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USTA supports high school tennis coaches with no-cut policy

May 15, 2006 10:07 AM

Some of the most memorable experiences that high-school students create stem from the opportunity to be part of a team, to contribute toward a common goal with their fellow students. And now, with high school tennis, that opportunity is expanding.

The USTA is spreading the word about “no-cut” tennis teams and recognizing coaches that implement a no-cut policy at their high schools. A no-cut policy means that essentially every student who wishes to play is welcome to join the team.

“Tennis teams could be comprised of a dozen kids, or 20, or 30 or more,” says Kirk Anderson, the USTA’s director of Recreational Coaches and Programs. “It’s great for the kids, because they have the chance to be on a team with their classmates, practicing and playing matches. And it’s great for tennis, because these kids stay in the game.”

Some high school coaches may think a no-cut policy may be a bit daunting; for this reason, the USTA has created a High School Advisory Team of veteran tennis coaches to offer advice, guidance, and resources. The advisory team members, who each have run no-cut tennis teams for decades, will answer questions that other coaches may have about implementing a no-cut policy. The advisory team can be reached via email: highschool@usta.com.

Anderson said the USTA is recognizing coaches who run a no-cut tennis team; coaches should visit USTA.com to register their programs online. “When a coach registers, we’ll send him/her a certificate congratulating them for their program and recognizing that while it may be more work, it’s creating the next generation of tennis players in the U.S.,” Anderson said.

In addition, the USTA will send a letter to the coach’s principal and athletic director acknowledging the coach’s dedication to his/her students. Also, of the coaches who register, two will be selected to receive the National No-Cut Starfish Award and will be sent – all expenses paid – to New York City at the end of August to attend the USTA Tennis Teachers Conference and the first few days of the US Open.

“High school coaches may be wondering how to run a program with 20 or 30 kids, how to schedule practices and matches and how to make this policy work with their budgets, ” said Anderson. “That’s what our advisory team can help with. These are people who have used a similar strategy for many years.”

The advisory team consists of Tiger Teusink of Holland High School in Holland, Mich., who during his 41-year coaching career averaged 47 kids on his teams; Dave Steinbach of Brookfield Central near Milwaukee, who in his 35 years has had several state championship teams and currently has 114 girls on his team, comprised of a varsity and six j.v. squads; and Sarah Miller of Kennewick, Wash., a coach for 17 years who has 140 high school boys and girls on her teams this year.

For more information, contact: highschool@usta.com.

 

High School Tennis Coach No-Cut Recognition and Support

 

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