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Miami Tennis Coach, Organizer Gomez Named USTA Florida Volunteer of the Month

June 19, 2014 09:39 AM
Junior Competitive Coach of the Year - Robert GomezOne of the top tennis coaches in Florida is also one of the states top volunteers of his time when it comes to furthering the junior competitive tennis structure in the Sunshine State.

Miami's Robert Gomez is a long-time junior coach and event organizer, but as a volunteer member of the USTA Florida Junior Competitive Committee, he has for the last eight years help guide the direction of the highest levels of junior competition in the state.

Over the last two years he has upped his commitment as a member of the USTA Florida Coaches Commission, a partnership between the USTA Florida Section and the USTA national body to enhance coaching, junior development and programs, and junior tennis leadership in Florida.

"We saw 18 of 22 [Coaches Commission] coaches participate in the USTA Florida Coaches Commission regional tennis camps around the state over the last year," says Gomez, the chair of the commission. "Three regional camps were conducted with more to come."

Gomez conducted a camp in Boca Raton, with additional camps held in Jacksonville and Miramar Beach on the Florida Panhandle.

The camps focus on the basics of development for young children primarily under the age of 11, utilizing the USTA Youth Tennis format with age-appropriate racquets, balls (red, orange, green and yellow-level development according to skill level) and court sizes.

The director of tennis at Biltmore and Salvadore Park Tennis Centers in the Miami area, Gomez with USTA Florida Player Development Coordinator Andy Gladstone helped found the Coaches Commission to identify and develop young talent. Gladstone says the Coaches Commission will be involved with a number of projects, but will be concentrating on Youth Tennis, diversity, coaching education, and collegiate tennis with the input of Gomez and the coaches involved with the commission.

"Robert has spent an inordinate amount of time getting the Coaches Commission going and making the camps successful," Gladstone says. "On the USTA Florida Junior Competitive Committee he gives great input into the trends and systems of junior tennis."

Gomez has also been instrumental in seeing that the USTA Florida Section adheres closely to the new USTA National Junior Competition Structure that debuted in 2014. The USTA National Junior Competition Structure is designed to maximize a player's competitive experiences, whether at the national, regional, sectional or district level. Players advance to higher levels as they earn their way through the competitive pathway, with a renewed importance on USTA Sectional play, and a quota system that places more importance on a section's strength of competition over size.

"The Junior Competitive Committee has worked diligently to align our competitive formats and schedule with the USTA national changes in 2014," says Gomez, who elaborated on why he gives so many volunteer hours. "The game of tennis has given me so much that I want to give back. Plus I love spending time with so many passionate people like the ones on USTA Florida committees."

USTA Florida congratulates Robert Gomez of Miami as the June 2014 USTA Florida Volunteer of the Month for his dedication to furthering junior tennis development and coaching in the state of Florida.

ABOUT ROBERT

Birthplace:
Miami Beach, Fla.
Family: Cristy Cunningham (wife), Ana and Ava Gomez (daughters)
Favorite Movie: Life is Beautiful
Favorite Food: Latin
Favorite Travel: Vancouver Island, Canada
Favorite Shot: One-handed backhand

My earliest tennis memory was..."Hitting balls with my Aunt Ines in Salibury, Md., when I was 11 years old."

If I could play tennis with three people, they would be..."Roger Federer, Justine Henin, and Bjorn Borg."

When I am not playing tennis I am..."Spending time with my family."

My best tennis memory is..."Seeing two of my students reach the finals against each other at the USTA Florida 'Bobby Curtis' Junior State Championships."
 
 

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