Yankee Prose Summer 2022

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YANKEE PROSE The Newsletter of the USPTA New England Division

I n this newsletter : P r e s ident's Me s s a g e P a g e 01 C o n ference & A w a r d s P a g e 05 A r t i cles P a g e 15 In M emoriam P a g e 23


A MESSAGE FROM OUR PRESIDENT: USPTA MIKE KOLENDO New England Board of Directors Dear Racket Sport Professionals, Regional President: Mike Kolendo m_kolendo@charter.net Regional Vice President: Lisa Wilcott supermiketennis1@gmail.com

What an incredible time we had at the International Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport for our Spring Conference. It was our first in-person event in over two years, and we really needed to make it special. To that end, Bill Mountford and Todd Martin rolled out the proverbial red carpet for us in Newport, RI at the International Tennis Hall of Fame. We kicked everything off on Wednesday evening at 6pm with a round robin on the grass. Unfortunately, it rained all day on Thursday so we were forced indoors, but Gigi Fernandez, Emilio Sanchez, and all of the on-court presenters went on with the show and delivered inspiring presentations to the 75+ tennis professionals in attendance.

Secretary: Christy Bennett bennett@newengland.usta.com On Sunday morning we held our annual Awards Ceremony. Since the past two years of awards were given out virtually, it was important for us to recognize all award winners from 2019 and 2020, in addition to last Treasurer: year’s winners. Our event closed with two final presentations from Chris Stevens Ramona Husaru, USPTA’s Director of Education, and USPTA Master stevens10spro@gmail.com Professional, Jorge Capestany, on the ITHOF’s stadium court. Vice President: Kristen Gerety kdgerety@icloud.com Vice President: Billy Previdi previdib@gmail.com Vice President: Milan Kubala stowemiles@gmail.com Past President: Michael Mercier supermiketennis1@gmail.com

NE Executive Director: Pam Dodman pamela.dodman@uspta.org

In an email exchange after our event, Todd Martin, CEO for the ITHOF, closed with the following line: “Thank you Mike for all you are committing to the sport. Lots of work and plenty of potholes along the way. Keep at it!” I believe Todd’s sentiment goes much deeper than my personal onand-off struggles with our, shall-we-say, institutional tennis community. I believe it also summarizes our association’s path forward with the USTA. There may be some potholes, but we need to keep at it. Our first goaround with USTA accreditation wasn’t right. But we need to continue to work together until both sides gain from the partnership. I hope you all agree. By now, all of you must be aware that our association did not reapply for USTA accreditation. Unfortunately, the arrangement did not result in better opportunities in the job market for our members. Please know that USPTA leadership will continue to work in good faith with USTA leadership and if, in the future, employers embrace the importance of hiring certified professionals from a USTA accredited association, we’ll reevaluate our decision. USPTA can always reapply at a later date.

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Until that time, it’s business as usual. Our association will certify new applicants with the certification pathway developed two years ago. Our mission remains the same: To elevate the standards of tennis teaching professionals. On a completely different note, I’m so excited to announce that our USPTA New England Board has partnered with the ITHOF to “house” our USPTA New England Division’s Hall of Fame. At present, we have 23 HOF members, and each will be enshrined with a brick at the ITHOF. We’ve purchased 40 bricks to ensure that this honor to our most important members will continue for years to come. A current list of Hall of Famers can be found on our website, and our HOF Committee is working diligently to honor several more of our deserving members. I’ll meet personally with the ITHOF folks in the next few weeks to find an on-site location for our HOF bricks. The ITHOF is many things. It’s an International Tennis shrine; it’s a regional tennis hub. It’s a location that most of our Division’s members will visit at some point in their tenure as tennis professionals. I’ve brought colleagues and students of my own there for years. I hope you’re all supportive of our decision to enshrine our most celebrated members at this historic site. Personally, I can’t think of a more fitting tribute to the best of our best. Sincerely, Mike Kolendo; USPTA New England President 413-374-9738 m_kolendo@charter.net

USPTA New England State Presidents: Connecticut: Paul Coorssen pcoorssen@gmail.com

Maine: Wilbur Shardlow shardlowtennis@roadrunner.com

Massachusetts: Stu Lehr stuartklehr@gmail.com & Phil Hayman hayman.phillip@yahoo.com

Rhode Island: Nestor Bernabe nestortennis@gmail.com

Vermont: Joyce Doud jdoud@edgevt.com

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Left to right: Phil Hayman (MA State President), Michael Mercier (USPTA NE Past President), Stu Lehr (MA State President), Mike Kolendo (USPTA NE President), Milan Kubala (USPTA NE Vice President), Kristen Gerety (USPTA NE Vice President), Chris Stevens (USPTA NE Treasurer), Christy Bennett (USPTA NE Secretary), Lisa Wilcott (USPTA NE Regional Vice President) The Yankee PROse E- Newsl etter| page 08

Click here to register

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Click on the picture above to view the Awards Brochure The Yankee PROse E- Newsl etter| page 11

AWARDS Ceremony

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AWARDS Ceremony

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Diversity, Equality, & Inclusion Love Is Not Zero by J.M. Sorrell, USPTA Elite Professional In the Fall of 2020, USPTA sent its members a survey about diversity. When I completed it, little did I know I would be asked to facilitate USPTA’s inaugural education webinars on working with LGBTQ+ tennis players and professionals. On the survey, I noted that I have been a cultural competence trainer for nearly 20 years and would be happy to serve. A committee was organized, and we worked to create two sessions for June 2021. They were well-received. When Mike Kolendo called nearly a year later to tell me that I would be receiving the USPTA New England Diversity Award for 2021, I was surprised and also very moved. I have known Mike for many years, and I conveyed it would mean a lot to me to have him present it. I quickly organized things to attend our conference in Newport. I briefly said hi to Gigi Fernandez (17 Grand Slam titles) after her doubles workshop on The Gigi Method the first day of our conference. I was spontaneously moved to tell Gigi I would dedicate the award to her. Fernandez is a trail blazer as the first ever female Puerto Rican professional athlete of any sport. She has lived her life openly as a lesbian. A few days later, I spoke with her by phone when she wrote to me that she would be happy to talk for the monthly column I write for our regional daily paper in western MA. I gave a short acceptance speech when Mike presented the award at the hallowed grounds of

the International Tennis Hall of Fame. As a follow-up, I will summarize. I believe that tennis coaches, teachers, and club pros have the ideal skill set to demonstrate compassion for people from all walks of life. It’s what we do when a new person joins the team or club. We welcome her/him as someone who belongs. We have the social skills to bring new people into the fold. At this juncture in society, one’s sexual orientation should not be a factor in recreational or competitive tennis. When we set the tone for inclusivity, we let team members and group lesson participants know everyone is welcome. For younger children and informal tournament play, it’s easy to categorize players based on ability rather than gender or gender identity. It is more complicated for high school, college, adult USTA, and professional play. The matter of where transgender athletes belong is not a settled one. The Women’s Sports Policy Working Group’s (members include Martina Navratilova) mission is to protect Title IX and girls and women’s sports as they stand while working to find a place for transgender athletes. On the other side, The Women’s Sports Foundation, founded by Billie Jean King in 1974, has policy statements that suggest male-to-female transgender athletes should be allowed to participate in women’s sports. The Yankee PROse E- Newsl etter| page 15

Diversity, Equality, & Inclusion Love Is Not Zero continued

Diversity issues are sometimes simple and other times more complex. For most of us, the platinum rule is a good one: Treat others the way they need to be treated. At the very least, be a role model as a leader who demonstrates kindness even if you are unable to successfully resolve a situation. You may be more pivotal than you imagine in helping someone to feel supported. USPTA will continue to offer webinars and presentations to promote diversity and inclusion in a variety of areas. I feel honored to be a part of it.

J.M. Sorrell has been an Elite Level USPTA member since 1998. She has coached and taught tennis on and off throughout her adult life. J.M. is a social justice trainer, writer, and advocate.

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Tennis Classroom The Key to Retaining Adult Players and Having Successful Teams: Teach Your Players a Doubles System by Bill and Matt Previdi, USPTA Professionals The most successful teams in every sport have a specific system for their players. Different teams utilize different philosophies and strategies, however all of the best teams each have their own. Unfortunately, tennis (doubles) is the only sport where no one teaches you “plays” like other sports would. In tennis, we have a large passionate group of adult players at every club. To us at The Previdi System, they’re the lifeblood of every facility. They join teams and create a social network that enmeshes them in the club long term. They get their spouses and their children involved too. We think they are largely underserved in that they’re not receiving the kind of information they need to get the best results and the most enjoyment out of doubles. When we say they need a system, we mean that they need to be learning the following things: The average point in doubles lasts fewer than four shots (total). Everything we teach them should begin with serve and return. Where to be and where to hit those initial two shots. This is more challenging than one might think since there are many variables involved. For example - “How do we position ourselves based on our first shot and where do we hit the second shot?” Both partners need to know this.

Simplifying situations by perfecting one option (e.g., sending returns back short and angled) and having backup options based on when variables in the point change. These need to be practiced until they become seamless and second nature. From a business standpoint, teaching a system is a wonderful way to create a synergy on your staff as well as between your students and teams. The lesson plan is the same framework for all of the clinics and practices every week but the theme and drills are almost identical across the board. Different levels may have slight variations based

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Tennis Classroom The Key to Retaining Adult Players and Having Successful Teams: Teach Your Players a Doubles System continued on ability and experience, but in general everyone is working on the same concepts at the same time. Players can fill in on groups and never miss a beat. Coaches can sub for each other and know exactly where the group is and what to do. This type of program will eliminate staff members contradicting or undermining each other. Here are the main advantages of having a system for your doubles players: All doubles players on a team are interchangeable with each other and understand the same concepts. Your player’s understanding and enjoyment of the game will increase exponentially. Your program will outshine others in your area. Market and promote your system (and your team’s results). Your club will be unique in the market. When players change level (or team), they will fit seamlessly into what the new team is doing. There will be no learning curve. Many players are unhappy when they go to a new team. This will mitigate that problem greatly as there will be no more fear of winning in USTA and getting “bumped up”!

Our goal is to create a dynamic, fun environment for our players where they gain a real understanding of the game. Your players will appreciate the planning and organization that goes into their lessons and your program. Your pro staff will love the team atmosphere it creates as well. By implementing a system that runs so smoothly across the board, you are solidifying not just the financial success of your facility, but also your position at that facility. Club management will love what it does for the bottom line in the short term and long term. The most important thing is the look on the players faces when they have a true holistic love of the game and begin to see sustained results and improvement.

Bill and Matt Previdi have developed The Previdi System...Doubles for the Smart Player. They specialize in teaching adult, competitive doubles players, and have presented at USPTA conferences around the country. They are annually on the faculty at The Tennis Congress, the largest program for adult players in the nation. www.theprevidisystem.com

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Pickleball Certification Angelo Rossetti Leads the Way in Pickleball Certification!

Left to right: Spencer Withington, Angelo Rossetti, Jerry Albrikes, Matt Rose, and Pam Dodman

Angelo Rossetti is the Head Pickleball Trainer for USPTA New England and he has certified more pickleball instructors than any other division to date. Angelo's most recent certification course was held in Providence, Rhode Island. To become certified you must complete and pass the in-person certification training and pass an on-line test. Click here to view the national calendar for Pickleball Certification courses. The next tentative certification course in New England will be Saturday, August 13th.

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In Memoriam

Mike Quitko

February 1, 1951 - May 27, 2022 Michael E. Quitko, 71, of North Haven passed away on Friday, May 27, 2022 after a long and courageous battle with Lewy Body Dementia and Parkinson’s disease. He was the beloved husband of Betsy Moore Quitko for 47 years. He was born in Brooklyn on February 1, 1951 to the late Murray and Phyllis Quitko. Mike came to CT to play football at Southern Connecticut State University, where he met Betsy. After graduating, he worked as a pharmaceutical representative and became active in local politics, becoming one of the youngest Selectmen in North Haven history. While coaching youth football, Mike was asked to coach tennis, a game he never played. Tennis became his passion, so much so he named his Ice Cream Shop in North Haven “Wimbledon”. Mike had a very successful career in coaching tennis at many levels including his tenure at Quinnipiac University. Coach Q amassed over 500 wins, numerous NCAA tournament appearances, Quinnipiac University Hall of Fame inductions, and multiple NEC Coach of the Year awards. He loved to be a mentor to countless young athletes and was a father figure to many. His greatest joy was being around his family. Excerpt from tributearchive.com. The Yankee PROse E- Newsl etter| page 23