In t his newslett e r : President's Message Page 01
Convention Information Page 4 Articles Page 6
The Newsletter of the USPTA New England Division
A A MESSAGE MESSAGE FROM FROM OUR OUR PRESIDENT: PRESIDENT:
USPTA MIKE MIKE KOLENDO KOLENDO New England Dear Racquet Sports Professionals, Board of Directors Earlier this year, Tiger Woods was Division President: Mike Kolendo firstname.lastname@example.org Regional Vice President: Michael Mercier email@example.com Vice President: Lisa Wilcott firstname.lastname@example.org
involved in a devastating car accident. Tiger tweeted a thank you to a group of touring pro golfers who all wore red shirts to show their support for him as he begins his long road to recovery. Tiger said the gesture meant more than he could convey and that the words, "thank you", aren't said enough these days. I couldn't agree more. So, taking a cue from one of the greatest athletes of our time, I want to thank all of our New England professionals for their continuing support of our USPTA association.
Vice President: You've shown your support in many Christy Bennett email@example.com ways - by attending our monthly Vice President: Milan Kubala firstname.lastname@example.org Treasurer: Chris Stevens email@example.com Secretary: Steve O'Connell firstname.lastname@example.org Head Tester: Wayne Turner email@example.com
membership meetings, by attending the Pro Power Series of educational webinars, by attending our joint USPTA/USTA Division's virtual conference, by paying your annual dues, by completing your required continuing education credits, and by successfully completing the USTA Safe Play course and background check.
Let's face it, for a service organization, our association sometimes asks a lot of you. USTA's Safe Play training and background check were added at the end of 2020 as requirements for remaining members in good standing. Additionally for 2021, continuing education requirements have
increased from 12 to 15 credit hours for each 3-year cycle. In addition, these changes took place in a year unlike any we've ever experienced during a pandemic. Almost every one of us was out of work for months. Many of you, including several on our Board of Officers, were faced with unclear job security, lost income, lost insurance, and even the need to homeschool our kids. Please understand that I'm not saying any of these changes are bad. None of us would argue with the importance of keeping our kids safe or of the importance of an educator staying current. I'm simply saying that there has never been a time with a better built-in excuse to let your membership lapse. But, by and large, that didn't happen. So, THANK YOU!!! I and our Board of Officers promise to do our best to continue earning your support well into the future. To that end, we've begun working on our 2021 Spring Conference. Unfortunately, this one will be virtual again, as you'd likely have guessed. But going virtual gives us the opportunity to try something different. Rather than plan a 6- or 8hour weekend event, we've decided to limit or seminars to 2 mid-day hours on 4 consecutive weekdays - Monday, April 26th, through Thursday, April 29th. Our plan is to record every
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session which allows members that can't attend to view them when convenient. Please save the dates and check out our schedule of speakers and topics in the following pages. USPTA National has also been working hard to increase membership and expand educational opportunities for our members. First, in an effort to bring new pros into our profession, they've partnered with the USTA and PTR to create a Professional Tennis Management (PTM) Scholarship Program. Up to 50 annual scholarships of $2,000 each will be available to encourage promising young people to pursue a career in the tennis industry by enrolling in a college PTM program. Additionally, USPTA has partnered with my alma mater, the University of Florida, to deliver a new Director of Racquet Sports Certification. The curriculum, which took over two years to develop with more than ten USPTA leaders helping to develop content, will be delivered on-line. The program will be directed by long-time USPTA Elite Professional, Kim Bastable, and will cost $1,995.
Finally, a national Innovation Contest has launched. Members may submit ideas that helped improve their business in the following three areas: technical, facility operations, and growing the game. Please check out the information on the USPTA national website and our division website. We truly hope that each and every one of you values the education, business, and networking opportunities that come with a membership to our association. As always, please reach out directly to either our fantastic ED, Pam Dodman, or to me with any questions, suggestions, comments, or criticisms. We very much value your input. It'd be impossible to do our work successfully without knowing what motivates our membership.
All the Best, Mike Kolendo President; USPTA Division
USPTA New England State Presidents: Connecticut: Paul Coorssen firstname.lastname@example.org & Kyle Devlin kyle@DevlinRacquetSports.com Maine: Wilbur Shardlow email@example.com Massachusetts: Stu Lehr firstname.lastname@example.org & Phil Hayman email@example.com New Hampshire: Richard Lane firstname.lastname@example.org Rhode Island: Nestor Bernabe email@example.com Vermont: Joyce Doud firstname.lastname@example.org
NE Executive Director: Pam Dodman email@example.com (207) 807 - 7070
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U S P T A New England Division
Spring Virtual Conference April 26th - April 29th 1:00 pm - 3:15 pm Monday, April 26th: 1:00 - 2:00: "Let's Get Technical: Serve & Volley for the All Court Player, Who - What - When Where - Why?" (1.5 credits) with EMILIO SANCHEZ 2:15 - 3:15: "Don't Forget to Listen - Junior Perspective Panel" (1 credit) New England's Top Juniors Panel: Caroline Driscoll, Anna Nguyen, Bobby Cooper, Naveen Memalapuri Moderated by Nestor Bernabe Tuesday, April 27th: 11:00 - 12:00: "Developing the Competitive Mindset in Girls" (1.5 credits) Coaches Panel: Jasmine Sborov, Harvard W Basketball; Lex Carrington, Tennis Professional; Sara Carver-Milne, Brown Gymnastics Moderated by Judy Dixon 1:00-2:00: "The High Performance Training Recipe for Player Development" (1 credit) with Jay Devasheytty & Mike Ginnette 2:15 - 3:15: "From Checkers to Chess; Understanding Advanced Strategy in Pickleball" (1.5 credits) with Phillip Hayman
Wednesday, April 28th: 1:00-2:00: "How to Start and Monetize Your Platform Tennis Program" (1.5 credits) with Todd Hiscoix 2:15 - 3:15: "Technology Tools To Use During COVID Times" (1.5 credits) with Travis Gardner Thursday, April 29th: 1:00 - 2:00: "On-court Training Tools To Enhance Your Teaching"; 3 - 20 minute sessions; (1 credit) 1:00: SPEC Tennis with Nate Gross 1:20: MVX Training Paddles with Peter Gutterman 1:40: Fast Track Tennis with John Davey 2:15 - 4:00 USPTA New England Division Membership Meeting (1.5 credits) Introduction USPTA National Update with Bill Mountford State Breakout Sessions Wilson Advisory Staff Meeting
** up to 12 hours of Continuing Education Credits ** $30 Fromuth gift card for USPTA NE Member registrants ** FREE Giveaways **Click Here to REGISTER The Yankee PROse E-Newsletter| page 04
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Coming from...Connecticut ROVING
by Nancy Lally, USPTA Professional Roving” on the court, after perhaps, intense fedball drills, or after players (juniors and adults) have completed a full warm up on their own, is quite often regarded by many professionals as, “Yes, I can chill and send some texts and just
It's a good idea to stay on the court where you just worked with the players and make sure they understand their assignment - was that no-ad or ad scoring?……a full set or short set?…… are we playing for “time’?………are we moving up and
walk around and zone out, while the players play.”
down or just playing a set? Once players get started, look around and see where other coaches are and work your way from court to court, making very subtle corrections/suggestions, and just be there in case someone asks you to look at their particular stroke which may not be working, etc.
Let’s back that up and remember that our integrity, professionalism, and responsibility as USPTA Professionals, especially to the Lead Pro, the players, who so look forward to their time on court, and to our fellow professionals, helps our self improvement goals, helps improve our reputation, and helps improve the reputation of your club's program. Being engaged and professional draws these players back for more. It wins respect, not to mention helping them improve during each clinic. Remember that parents are watching in the windows. They are assessing you as well as watching their juniors. Roving properly, unquestionably helps the lead pro set the tone of the “quiet time” part of the session. roving, (roh-ving) ; adjective 1. Constantly moving from one area to another 2. Not assigned to any particular location, area, topic, etc. 3. Not assigned to any particular diplomatic post, but having a special mission
“Keep the court safe.” Keep the court safe by moving loose balls all the way to the back of the court. Put the hoppers and teaching cart out of harms way. Make sure players are using the scorecards and taking water breaks on odd games. Suggest breathing and positive self talk. Help keep the vibe of the clinic smooth. The coaches responsibility should be to rove “in symphony” - If I see a coach coming towards my court, then I’ll slowly rove onto another court important that we never clump together at a corner of a court and chatter, etc. We should be evenly spread out throughout the time allotment of the clinic/match-play. If an important call or text message is necessary, discreetly slip behind a curtain and make it very short. Phones on silence always.
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Coming from...Connecticut ROVING - continued “Being aware of who is where and which court is void of a roving pro. Be engaged and offer simple suggestions and well deserved compliments.”
the lines," "Keep your feet active," and "Stay focused." You can get a lot of very subtle coaching done while roving. Your players listen and it makes them feel “cared for.” But only give one or two suggestions at a time. You want your players to Keep their minds clear and in the present.
Make every player feel good - “That was an awesome serve”, “Wow, your backhand is really working today”, “I see you’re coming up to net more often, that’s great”, “Your footwork is looking very quick, lately”, "Love the way you and your partner are communicating”. These little compliments and observations go a long way and can help a player's confidence and raise the level of his/her game. Some tips could be, “Try to toss a bit higher” “Try to get a little more shape on your return”, “Careful to avoid the volleyer”, “Remember not to go too far into the net.”
“One of my favorite things about roving, is to engage with every player on each court and compliment them in some way. You actually impact their lives.”
During USTA Junior Team Tennis, while roving I like the kids to figure it out themselves, but if things are heating up and they ask for advice I give them 2 simple thoughts: "What can I take away from my opponent," and "What can I improve about my game?" Some basic suggestions you can give are: "Toss the ball higher," "Hit with more spin," "Stay away from
If your player is taking a quick water break, be engaged and ask if they have any concerns or issues with which you can help. Keep everything simple and short. Or just offer your compliments on how well this match is going. Or you can “help” each team versus the other. Keep in mind the KISS method.
“Keep It Simple, Silly” "K.I.S.S"
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Coming from...Connecticut ROVING - continued Look professional while roving - good posture, your outfit/uniform should be clean and neat, your shoe laces tied. Walk with an energetic pace, show genuine facial concern, and demonstrate a sharpness about what’s happening on each court and who may need help. Scan the courts all the time, see where the pros are and where the gaps need to be filled with the presence of a coach. Standing in one spot for a long period or time with your arms crossed/folded says one thing, - boredom/lack of concern. Instead give short demos of strokes, keep your eyes and hands busy, and keep your racquet ready at all times. Try to make sure you have discreetly warmed up and stretched a bit in case you have to "fill in”, unexpectedly. Try to remember what particular players have been working on so that you can help them from week to week; they’ll be impressed that you remembered. Most importantly, as I rove I make sure and speak to every single player out there, whether it’s a compliment, correction, or just to say hello and how are you. I clap for great rallies.
Players love it. When the professionals are truly engaged, players notice, and the respect shown to the Lead Pro by helping them run a smooth session, is very much appreciated. Teamwork is key.
“I clap for great rallies.” When the Lead Pro wraps it up at the end of the clinic/session and asks the coaches to offer their input think fast and offer your advice/suggestions in a simple and concise manner. Remember, compliment, compliment, compliment. Professionalism, professionalism, professionalism. Get out there, be engaged, be an "Aware Rover", and have fun helping your players reach their goals.
“Implement your well learned USPTA knowledge proudly, coaches.”
Nancy Lally is a USPTA Professional who has been a member for 35 years. Nancy has been an active member who served on the USPTA New England Board and the USTA CT Board. Currently, Nancy is a Lead Professional at the Chelsea Piers Tennis Club in Stamford, CT. When not on the court, Nancy is raising two new resue pups, "Roger Feds" and "Billie Jean King."
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Coming from...Massachusetts Recap of The Sport Psychology Summit by USPTA Professionals Brian Lomax and Josh Burger In January and February of 2021, the USPTA New England Sport Psychology Committee hosted its inaugural educational event, the Sport Psychology Summit. The Summit consisted of three webinars that focused on the theme of teaching and training on-court routines for players. In this article, we would like to provide a brief summary of each session from the Summit along with some key takeaways to use with your students. Session 1 - Training Players to Respond Positively After Points
A response is different from a reaction in that players consider the last point, but from a neutral perspective. The last point provides information that can be applied to how the next point should be played. There is no reason to get overly happy or overly upset. Just like time moves forward, so does the match. Players who respond to points in a productive and positive manner understand that the most important point is the next one. Players who react to points believe that the last point they just played was the most important one.
One of the basic aspects of mental training in tennis is to help players understand the difference between reacting and responding to
Based on this crucial distinction between reacting and responding, coaches can help players design specific actions, body language, and self-talk that will enable them to remain
points. Reacting to a point usually involves some emotional display based on what occurred. The player judges the outcome of the point as good or bad, which drives certain emotions and
competitive and mentally tough throughout a match. Discussing what a positive response looks like, modeling it, and then training for it specifically on the court with drills and exercises
behaviors. Reactions are always about the last point.
are keys to establishing this behavior as a productive habit. Reinforcing a high standard for positive responses should be done daily.
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Coming from...Massachusetts Recap of The Sport Psychology Summit - continued Session 2 - How to Teach the In Between Points Routine The in-between point routine can be broken down into four stages based on Dr. Jim Loehr’s 16 Second Cure: positive response, relaxation, preparation, and ritual. The "positive response" stage takes place immediately after the point finishes and is mostly focused on the body language that a player shows following a won or lost point. The "relaxation stage" involves diaphragmatic breathing so that a player can return to the present moment and start to bring their attention from the previous point towards the next point. The "preparation stage" involves a player creating their intention for the following point which typically involves a favorite
It is important that players use these four stages of the 16 Second Cure as a framework, but ultimately, they should make the routine their own. Coaches can help players develop their routine through progressions during practice where time is spent practicing the routine in a fed ball situation, in a point game, and then in a competitive situation like a set or tiebreak. Through the use of video, coaches can show players what they’re actually doing in between practice and match points as well as using timers to simulate the 20 seconds in-between points.
serve/return +1 or an intended pattern. The "ritual stage" involves the player’s serve and return ritual which may involve bouncing the ball on the serve, or a split step/shuffle step on the return.
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Coming from...Massachusetts Recap of The Sport Psychology Summit - continued Session 3 - The Importance of On Court Routines In the final session of the Sport Psychology Summit, we reviewed some topics with respect to routines that were not covered in the first two presentations. The highlights of the panel discussion were: communication in doubles between points, how to make your routines a habit, using visualization on the court, and thoughts on what to include in a changeover routine. We also answered some questions from attendees about the specifics of how to train these routines for individual players, and what to do between points in particular situations (e.g., bad line call).
We would like to thank all of our USPTA New England colleagues who were able to attend the sessions for the Sport Psychology Summit. We appreciate your support and feedback. For those who could not attend, we will be making video recordings of each of the Sport Psychology Summit sessions available via TennisResources.com in the near future.
Brian Lomax is a USPTA Elite Professional. Brian owns and operates PerformanceXtra, which focuses on the mental performance of athletes. Brian was awarded the Regional Professional of the Year last year for the New England division. Brian works with several colleges and teams in the Boston area, and has presented at the USPTA New England Division conferences. Brian, also, generously donates his time to help colleagues with their students and teams.
Josh Burger is a USPTA Professional, Assistant Tennis Professional at the International Tennis Hall of Fame, and the Founder and Sport Psychology Coach of Tiebreaker Psych, LLC. Josh is a member of the USPTA New England Sports Psychology Committee, and is the co-host of the Tennis IQ Podcast. To learn more about Josh's background and Tiebreaker Psych, LLC please visit TiebreakerPsych.com
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Coming from...Massachusetts An Unsung Hero of Tennis by Bobby Cooper
Throughout the history of the United States, the sport of tennis has been shaped and influenced by many import figures. Among these are Arthur Ashe, Althea Gibson, and Serena Williams, all outstanding individuals whose successes and contributions to tennis have inspired many from diverse backgrounds. However, it is important to remember the unsung heroes of the sport, who worked tirelessly to set the stage for those who were not fortunate enough to have the privilege of playing tennis. Talley Robert ("Tally") Homes, a remarkable inspiration to tennis in the early 20th century, was a true African American tennis pioneer. Throughout his long career, Homes received an Ivy League education, became a teacher and entrepreneur, and was a strong advocate for providing equal opportunities to the Black community, not only in tennis, but in daily life. Upon learning of Talley Holmes, I quickly grew to be inspired by such an incredible figure. As a Black man in a particularly racist and discriminatory time period, Holmes not only became an immensely talented tennis player, but a gifted student outside the court. Using all of his resources including a rigorous high school education, Holmes attended Dartmouth University in 1906. Although he would have been a great asset to Dartmouth's tennis team, there is no record of Holmes on the Dartmouth
Talley Holmes roster. His absence from the team could have largely been due to discrimination against his race, which exemplifies the challenges and racial blockades for African American tennis players during that time. Holmes, however, proved that he could overcome such difficulties, and moved on to become a successful leader and influencer towards African American tennis. While I do not come from the wealthiest background, I was truly inspired by Holmes' ability to take all of his assets and use them to his advantage in reaching his fullest potential as a player and a student. I realized that although many of my peers have the ability to take many private lessons and have as much court time as they desire, I must learn to give 110% and make the most out of every practice when stepping onto the court. The Yankee PROse E-Newsletter| page 11
Coming from...Massachusetts An Unsung Hero of Tennis - continued Perhaps the most memorable accomplishment of Holmes' career was helping found the ATA (American Tennis Association), which hosted a national tournament every year for African American tennis players. This was in honor of helping Black players compete in tennis, as they were not able to play in the USTA tournaments at that time. All while being a teacher at Franklin High School in Washington, D.C., Holmes went on to win the first national tournament, the first of many championship titles. The founding of the ATA helped to cultivate the games of future tennis inspirations including Althea Gibson and Arthur Ashe, who were both winners of the ATA national tournaments. Holmes did not stop there to provide for the Black community, he later founded Whitelaw Hotel, which was the largest hotel for the Black community in Washington, D.C. As an African American child, I feel extremely fortunate to have inspirational heroes who have paved the way for young Black tennis players. Figures, like Tally Holmes, have given hope to many across the nation and they will be remembered achievements.
USPTA partners with ATA In January of 2021, the USPTA announced it' is partnering with the American Tennis Association (ATA) to provide educational opportunities to ATA coaches. A select number of ATA and HBCU (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) coaches will be granted free access to USPTA Division Conferences and the USPTA World Conference. The USPTA will also provide seminars and education for coaches, players, and parents who attend the ATA National Championships which are being held at the USTA National Campus in Lake None, FL. this year
Bobby Cooper lives in Cambridge, MA and attends Belmont High School. He is a nationally ranked junior player coached by Master USPTA Professional, Michael Mercier. Bobby submitted this piece to the USTA's National Diversity & Inclusion Essay Contest. The Yankee PROse E-Newsletter| page 12
Coming from...Massachusetts We All Need Each Other
by Christy Bennett; USPTA Professional, USTA NE Director Of Leagues In many cases, it has taken a pandemic to help us come to the realization that we each need to slow down and look at our lives, jobs, friendships, families, and ourselves in a different way. Activities of daily life, including social gatherings have become fewer in number and that remaining few - much more difficult to plan and execute. However, we have learned to adapt, make changes, overcome our fears, and create new and innovative solutions to problems we did not know that we had. In the middle of the onset of COVID-19, I became the Director of USTA Leagues for the New England Section, and I have been given the monumental task of taking our beloved league product and expanding it to new audiences, including current tournament players, new-totennis players, and returning players. Inside this expansion, I am also tasked with improving an experience that is already amazing. But, because the pandemic has removed a great deal of the social aspect out of our sport for the foreseeable future, we are having to create different pathways to connect to each other with tennis as the conduit. As I have studied our player base, current research on play opportunities, and the effect of isolation on each of us as individuals, my assumption that we all need each other has been continually affirmed. In some ways, that personal connection is essential - more than we ever thought possible. Tennis, as a safe sport to
play due to the ease of social distancing and in the context of growing our sport of tennis today and in the future, I fully understand that we must start with the youngest children and put a racket in each child’s hand. We need our Elementary School Physical Education Teachers to know and understand the age-appropriate curriculum and equipment sizes and be excited to teach tennis as a lifelong sport. We need our USPTA certified coaches to nurture the players’ love of tennis in all aspects of the game. We need these children to begin to play and have fun so that they can become our junior players, our high school and college players, and eventually – our USTA League Players and USTA Tournament Players. They need to play in the parks and in clubs. They need to watch professional tennis events in person and on television.
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Coming from...Massachusetts We All Need Each Other - continued These same kids are also the ones who will grow up to be our Physical Educators, USPTA certified coaches, Junior Team Tennis parents, and volunteers. They will not only participate in USTA League and USTA Tournament products, but
We all need each other. My goal is to work collaboratively in the tennis world to grow the sport we love.
they will Captain, join committees, and volunteer in their communities. The current elementary school children are the future of tennis and the growth of our sport. Tennis has had a way of perpetuating itself in the past, but with kids participating in more activities in front of a screen and fewer hours being spent outdoors, all sports activities have had to work harder to catch the attention of potential youth and adult participants – tennis is not an anomaly. So now we need to work even harder to communicate and collaborate to introduce our sport to people of all ages. We need to create a pathway for players of one tennis product to be able to easily try another tennis offering to make the expansion of the player experience more easily accessible. And
Let’s get started!
we need to meet the needs of people where they are.
Christy Bennett is a USPTA Professional and Director of League Tennis for the USTA New England District. Christy is also an adjunct professor at Bridgewater State University where she teaches a course in Tennis Management.
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Coming from...New Hampshire WORDS OF WISDOM
by Lynn Miller, USPTA Elite Professional Below, I've listed a few concepts that I've used throughout my coaching career to help communicate my philosophy and approach to competing. These "words of wisdom" helped me get the most out of my players, helped them to improve, and helped them to win most of the matches in which they were capable of winning. #1 TAKING YOUR OPPONENTS OUT OF THEIR COMFORT ZONE TRUMPS YOU BEING OUT OF YOURS In several matches throughout my coaching career, I had to convince my players who had weaker doubles skills than their opponents, that their only chance of defeating their opponents was to "take their opponents out of their comfort zone." Their opponents were proficient in playing basic doubles in standard format and could out play us with fewer unforced errors in both their service and return games. I asked my
#2 "MAKE THEM PLAY" AND DONT BEAT YOURSELF What I mean by this is to give your opponents a chance to make a mistake. If you're double faulting, that is not "making them play." Opponents who haven't had to do anything but are winning points?! If you have just made a grip change or are attempting to use a new spin serve in a match, make sure you can do it in practice matches first. Make sure you know what details of the change need to be accomplished; for example, where your toss needs to be for each type of serve. If you continue to double fault multiple times in your match, consider putting in an underhand serve no more free points to your opponents!! If you're trying to overpower your opponent but can't get the ball over the net or are hitting it long, just think of keeping it inside the baseline,
players to use some alternative formats that we covered at several practices and my players told me they "didn't feel comfortable" using these alternative formats. I quickly explained my rationale behind statement #1 and told my
otherwise you are not giving your opponent a chance to make a mistake. In other words, get the ball over the net one more time and do not use shots that you do not "own" because this will result in unforced error after unforced error.
players they had nothing to lose even if they didn't feel 100% comfortable. I convinced them that their opponents would feel "more
"Owning it" means that you can make this shot in practice, that you can make this shot even if you're not feeling well, that you can make this
uncomfortable" than they felt, especially if their opponents didn't spend us much time with alternative formats in their practices. I convinced our players to give and after making
shot in matches on any given day as long as the ball is within a step or two of you. If one of your staple shots mysteriously disappears, find another stroke or spin that you do own on that
the strategic change, the momentum changed and we were back in the match.
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Coming from...New Hampshire WORDS OF WISDOM - continued #3 IT'S NOT HOW YOUR START, IT'S HOW YOU FINISH! I strongly believe in this as a player and a coach! I would rather have a player who is a slow starter but a problem solver who can use momentum to finish strong to clinch the match over a player who starts out strong but lacks the energy and focus to finish the job. If you or your player is down quickly in a match, of course analyze why this happened, but do so after the match. In your match, you don't want to focus on your poor start since that is in the past, but rather "reset the computer" in your head and move in a positive direction from that moment on. A slow start could be due to nerves, not warming up appropriately, a lack of mental preparation/game plan, etc. Work on devising a more effective match preparation plan during your practice sessions. You should also, have practiced different tactics and strategies during your practice session so, while competing, you can use your problem solving skills to determine which tactics and strategies to use. Keep it simple. Devise a plan using
"your strengths to their weaknesses." Concentrate on what they do not do well or what they like rather than on your errors or weaknesses. The more versatile you are, the more tools you will have to solve the puzzle.
Lynn Miller is a USPTA/New England Elite Professional and is also PTR Certified. She was the full-time men's and women's Head Tennis Coach at Wheaton College (1980 - 2015). She is currently semi-retired, coaching tennis at Colbey-Sawyer College, Kearsarge High School, and at several clubs in the Lake Sunapee area in New Hampshire.
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Coming from...Rhode Island "I'll Defer"; the Often Overlooked 4th Option by Pam Dodman, USPTA Elite Professional
“I’ll serve.”, “I’ll receive.”, “I’ll take this side.” Most of the time these are the replies when someone wins the spin but there is a fourth option; “I’ll defer.” This often overlooked fourth option can be very strategic, especially in doubles where there are at least twice the number of serving/receiving/side scenarios compared to singles. If a player or team wins the spin and decides to defer, the opponent(s) get the choice of serving, receiving, or the choice of side. Once the opponents have made their decision, the player/team, who won the toss, can now choose one of the remaining 3 options. The “defer”
Before choosing the defer option several factors need to be considered such as the strengths and weaknesses of your player and their partner, and the skills of the opponents. Other factors such as position of the sun, wind direction, and right or left-handedness of the players are important considerations for the decision. Other potential variables such as the presence or absence of windscreens, court irregularities, shadows on the court, etc., may also need to be pondered.
option is most relevant when playing outside where sun, wind, and other environmental
their serve and side?, or Do your players want to dictate the your opponents’ serve and side? On
variables may play a role in the match, however it is still a good option for imposing one's will. This article is going to highlight the defer option in doubles.
the next page is a scenario and table that explains the options.
Next, the players' objectives need to be determined: Do your players want to dictate
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Coming from...Rhode Island "I'll Defer"; the Often Overlooked 4th Option - continued
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Coming from...Rhode Island "I'll Defer"; the Often Overlooked 4th Option - continued As can be seen, the defer option allows for both goals in the objective to be met. The defer option isn’t right for every situation, especially if you want to serve the first game of the match and the sun/wind is not a factor but, in many situations the defer option can set you up for success. By thinking of your options ahead of time you can begin dictating the match before the first ball is struck.
Pam Dodman is the Executive Director for the USPTA New England Division and a USPTA Elite Professional. Most recently, Pam was the Director of Tennis at the Lost Creek Country Club in Austin, Texas but currently is a high school science teacher in Providence, RI.
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Coming from...Rhode Island PROFESSIONAL TENNIS TOURNAMENT PLAY RETURNS TO THE TENNIS HALL OF FAME !!! Please click here to go to the tournament website for more information.
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Coming from... The TOP 3 USES For a Ball Machine at Your Facility by Steve Dixon, USPTA Professional What are the top 3 uses for a ball machine at my facility? That’s a great question, but hard to narrow down to just three. As a teaching pro, I taught 90% of my private lessons with the ball machine because it was so easy to demonstrate and video students. However, that may be too big of a leap given that some pros resist change/technology.
Post Lesson Curriculum: Most pros view the machine as competition to future lessons. However, if a player is truly going to get better they must practice what was worked on in the lesson before coming back. The pro should have a lesson plan for each student that would include a post lesson curriculum with the ball machine.
I will stick with the top three uses that can be implemented immediately. Player Assessment: It is common practice in the fitness industry to assess the client. A baseline is set where the Trainer/Client can track progress or lack thereof. In tennis, players take lessons and rarely, if ever, have
Group Lessons: The ball machine should be an invaluable tool in group clinics, stroke of the week clinics, and junior clinics. It creates a private lesson experience for the group player because the pro can be next to each student to communicate and demonstrate individually without disturbing the flow of the clinic.
any formal assessments been made. Pros/Players aren’t really able to track anything about the player’s game other than the fact that they won or lost. Before anyone
If you want the FREE Player Assessment Forms please go to www.playmatetennis.com and click on the Resource Center.
takes a lesson there should be an assessment including a Player Profile. The Player Profile should include such things as Short/Long Term Goals, What They Want From A Coach, Medical History etc. as well as a complete On-Court Assessment done by the instructor. The biggest mistake is to assume you know everything about your players. The Yankee PROse E-Newsletter| page 21
Coming from...USPTA New England 2020 Award Nominations We are currently seeking nominations for the following awards for the 2020 year. Please click here to go to the nomination form and fill out one form per nominee. The deadline for nominations is USPTA/NE HALL OF FAME Recognizes a New England member for exceptional lifetime participation and achievement in the New England Division. Only divisional accomplishments will be considered.
ELEVATE PRO OF THE YEAR For professionals who have been USPTA
USPTA DIETZ BOWL Recognizes a New England member for outstanding participation, contributions, and achievement in USTA/NE events and volunteer support.
ED SERUES PRESIDENT’S AWARD FOR
USPTA PRO OF THE YEAR Recognizes a member who, in the course of a career, has demonstrated exemplary achievement in seven areas including contributions to the USPTA, USTA; as a teaching professional, player and coach; in education, research, and publications; and with other organization, achievements, and contributions.
members for 5 years or less and are demonstrating dedication, innovation, and/or contributions to the organization/profession.
OUTSTANDING LONG-TERM SERVICE This is an award presented at the President’s discretion which recognizes a USPTA member for outstanding Long-Term Service to the division other criteria deemed worthy by the divisional President. USPTA INDUSTRY EXCELLENCE AWARD This award is given to teaching professionals who take both an entrepreneurial and altruistic attitude toward their job. They use their own resources and those offered by the industry to build programs and bring tennis to more people, growing their own tennis business.
PRESIDENT”S AWARD FOR SPECIAL RECOGNITION This is an award presented at the President’s
TESTER OF THE YEAR The USPTA Tester of the Year award recognizes
discretion which recognizes a USPTA member for special achievement and other criteria
the USPTA/NE tester who does the most to advance certification opportunities and the
deemed worthy by the divisional President.
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Coming from...USPTA New England 2020 Award Nominations - continued FACILITY MANAGER OF THE YEAR This award is open to USPTA members and nonmembers. Nominees must be the General Manager (in function, if not in title) of a club or tennis facility either large or small. This award is
COLLEGE COACH OF THE YEAR The College Coach of the Year award recipients are usually selected based on their results as team coaches, however, individual coaches may be considered.
for a person and not a facility.
YOUTH COACH OF THE YEAR: selected based DAN BONFIGLI MEMORIAL AWARD FOR OUTSTANDING COMMUNITY SERVICE This award recognizes a USPTA member that is highly active within the division and has made significant contributions in growing participation through tennis related programs in the local and larger industry in the spirit of community service in the previous calendar year.
on his or her work with junior players who have excelled in tournament competition or other advanced competitive levels. DIVERSITY AWARD Recognizes those USPTA members who have demonstrated an outstanding ability to unite diverse populations within their community through tennis.
AL ROGERS MEMORIAL AWARD FOR DEVOTION TO EDUCATION The recipient of this award will be a current USPTA/NE New England member who demonstrates devotion to improving membership participation and education locally and throughout the division over an extended period. HIGH SCHOOL COACH OF THE YEAR The High School Coach of the Year awards recipients are usually selected based on their results as team coaches, however, individual coaches may be considered.
LESSONS FOR LIFE AWARD The USPTA/NE Lessons for Life Award recognizes those USPTA members who have done the most to raise money for charities through tennis events. While the award spotlights individuals who have raised large amounts of money, it also honors those hosting the most creative, original, or unique tennis event to raise money for charities. An individual hosting an event raising the most money will not necessarily receive this award. ENDORSER/SPONSOR OF THE YEAR REGIONAL PRO OF THE YEAR PICKLEBALL COACH OF THE YEAR PLATFORM COACH OF THE YEAR ADAPTIVE/WHEELCHAIR PRO OF THE YEAR The Yankee PROse E-Newsletter| page 23
Coming from...USPTA New England USPTA New England Committees Awards (Milan Kubala, Chair) Mission: To select awards for all different categories on a yearly basis. Annual Awards Hall of Fame Inductions National Award Nominations Compliance (Mike Kolendo, Chair) Mission: To review and update Division’s bylaws, SOP, and election procedures. Bylaws Standard Operating Procedures Election of Next Slate Diversity and Inclusion (Lisa Wilcott, Chair) Mission: To promote the division as a more inclusive and diverse organization.U30 Wheelchair/Adaptive Women/GLTA Elevate (formerly U30) (Jacob Zapatka Chair) Finance (Chris Stevens, Chair) Mission: To be fiscally responsible and to review and manage the Division’s finances. Quarterly Budgets With President, approving necessary expenses with ED With President, manage ED’s monthly activity reports/financial reports
Membership (Steve O'Connell, Chair) Mission: To increase membership and to promote educational events. Testing Re-engagement – past and lapsed members HS and College Coaches Pickleball and Paddle Sports Pickleball (Steve O'Connell, Chair) 1. Mission: To favorably position the USPTA-NE Division within the greater New England Pickleball Industry. Provide Pickleball Professional Conference, June 28-29, 2021, at the Foreside Tennis & Fitness Center, in Portland, ME Explore other potential events that promote participation in pickleball events throughout New England, such as: Pickleball Road Shows/Pickleball Show Cases Local Tournaments potentially in New Canaan, CT in June, and Newton, CT in July Professional Development (Mike Mercier, Chair) Mission: To assist members with compliance of educational credits and to work diligently to organize all major division’s conferences. Continuing Education – credits and upgrades Conferences – meetings, speakers Trade Show/Sponsors The Yankee PROse E-Newsletter| page 24
Coming from...USPTA New England USPTA New England Committees
Public Relations (Christy Bennett, Chair) Mission: To promote all of the division’s activities through different media outlets. Newsletter Social Media USTA/Net Generation Lessons for Life Sports Psychology (Brian Lomax, Chair) Mission: To help tennis professionals integrate mental skills training into the tennis learning and development process. Podcasts; Tennis IQ Sport psychology themed educational events Sport psychology webinars Sport psychology track at annual conference Conduct on court coaching clinics Develop recommendations for integrating mental training into on court coaching Past President’s Committee Mission: To act as a sounding board and to provide guidance to the current Board. TBD
New England Professionals,
Michael Mercier and
Seth Meyer, have been named one of the 50 Best Coaches by the Tennis Channel. They are now in the running for one of the Top 5!! VOTING has begun.
Click here to vote!!! The Yankee PROse E-Newsletter| page 25
Coming from...USPTA National USPTA National Innovation Competition The USPTA Innovation Committee wants to know, do you have a great idea that you think would benefit your USPTA? Then you should enter the innovation competition and submit your idea! What is an innovation? An innovation is an idea that has been transformed into practical reality. For a business,
Innovation Categories Technology Implementation and incorporation of solutions to create advances that lead to positive changes in the racquet sports industry. Facility Operations - Incorporate actions and decisions implemented by staff that impacts
this is a product, process, or business concept or combinations that have been activated in the marketplace and produce new profits and/or growth for the organization. Category winners will be recognized at the USPTA World Conference in September.
the overall direction club/facility/organization to operate and thrive.
How to Enter 1. Select one of the innovation categories below. 2. Using your smartphone or computer video
camera, create a 1 to 2 minute video "pitching" your great idea. Upload your video to YouTube or Vimeo and copy the video link so that you can paste it in the appropriate area on this form. 3. Complete the entry form by filling in the form fields and then submit your idea. The USPTA
of a successfully
Growing the Game - Embraces ideas, behaviors, programs, and initiatives that influence the growth and evolution of racquet
The deadline for submissions is 11:59 p.m., Sunday, August 8, 2021. Questions? Contact USPTA staff Jim Burke at firstname.lastname@example.org, or Mike Calendrillo at email@example.com
Innovation Committee will review all submissions and look for the best ideas to implement.
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Coming from...USPTA National New Certification Pathway Has Begun!!!
The USPTA’s mission is to “elevate the standards of tennis-teaching professionals and coaches”. On January 2, 2021, the new pathway for Professional certification and Tennis Instructor certification began. The Professional certification is designed for full-time tennis-teaching professionals while the Tennis Instructor certification is designed for part-time tennis
Total cost to become a Certified Professional is $698 consisting of a $399 one-time application fee that includes all online courses and required in-person workshops plus the $299 annual membership dues for Certified Professionals. Application Process: Complete USPTA Application
Pay Non-Refundable Application Fee Pay USPTA Membership Dues (prorated
Professional Certification: The USPTA Professional certification pathway takes approximately six to nine months to complete. The process requires hands-on work experience with guidance from a
based on application date)
USPTA-approved mentor, 300 hours of online and/or in-person education, and the
To learn more about the Professional certification pathway and to begin application process – CLICK HERE . *information from USPTA National website
completion of USTA Safe Play training and background check. The Yankee PROse E-Newsletter| page 27
Coming from...USPTA National New Certification Instructor Pathway
Tennis Instructor Certification The USPTA Tennis Instructor certification pathway consists of 16 hours of online educational modules, participation in a 2-day Tennis Essentials (TE-1) in-person workshop hosted by the USTA, and the completion of USTA Safe Play training and background check. Total cost to become a Tennis Instructor is $199 which is the cost of the annual membership dues for Tennis Instructors. Application Process Complete USPTA Application Pay USPTA Membership Dues (prorated based on application date)
Upgrades: Recreational Coach to Tennis Instructor Recreational Coaches interested in becoming Tennis Instructors can do so by attending the two-day Teaching Essentials 1 workshop, completing USTA Safe Play training online, and passing a background screening. The USTA will cover the cost of the Teaching Essentials 1 workshop and background screening. Recreational Coaches have until June 30, 2021, to convert to Tennis Instructors. On July 1, 2021, all remaining Recreational Coaches will be classified as Tennis Instructor Applicant Members.
To learn more about the Tennis Instructor certification pathway and to begin application process - CLICK HERE . *information from USPTA National website
The Yankee PROse E-Newsletter| page 28
Coming from...USTA New England April is Tennis Provider Appreciation Month from USTA NE IUSTA New England is once again celebrating tennis pros, coaches and organizers during the month of April. This year, our partners have a fun-filled Provider Appreciation Month lined up that includes free exclusive virtual events, raffles and giveaways and individual and organization spotlights.e championships the best event to attend.
Schedule of FREE EVENTS April 1 from 8:30 - 9:30 pm: Virtual Tennis Trivia Night with Chris Marra, Tennis Director at Guilford Racquet and Swim Club in Guilford, CT. Sponsored by the Pro Power Series. Join us for a fun hour of trivia with prizes for first, second and third-place winners! After a long day on-court, stop by for some fun tennis brain teasers. Register here. April 14 from 7:45 - 8:45 am: Provider Networking Breakfast presented by Dunkin'* This educational breakfast will feature a brief presentation about public relations successes by Caroline Medeiros, Public Relations Manager, at Dunkin' at Inspire Brands. Attendees will then be put into smaller breakout rooms to network with others and discuss their learnings/share stories. Register here. *The first 50 people to register & attend will receive a $10 Dunkin' gift card The Yankee PROse E-Newsletter| page 29
Coming from...USTA New England April 22 from 8 - 9 pm: Virtual Cocktail Hour Join us for an hour of fun with a professional bartender who will lead us through crafting two specialty mocktail/cocktails including 'Provider Punch.' With drinks in hand, attendees will break out into smaller groups to continue networking with tennis professionals from around New England. Kick back and relax with us - you deserve it! Register here. *A list of drink ingredients will be provided beforehand. If you have questions about Provider Appreciation Month, please email Alex Wesley, USTA New England Director of Marketing, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Yankee PROse E-Newsletter| page 30
Employment Opportunities Brookline Tennis Academy Brookline Tennis Academy is looking for teaching pros to work their spring and summer camps at the Roxbury Latin School, in West Roxbury, MA. The dates for the camps are below. Spring Saturday May 1-June 12 (no class May 29) 8am-11am Sunday May 2-June 13 (no class may 30) 8am-3pm 2 PROS are needed on Sundays from 11-2, but more hours may be given in order to work all day Sunday plus Saturday, and after school hours during the week. Summer The summer camps run weekly beginning June 14 and ending on September 3. Camp hours are from 9:00 - 3:00 Please contact Shelly Mars at: Brookline Tennis Academy email@example.com 617-283-9812
USTA New England is seeking paid part-time coaches throughout New England for our youth and adult Tennis in the Parks programs. Help grow the game! Learn more and submit an interest form on our Tennis in the Parks webpage. If you have any questions please contact: Eric Driscoll, USPTA Elite Professional Schools & Tennis in the Parks Manager USTA New England firstname.lastname@example.org Cell: 207-232-6925
For employment opportunities you can also go to the USPTA National website and click on Find-A-Job
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Just For FUN
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