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Tennis Briefs: USTA FL President's Message, Member Value

March 25, 2013 01:41 PM
President's Message: To Promote and Develop Tennis in Florida -- The Pathway Concept
By Bob Pfaender, USTA Florida President
 
BobPfaender.jpgFor far too long in tennis, "if" one had the opportunity to be exposed to the game of tennis, it was: 1) take some lessons; 2) play some matches; 3) enter a tournament (and get killed); 4) and then start all over again.
 
How in the world any of us (back in those days) managed to stick with it and continue to play and compete is a wonder.
 
What has finally all fallen into place is the true "Pathway for Progress and Success in Tennis" through our programming capabilities in the USTA.
 
I am very proud to have served, since its inception, six years on the national USTA Schools Committee. The outline that has been developed for schools tennis is outstanding. It ALL starts in the schools! We have school assemblies, USTA Kids' Tennis Clubs, Tennis Festivals with our park and club partners, the 10 and Under Tennis format of learning, instruction, and play with modified equipment and transition tennis balls to help be successful faster on the smaller court sizes…IT WORKS!
 
Other sports in the U.S. (soccer, t-ball and others) have a much higher participation level with children 10 years old and younger than we do in tennis. It is imperative that we make the opportunity available for these children to be exposed to tennis also at that age, so that when they begin deciding on what sport they like the most to focus on, we have a chance.
 
That is the beginning of the pathway concept for developing tennis in Florida.
 
We are beginning a series of 10 and Under Tennis tournament play around our state, starting with a small number of events where we will insure the quality of the experience for the children. This is the beginning of our ROGY (Red, Orange, Green, Yellow ball) competitive progression in all age groups for the recreational and unranked players.
 
The Jr. Team Tennis (JTT) league is a tremendous chance for children to be a part of a team with their friends, and have fun competing in a team environment. You will see us running more fun regional events that will be open to everyone who would like to field a team and participate. If you are a USTA member you will receive a discount on entry fees for these events.
 
High school tennis is very healthy in our state, so much so that more kids try out for a team than could ever be taken by a coach. There just are not enough positions on the team. So we encourage coaches to run "no-cut" programs to keep these kids involved in a team format almost as a JV system. They still have practices and matches with other schools, but it is just not the varsity schedule. The challenge is finding another coach or parent volunteer to organize the no-cut non-varsity players. The bottom line is we need to keep these kids that have an interest in tennis on the court and playing matches.
 
For more info on any of these programs contact your regional tennis program coordinator at www.ustaflorida.com
 
Stay tuned for more Pathway for Progress information in the next President's Message. Let's get out there and play!
 
 
Member-Value Pricing Comes to USTA Florida
By Laura Bowen, Director of Marketing, Membership and Sponsorship
 
LauraBowenIt's no secret that USTA offers great discounts to the best tennis tournaments in the state and across the country. Whether it's Davis Cup in Jacksonville, the Delray Beach ITC, the Sony Open in Miami, or the US Open in New York, USTA Florida members know that they will save on tickets and see some great matches. That's one big way that it pays to be a member.
 
But what about recreational events and play opportunities? Shouldn't USTA Florida members get lower pricing than the general public on events that we run? ABSOLUTELY!
 
In the months ahead, you will begin to see us offer a number of recreational events with a member-value pricing option. For example, many of our ROGY youth events and Masters Tennis events will offer savings for our members who participate. Later this year, we will be looking at other opportunities to offer USTA Florida members a discount or other benefit when you play our adult and youth programs.
 
And that's only the beginning.
 
USTA Florida is reaching out to tennis facilities across the state to offer our members additional saving and benefits whenever you play at those facilities. If you run a tennis facility, and would like to offer a USTA discount on court fees, lessons, or in your pro shop, contact me directly at bowen@florida.usta.com.
 
We know you have invested your hard-earned dollars in our organization, and we are committed to working harder than ever to make sure that USTA Florida members Play More, Get More and Give More in 2013.
 
 
 

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