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USTA Regional CTDW Scores an Ace

November 12, 2007 03:54 PM

USTA Florida hosted an extremely successful USTA Regional Community Tennis Development Workshop October 26-27 at the Tampa Airport Marriott in Tampa, Fla. USTA Southern, USTA Texas and USTA Caribbean supported the workshop, which brought together about 100 community leaders/volunteers from Tennis in the Park agencies and Community Tennis Associations, along with USTA regional representatives and organization staff. 

The theme of the workshop, “Embracing the Future…One Ace at a Time”, focused on the importance of adapting optimistically to change and advocating to help save, renovate, and build new tennis facilities or courts -- all key to the future success and growth of tennis.

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Friday’s opening session got things started by tackling issues such as accepting change, overcoming negativity, and becoming more productive in one’s life.  Motivational speaker Barbara Braunstein delivered an energized and upbeat dialogue titled “Make your Mind Up, Not Down” that perfectly motivated participants for the rest of the workshop.

The ultimate goal of the weekend was to train and educate community leaders so they are equipped to move forward and grow the game of tennis in the future.  Linda Curtis, USTA Florida director of community development, spent six solid months preparing for the workshop and was glad to see a good mix of new faces along with veteran volunteers. 

“The success of the weekend was two-fold,” she said.  “First, it gave community tennis leaders a tremendous learning opportunity and it also provided an opportunity for individuals to network with other community tennis leaders by sharing ideas and challenges. They learn best from each other.”

This is the third USTA Regional CTDW that USTA Florida has hosted, and positive feedback from attendees was overwhelming.  In addition to sessions such as “Board Responsibilities”, “Risk Management”, “Strategic Direction” and “The Role of Committees”, two particular topics were participant favorites. 

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“Project 36/60: Toolkit for 10 and Under Tennis” (also known as QuickStart) provided attendees with an interactive session that Anne Davis, USTA National Tennis Organizer Manager, set up in the airport concourse.  Mapping out a 60’ tennis court with a portable mini-net, yellow lines and age-appropriate equipment, participants learned how to successfully introduce tennis to children by actually doing the activities themselves.  Just like other popular youth sports, QuickStart emphasizes the importance of team competition and looks to be the future format for developing young kids’ tennis games.

“Advocacy 101” was the other popular session that left participants anxious to make changes in their communities.  One of the most exciting things that took place at the CTDW was the rollout of the USTA Florida Advocacy Handbook.  Filled with advocacy tips, communication tools, case studies and committee contact information, the handbook is a huge resource for community tennis leaders.  Advocacy truly is “everybody’s business” and without it, who knows where tennis will be in the future.


The two-day workshop ended with a networking and closing session on Saturday.  Becky Grothendieck, director of advanced media for Nature Coast Tennis Foundation, summed up the CTDW flawlessly. 

She said, “Thank you for the hard work you [Linda Curtis] and the rest of the USTA staff put into this year’s CTDW.  What a great informative, instructional and fun weekend!”

For more information about Advocacy or QuickStart, click the links below.
• USTA Florida Advocacy Website
• USTA QuickStart Website

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