activity to all Americans, we are

absolutely thrilled to have the

backing of the sport of tennis,
Groppel said.
Groppel represented The
Global Alliance for Health & Performance,
the National Coalition for Promoting Physical
Activity, and the CEO Pledge in support of the
NPAP. He then asked TIA Executive Director
Jolyn de Boer to sign the CEO Pledge on
behalf of the TIA board and the industry
overall. At the Congressional briefing, Rep.
Bob Dold of Illinois and Sen. Roger Wicker of
Mississippi both signed the CEO Pledge. The
pledge is a commitment by senior business
leaders to promote physical fitness. To date,

Tennis industry executives sign the

CEO Pledge.
more than 430
CEOs, executive directors,
senior business leaders and other C-level
executives have signed.
Our board is in unanimous support of
the CEO Pledge and how it can help get
Americans moving, de Boer said. The sport
of tennis is excited to have been a part of the
announcement of the new National Physical
Activity Plan. For more information, visit and

State of Industry Forum

Brings Key Leaders to Miami
Nominations Sought for
2016 TI Hall of Fame
The Tennis Industry Association is
accepting nominations for the Tennis
Industry Hall of Fame for 2016, which
honors individuals who have made a
significant impact on the sport of tennis.
Nominations are due by June 1.
Those inducted into the 2016 Tennis
Industry Hall of Fame class will be honored
at the TIA Tennis Forum in New York City
on Monday, Aug. 29. Plaques will be on
permanent display in a special industry
section at the International Tennis Hall of
Fame in Newport, R.I. More information
and a short nomination form are at
16 TennisIndustry

TIA pages.indd 16

More than 300 tennis industry leaders heard

about the future of the sport, including
challenges and opportunities, at the 2016
State of the Tennis Industry Forum in Miami
in March.
Among the challenges are a national
inactivity pandemic, in which 83 million
Americans of all ages self-report as having
no physical activity. Tennis, however, is
faring better than most sports, according to
Physical Activity Council data. Over the last
eight years, tennis remains the only
traditional participation sport to show
growth, at 6% overall.
We look to develop future
thinking initiatives to attract and
retain more adults and youth, along with
efforts to improve the tennis marketplace,
said TIA Executive Director Jolyn de Boer.
Opportunities include the USTA National
Campus, expected to open in Orlando in
December with more than 100 courts. It will



be a learning lab for

anyone who delivers tennis, said the USTAs
Kurt Kamperman. He also announced the
USTA will be testing POP Tennis, played on
36- and 60-foot courts with ROG balls and
short racquets or paddles.
Prior to the Forum, POP Tennis was
demonstrated on a 60-foot court in the hotel
ballroom, where three Miami TV stations
filmed the action. The morning also included
a Tennis Tech Fair. The Forum closed with
health and wellness expert
Dr. Jack Groppel, who
urged the industry to do a
better job of marketing the
sports ease of play and
health benefits.
Following the Forum, about 250 tennis
facility and club owners/managers took part
in the three-day Tennis Owners & Managers
Conference. For more information, visit

June 2016

5/2/16 9:54 AM

Court Construction

Making Dreams a Reality

The USTA offers technical and financial support to help
build and renovate courts at facilities throughout the
country. By E.J. Crawford & Tamarah Strauss
Currently, there are five categories
of funding:
Line Grants: Painting permanent


he goal of the USTA is to grow

the game. A key to that, of course,
is providing well-maintained
courts and facilities. But building,
renovating and updating courts can be
an overwhelming task for even the most
experienced tennis facility manager.
The good news is you dont have to go
it alone. The USTA Facility Assistance
Program offers grants, logistical and
technical support to help maintain your
facilitys excellence, or to upgrade it to
suit your customers needs.
Since 2005, the USTA has offered
assistance and funding to facilities
nationwide. Technical assistance is providedat no costfrom experts with
industry-leading experience in tennis
court and facility construction. Thousands of concept plans, construction
document reviews, design decisions
and specifications have been distributed over the years. To provide assistance

06_TI_FOB_Court_Con.indd 17

on the ground, project consultants from

the USTA national staff can deliver
personalized support and service.
Our goal is to serve as advisors and
to make the process as easy and rewarding as possible, says Maiysha Warren,
the USTAs national manager for CTAs,
Parks and Tennis Facility Development.
The USTA typically receives 10 to 16
inquiries a week regarding facility assistance. An inquiry kicks off the review
process, during which the USTA works
with the facility to make sure its plans
or desires meet industry standards and
guidelines. The association works on
projects of all sizes, from all over the
country, including community centers,
parks, YMCAs, military installations
and schools.
Over the past 11 years, the USTA
Facility Assistance Program has built
more than 39,000 tennis courts, allocating over $12 million to the program.

36- and 60-foot tennis lines on existing

courts (blended lines), paved areas,
playgrounds, gymnasiums, etc. (up
to 50 percent of total project cost to
$4,000 maximum).
Category I: Basic facility improvements (up to 50 percent of total cost to
$4,000 maximum).
Category II: Resurfacing of existing courts; converting existing 78-foot
court to standalone 36-foot courts;
lighting (up to 50 percent of total cost
to $10,000 maximum).
Category III: New construction or
existing reconstruction of 36-, 60- and
78-foot courts (up to 50 percent of total
cost to $20,000 maximum).
Category IV: Install live streaming
and/or player analysis technology at
varsity tennis facilities (up to 50 percent of total cost to $10,000 maximum).

To be considered for funding,

among other requirements,
communities must:
Be actively engaged with the USTA

Facility Assistance program (complete

the USTA Facility Assistance Form,
work with USTA-appointed project
consultant, etc.).
Meet specified industry standards for
the project, as determined by the USTA
technical team and the latest edition of
Tennis Courts: Construction &
Maintenance Manual.
Demonstrate financial need and
matching (up to 50 percent) of project
For more information, visit or email
June 2016 TennisIndustry 17

4/29/16 4:53 PM

Racquet Tech

Following Directions

More new racquets require cross strings be installed

in a certain direction, which requires attention to detail
and a bit of planning. By Bob Patterson

18 TennisIndustry

06_TI_FOB_Racquet_Tech.indd 18

Why Directional Stringing?

With some frames, it is easy to see
why directional stringing is necessary.
The Prince O-Port frames are the best
example. If you start the crosses on the
wrong side, you will quickly find that
you simply cant continue, as the OPorts just dont line up.
Other racquets may not be so obvious, unless you know what to look for.
The new Force series from Dunlop and
the Pacific X Tour Pro 97 have recessed
grooves to accommodate the loop on
the outside of the frame, protecting it
from scrapes on the court. If you install
the crosses in the wrong direction,
they not only lose the protection of this
recess, but they are actually raised and
even more exposed to court abrasion.
The most subtle of the current racquets using directional stringing are the
newer Babolat frames. While the Pure

Aero line also has recesses, the Pure

Drive line doesnt, but it still requires
directional stringing to line up with the
woofer system in the grommet strip.

Look Carefully
Some frames are clearly marked, with
labels indicating Short-Side and/
or Start Knot. But not all are, and
some markings are very subtle, with
labels so small that it is hard to see even
when you are looking for them. Some
are marked on both the frame and the
grommet strip, which makes it easier.
If you replace the grommet strip, be
sure you have the grommet oriented
correctly, otherwise the frame labels
will now be incorrect. Some racquets
are only marked on the grommet strip,
so you can install them normally as the
strip dictates direction, but they may
be harder to find in the first place.


or most of our readers, directional requirements for installing cross strings may be a new
concept, but it actually goes back to
the days of wooden frames. Most wood
racquets had a telltale zigzag at the top
edge that was an indicator of what side
the short side should be on, or where
your crosses should start if doing a
two-piece job. At least now, most of
the manufacturers place graphics on
the frames indicating the short side
and placement of the starting knot,
although some are very subtle and
require a search to find them.
If you use the USRSA Stringers
Digest for instructions, we try to point
out when directional stringing is
required and provide specific directions
for each model, so look at all the notes
before starting. They will help you get
the most out of your string and racquet.

June 2016

4/29/16 12:21 AM

ads.indd 19

4/29/16 12:43 PM

Retailing Tip

There Are Still Only Three Ways

To Grow Your Retail Biz!
Technology has changed retail, but focusing on business
fundamentals remains the smart approach. By Jay Townley

o matter how sophisticated

the technology shoppers and
retailers use, there are still
only three ways specialty tennis and
pro-shop retailers can grow their businesses:

Increase the number of customers.

Increase the number of transactions.
Increase the value of the transactions.

Increasing the number of customers

Increasing the number of transactions goes hand-in-hand with increas-

ing the number of customers, but its

most powerful application is increasing
the number of transactions with
existing customers! Eighty percent of
sales at the typical specialty retail store
come from about 20 percent of the cus-

20 TennisIndustry

06_TI_FOB_Retail.indd 20

tomer base. If you could increase that

number to 25 percent, think about the
financial impact it could have!
Think of it this way: All your costs
are being covered by doing regular
businessor, transactions with about
20 percent of the customer baseso
adding an additional 5 percent is essentially incremental, and wont cost
appreciably more. If you personally
addressed and signed 100 postcards per
day until you have sent them to your
entire customer list, you will have a
simple but extremely effective method
for increasing the number of transactions your shop does with your customer base. It also will increase store traffic.
To go a bit more high-tech, use emails
instead of postcards, and include a code
customers can use when visiting the
stores website to make a purchase.

Increasing the value of each transaction is all about upgrading and add-on

sales. Many specialty retailers and sales

associates are reluctant to sell up or
suggest add-on itemsand while we
agree both have to be done carefully
and with some skill, we also know that
no retailer or sales associate is going
to sell todays consumer anything they
dont want! Shoppers today will not
hesitate to make it clear when they are
done buying.
If done properly, there is no downside to making a knowledgeable recommendation or suggestion for additional
salesin fact, most of your customers
expect it!
Jay Townley is a partner in the retail
consulting firm Gluskin Townley Group


is a challenge all retailers are struggling with. Relatively flat sales have
been compounded by steadily declining
shoppers at brick-and-mortar stores
over the past six years, all while online
purchases have steadily increased.
In response, the retail world has
overwhelmingly incorporated some
form of omni-channel retailing
meaning commerce-enabled websites
and social media providers being
integrated with brick-and-mortar store
brand and operations. One of the most
common forms of omni-channel retailing is ordering online and picking up in
the store. The objectives are increasing
the number of customersthat is, shoppers who are converted and closedand
developing a long-term relationship.
This will generate positive word-ofmouth and increase the number of
customersboth physical and cyber.

June 2016

4/29/16 12:22 AM

ads.indd 21

4/29/16 1:47 PM

Apparel Retailing

Clothes Calls

Is selling apparel a challenge for your shop?

These retailers make it look easy. By Cynthia Sherman
Full-service tennis shops cant afford not to carry apparel, although often, the apparel category is the
most challenging as far as sales and profitespecially when its so easy to point, click and buy that skirt
and top online. For brick-and-mortar stores, inventory needs to be presented in a visually appealing way,
with clothing organized so customers can easily find what theyre looking for and enjoy their experience.

The tennis shop

showcases seasonal
colors on extensive wall
space and low racks with
glass shelving. Halfbody mannequins sport
the latest outfits.

Resort at Longboat Key Club

The tennis shop at the Resort at Longboat Key Club in Longboat Key, Fla., provides a well-stocked inventory of everything a player needs, which fits perfectly with Tennis Director John Woods comprehensive tennis program. Apparel has
always played a big part in the shop, and getting away from
the traditional country club look and more into fashion was
a key to building sales.
A few years ago, a large retail space was added, allowing the
shop to carry more products from additional manufacturers,
says Jackie Mitchell, who has run the shop at Longboat for
13 years. She emphasizes the boutique feel of the shop, which
provides diverse choices that cater to both the clubs membership and vacationers. Among the nine lines are fashionforward brands Lucky In Love, Sofibella and Bolle, which

22 TennisIndustry

June 2016

06_TI_FEAT_ApparelRetail.indd 22

Mitchell says are popular among Longboats wealthy, welltraveled clientele. How its displayed and looks when customers enter the store is important, Mitchell says. It has to
hit their eye immediately.
When ordering, Mitchell gets almost everything in a particular group and showcases it in front of the store with
matching accessories like bags, shoes and socks. Showing
skirts with different tops and always rotating displays gives
customers options and encourages multiple purchases.
With a knowledgeable staff and two dressing rooms, the
shop provides an open, easy traffic pattern and comfortable
environment. Members receive a 20 percent discount on
apparel and shoes, and USTA groups also receive a discount.
Holiday promotions help boost sales.

4/29/16 12:16 AM

Game Set Match

Game Set Match in Denver is the largest retailer in a fivestate region, with four stores. Manager Rachel Heise gives
each apparel brand its own section and utilizes stationary
fixtures, vendor POP displays, racks and mannequins. Customer demographics vary from soccer moms to trendy junior
players, so Heise makes sure to stock a cross-section of styles
and brands to fit that range, from athletic to more relaxed.
Apparel is a challenge, says Heise. It takes up more than
half the store yet accounts for less than half our sales. But you
have to have itand you have to have a wide variety.
To differentiate from online competitors, Heise runs team
nights, where teams get a 15 percent store discount. Also,
while shopping, teams can have their racquets strung and
gripped. Half the teams that come in end up ordering uni-

06_TI_FEAT_ApparelRetail.indd 23

forms, which drives sales for fashion pieces and accessories.

Heise takes advantage of social media to gain customers; shell promote new items on Facebook and send email
blasts when a new line comes in. The store has a big sale during the US Open, sponsors local tournaments and makes
donations, so it gets its name out in a variety of ways.

Game Set Match's team

discount is a tip any
retailer should consider
to boost apparel sales.
Customer service should
be immediate, and staff
must be knowledgeable.

June 2015

TennisIndustry 23

4/29/16 12:16 AM

Distinguished Facility-of-the-Year Awards

These facility winners at private homes are great
examples of tennis-court construction.

n 2015, a panel of judges for the Tennis Industry/American Sports Builders Association picked
out four residential courts as winners in the Distinguished Facility-of-the-Year Awards. One, a
private court on a hillside in Los Angeles, was singled out for Outstanding honors. That new,
cushioned acrylic courtwith a glass guardrail on the downhill side, resulting in an infinity
court with no visual barriers to block a stunning view of the citywas honored with the other
Outstanding award-winners in our February issue. The other three Distinguished award
winners for 2015 include Silver and Bronze honors.

Nelson Residence
Wisconsin Dells, Wis.
(Nominated by Munson Inc.)
Fred Kolkmann
General Contractor:
Munson Inc.
Surface: Plexipave
Lights: Har-Tru Sports
Windscreen: J.A. Cissel
Backboard: Bollettieri
Backboards by Bakko
ASBA Certified Builder:
Fred Kolkmann

The new, private cushioned hard court at the Nelson

Residence in Wisconsin Dells, Wis., is the 2015 Residential
Silver Award winner. The owners wanted a court complete
with lighting, a seating area and a music system they could
use for entertainingand they wanted it set in the middle
of a well-known 18-hole golf course they had developed. As
such, the court and surrounding area had to meet aesthetic
requirements to match their home and the golf course design.

24 TennisIndustry

06_TI_FEAT_Res_Courts.indd 24

June 2016

One challenge in constructing the court was the several feet

of elevation changes at the site, which required stone retaining walls. The owners chose a natural stone to complement
the golf course and their home. The retaining wall was kept
several feet from the sides of the court to allow surface drainage from the court to seep into the stone base and into drain
tiles. Drainage around the exterior of the court is through
natural landscaped swales.

4/29/16 12:19 AM

Dirt Oasis
A new, private red-clay
court located on a semiprivate island in Miami
Beach won the ASBA's
Bronze Award.

06_TI_FEAT_Res_Courts.indd 25

June 2015

TennisIndustry 35

4/29/16 12:19 AM

Distinguished Facility-of-the-Year Awards

Miami Beach Residence

Miami Beach, Fla.
(Nominated by
Fast-Dry Courts Inc.)
General Contractor:
Fast-Dry Courts Inc.
Surface: Har-Tru Sports
European Red
Lighting: Techlight
Fencing: Tennclosure
Fence System LLC
Court Accessories:
Fast-Dry Courts/
10-S Tennis Supply
Trench Drain System:
Zurn Industries
ASBA Certified Builder:
John Sonner

The ASBAs Bronze Award winner is a new, private red-clay

court in Miami Beach. The site is on a small, semi-private
island with limited access over a small bridge, which made
for tight access for court-building equipment. With the
Intracoastal Waterway to the north and west of the court, the
area has both a high water table and poor soilcoral rock was
found while excavating the site. To help mitigate the soil conditions, shallow spread footers were engineered and installed
for all fencing, light poles and net post footings. The court has
both a subsurface irrigation system and a conventional sixhead auxiliary system. Due to lighting restrictions imposed
on the private community by the city, special lighting was
designed with 10-foot mounting height, 3-foot arms and 750watt cut-off fixtures, tilted at 35 degrees.

Receiving Distinguished Award honors is the Alsop Court

at Haven Hill in Beverly Farms, Mass. The chosen site
for the clay court not only was filled with ledge, but also had
major elevation changes of 24 feet at one end and 15 feet diagonally. About 1,000 cubic yards of ledge was blasted out;
some was used as backfill to balance the site, and some as riprap outside of the retaining walls on the low sides. There is a
full perimeter retaining wall which accommodates the light
poles, which on the high side extends more than 10 feet high.
A silt fence was installed around the court on all low sides,
and drainage around the exterior includes swales on the high
side. The chain-link fence does not extend all the way around,
so a divider net curtain on a cable was installed to close off the
open sides during play.

Alsop Residential Court

at Haven Hill
Beverly Farms, Mass.
(Nominated by Boston Tennis
Court Construction Co. Inc.)
Specialty Contractor:
Boston Tennis Court
Construction Co. Inc.
Surface: Har-Tru Sports
Lighting System:
Har-Tru Sports
Net, Posts, Anchors,
Windscreen, Lines,
Accessories: Har-Tru Sports
ASBA Certified Builder:
David Marsden

For details on the 2016 Outstanding Facility-of-the-Year Awards, contact the ASBA at 866-501-ASBA
or, or visit

26 TennisIndustry

06_TI_FEAT_Res_Courts.indd 26

June 2016

4/29/16 12:19 AM

Paul Annacone

Former coach of Pete Sampras

and Roger Federer
PlaySight Edge Since 2015

PS Tennis Industry-ANNACONE-JAN2016.indd 1
ads.indd 27

2016-02-05 11:10 AM
4/29/16 12:43 PM

Community Tennis

These dedicated volunteers from each of the

USTAs 17 sections are helping to grow this game where it
counts the mostat the grassroots.

06_TI_FEAT_Local_Heroes.indd 28

4/29/16 12:07 AM

Serving the



For decades, Vailima Watson

has been helping the youth
of Hawaii believe in themselves, and her service to the
community has made her
somewhat of an institution
in the local tennis scene.
In 1989, she and her
husband, Jerry, started a
free tennis program at the
Kokua Kalihi Valley Clinic, a
community-organized nonprofit in Honolulu formed to
meet the health needs of the
valley's growing Asian and
Pacific Island population.
Since its inception, the program has provided tennis to
thousands of children in the
typically underserved area.
By the early 1990s, Watson
began feeding her students
into USTA Junior Team
Tennis programs, many of
which she coached herself.
Life for me is to live and
to make people happy, says
Watson, a 2009 inductee
into the sections Hall of
Fame. Whats important
is each other. Its not who
you are or how rich you are.
Whats important is you as a
person, your character.
Watsons guidance
extends well beyond the
court, as she serves as an
academic mentor98 percent of her students not only
graduate high school, but go
on to college.
You cant take anything
else with you when you leave
this world, she notes. You
can only take your good
works, what youve done,
and how youve treated
people. I know theyre going
to pass that on to their kids
one day.Ryan Trujillo
Watson coached varsity
tennis at Farrington
High School for a
number of years while
running her programs.

06_TI_FEAT_Local_Heroes.indd 29

Hernndez says he
"has a great passion
for helping others."


Creating a
Special Tennis
Adrin Hernndez has been contributing to and promoting tennis in Puerto Rico for 35 years, involved in developing players at all skill levelsbeginner, college, league and
advanced. He even works with instructors. While he has a
great passion for the sport and what it can bring to people of
all ages and abilities, his greatest pride comes from being a
mentor on ethics, discipline, perseverance and respect.
One of Hernndezs remarkable efforts is leading adaptive
tennis. As an instructor at the Parque Central tennis facility
in San Juan, Hernndez has impacted the lives of more than
7,000 children, juniors and adults with special needs each
year with his lessons from Tuesday to Saturday. Since 2007,
as a coach of multiple Special Olympics teams, he has led
his players to more than 40 medals at international events,
including 13 gold medals.
Through tennis, Ive had the chance to share my knowledge about the sport and serve my country with pride,
Hernndez says. Tennis is a lifestyle for me, because when I
am not teaching, I am giving support to my wife and daughter, who are also players. And, as a plus, through tennis I
have built an extended family.Section staff

June 2016

TennisIndustry 29

4/29/16 12:07 AM

Community Tennis

Herdelin helped GPTL

become the section's
Premier Provider in 2015
and 2016.

Akpan (right) is a former

JTT coach and volunteers
at the local playoffs and
Section Championships.



Obong Akpan of Brooklyn,

N.Y., is a passionate USTA
League player. He currently
captains four League teams
in the USTA Easterns Metro
Region, where he organizes
practices and matches three
times a week. A captain
since 2008, Akpan also plays
on several League teams
himselflast season he
played for seven teams.
My favorite part of USTA
League is the competition,
he says. Ive also been
fortunate to meet a lot of
people and make many
friends through playing.
But Akpan, who was
named USTA Easterns
Organizer of the Month
for April, takes his love of
tennis to the next level. He
volunteers at Youth Tennis
programs in his community
and introduces his League
teammates to volunteer
opportunities in their local
I try to recruit members
of my team to coach Junior
Team Tennis or get their
kids to play on teams, Akpan says. Its rewarding to
watch the kids develop into
good players from season to
season.Kelsey Clark

Keriann Herdelin believes

tennis can change the world.
And given the way Greater
Pottstown Tennis and
Learning is offering tennis
in Pottstown, Pa., shes right.
With just Herdelin, the
executive director, running
the day-to-day operations,
GPTL is earning recognition
nationally. It was selected as
one of 29 National Junior
Tennis and Learning
Chapters to be part of the
USTA Foundation Capacity
Building Program. The
organization also runs free
programs for students in the
Pottstown School District,
as well as for low-income
and special needs players.
One of GPTLs highlights
came when it partnered with
USTA Middle States to host
a tournament with Special
Olympics of Pennsylvania.
We want to promote
healthy behaviors at an early
age, Herdelin says. Character-building, healthy
living and sportsmanship
arent always pushed
enough. Those are some of
the things that were
working with partners on
really promoting.
Michael Gladysz

In a League of
His Own

30 TennisIndustry

06_TI_FEAT_Local_Heroes.indd 30

June 2016

Tennis for a


For Orlando Volunteer,

Its Just Tennis
For a guy who says he likes being behind the
scenes, Jeff Dinsmore is pretty out there when it
comes to the Orange Blossom Tennis Association.
The Facebook page manager for the association,
which is a social tennis group for LGBT players
and their allies in Orlando, Fla., Dinsmore also
manages the schedule for weekly round robins,
arranges court dates and sends out e-mail blasts.
I am a bit of a control freak, he admits.
Dinsmore started out as a player in the group,
then became a player representative on the OBTA
board, then became group secretary three years
ago. We are a small group, always open for others
to join, Dinsmore says. We enjoy getting out and
playing some good and not-so-good tennisbut
always having fun and laughs. We offer a weekly
round robin, open to all ages and levels of play.
These days, says Dinsmore, tennis is just tennis
on the courts. I feel the days of gay tennis
groups are coming to an end, and I am O.K. with
that. Its served its purpose. But now with the
times finally catching up, its just tennis. Its not
gay tennis or straight tennis or any other
tennisits simply getting on the courts and
hitting that tennis ball.Rick Vach
Dinsmore (left) started
off as a player for the
Orange Blossom Tennis
Association, but has
become so much more.

4/29/16 12:07 AM

Gibson cites her USTA

team as "my lifeline"
and is grateful for their

The USTA Missouri Valley

has honored Platt for
his contributions and
community service.



Beth Gibsons 11-year-old

son Will is her hero. Born
with Down syndrome, Will
was the inspiration behind
the creation of Buddy Up
Tennis Inc., an adaptive
tennis and fitness clinic for
children and adults with
Down syndrome.
In 2008, Gibson noticed
how Will would watch when
she and her older son played
tennis at Wickertree Tennis
& Fitness Club in Columbus,
Ohio. Two staff members,
Stephanie Anderson and
Doug DiRosario, also
noticed and volunteered to
teach Will how to play.
While researching
teaching techniques, they
realized there was a need for
tennis and fitness programs
for individuals with Down
syndrome. Later that year,
Gibson, Anderson and
DiRosario conducted the
first Buddy Up Tennis clinic.
The program is now offered
in 15 locations nationwide.
Will has given me a
different perspective on life
and I feel lucky to be able to
value what is important:
family, friends and tennis to
keep us all having fun, says
Gibson.Section staff

Name a successful tennis

player from St. Louis, Mo.,
and its likely that they got
their start in one of Mark
Platts programs.
Platt created Beginners
World Tennis in St. Louis in
1984 to encourage new
tennis players, team tennis
leagues and community
events. More than 30 years
later, its not uncommon to
have over 1,000 people of all
ages participating in Platts
programs and events at
more than 25 facilities
across the St. Louis area. He
also has a staff of 10 who
teach lessons, and Platts
program will have more
than 10 Junior Team Tennis
squads this summer.
Platt was named Grassroots Champion of the Year
by Tennis Industry magazine
in 2002, and he received the
Eve Kraft Community
Service Award from the
USTA in 2004.
Everything Ive done has
often been met with at least
some resistance, but it
eventually becomes an
industry trend a few years
later, Platt says. I try to
stay ahead of the game.
Andrew Robinson


Sharing Tennis
and Fun

06_TI_FEAT_Local_Heroes.indd 31

Building From
the Ground Up

Tennis in Boulder
is Gonzo!
Gonzalo Garcia, better known as Gonzo, runs a
year-round playroom for the Parks & Recreation
Department in Boulder, Colo. It may consist of
drills that teach hand/eye coordination and how
to live an active, healthy lifestyleskills kids need
to play tennisbut it feels more like a party.
Tennis isnt fun unless you play it with Gonzo,
says 4-year-old Finn Muller.
When I first started Gonzo Tennis in 2007,
we had maybe 10 kids in the tennis program, says
Garcia, a USPTA pro from Argentina. But I had
a vision. Im passionate about coaching. Ive been
doing it for more than 30 years and I wanted to
develop a program that had a strong identity and
consistency, similar to the one my brother and I
developed in Argentina called 690because tennis is a sport you can play from age 6 to 90.
A typical summer program has 500 to 600 participants on court in two-and-a-half months and
can be found at two Boulder Rec Centers.
I credit a lot of our success to our unique and
important partnership with the city, Garcia adds.
Its a win-winthe city gets programs run by
professionals that get people excited about playing tennis and out on the 53 courts in Boulder.
And I get the exposure and opportunity to promote my baby.Wendy Anderson
In the winter, Garcia
takes his program
indoors to elementary
schools and PE classes.

June 2016

TennisIndustry 31

4/29/16 12:07 AM

Community Tennis

In 2003, the courts in

Milbank were named in
honor of Larry, known as
"Mr. Milbank Tennis."

"Sharing something I
feel passionate about
is quite fulfilling,"
says Cutone.



Its hard to top the dedication of Dr. Steven Cutone

of Kennebunkport, Maine.
Cutone, a USTA League
player, is a volunteer for the
Rec Departments summer
tennis program and at the
indoor Apex Junior Tennis
Academy. He also sponsors
charitable tournament play
and has rallied parents and
instructors in his community to start programs.
Volunteering has been a
great source of pleasure for
me, Cutone says. There are
so many life lessons that can
be taught through the game
of tennis.
In 2015, Cutone received
USTA New Englands Maine
Volunteer of the Year award.
That same year, he and his
family (wife Jen; kids Olivia,
8, George, 10, and Alberto, 7)
were honored by the Maine
Tennis Association as the
Family of the Year for their
continued work hosting a
weekly youth tennis night.
Steven and his family
have been tremendous contributors to our game, and
we are extremely grateful,
says Scott Steinberg, USTA
New England president &
CEO.James Maimonis

When it comes to tennis in

Milbank, S.D., well, the
Cantine family is tennis.
I have never met a family
who cares so much about the
sport, says Milbank
resident Ron Waletich.
Last summer, the CantinesLarry, Loretta, Kevin,
Greg and Scottorganized a
Level 8 tournament and
USTA Play Day to introduce
juniors to the sport, while
Kevin ran the summer
program aimed at kids ages
12 to 16. Kevin also is
president of the Milbank
Community Tennis Association, after taking over from
his father this year, who had
run it the previous 40 years.
In 2015, the Cantine family
was named USTA Northern
Family of the Year.
The Cantines play area
tournaments and fund-raise
year-round to support teams
and camps. They also work
with Combined Appeal,
showing the value of tennis
activities for the community.
We never have felt like
we did that much, Larry
says. It is just a great game.
Who wouldnt want to be
involved in tennis?
Lisa Mushett


32 TennisIndustry

06_TI_FEAT_Local_Heroes.indd 32

Family Tennis
Affair in Milbank


Coaching Overtime
Enoch Thompson, known as Coach Enoch, has
taught tennis for 25 years. He started coaching
USTA Junior Team Tennis 10 years ago and has
managed the Young Masters program in Washington, D.C., for the past five years.
Of the many benefits of tennis, the one that
resonates most with Thompson is how lessons
learned inside the lines of a tennis court can be
applied to life outside as well.
Junior Team Tennis teaches kids how to win
and what to do when they dont win, Thompson
says. I dont like to use the word lose. Being part
of a team helps develop real life skills they can
take off the courtlike how to support others and
overcome hardships.
One of the hardships a player of his had to overcome was the death of a parent. Ajani Bell, age 10,
was a player in Thompsons program when his
mother passed away in 2015. Thompson encouraged Bell to stick with tennis, keeping him in a
supportive and safe environment. Coach Enoch
serves as a mentor to Bell and has made him a fixture of the Trinity Washington University tennis
team, where Thompson serves as head coach.
Thompson epitomizes what tennis offers: activity, fun, life lessons, support, teamwork, friendships and memories.Chris Miller
"Coach Enoch" is a
fixture in Washington,
D.C. for his support of
tennis-playing children
and their families.

June 2016

4/29/16 12:07 AM


Above and Beyond

in Sacramento
The Sacramento Community Tennis Association,
founded in 1999 by Alan Criswell, offers affordable junior tennis programs to more than 300
youngsters in the Sacramento area, with a focus
on underserved kids. Criswells work continues to
boost the sport in Northern California, and in
2015, the Sacramento Community Tennis
Association was named the sections Outstanding
Community Tennis Association.
Criswell focuses on all players. In 2010, he was
awarded the Wheelchair Tennis Outstanding
Volunteer, which goes to an individual that has
gone above and beyond in providing outstanding
service to the wheelchair tennis community.
The staff and people at USTA NorCal help
make us a success, Criswell says. Were supported in all areas and implementing programs
that follow the USTA model and player development pathway for junior tennis, and we have had
support from the very beginning.Section staff

06_TI_FEAT_Local_Heroes.indd 33

Known as "Mr. Antelope

Tennis," Criswell was
instrumental in the
creation of the Antelope
Tennis Center.

4/29/16 1:17 PM

Kester's persistence
and acumen has kept
Piedmont Park's tennis
center humming.


Henry has coached

national champions and
helped bring families
together on the court.

Teamwork Boosts
Atlanta Tennis


Dan Kester knows the names

of all the players on his tennis
league teams. That may not sound
unusual, but Kester leads about 30
teams every year.
While Kester himself cant play
on 16 USTA League, 15 ALTA teams
and two young adult rec teams, he
has figured out how to keep them
all going. He uses his organization
skills that help make his business, I
Play Atlanta, a success. Kester has a
solid business model and asks others to implement it.
My goal is to get more players
playing, Kester says. So, I set up
the teams and then have someone
on each team make up lineup
cards and handle rainouts and
other details.
But Kesters service to Atlanta
tennis goes beyond organization.
About five years ago I went to
USTA Atlanta and asked how I
could help, he says. The Atlanta
Youth Tennis & Education Foundation asked for used racquets. I was
able to collect 150.
Since then, Kester has donated
more than 1,000 racquets.
Kester then set up a collection
box at this store for used balls;
each year, he brings roughly 5,000
balls to the AYTEF. Additionally,
he collects used shoes and sells the
rubber, donating the money to the
AYTEF.Ron Cioffi

Since 1971, Dee Henry has

been leading the tennis team
at Biola University in La
Mirada, inspiring players
to become outstanding
students and leaders. Its a
thrill to see a player develop, she says. I love teaching tennis and find great
fulfillment in doing it year in
and year out.
Henrys involvement with
the Southern California
Tennis Association began
in 1983 as a site coordinator
for the LA84 Foundation
NJTL. A product of the Vic
Braden Tennis Academy,
Henry is a Level P1 certified
USPTA pro. After meeting
Brad Parks, she wanted to
be involved in wheelchair
tennis, too, and received her
certification in 2008. She
also has been recognized for
her work serving challenged
athletes in the community.
In 2008, Biola was selected
as the SCTA Organizational
Member of the year.
Dee is and has been a
mentor to me and so many
others over the years, says
Melanie Bischoff, director
of community tennis for
the section. Shes a perfect
SCTA hero.Linda Milan

A Tennis Mentor
Changes Lives

06_TI_FEAT_Local_Heroes.indd 34

4/29/16 1:17 PM

Provan joined RecTennis

in 2014 and has
impacted hundreds of
lives with his passion.

Ojeda (center) has made

significant progress as
leader of the SATA in just
two years.



The mission of the Pacific

Northwests RecTennis program is to provide affordable, accessible opportunities for kids and adults of
all ages and skill levels. And
its instructors like Conrad
Provan who are the keys to
accomplishing that missionteaching and helping
others to live a healthy,
active lifestyle.
Not only do the kids in
our programs adore him, but
he makes the sport enjoyable as well as instructive,
says PNW Executive Director Matthew Warren. He
teacheshis studentshow
to behealthy and active
in a non-competitive and
socially engaging way.
Provan was named a 2015
USTA PNW RecTennis
Instructor of the Year, and is
also a skilled player himself.
Its his involvement with
RecTennis, though, that has
helped change his own life.
Tennis is the sport that
has helped me figure out
what I wanted to do in life,
Provan says. After seeing
how I could change the lives
of kids through teaching, I
knew that teaching was my
calling.Section staff

Roger Ojeda makes it

happenquickly. Not even
an invasive surgical procedure can slow the executive
director of the San Antonio
Tennis Association.
Under Ojedas leadership
the last two years, USTA
Leagues, Junior Team
Tennis and the National
Junior Tennis and Learning
program have all grown by
wide margins. SATA has also
gained many new partnerships, including the San
Antonio Sports Foundation.
A section volunteer for
years, Ojeda has reorganized
the SATA staff and volunteer
structure, which has paid
huge dividends in both
participation and staff/
volunteer relations. At his
urging, SATAs push to
increase programming has
extended to the Wounded
Warriors, Special Olympics
and Wheelchair programs.
Roger has orchestrated
an amazing turnaround for
SATA, says USTA Texas
Executive Director Van
Barry. The organizations
recent growth and rebuilding campaign has elevated it
to among the best CTAs in
Texas.Mike Carter


Finding His
Tennis Calling

06_TI_FEAT_Local_Heroes.indd 35

Making It Happen
in San Antonio

Going For the

Gold in Arizona
Kaitlyn Verfuerth of Flagstaff, Ariz., has been
around the globe and back a few times over, and
she doesnt plan on stopping. The 30-year-old is a
dynamo with luggage and tennis bag in tow, playing ITF events to keep her wheelchair womens
tennis ranking among the top 20 in the world.
Now, her sights are set on the Rio Paralympic
Games in 2016 (the top 22 in the world qualify).
Verfuerth was a Paralympian in 2004 and 2008.
She knows the effort it will take just to return to
Rio this year. Id always wanted to play the Paralympic Games, ever since I was a kid and learned
about it, she says. Its just such an amazing
experience to be able to represent your country.
When not playing international events, Verfuerth is an assistant tennis coach for Flagstaff
High. Earlier this year, she was honored as the
USTA Southwest Adult Player of the Year.
A car accident put Verfuerth in a wheelchair
when she was 7. I had one or two choices, even
early on as a kid, on how to take the hand I'd been
dealt, says Verfuerth, who came to Arizona in
college to play on the schools wheelchair tennis
team, one of the few in the U.S. I was either going
to just live my life in a chair and do whatever, or I
had this opportunity to play sports and travel the
world. It was a pretty easy choice.Section staff
Verfuerth has already
competed in two
Paralympic Games, and
has her sights set on
RIo this summer.

June 2016

TennisIndustry 35

4/29/16 12:08 AM

String Playtest

Pacific Poly Force Black

Series 1.20

After 24 hours (no playing), stringbed stiffness measured 66 RDC units,

representing a 6 percent tension loss.
Our control string, Prince Synthetic Gut
Original Gold 16, measured 78 RDC units
immediately after stringing and 71 RDC
units after 24 hours, representing a 9
percent tension loss. In lab testing, Prince
Synthetic Gut Original had a stiffness of
217 and a tension loss of 11.67 pounds,
while Pacific Poly Force Black Series 1.20
had a stiffness of 178 and a tension loss
of 21.65 pounds. Poly Force Black Series
1.20 added 14.9 grams to the weight of
our unstrung frame.
The string was tested for five weeks by
33 USRSA playtesters, with NTRP ratings
ranging from 3.5 to 6.0. These were blind
tests, with playtesters receiving unmarked
strings in unmarked packages. Average
number of hours playtested was 22.2.
Working with Poly Force Black Series
was much like working with a polyester
string. Out of the package, it felt thicker
than an 18, as noted some playtesters. It
felt as though it had some sort of coating
on it, which we wiped off before stringing.
No playtester broke the sample during
stringing, eight reported problems with
coil memory, four reported problems tying
knots, two reported friction burn. No other
problems were reported.

On the Court

36 TennisIndustry

June 2016

06_TI_BOB_String_Playtest.indd 36

Pacific at 941-795-1789 or usainfo@, or visit Poly
Force is 100 percent manufactured in
Pacifics factory in Germany, as have all
Pacific polyester strings since 1972.

In the Lab
We tested the 1.20-mm (18-gauge) Poly
Force Black Series. The coil measured 40
feet, 3 inches. The diameter measured
1.20 mm prior to stringing and 1.18 mm
after stringing. We recorded a string-bed
stiffness of 70 RDC units immediately after
stringing at 60 pounds in a Wilson Pro Staff
6.1 95 (16 x 18 pattern) on a constant-pull

With ratings such as these and three
gauges from which to choose, Poly Force
Black Series seems to be a solid offering,
no matter what its made of.
In particular, Poly Force Black Series
results in the Spin Potential category
speak for themselves, and when you factor
in the ease of working with the string (it
has a cylindrical shape, unlike the many
geometrically shaped strings that also rate


acific Poly Force is a monofilament poly, which is to say that

while many would classify it as
being in the polyester family, it is not
truly polyester-based. Pacific tells us
that Poly Force is strong and powerful
while providing maximum control, and
that it features the Long Term Elasticity system (LTE), which provides longlasting energy and playability.
Poly Force Black Series is available
in 1.29 mm (16L) and 1.24 mm (17) in
orange or black, and 1.20 (18) in black
only. It is priced from $12 for 40-foot
sets and $155 for 660-foot reels. For
more information or to order, contact

Our playtesters loved the Spin Potential of

Pacific Poly Force Black Series 1.20, giving
it an excellent rating. They also enjoyed
its Durability, Resistance to Movement,
Control, and Playability, with ratings well
above average in each of these categories.
These scores were more than enough to
give Pacific Poly Force Black Series 1.20 an
overall rating that is well above average.
No playtester reported premature fraying or peeling, one reported buzzing and
nine reported notching. Four playtesters
broke the sample during play, one each at
13, 18, 25 and 55 hours.

4/29/16 12:18 AM

Playtester Ratings:
highly in Spin Potential), you can offer your
customers a spin-friendly string that you
wont hate to install.Greg Raven

Playtester Comments
I was impressed with the playability and
feel of this string, especially since I normally use what I believe to be a much thinner gauge poly string. 4.0 male all-court
player using Head Prestige PWR strung at
50 pounds CP (Gamma iO 18)
This string felt a little stiff when I initially
hit with it. Over time it broke in and felt
really good. Its more suited for the power
player who hits out and hits with heavy
topspin. I would definitely purchase this
string. 5.5 male all-court player using
Babolat Pure Drive strung at 54 pounds CP
(Babolat VS 16)

I really enjoyed teaching with this string,

and would be open to trying it out on a few
of my quality junior tennis players. 4.0
male all-court player using Babolat Pure
Drive strung at 60 pounds CP (Luxilon
Original 16)

Ease of Stringing
(compared to other strings)

Much easier: 2
Somewhat easier: 3
About as easy: 19
Not quite as easy: 9
Not nearly as easy: 0
Overall Playability

I really disliked it at first. It got somewhat

better with time. No feel with this string.
It might be fine in a hybrid, but I didnt
care for it in a full bed. 3.5 male all-court
player using Wilson Blade strung at 50/50
pounds CP (Solinco Tour Bite/Tecnifibre
NRG2 17/17)

(compared to the string played most often)

Much better: 1
Somewhat better: 8
About as playable: 5
Not quite as playable: 15
Not nearly as playable: 3
Overall Durability
(compared to other strings of similar gauge)

Much better: 2
Somewhat better: 10

Fairly stiff string, good for spin and

doesnt move. Solid feel, not much power.
Easy to hit the serve in the box. 4.5 male
all-court player using Head Speed strung
at 52 pounds CP (Solinco Hyper G 16L)

About as durable: 18
Not quite as durable: 3
Not nearly as durable: 0
Rating Averages
From 1 to 5 (best)

Playability: 3.5
Durability: 3.9

I absolutely loved this string! Im hitting

the best groundstrokes of my life, with the
bite the string gives me. Im switching to
it. 5.0 male all-court player using Babolat
Pure Drive+ strung at 40 pounds LO (Babolat RPM Blast 16)

06_TI_BOB_String_Playtest.indd 37

The string played well for the first few

hours, but as the playtest continued, it lost
significant tension, power, spin and feel.
4.0 male baseliner with heavy spin using
Prince Response strung at 48/48 pounds
CP (Babolat VS/Luxilon Element 16/16) 

Power: 3.3
Control: 3.6
Comfort: 3.1
Touch/Feel: 3
Spin Potential: 3.6
Holding Tension: 3.2
Resistance to Movement: 3.8


4/29/16 1:12 PM

Ask theExperts
Your Equipment Hotline

Badminton grommets

Q: I'm experiencing a lot of trouble in

trying to purchase 2.2-mm-diameter
grommets for badminton racquets
from sources here in the U.K. Are there
any companies in the U.S. that can
supply grommets of this size?
A: Try San Diego Badminton Supply, at It sells bags of assorted
grommets for $10. The last bags we
purchased from them contained 2.0-,
2.2- and 2.5-mm grommets in a variety
of lengths.

String gauge and swing weight

Q: If a player switches from a 17-gauge

string to a 16-gauge, how much does
that change the swingweight, if at all?
A: The swingweight might change, but
not due to the gauge. Any change in
swingweight will be due to the mass
(weight) of the string as installed.

06_TI_BOB_Ask_Experts.indd 38

We took a racquet, measured it

before stringing on our Babolat
Racquet Diagnostic Center, and then
strung it with three different strings.
Each time, we set the reference tension
at 60 pounds, and used one piece of
string. String A was a 17-gauge nylon
weighing 13 grams installed. String
B was a 16-gauge nylon weighing 15
grams installed and String C was a
16-gauge poly weighing 18 grams
As you can see in the table, both the
balance and the swing weight changed
due to the mass of the string. The
balance changed very little (and most
players are not that sensitive to balance
differences), but the swingweight went
from 327 kg*cm2 with the 17-gauge
nylon to 333 kg*cm2 with the 16-gauge
poly. This is a significant difference,
and one that many players would no
doubt be able to detect, everything else
being equal.

However, as long as the new, higher

swingweight does not lie outside of your
players capability to alter the timing
of his swing to execute his strokes, the
player should be able to adapt to the
different swingweight in much the
same way that he will adapt to the
differences between the old string and
the new string.

OVERALL STRING 14.00 16.00 19.00



STRING WEIGHT 0.40 0.46 0.54




336.00 336.00 336.00



349.00 351.00 354.00


13.00 15.00 18.00

31.97 31.98 32.03


327.00 330.00 333.00


Although typically thicker strings

will have more mass than thinner
strings, you cannot make assumptions
about swingweight based on gauge

4/29/16 1:15 PM

Racquets Network

Q: Im looking for a racquet but am

having trouble finding the right place
on the USRSA website. Where do I go
to get to the Racquets Wanted page?
A: The USRSA doesnt have a racquets
wanted page, but it does offer members the ability to find racquets on the
Racquets Network, an e-mail list.
The way it works is that you send
your request to the Racquets Network,
and the USRSA sends an e-mail to
everyone on its list with your request.
Anyone receiving the notification can
then contact you directly about the
racquet you are seeking.
The e-mail address for the Racquets
Network (as well as for the Strings
Network and the Grommets Network,
which offer USRSA members the same
functionality when seeking strings and
grommets), is on the USRSAs Contact
Us page, as well as on the Members
Networks page in the members reference section of

you, but for the USRSA to allow doublepulling in one instance would lead to
people double-pulling whenever it
seemed convenient (or faster). From a
standards point of view, its easier to say
no double-pulling, and leave it at that.
The reason we dont recommend
double-pulling is because the strings
180-degree turn around the outside
of the frame makes it impossible for
the full reference tension to propagate
along both lengths of string.
It is also worth noting that your
approach is designed to eliminate the
tension loss on the first cross, but the

reason it works is because the tension

on the first cross is lower than it would
be if that top cross were pulled normally. Either way, the result is lower
tension on that top cross.
The standard method for mitigating
the tension loss on tie-off strings is to
increase the tension on that last string
above the requested reference tension
for that racquet, and then tie off.
We welcome your questions. Please
send them to Tennis Industry, 48 W 21st
Street, New York, NY 10010; or email


Q: We all agree, I think, that we lose

tension on the last string when tying a
finishing knot. So, if we use a starting clamp then come back to tie off
the string being held by the starting
clamp, there is some tension lost on
that string when we tie it off.
To avoid that tension loss on the
first cross, I tie a loose knot to start the
first cross then weave it and the second
cross. I then tension the second cross,
which in turn will transfer tension
to the first cross. As I am tensioning the second cross I hold the string
as I would to tie off a finishing knot
so there is no slippage. When I have
completed the crosses and have tied off
the finishing knot, Ill come back to the
starting knot and tie a second knot as I
have done on the finishing knot.
Ive been stringing for over 60 years
and I cannot remember the last time I
had a string break at the knot or have
a knot come loose. I know there is less
tension on the No. 1 cross, but that puts
less stress on the knot and there will be
tension loss on No. 1 if you use a starting clamp then tie off at the end.
A: The USRSA could never recommend
this method of starting the crosses
because we categorically oppose
double-pulling, which is defined as
applying tension to two strings in one
pull. This approach seems to work for

06_TI_BOB_Ask_Experts.indd 39

4/29/16 1:16 PM

Your Serve

The Perfect Storm

A Master Pro says young tennis professionals should

surround themselves with others who have the same
desires and goals. By Holly Chomyn

We understood what each

other was going through
and could honestly say,
I know what you mean.
people. The 1990s and early 2000s were
a thriving time for tennis pros in that
area, with many young, talented and
aspiring individuals close by. We helped
each other with club events, socialized when not working and competed
against each other in tournaments.
Sure, there was competition among
us, but we each raised the ante for the
others, and that made everyone strive
to do a better job each day at their
respective clubs. There was a camaraderie among us to improve our skills,
gain experience and try new things.

40 TennisIndustry

06_TI_BOB_Your_Serve.indd 40

June 2016

I remember that there were three of

us who wanted to earn USPTA Master
Pro certification. Going for it takes you
out of your comfort zone because the
title isnt just about on-court teaching,
but requires personal rankings, writing, coaching ranked players, speaking
engagements, video work, charity and
fundraising events, plus more.
The three of us gave each other
emotional support, served as sounding boards, and offered constructive
critiques. We helped each other with
videos, proofread articles, and volunteered to help with each others events.
With our group pressing ahead
together, we accomplished many goals
and had a great time doing it. It was a
satisfying feeling to be able to confide in
others. We understood what each other
was going through and could honestly
say, I know what you mean.

All three of us accomplished our

goal of becoming Master Pros. We have
since moved out of the area and on to
other jobs, but I will always remember
that magical time when we challenged,
inspired and motivated each other.
For young tennis professionals, seek
out other pros who have the same drive
to learn, exchange ideas and create new
events. It will keep you fresh and full of
energy to pursue your career.
Holly Chomyn is a
USPTA Master Pro and
a High Performance
Coach with the USTA.
She is currently teaching
in southwest Florida.


ver the years, Ive attended

conferences where the ideas in
Malcolm Gladwells book Outliers: The Story of Success have come up.
Most often, you hear about the 10,000hour rule, which suggests it takes that
amount of time to master a skill.
But I also found another of Gladwells
points relevant for success: Surround
yourself with people who share your
same drive and interests. One example
is the artists who gathered in Paris in
the 1920s. Or in the 1980s, the technology wizards working in Silicon Valley.
In tennis, you could point to the early
days of the Bollettieri Tennis Academy,
when the top juniors gathered to work
out together. These all are examples
of like-minded, energetic groups of
people who were willing to collaborate,
work and challenge each other to bring
advances in their fields and success.
I taught for 17 years in Wilmington, Del.a small city of about 70,000

We welcome your opinions. Please email

comments to

4/29/16 12:22 AM

Inside this issue

Mental Toughness 50
The Tiebreaker Plan 52
42 CEOs Message
44 Vice Presidents Message
46 Endorsee News
48 USPTA World Conference


Master Pro Corner

Inside Coaching
Career Development
Member News

Read more articles online at

On the cover: Start making plans for the USPTA World Conference Sept. 25-29
in Indian Wells, Calif. See Page 48 for more information.

Untitled-1 41

4/29/16 12:30 AM

CEOs Message

One Last Rodeo

by John Embree

very April, the senior leadership of the USPTA comes together for one of two meetings
per year (the other is held during our World Conference in the fall).
Each division sends its president and
first vice president to join the Board of
Directors and three past national presidents to discuss the affairs of the association, get updated on key issues, provide
committee reports, and develop game
plans for the remainder of the year.
This group of 45 volunteer Elite/Master
Professionals constitutes the USPTA
Executive Committee, which is truly the
governing body of our association.
In addition, the division Executive
Directors/Administrators also participated in a series of meetings so that they
can perform more effectively in their
roles to serve their respective division
membership. Over the course of three
days, these 62 plus people engaged with
our national staff and contributed to a
healthy dialogue about the challenges
that we face and what will be done to
meet those challenges over the coming
months. It is always so energizing to
have everyone together as we plan for
the future.
The reason for the title of this message is because we gathered in Houston
for the very last time. Next April, we will
convene at our new home in Lake Nona,
Fla. What was also different about this
years meeting was that we were not
able to stage it in our office as per usual,
but rather at the nearby Westchase
Marriott where everyone stays when
they come. Why? Because the conference room (where we previously hosted
everyone) is now part of the reconstructed office that the new building
owner and his partner renovated for
one of the companies that they operate.
Thus, it was somewhat bittersweet for
many who have come to enjoy their an-

nual sojourn to our World Headquarters

each spring knowing that this was the
final event in Houston. Even Ken McAllister, new board member who lives in
Austin, commemorated the occasion by
wearing his Texas state shirt as a show
of appreciation for our home over the
past 25 years.

every effort to comply by December.

For anyone reading this article who
falls within this group, I hope you heed
the message and take the appropriate
steps to get the 6 credits that you need.
You will be glad that you did.
Other notable items coming out
of our Executive Committee meeting

We will be leaving our old and comfortable house before too long, which has served us
well for a quarter of a century, and establishing our new digs that will be the center
of our universe for the next quarter century and beyond
As for the business at hand, much of
the attention was given to the professional development requirement for all
certified members in good standing under the age of 65 years to attain 6 credits
of continuing education before the
end of December of this year. Make no
mistake; the Board and Executive Committee have fully embraced the mission
of our organization to elevate the standards of tennis-teaching professionals
and coaches. Toward that end, our
leadership recognizes the serious financial consequences at both the national
and division levels if a large percentage
of those eligible do not qualify and are
suspended from our membership roster
come Jan. 1, 2017. It is a bold initiative
that requires a steadfast and unwavering commitment to stay the course
against what could be a significant impact on how we operate in the future.
Thus, a good deal of time was dedicated to action plans that are going to
be implemented throughout the organization between now and year-end to
reach out to those who are in jeopardy
of losing their membership benefits.
All hands are on deck to encourage
those who have not participated in any
educational events, both inside the
USPTA and out, to demonstrate that
they have a genuine desire to be better
as a tennis professional and will make

worth mentioning: a) our financial position remains very strong after another
year with a bottom line surplus; b) the
planned relocation to Lake Nona is on
schedule and so far, on budget; c) the
2017 World Conference will be held in
Orlando/Lake Nona; d) the plans for the
2016 World Conference in Indian Wells,
Calif., are coming together it should
be another outstanding conference; e)
we are working diligently to ensure that
the governance at all divisions is in line
with national; and so forth.
It is incumbent on all of us that we
celebrate the tireless efforts of our volunteers who dedicate massive amounts
of time on behalf of the association.
Lets not forget that almost all have
full-time jobs and families that are obviously their priorities, yet they somehow find the time to give of themselves
to improve the USPTA. I, for one, am
indebted to all and am honored to
serve them.
So, raise a glass and cheer for our last
rodeo in Houston. We will be leaving
our old and comfortable house before
too long, which has served us well for
a quarter of a century, and establishing our new digs that will be the center
of our universe for the next quarter
century and beyond. I am eager for the
journey that lies ahead of us. Onward
and upward h

Still need to earn your 6 continuing education credits this year? There are tons of ways to earn credits:
Visit for all of the ways to earn education credits and to check the event calendar for upcoming events near you!


uspta cs6.indd 42

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Vice Presidents Message

USPTA School Coach Category

Reaches New Market

couple of years ago the

Membership Committee
was faced with the challenge
of designing and implementing a membership specifically
for the middle school and high school
tennis coach. But before we could dig
in and start the process we needed to
figure out who our audience should be.
As we did our due diligence by contacting current USPTA members who are
high school coaches from around the
country, we found out almost immediately that our audience should be the
novice coach. We heard time and time
again how the schools assign teachers
with little or no coaching experience
nor knowledge about the sport of tennis as their coaches. Looking back
that was exactly the case with my high
school tennis coach. He was an English
teacher who was a little bit better than
a beginner on the court with no coaching experience.
With this information in mind, the
committee was looking at an uphill
battle with regard to a school coach
category. We couldnt test a coach who
couldnt play and had no coaching
experience, so we had to put on our
thinking caps and come up with a way
to make this membership work. As we
discussed this project at our membership meeting in New York during the
2014 Tennis Teachers Conference, it
was suggested that we offer a limited
membership to the school, rather than
try to certify an inexperienced coach.
And so we began to put the school
coach category together with that
thought in mind. We would offer the
middle schools and high schools a
USPTA School Coach membership for
their tennis coaches and offer as the main benefit. was in the middle of being revamped at the time, so this turned
out to be the perfect opportunity to include all the areas novice tennis coaches

would need to help them coach their

teams: drills, tips, instruction, videos, online tools and resources, and more. The
emphasis needed to be on educating the
coaches since this membership category

by Jack Michalko

Access for all tennis coaches at your


The USPTA School Coach category

made its debut in August of last year.

This will help these novice coaches learn from the leading industry
experts on coaching kids and implementing effective tennis instruction
to help students learn and grow both on and off the tennis courts.
is aimed at the novice coach, and is the perfect pathway.
The cost to the school for this membership is $99 a year per institution, not
per coach. So if a school has more than
one tennis coach, they are all included
for the same price. In addition, 25 percent of dues goes back to the state high
school coaches association.The membership includes the following:

Full access to

Interactive online practice planner
Attend USPTA events at member
Subscription for schools to Tennis
Subscription for schools to Tennis
Industry magazine

The new version of TennisRources.

com debuted in March of this year. The
Membership Committee will continue
to add new information and make
changes to the category through on a regular basis.
This will help these novice coaches
learn from the leading industry experts
on coaching kids and implementing
effective tennis instruction to help students learn and grow both on and off
the tennis courts.
We ask that all the divisions get
behind this initiative and help promote the USPTA School Coach category. For more information, please
contact the membership department
at 713-978-7782 or membership@ h


uspta cs6.indd 44

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uspta cs6.indd 46

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5/2/16 9:53 AM

USPTA World Conference

Start Making Plans for the

USPTA World Conference

he USPTA World Conference is

shaping up to be a great event.
Speakers and courses are being
finalized, parties planned, award
winners notified, and buying show organized. Details will be announced next
month. To help you get your travel plans
started, here is the pricing information.

2016 USPTA World Conference

registration rates

(Registration will be available soon.)

l Full registration
$390 by Sept. 11/ $440 after Sept. 11
l Spouse/guest registration
$200 by Sept. 11/ $215 after Sept. 11
(no continuing education credits)
l Daily registration
l Specialty courses

Discounts (Only one per person)


First-time attendee
Save $75 on full registration
New USPTA member
Save $75 on full registration

Three or more USPTA members

attending from same club/facility
$25 discount on each for full

Hotel Reservations


Hyatt Regency Indian Wells

Resort & Spa
4600 Indian Wells Lane
Indian Wells, CA, 92210
Room rates
$115 per night + taxes & fees
Call 888-421-1442 or register online

Certification, Upgrading
Available at Conference

Need to take the Certification Exam or

upgrade your rating? The PTCA I and
Certification Exam will be offered at the
World Conference. Contact the Membership Department at membership@ or 800-877-8248 for more
information or to sign up. h


Sunday, Sept. 25
9 a.m.-1 p.m.
Specialty Course 1
2 -6 p.m.
Specialty Course 2
Monday, Sept. 26
9 a.m.-noon
1-3:30 p.m.
3:45-4:45 p.m. Manufacturers ad
staff meetings
5-10 p.m.
Buying Show,
Reception and
Silent Auction
Tuesday, Sept. 27
9 a.m.-noon
Noon-2 p.m.
Awards Luncheon
2:30-3:30 p.m. Education
4-5:30 p.m.
USPTA Membership
6:30-9:30 p.m. Division parties
Wednesday, Sept. 28
9 a.m.-noon
1-5 p.m.
2-6 p.m.
Specialty Course 3
6:30-9 p.m.
Poolside Reception
Thursday, Sept. 29
9 a.m.-noon
1-5 p.m.
Specialty Course 4


uspta cs6.indd 48

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5/2/16 9:53 AM

Master Pro Corner

Mental Toughness
By Mike OConnell, USPTA Master Professional

n order to perform at the highest

level, mental toughness is one of the
key ingredients to being successful.
Recently I had the pleasure and
honor to teach and work with Dr. Jill
Bolte Taylor. The 37-year-old Harvardtrained brain scientist experienced a
massive stroke in the left hemisphere of
her brain. In her book, My Stroke of Insight, she describes watching her mind
deteriorate over the course of four hours,
to the point that she could not walk, talk,
read, write or recall any of her life.

Our left brain is the home of our ego

center, the site of the language center
that speaks to us constantly, and it manifests our critical judgment and negative
self-talk. How many of our students are
preoccupied with statistics and winning,
rather than playing for the love of the
game? How many of them are obsessed
with thoughts such as: What happens if
I lose? What will my parents/coach think
if I fail? What will happen to my ranking?
What happens if I dont I make the team?
The list of left-brain analysis and fearful

The list of left-brain analysis

and fearful thinking is endless
and often paralyzing.

During our first tennis lesson, it

became obvious that I was not the only
teacher on the court. Taylor explained the
difference between our two brain hemispheres, and how they each contribute to
and participate in playing a game. Neuroscientists are now able to visualize which
nerves or transmitters are engaged in performing certain functions. Being a tennis
coach, I was interested in understanding
which side of the brain performs which
functions to use this information to better
comprehend how athletes think and act.
In Taylors book, she explains that our
left hemisphere is different in the way
it processes information. It takes moments created by the right hemisphere
and strings them together in a timely
succession of rational thoughts. The left
brain manifests the concept of time; our
moments are divided into the past, present and future. By doing so, the brain is
focused on the details of our lives.

thinking is endless and often paralyzing.

Conversely, the right hemisphere
functions like a parallel processor. Our
right mind focuses on the present moment and also gives us the ability to
think outside the box. Experiencing new
moments is important when we play
tennis; it allows our mind to focus on the
right-here, right-now experience and
capitalize on our practiced skill sets.
Our right mind is spontaneous, carefree and imaginative. After reading Taylors
book and speaking with her, I wanted to
help my students achieve the ability to shift
back and forth between their right and left
brain. I want them to not only practice but
to ultimately play for the love of the game,
be able to move quickly past an error, and
retain the ability to be creative and spontaneous with each new point.
Can you train your students to operate out of both hemispheres by choice? Of
course you can. Start by having them pay

attention to their thoughts and help them

identify what it feels like to be in their
left brain versus what it feels like to be in
their right brain. When players become
totally aware of what they are thinking,
feeling and saying to themselves, they
realize their cognitive and emotional patterns. They gain insight into new ways of
thinking, being and playing.
One style of teaching does not fit
all; we are unique in how we process
information. But by giving students basic information about how their brain
hemispheres are involved in the game,
we arm them with yet one more tool to
achieve their highest potential.
Since working with Taylor, I have
implemented the following mental
checkpoints for my students:
1. Mental awareness: I make sure that
my students are operating from the
right hemisphere and they are given
the skills to understand the importance of this technique
2. Verbal response: Listen to your students comments, replace any negative language with positive words,
have them use one or two words only
(lets go, yes, feet, etc).
3. Body language: Watch for positive
body language head up, shoulders
up, eye control, breathing, and their
actions between and during points.
4. Routines/rituals: Teach your
students the importance of having
positive routines and rituals that will
train their brains for when they are
in the heat of the battle.
5. Focus: There are so many techniques
on and off the court that you can
utilize to incorporate focus eye
contact, breathing, consistency drills,
and power words. The key element
is that your students understand the
importance of staying in the NOW! h
Mike OConnell was the head
professional at Indiana University
Recreational Sports Tennis Center
from 1992-2015. He was Indiana
USPTA Professional of the Year
several times, 2009 USPTA Midwest
Professional of the Year, and was inducted into
the USPTA Midwest Hall of Fame in 1998.


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5/2/16 9:53 AM

Inside Coaching

The Tiebreaker Plan

By Rod Heckelman, USPTA

e just needed to win one

of the tiebreakers and we
were in the nationals,
so comments a competitive 3.5 player. With league tennis, this
is the new reality you really need to
know how to play and win tiebreakers.
The fact is, to have a game plan is nice
but nearly impossible considering the
many variables. The first being that
there are four individuals who can play
differently from day to day. The second is the emotional state when someone finally gets to a tiebreaker. Some
are happy to reach that point, while
others enter into that moment feeling
that they missed their opportunity to
win that set. But despite the fact you
cant lock into a surefire way to play,
there are a few fundamentals a player
at any level can follow to be a better
tiebreaker player.
1. Learn how to play a tiebreaker automatically and without thought
about the scoring, rotation of
serve, or when to switch sides. If
youre thinking about these scoring issues, you are distracted from
focusing on the quality of your
play and the tactics you need to
employ. For many, the relatively
new Coman tiebreaker that is
played instead of a third set can be
challenging. Master it.
2. Prepare with the idea that you will
always have to play a tiebreaker.
This begins with the flip of the coin
to start the match. Do the math,
think about who will be serving
first in a tiebreaker. If you have a
lefty on your team, this can prove
beneficial in dealing with the sun.
You may also want to adjust for
windy conditions. Also, preparing for a tiebreaker when you first
walk on the court will make that
moment less anxious and more

With league tennis, this is the new reality you really need to know how to play
and win tiebreakers. The fact is, to have a game plan is nice but nearly impossible
considering the many variables.
3. Practice playing tiebreakers. Not
just playing them when the set
reaches 6-6. Complete your practice
session by taking a little time at the
end of play and practice executing a
4. Be the steady, no-unforced error
team for the first four points. Get
the ball in play no matter what. This
means first serves in and serve returns in play. By getting that early
lead through steady play, you force
the other team to play catch-up and
often they will abandon their normal style to a more desperate style
of play.
5. Slow down. It would surprise most
players to learn that when they

play a normal game, they play

about twice as slow as they play a
tiebreaker. Take the time to use the
25 seconds in between the points,
especially when you are serving. Use
that time to reinforce your strategy
with your partner, or maybe more
importantly, build up their confidence with positive statements.
The second approach to becoming
a great tiebreaker player is to practice
and play drills that will challenge your
skills as a tiebreaker player. Here are
eight terrific games that will help you
accomplish this task.
1. The Steady Eddie This is tough
for all levels, but again crucial in
creating the consistent player you


Untitled-1 52

4/29/16 12:31 AM

need to be. The rules are simple

play the tiebreaker you most often
will play in competition. If any player misses a serve return or double
faults in the first four points, he
loses the tiebreaker. You can change
this to be the first six, eight whatever works for you.
2. First and First Again, here is
a game with emphasis on cutting
down on errors. Because so many
players want to serve and volley
during a tiebreaker, change the
rules so that if the server is able to
make her first serve and her first
volley, she cant lose the point.
She simply replays the point if the
eventual outcome was not in her
3. Lob Pressure Once again, the art
of winning tiebreakers can be the
ability to allow your opponent to
lose to you, not just trying to beat
him. With that in mind, if any player misses an overhead at any time
during the tiebreaker, that team
loses the tiebreaker. This creates
great pressure and promotes the
lob, a great shot to use if you want to
work yourself back into a match.
4. Volleyball Scoring Holding
serve is all important; this game
will test you. You flip to find who
serves first and only the serving
team can win a point. Here is the
catch, unless you start off serving,
you need to win two consecutive
points to earn the right to serve.
This means that a returning team
could win every other point and
lose at love. You should alternate
servers every two serves and
switch sides in accordance with the
tiebreaker you normally play.
5. Do Over In order to learn from
our mistakes we need to correct
them, or at least have a chance to
correct them. In this drill, each
team has the right to replay one
point. Hopefully this will give you a
chance to fix what went wrong.
6. Breaking Bad Again, play the
tiebreaker you need to practice,
with this one added rule: if any
player loses both of his serves, he
has to serve the next time instead

of his partner. This may sound

cruel, but what this does is force
a team to work on their weakness
in their serving rotation. In this
game, its not unusual to see one
player from a team serve an entire
tiebreaker, but it is great practice
to help solve the problem of holding serve.
7. Handle It This drill is for those
who lose it when one little thing
goes wrong. Be careful, this can
be either fun or irritating. In this
game each team has the right to
make one bad call. Be judicious
about when to use this, and again,
remember this is a drill to get you
mentally prepared for the reality
that bad things can happen at any
time, even during an important tiebreaker. You can also play this drill
so that instead of a bad call, if any
player gets a let, even on a serve,
they win the point.

8. Hocus Pocus of Focus With the

combination of pressure, a possibly
rowdy audience, and the high energy
on the court, its easy for your mind
to be distracted. Again for fun, since
so many people have cell phones,
one player sets their phone to go off
at a random time that will be during
the tiebreaker. Make sure this is allowed on the court you are playing
and not a distraction to neighboring
courts. As you play the tiebreaker,
see how well you stay focused on
playing each point and not thinking
about the eventuality of the alarm.
You know youre a focused player
when the alarm startles you.
Enjoy your time on the court.
Think of a tiebreaker as being a bonus
and not a liability or an unpleasant
outcome to a competitive close set.
The tiebreaker is an opportunity to
shine and really enjoy your competition, win or lose. h

To become a great tiebreaker

player, practice and play
drills that will challenge your
skills as a tiebreaker player.

Rod Heckelmans career started in 1966 when he began his five-year role as
a teacher at John Gardiners Tennis Ranch in Carmel Valley, Calif. Later he
opened as the resident pro for Gardiners Tennis Ranch on Camelback in Scottsdale, Ariz. In 1976 he took over as head pro/tennis director at the Mt. Tam Racquet Club in Larkspur, Calif, and added the title and responsibilities of general
manager in 1982. In 2010 he was awarded Manager of the Year for the USPTA
NorCal Division and the Manager of the Year at the USPTA World Conference. He has written several books including, Down Your Alley in 1993, Playing Into the Sunset in 2013 and
most recently, 250 Ways to Play Tennis. He also produced the Facility Managers Manual
and the Business Handbook for Tennis Pros, which is distributed by the TIA. 53

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USPTA Joins PHIT America,

a National Campaign Helping America
Get More Active, Fit & Healthy

SPTA has become a sponsor

of PHIT America, a national
charity and campaign to
fight the inactivity pandemic that is seriously affecting the
health of Americans and our healthcare costs. This non-profit, started
by the sport and fitness industry,
promotes grassroots programs and
new legislation to influence Americans to be more active, fit and healthy
through the consumer website www.
Who is PHIT America?
PHIT America is dedicated to increasing physical activity and fitness
to improve the health of all Americans.
PHIT America was launched in January 2013 with the support of more than
100 companies and organizations.
While the name PHIT sounds like FIT,
it also has another meaning. PHIT
stand for Personal Health Investment
Today. The goal is to invest in personal
health through fitness to improve the
health of Americans, especially
The obesity crisis is well documented. It is a tremendous issue for many
Americans and is driving up overall
health care costs. However, there is
another huge issue actually a global
pandemic, which is equally troubling.
Physical inactivity is the fourth leading
cause of death, and more people are dying of physical inactivity than smoking
in America.
Eighty percent of children are at
risk of disease due to physical inactivity, and two-thirds are not active to
healthy standards. More and more
children are sedentary as their level
of physical activity is limited to moving their fingers while using electronic
devices. This is why PHIT America
has adopted this mission: Dramati-

Just look around any community
in the U.S. You can see the obesity issue is a serious concern in every city
and state, said USPTA CEO John Embree. We need to get America more
active, fit and healthy in order to help
prevent sickness and reduce health
care costs. USPTA is proud to promote
PHIT America and to influence active,
healthy lifestyles.
PHIT America has three major
programs to get America, especially
children, more active, fit and healthy:

cally Improve the Health of Americans,

Especially Children, by Implementing
Pro-Activity Programs.
PHIT America is helping to solve
two huge issues that children face:
1. Health and wellness
2. Academic performance
The benefits of physical activity for
the body are well-documented. But
now there is conclusive research an active child is a better student. There are
more than 10 independent studies that
show physical activity improves academic results. See all the ways physical
activity helps academic performance

1. Get 1 million children off the couch

and active by putting physical education back in our schools. PHIT
America gives out GO! Grants,
which jump start more movement
and activity in schools.
2. Educate Americans, especially parents, about the inactivity pandemic,
its ramifications, and the PHIT
America solutions through News
Article, a 30-minute documentary,
and other approaches.
3. Pass common sense pro-activity
legislation such as the PHIT Act.
The PHIT Act will allow Americans
to use pre-tax medical accounts as
an incentive to be active and reduce
healthcare costs.
PHIT America CEO and founder
Jim Baugh is excited about USPTA
joining its alliance. The support from
USPTA is really important. To fight the
inactivity pandemic, we must work together. We are now over 120 companies
working together to get America more
active, fit and healthy.
Companies or organizations interested in joining the PHIT America
Alliance should contact Alliance@ h


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5/2/16 9:53 AM

need to be. The rules are simple
play the tiebreaker you most often
will play in competition. If any player misses a serve return or double
faults in the first four points, he
loses the tiebreaker. You can change
this to be the first six, eight whatever works for you.

of his partner. This may sound

cruel, but what this does is force
a team to work on their weakness
in their serving rotation. In this
game, its not unusual to see one
player from a team serve an entire
tiebreaker, but it is great practice
to help solve the problem of holding serve.


8. Hocus Pocus of Focus With the

combination of pressure, a possibly
rowdy audience, and the high energy
on the court, its easy for your mind
to be distracted. Again for fun, since
so many people have cell phones,
one player sets their phone to go off
at a random time that will be during
the tiebreaker. Make sure this is allowed on the court you are playing
and not a distraction to neighboring
courts. As you play the tiebreaker,
see how well you stay focused on
playing each point and not thinking
the seco
As a benefit
mem- year, or
the eventuality
of the
the mens
and Micha
a focused
to play
other at the
the alarm
USPTA Indoor
N.C.) cruis
USPTA Professionals,
in March
at the
of Memin March45atsingles
the Ra
who play
the court.
in Memphis,
phis in Memphis,
Horsch byT
in thephis
a tiebreaker
a bonus
defeated Larson (Fridley
to play
into the
not a Larson
an unpleasant
Thiago Santos
pick up(Sal
to a competitive
close three
to win
sets (6-2,doubles
4-6, 6-1)
be held
at the
win your
in the
past seven
for his sixth
mensHe also won
four cJ
hfour which
open singlesChampionships,
titles between gives
open singles
6the International
and the 2016
gives him
and the 2016
an added
a seventh
overall singles
acrossa seventh
overall s
to showcase
their skills
his eightall divisions
in add
earn aall
of the
titles in
of the
In- doubles voted
Championship series.
door Championships
are available on Championship
Santos didnt go home empty
didnt go
He picked uponthe
handed. 2016
He picked
more information
themens open
with partnervisit
and fellow
doubles Miramar
crown witB
Kansan Victor Carvalho
de- Victor
& Racquet
h De Melo by

Minnesotas Larson Defends
Singles Title
Singles Title at 2016 USPTA
Indoor Championships Indoor Champ
2. First and First Again, here is
a game with emphasis on cutting
down on errors. Because so many
players want to serve and volley
during a tiebreaker, change the
if theconsecutive
server is able
her first
at the
cant lose
the point.
Indoor Championships
She simply
the point if the
in March
at the
in Memphis, Tenn.
Larson (Fridley, Minn.) defeated
in three
Lob Santos
the art
4-6, 6-1)
to win the
be the
his sixth
win inyour
the past
seven to
to allow
just trying to
that in
mind, if2010-2013,
any playanderthe
overhead at any
a seventh
singles title
during overall
the tiebreaker,
all loses
in additionThis
to hiscreates
the tiebreaker.
in the
great titles
lob, a great shot
to use if you want to
didnt go
a match.
handed. He picked up the mens open
with partner
and fellow
Carvalho De
by deserveVictor
is all important;
will test you. You flip to find who
serves first and only the serving
team can win a point. Here is the
catch, unless you start off serving,
you need to win two consecutive
points to earn the right to serve.
This means that a returning team
could win every other point and
lose at love. You should alternate
servers every two serves and
switch sides in accordance with the
tiebreaker you normally play.

5. Do Over In order to learn from

our mistakes we need to correct
them, or at least have a chance to
correct them. In this drill, each
team has the right to replay one
point. Hopefully this will give you a
chance to fix what went wrong.
6. Breaking Bad Again, play the
tiebreaker you need to practice,
with this one added rule: if any
player loses both of his serves, he
to serve the next time instead
Mens Open winner


uspta cs6.indd 57

7. Handle It This drill is for those

who lose it when one little thing
goes wrong. Be careful, this can
be either fun or irritating. In this
Jay Horne
team has
6-1, 6-3.
one Chamberlain,
bad call. Be judicious
to use this,
and again,
cruised to
a drillintothe
45 mentally
singles division
the reality
by athings
that bad
Calif.) did
an important
up a narrow
in the
You can
this drill
so that
of a bad call,
if any
gets a(Meridan,
let, even on
a serve,
Svennsson and M.J.
they win
the point.
Garnett 6-2, 3-6, 10-8.
Horne also won the tournaments
Sportsmanship Award, which was
awarded for the first time this year as
voted on by the tournament players.
Next up in the USPTA Surface
Championship series is the $10,000
2016 Clay Court Championships in
Miramar Beach, Fla., at TOPSL Beach
& Racquet Resort.

2016 USPTA Indoor

Championship Results
Mens Open Singles
Tony Larson (Fridley, Minn.) def.
Thiago Santos (Salina, Kan.) 6-2, 4-6,

Johan Gedlitschka, Mens 45 Singles winner

a great tiebreaker
Santos/Victor Carvalho
(Salina, Kan.) def. Jay Horne your
skills as a tiebreaker
(Memphis), 6-1, 6-3.

Johan Gedlit

Mens 45 Singles

Rod Heckelmans career started in 1966

he began (Greensboro,
his five-year role
a teacher at John Gardiners Tennisdef.
Rob Horsch (Laguna Niguel, Caopened as the resident pro for Gardiners Tennis Ranch on Camelback in Scottlif.) by a forfeit, 3-0
sdale, Ariz. In 1976 he took over as head pro/tennis director at the Mt. Tam Racquet Club in Larkspur, Calif, and added the title and responsibilities of general
45 Doubles
manager in 1982. In 2010 he was awarded
of the Year for the USPTA
NorCal Division and the Manager of the Year at the USPTA WorldGillette
He has writMiss.)
def. Johan
ten several books including, Down Your Alley in 1993,
Into the
Sunset in(Lake2013 and
land, Tenn.)/M.J.
most recently, 250 Ways to Play Tennis. He also produced
the Facility
Tony Larson,
Thiago Sant
Santos andHandbook
Victor Carvalho
De Melo,
the Business
for Tennis
Pros, which
is distributed
the TIA.
Mens Open Doubles winners

Mens Open winner

Mens Open

57 53
57 www.ADDvanta

5/2/16 9:53 AM

Career Development
Exams, Upgrades Coach Youth
Division Activities
Tennis Workshop
(6 credits)

(4 credits for PTCA I segment)

June 2-3
June 2-3
June 4-5
June 4-5
June 4-5
June 4-5
June 6
June 9
June 9-10
June 11-12
June 12
June 12
June 16-17
June 17-18
June 18
June 18
June 18-19
June 24
June 26

Orlando, Fla.
Kirkland, Wash.
Greenville, R.I.
Paradise Valley, Ariz.
San Antonio
Aurora, Ill.
Carlsbad, Calif.
Azusa, Calif.
Hilton Head Island, S.C.
Richmond, Va.
Mt. Kisco, N.Y.
Raleigh, N.C.
Des Moines, Iowa
Ocala, Fla.
Nichols Hills, Okla.
Jackson, Miss.

* This course is held at the USPTA World Headquarters.

Exam reservations must be made at least 21 days
prior to the dates listed. Each date includes an exam,
upgrade and PTCA I unless noted. Exam cancellations
must be received no later than 14 days before the
exam, or a cancellation fee will be charged accordingly.
Applicant: late cancellation fee $95; failure to cancel
application fee is forfeited. Certified members: late
cancellation fee $25; failure to cancel $25 plus the
upgrade fee is forfeited. Registration for another exam
will not be accepted until cancellation fees are paid.

Professional Coach
Register your Accredited Professional Coach (APC)
and specialty course credits earned with the USPTA
SmartCode Education System. This uses your
smartphone to instantly register your attendance
to all seminars and specialty courses earning APC.
To use the system at a seminar,
general session or specialty
course, you must scan two
QR codes. One QR code is on
your conference badge. The
second QR code will be in your
conference notebook and cannot be scanned until
the end of the session or the beginning of the next
If you do not have a smartphone, you may use
someone elses. Forms are available upon request.

June 1-5

(2 credits)
June 1


June 1

Bismarck, N.D.

June 2


June 2

Billings, Mt.

June 2

Kirkland, Wash.

June 4

Barrington, Ill.

June 4

Bedford, N.H.

June 4

Wayland, Mass.

June 5


June 5

Holland, Mich.

June 5


June 5

Edina, Minn.

June 7

Arapahoe, N.C.

June 10

Fairfield, Conn.

June 11

Roseville, Minn.

June 11


June 11


June 15

Glenview, Ill.

June 18

Portland, Maine

June 18

Schenectady, N.Y.

June 21

La Crescent, Minn.

June 25


June 25


June 3-4

USPTA Florida Convention

Orlando, Fla.
USPTA Pacific Northwest Conv.

(.5 credits)
June 8

Guideline to an expert lesson

Soophie Woorons

Watch all recorded webinars at

For more information visit
Education>Education Calendar.

Cardio Tennis
June 11

Cardio Tennis Training Course

Gilford Hills Tennis & Fitness Club,
Gilford, N.H.

June 24

Cardio Tennis Training Course

The Lakes at Castle Hills,
Lewisville, Texas

Please visit to


For more workshops, visit

Spanish Tennis
Teaching System
(10 credits)
May 30 June 1

Pro Coaching Course

Naples, Fla.

June 3-5

Competitive Coaching Course


Please visit to register.

Education requirements
All USPTA-certified Professionals must earn 6 education credits in a three-year period
to remain current. Go to for a partial list of eligible activities. Please send verification (email, letter, certificate, receipt, etc.) that shows you
attended the event/activity and submit it along with the date and agenda to to receive your credit. (International members, Recreational Coaches
and those over the age of 65 are exempt.) Questions? Write to
or call 800-877-8248, ext. 147.


uspta cs6.indd 58

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Member News
The office of the Rome City Manager appointed
USPTA Immediate Past President Tom Daglis as the
Executive Director of the Rome Tennis Center at
Berry College in Rome, Ga. He will also serve as the
Director of the Professional Tennis Management Program at Berry College starting June 1, 2016. Additionally, USPTA Elite Pro Kevin Brundle was selected
to serve as Director of Tennis at Rome Tennis Center
and Assistant Director of the PTM program. Daglis
Kevin Brundle
will oversee the strategy, operations, staff, finances Tom Daglis
and culture of Rome Tennis Center and Downtown Tennis Center. He is responsible for establishing the organizational culture and operating principals of the center while increasing
the centers visibility to grow the number of competitive tournaments offered. Brundle will
oversee the programming and assist the executive director in all operations. Most recently,
Brundle served as the Director of Tennis at the Village Tennis Club in Houston and previously served as Director of the Tampa Tennis Club, a 41-court facility with one of the top 10
and under junior programs in the state, and was responsible for doubling membership and
increasing program participation.
Congratulations to the Racquet Club of Columbus (Ohio) 18s team who won the World Team Tennis Midwest Section Championships in Fort Wayne, Ind. The team advanced to the WTT National
Championships in San Diego in July 2015. The team defeated Indiana, Illinois, Michigan and
Wisconsin. This is the first time an Ohio
team has gone to Nationals. The WTT
format consists of one court of boys and
girls doubles, two courts of boys and girls
singles, and two courts of mixed doubles.
In WTT, lets are played and players are allowed to be subbed for one another in the
middle of a set. Pictured: USPTA Coach
Bryan Nibert (center) with Racquet Club
of Columbus Squad that includes two of
his stepchildren Alexandra and Robert
These lucky ladies got to play some tennis with former world No. 1 Venus Williams, courtesy of
EleVen by Venus. Members of the BallenIsles Club in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., won a hitting
session with the Grand Slam champion after placing the winning bid at the silent auction during the 2015 USPTA World Conference in New Orleans. The
funds went toward supporting the mission of the USPTA
Foundation to help economically disadvantaged people
learn tennis. From left: USPTA
Florida Division President Trish
Faulkner; BallenIsles club
members Pat Ditri, Marguerite
Gelber and Michelle Reisman;
Venus Williams; and club member Joanne Graceman.
ADDvantage magazine editorial offices
USPTA World Headquarters
3535 Briarpark Drive, Suite 202
Houston, TX 77042
Phone 713-978-7782 / 800-USPTA-4U
Fax 713-358-7794

Managing editor

Kimberly Forrester
Kathy Buchanan

Office hours: 8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m. Central time

ADDvantage is published monthly by the
United States Professional Tennis Association.

Bob Litwin, an 18-time USTA National

Champ and former ITF No.1 in the world in
55 and over, has written a new book, Live
the Best Story of Your Life. A USPTA member
for 27 years, he was the USPTA National
45-and-over player and a 12-time Eastern
Division Player of the Year. In 2011 he was
inducted into the Eastern Hall of Fame. Often
quoted more as a teacher than a player,
he was among the first coaches in early
1970s who emphasized methods that later
morphed into mental training. He started
the Sports Focus Institute in 1987 where he
trained players in multiple sports including
the New York Knicks and New York Islanders.
In his book, Litwin reveals the secrets of his
trade. Combining
his experience
at the highest
levels of sports
and business, he
distills them into
lessons meant
to change the
way you tell your
story. He teaches
that the stories
we tell ourselves
and others have
the dramatic power to shape our lives. The
simple act of flipping the stories that arent
working can create change, while being easy
and fun. Its easy work for the hard worker.
The ability to make quick changes may be
the skill that tennis players need to be able
to play the best games of their lives. To order
visit or
First Vice

Chuck Gill
Gary Trost

Vice Presidents

Alan Cutler
Feisal Hassan
Ken McAllister
Jack Michalko
Diane Selke


Past President
Legal Counsel

Tom McGraw
John Embree
George Parnell

The opinions expressed in ADDvantage are those of the

authors and not necessarily those of ADDvantage or the
Copyright United States Professional Tennis
Association, Inc. 2016. All rights reserved.
Reproduction of any portion of the magazine is not
permitted without written permission from USPTA.


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