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USTA FL President's Message: The Tennis Pathway Concept -- The Schools

April 25, 2013 09:58 AM
by Bob Pfaender, USTA Florida President
 
BobPfaender.jpgWe had left off in the last issue with high school tennis and the "no-cut" program to keep young people playing the game, even if they did not make the varsity team.
 
A big "thank you" to all high school coaches around the state of Florida that participate in this concept. With practice will come improvement and the next year's try-outs may prove to be a different outcome.
 
When it comes to college tennis, there is a wide range of opportunity for the best players through college scholarships, to again, the recreational college pathway through our USTA Tennis on Campus (TOC) program. This is essentially a club that is formed at a college or university, and they play a match schedule with other colleges around the state or USTA section (in Florida's case our state is our section, where in other areas that is not the case and there are multiple states in a section).
 
The student's have a lot of fun, using it as a great social gathering and "road trip" opportunity, and keep playing through their college years. We offer a USTA Florida TOC state/sectional championship, and there is then the opportunity to advance to the national TOC championships at the end of the season [this year the University of Florida lost in the national final to the University of Georgia].
 
Once out of college, we have our USTA adult league program for an individual to then merge into at their new rated level of play. In Florida we now offer age groups for adult leagues 18 & Over up to the 65 & Over.
 
Tennis truly is the sport of a lifetime. It all starts in the schools though, and that is why it is so important to reach out to our elementary school P.E. teachers/principals/parent-teacher organizations to request tennis be a part of the curriculum
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We have our USTA Florida staff tennis program coordinators (TPCs) around the state to help. We have a USTA Florida Section schools coordinator out of our office in Daytona Beach who can help guide those interested parties and advocates for tennis in the schools, as well as help with funding for equipment to jump start a program (Share The Love grants at www.USTAsharethelove.com). For more info go to www.ustaflorida.com.
 
We have a complete curriculum guide available for the teachers, including an accredited skill tests that conform to P.E., F-Cat requirements, a Skillastics in-class tennis game board/activity program, modified equipment for all ages (racquets, balls, nets), and turnkey kit to get started for a tennis segment in P.E. lesson plans.
 
Thank you for helping us with our mission to promote and develop tennis in Florida by volunteering to help with any of these pathway programs. You may write Lynne Salus, our staff liaison to the volunteer committee (salus@florida.usta.com), or Sherry Beckman, our chairwoman of the volunteer committee (beckman10s@yahoo.com) for more information.
 
Let's get children exposed to the game of tennis when they are young and in school. This will insure this great game becoming instilled in future generations.
 
 
 
 
 

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