USPTA ADDvantage Magazine - November-December 2022

Page 1



USPTA From the CEO

44 - ADDvantage Magazine

November / December 2022

From the CEO USPTA


hat a World Conference! By the time you will be reading this, our gathering in New Orleans will be in the rear-view mirror. The staff will have taken stock on what we did well and where we can make improvements. But, on the whole, we were thrilled that things went as well as they did. The venue is a perfect setting for a tennis event of this magnitude. Having the indoor club adjacent to the hotel made the on-court seminars comfortable to spectate. The social activities were top drawer, and the “City that Care Forgot” never disappoints with options galore to enjoy. The return to the Crescent City this year was meaningful on a variety of levels. Sure, the city is a wonderful destination for visitors (if you have never been, it is quite a place!) and the roster of speakers was world-class. But it holds a special place in the lore of the USPTA because of the monumental decision that was made by the Executive Committee in September of 2015 when we were last there to start a new chapter in the illustrious history of our association by relocating our operations from Houston to the epicenter of tennis in the USA. Over the course of the two years following that World Conference, we were able to sell our building in Houston, purchase the land that our building sits on in Lake Nona, design and construct a modern structure that is both tech savvy and environmentally friendly, hire our new team of employees, and complete

the transition from Houston. It was an ambitious undertaking at the time, but it has turned out to be a fantastic move, especially since we were able to complete the entire project while being revenue neutral. August 22 of 2022 is also a date worth noting because it is the five-year anniversary of when we moved into our new space. Time flies when you are having fun! It is hard for me to believe that it was on this date that the city of Orlando finally granted us our certificate of occupancy. What a relief that was since the staff had been tripping over each other in a crowded conference room that served as our temporary quarters for 4 months at a local innovation hub. We finally could get our team set up to take advantage of all that our modern building was able to offer. For those of you who have been able to come and visit us over the past half decade, you have caught a glimpse of what we built to benefit our membership. Our goal from day one was to construct a building specifically for our members so that you all can take great pride in your building. We also wanted to make sure that the office would be relevant for decades to come with a design that is innovative from a technology standpoint while also being sustainable environmentally. Immediately upon entering the premises, one can see how different the space is vs. other office environments. The modular moveable walls are sustainable and give us flexibility in case we wish to modify the footprint of our office configuration. Dry wall has been

minimized, because of the toxicity that exists when dry wall gets wet in a land fill. Recent trends in sustainable office space include living, breathing walls of plants that help contribute additional oxygen into the office atmosphere. We showcase a beautiful living wall that one cannot help but notice when you walk in. Our lighting is low voltage, meaning that it only requires the power of a phone line to light each fixture. That keeps our energy consumption down. There are other environmentally friendly features in our office that are too numerous to mention in this space but just know that they are real. But nothing will do more to reduce our dependance on energy than the installation of solar power. I am pleased to announce that the Board made the decision back in April to invest in solar which will make USPTA the very first commercial building in Lake Nona to have solar power. Tavistock boasts how Lake Nona is an innovative hub of health and well-being, yet the USPTA is paving the way when it comes to solar. Installation began in early August and was completed three weeks later, just as we celebrated our five-year anniversary. Financial projections show that we will reduce our energy costs by 50% each month going forward. USPTA takes great pride in being a leader in sustainability and technology. We are making a strong statement to our community about helping the environment. We truly are

Come see it for yourself. *

November / December 2022

John R. Embree, USPTA CEO

ADDvantage Magazine - 45

Good Times


RETURN TO THE WILD The new Blade v8 celebrates the return to your natural element of competitive tennis — renewed and reconnected to the game you love.

USPTA President’s Message

Reaccreditation & Certification Pathway


hat a beginning to 2022 for the USPTA! The first ten months of this year have been a busy time for us in the USPTA. Not only have we come out of a pandemic but we’ve seen a huge surge in participation into tennis. I know that many of us are working hard to keep our staffing numbers at an acceptable level to handle the new players coming in to our game. With the rise of Pickleball, Padel, and Platform Tennis we are all working to figure how those sports fit into what we already do at our clubs and courts. With all of these challenges in our industry, we are all trying to get a look at what might be coming around the corner. The same can be said for what we are working on at the USPTA. I’m going to highlight some of the accomplishments that we’ve had early in 2022, as well as what we are doing for the future of our association.

As I hope many of you know, on June 2, we informed the USTA that we would not be filing for reaccreditation. This was a very tough decision for the board and the Executive Committee; however, we reached a unanimous decision to not file for reaccreditation. The major reason for this action was that we felt until accreditation could affect the job market and be a positive for all of our USPTA professionals, it was in our best interest to go on our own path. This decision was something that wasn’t made in haste, and was made with the best interest of you, our members, in mind. With that being said, we had to redevelop our own pathway. Under the direction of Sid Newcomb, our Director of Certification & National Head Tester, the National Board, and the Testing & Certification Committee, we feel as if we’ve created a pathway that will shape the next generation of teaching professionals. *Refer to the Certification Pathway graphic on the next page.

In Closing

This is a very important time for our association. We are excited about what is coming in the future. Most importantly, this is your association! The division boards, national board, and the national staff are here to help you. If you have ideas or concerns, please feel free to reach out to myself, board members, or any staff member. We are here to represent you, the members of this great association! *

Strategic Plan

Our current strategic plan has existed for the past eight years. The National Board has been working hard on developing our next strategic plan. This plan will be focused on how our association will incorporate alternative racquet sports, as they have now become

50 - ADDvantage Magazine

part of our fabric. Of course, we will continue to work on being the leader in education and certification. This strategic plan will also have a heavy focus on marketing with the goal to attract and retain new professionals as well as the professionals that have been part of our association for years. We will continue to emphasize diversity and inclusion, with the goal of getting our membership to be more of a reflection of our society. We are extremely excited about the future of our association and we hope to reveal this new strategic plan in 2023.

November / December 2022

Rich Slivocka, USPTA National President

USPTA Vice President’s Message USPTA





November / December 2022 ADDvantage Magazine - 51

Professional of the Year Award USPTA


he USPTA is proud to announce Carrie Zarraonandia as the 2022 Alex Gordon Professional of the Year. From serving on the Northern California Board of Directors to being a certified trainer for The Positive Coaching Alliance, Carrie has had one of the most dedicated and productive years of her career. Carrie is a long-time member of the USPTA Northern California family. She was raised in Northern California, competed in junior tennis as well as becoming an All-American at UC Davis. She proudly chose to continue to pursue her tennis career in Northern California, where she was tested by USPTA Northern California Hall of Famer, Dave Houston, 37 years ago. When she was asked to serve on the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee in 2021, Carrie jumped at the chance. “As an openly gay teaching professional, I took pride in taking part of the productive conversations, SWOT analyses, and helping put together some achievable goals for our division,” Carrie said. When asked to help, Carrie takes on every role with enthusiasm and a thirst to learn. This past year, she also stepped up and jumped into the IFPA (International

Federation Pickleball Academy) training to represent Northern California as the Head Pickleball Coach Developer. As the Vice President of the Northern California Board of Directors, Carrie spearheaded an extremely successful fall division conference – the division’s first in-person event since the pandemic hit. Not only did she arrange the guest speakers, but she presented Northern California division’s first Pickleball demo session. One of the most enjoyable parts about being on the board for her is learning how the Northern California board members work together to elevate

the standards of our teaching pros. Over the year, she continued her work as a speaker and trainer for the Positive Coaching Alliance, as well as a faculty coach for USTA, working sectional and local player development camps for both high performance and ROG players. Carrie says creating a positive culture in which her “littles” gain confidence and feel free to make mistakes is truly her passion. Carrie’s can-do attitude and passion for not only tennis, but for our profession does not go unnoticed. She is a remarkable professional, true to the creed of our association. *

November / December 2022

Madison Faulkner, Public Relations Coordinator

ADDvantage Magazine - 53

career coaching for club professionals executive search services for employers Our Team Helps You Find Success

cess Suc 1 Official Career Coaching & Executive Search Firm of USPTA

­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­

Lifetime Achievement Award USPTA


lan Cutler was bestowed the 2022 George Bacso Lifetime Achievement Award during our recent World Conference. He got his start in tennis at age five and has been involved in tennis for as long as he can remember. Alan’s first private lesson came from Ben Press, another George Basco Lifetime Achievement Award winner and Alan was also fortunate to hit and learn from the great Jack Kramer, a family friend. Alan has spent 17 years in USPTA leadership. He is a former USPTA National Board Vice President, and a past president of the USPTA Southern California division. Throughout his 42-year teaching career, Alan worked for numerous cities, country clubs and homeowner’s associations. He taught at the City of Whittier for more than a decade helping to develop more than two thousand young athletes. Alan says when he was coaching high school players, he was most proud of receiving the 2006 California Interscholastic Federation coaches award for having teams with high grade point averages. During his years as a teaching pro, he held just about every position from junior professional to general manager, working his way through nine different facilities. Alan is also a USPTA Master Professional having amassed more than 3,000 educational credits, far more than the required amount. Over his 29 years as a certified USPTA professional, Alan’s averaged just over 105 hours of continuing education each

year. He’s taken more than 40 specialty courses, completed two specialist degrees and co-authored both the USPTA Computer Specialist degree and the USPTA Leadership Academy. He is a former division Professional of the Year and has presented at dozens of USPTA conferences. He has written more than 20 articles for ADDvantage Magazine and has been published more than 50-times nationally and internationally. He also helped to develop and implement USPTA monthly educational webinars and helped to initiate live streaming for USPTA World Conferences. Alan has served more than 15-years on the education committee, helped develop numerous specialty courses and lobbied for expanded continuing education for members. He’s the former chairperson of USPTA’s Tennis Across America and a longtime USPTA Southern California division Board Member. Even though Alan is now semi-retired, living in Las Vegas, he continues to share his love of the sport in parks throughout the Las Vegas Valley. He’s currently working on how to use virtual reality to develop ways to practice things like return of serve and shot placement. He also volunteers in local parks and schools and enjoys providing rackets to as many interested people as possible. Alan says, “I’m so lucky that I get to share my love of tennis with others.” *

Marisa Lampe, Director of Marketing & Communications

November / December 2022

ADDvantage Magazine - 55




Exclusive USPTA Member Benefit

30% Off Shoes & Apparel*

USPTA Members Save 30%

*Discount off MSRP. Exclusions apply.

On Nike Shoes & Apparel

Official USPTA Supplier of Footwear & Apparel Shop Now at

T E N N I S -WA R E H O U S E .CO M / U S P TA



Madison Faulkner, Public Relations Coordinator

sport scientist, educator, author, entrepreneur, consultant, and coach, Dr. Jack Groppel has done it all. He is considered an internationally recognized authority and pioneer in the science of human performance. His research has included performance analyses of over 25 sports, having successfully worked with numerous world-class athletes such as the Chicago White Sox, the New Jersey Devils, Olympic gymnast and bronze medalist Wendy Bruce, NFL Pro Bowler Wes Welker, and scores of world-ranked tennis professionals, including Stan Smith and Michael Chang. His scientific findings have appeared in numerous peer-reviewed journals, and he also served as an instruction editor to Tennis Magazine and had a column entitled, “Ask the Professor” in USPTA’s ADDvantage magazine that ran for 25 years. As a professional tennis coach, Dr. Groppel is a certified Master Professional of the USPTA. In 1987, the same year he became a Master Professional, Dr. Groppel was named the USPTA Professional of the Year.

From there, he continued to thrive within the profession. He dedicated 16 years of service to the USTA as Chairman of the National Sport Science Committee. He received the 1993 International Tennis Hall of Fame’s Educational Merit Award and was inducted into the Midwest USPTA Hall of Fame in 1998. In 2007, Dr. Groppel was appointed to the USPTA National Board of Directors as a Vice President. Along with business partner and fellow 2022 Tim Heckler Hall of Fame Award recipient, Dr. Jim Loehr, Dr. Groppel co-founded the Human Performance Institute in 1992. Dr. Groppel and Dr. Loehr based the business on sport science principles and applied them to leadership and performance in high-stress arenas in business, military, law enforcement, medicine, and sport. In 2008, the Human Performance Institute was acquired by Johnson & Johnson, as part of the company’s Health & Wellness Solutions portfolio. While at Johnson & Johnson, Dr. Groppel developed the Patient Athlete program for joint replacement patients, to help them develop a new purpose in life after joint replacement. As a motivating and highly entertaining speaker, Dr. Groppel has spoken at thousands of functions on six continents for many different audiences. He has shared the speaking platform with numerous dignitaries such as Margaret Thatcher, Muhammad Ali, President George HW Bush, former Secretary of State Colin Powell, and many more. Over his illustrious career, Dr. Groppel has been a USPTA member for 40 years. His countless accomplishments make it only fitting that he is honored with the Tim Heckler Hall of Fame Award. *

November / December 2022

ADDvantage Magazine - 57





Innovative closed-mesh technology


Our patented windscreens are tear-proof, feature superior sun/UV resistance, and are an ideal choice for anywhere you need a visual barrier. This product is perfect for use on tennis courts in a variety of venues, ranging from high school and collegiate courts to resorts and residential communities. Whether you need a simple background to increase visibility, reduce visual distractions, and eliminate unwanted onlookers, or want to make a screen “pop” with your design via our CHROMA-BOND world-class printing — we have your windscreen solution.




Madison Faulkner, Public Relations Coordinator


r. Jim Loehr is the co-founder of the Johnson & Johnson Human Performance Institute, which helped train and inspire more than 250,000 business, sports, medicine, and military leaders worldwide. He is a world-renowned performance psychologist, researcher, and author of eighteen books including his most recent, Wise Decisions: A Science Based Approach to Making Better Choices, and the national bestseller, The Power of Full Engagement. From the moment he started playing at the age of fourteen, Dr. Loehr fell deeply in love with tennis. Even through his losses, he continued to love competing and didn’t want to stop. Dr. Loehr’s last championship tournament was the Father-Son National Grass Courts Championships, where he and his son beat Michael Chang and his father. Dr. Loehr has worked with numerous world class tennis players, almost too many to count. The first notable player willing to go public with him was USPTA Hall of Famer and legendary player, Tom Gullikson. Back in the day, seeing a psychologist was seen as a sign of weakness, but Dr. Loehr helped break that stigma. He went on to work with notable names such as Novak Djokovic, Maria Sharapova, and Jim Courier. He helped Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario become the World No. 1 in singles and Reilly Opelka to become World No. 17. He focused on perfecting between point performances and encouraged doing the same rituals to keep players in a good state of mind because the mental aspect of tennis is incredibly important. From his more than 30 years of experience and applied research,

Dr. Loehr believes the most key factor in successful achievement, personal fulfillment and life satisfaction is the strength of one’s character. He strongly insists that character strength can be built in the same way that muscle is built: through energy investment. In 1992, Jim co-founded the Human Performance Institute with friend, fellow business partner, 2022 Tim Heckler Hall of Fame Award recipient, Dr. Jack Groppel. The institute has become the pioneer in training business leaders to expand and manage their energy so they can achieve high performance in the face of intense stress, relentless competition, and unpredictable change. The training is the result of 30 years of proprietary research and working with elite performers including Olympic gold medalists, elite professional athletes, military Special Forces, Hostage Rescue teams, surgeons, and Fortune 500 CEOs. Interestingly enough, both Pete Sampras and Jim Courier trained at the institute when they were World No. 1’s. A USPTA Master Professional since 1977 and a previous Alex Gordon Professional of the Year in 2003, it truly is an honor to enshrine Dr. Jim Loehr into the USPTA Tim Heckler Hall of Fame. *

November / December 2022

ADDvantage Magazine - 59




SINCE 1964!

Tennis Nets | Windscreens | Benches Clay court equipment | Water Removers & Squeegees Divider Netting | Court Organizers | Net posts Shoe cleaners | Court Lighting Systems | and more!



800  247  3907



New Master Professional USPTA


nly 216 professionals all-time have received the special designation of USPTA Master Professional, with 149 currently active. We recently added one more to this illustrious group. A Master Professional is the highest recognition offered by the USPTA. It’s reserved for those members that have demonstrated mastery of all aspects of tennis teaching and management, as well as many other achievements over the course of their

career. Becoming a USPTA Master Professional takes years of dedication and patience. The following member has not only met the requirements for becoming a Master Pro, but he is a prime example of going above and beyond the call of duty — exceeding expectations while providing fantastic service and teaching ability to his students. Kyle LaCroix of Delray Beach, Florida has always been an enthusiastic supporter of coaches and education. He’s an avid learner and always wants to continue to improve his skills. Kyle’s served the USPTA in a large capacity and given back to the industry since he became a member back in 2003. He always jumps at the chance to help, becoming a member of numerous USPTA national committees including the Membership Committee, Marketing, National College Curriculum and the Social Media Committee, as well as being the Chair for the National U30 Professional Development Committee. He was a prolific USPTA tester for the Florida Division for over 15 years, having tested, certified and mentored more than 1,400 professionals. Along with his service to the industry, Kyle has been recognized with numerous USPTA awards including the 2022 USPTA Florida Industry Excellence Award, a two-time Florida District Professional of the Year, a 3-time Florida Division Tester of the Year and he became the youngest USPTA Professional to be

awarded the George Bacso National Tester of the Year Award in 2014. Our new Master Pro is certified as a USTA High Performance Coach, an ITF Level 3 certified coach as well as a member of the Global Professional Tennis Coaches Association (GPTCA). He has coached players of all levels including professional and collegiate athletes. He also works with coaching staffs as a facilitator and provides educational curriculum to federations and private coaches to enhance their professional development. Kyle is a graduate of the Professional Tennis Management Program at Ferris State University; he also holds an MBA from the University of Michigan and an M.Ed from Stanford University. Currently, Kyle is the Associate Director of Tennis at The Oaks at Boca Raton and the Chief Education Officer at SETS Consulting. Congratulations Kyle! * Marisa Lampe, Director of Marketing & Communications

November / December 2022

ADDvantage Magazine - 61

Award Winners

62 - ADDvantage Magazine

­ November / December 2022


November / December 2022

ADDvantage Magazine - 63

USPTA Member Feature


hen I was approached to write a review of Paul Fein’s new book, “The Fein Points of Tennis,” I was more than flattered. Almost all of us in the tennis world know about Fein. Heck, I have his books on the bookshelf in my office and have learned to appreciate what he has done, but I was not prepared for this great addition to the state of tennis literature and all that it contained. To say it is comprehensive is to say that Roger Federer is a pretty good tennis player who has won many tournaments. Both are true but quite lacking in true assessment. In fact, after looking thoroughly through the book, I asked for two weeks to finish my review, such were the depth and scope of this work.

64 - ADDvantage Magazine

In just over 500 pages, Fein has covered a veritable cornucopia of information complete with extraordinary photographs and illuminating interviews with outstanding players, coaches, and others who have impacted our sport. More than 50 chapters cover a myriad of topics, from how to execute different shots (technique), to strategy and tactics, the geometry of tennis, the use of various types of spin, adjusting to the elements, and playing against left-handers. The last section of the book falls under the heading of “Final Points.” In his foreword, legendary Stanford coach Dick Gould calls this instruction book “an engrossing potpourri of lessons learned from some of the best players and greatest matches at the most prestigious venues of our time.” My great fear is that I may fail to adequately highlight why I believe it is the greatest single work tennis has produced. Insightful interviews with many top coaches and players such as Allen Fox, Gene Mayer, Patrick Mouratoglou, David Macpherson, Nick Bollettieri, Rick Macci, Pat Cash, Bob and Mike Bryan, and Harold Solomon, plus in-depth quotes from Martina Navratilova, Richard Williams, and Doug MacCurdy to name only a few, offer insights into their diverse approaches to achieving greatness. Under the heading of “Technique,” Fein discusses how it has changed, modern equipment vs. the standard wooden rackets of an earlier era, why today’s players use smaller grips, the debate between 2 hands vs. only 1, the “swing volley,” and playing defense. Subtle observations include commentary on the half-volley, touch and feel, the toss for the serve, deception, and the lob and overhead. Fein also explains why technique is even more important today than in yesteryear. Fein even discusses whether or not to elect to serve first and all the complexities that accompany that decision. Analyzing one’s opponent and the importance of unforced errors are discussed in terms a layman can understand. Under “The Geometry of Tennis,” Fein adds his thoughts on shot selection, tactical mistakes, anticipation, depth, the

November / December 2022

use of spin, momentum, and the art of closing out a match. In another section, the author delves into the art of doubles, citing the Bryan brothers frequently and addressing today’s differing formations, when to use them, and how to best defeat them. “Miscellaneous topics” include playing other sports to supplement tennis, the growing importance and impact of analytics on modern tennis, balance, alltime great tennis quotes, senior play, what we can learn from watching the pros, and how the U.S. can regain its once-proud tennis prominence. As a long-time college tennis coach (the US Naval Academy, MIT, and Notre Dame), I wish this book had been available to me when I began my coaching career in the late 1960s. It would have resulted in greater improvement in my players and made my life immeasurably simpler. What is remarkable about

Member Feature USPTA

Bobby Bayliss, USPTA Elite Pro

“The Fein Points of Tennis” is the manner in which so much information is organized and the ease of understanding it. Fein seems to anticipate all of our questions in advance and to somehow find a way to answer them. His writing style is easy to read and understand. His ability to reinforce concepts with anecdotal stories makes technical information easier to comprehend. If ever there were a “one size fits all” book, this would be it. Numerous books offer ‘how to’ advice and an even greater number tell stories, but none in my reading experience match “The Fein Points of Tennis” in doing both. I particularly enjoyed insights into why and how modern stroke mechanics have evolved. That modern equipment is approaching the “spaghetti stringing” of a bygone era when it was quickly banned is a concern. Fein suggests that today’s lighter, stronger frames with smaller

grips and polyester strings have brought us to the point where it is not unfair to consider a mandatory change in frames and/or strings similar to the ban in the 1970s without which would have, for all purposes, eliminated the serve and volley. Certainly, we are not far from seeing them only in our memories. Just as 1960s-era tennis became boring to some because of its tendency toward very short points, today’s tennis lacks the true, all-court play we all enjoy watching. He forces us to think out of the box about what is best for this game we all love. Additionally, I truly appreciated reading how Paul Fein has blended and compared today’s modern teaching concepts with older, more traditional ones. He explores many, and sometimes conflicting, concepts and lets us know what he thinks while allowing the choice to be our own. He also quotes and paraphrases many coaches

November / December 2022

ADDvantage Magazine - 65

Ball Gear for Teaching Pros, Players, and the Club TEACHING CARTS • BALL RETRIEVERS • BALL BASKETS

USPTA members: Get a 12% discount on all HOAG ball products

when you order online. Enter USPTA when completing your order to get your discount.

877-4-HAR-TRU (877-442-7878) TM

Har-Tru is the official provider of Teaching Carts, Ball Mowers, and Ball Baskets for the USPTA

Official Performance Eyewear of the USPTA

Protect your eyes on the court with Revo’s NASA-based lens technology for unmatched polarized protection and game-changing clarity.

USPTA members enjoy 40% off on with code USPTA.

Style featured: Crawler


Member Feature USPTA

and players from different eras. This has been of particular interest to me. He acknowledges that, while there may not be only one single most successful path to excellence, modern players, much like Hansel and Gretel, have at least left us some breadcrumbs to follow. The best thing for me about being asked

to write this review is that I now have my own copy of “The Fein Points of Tennis.” I find myself re-reading parts of it almost daily. Not only did I learn a great deal, but I now know the reasons why certain things work when others do not. I thoroughly enjoyed the depth of the interviews with former players and prominent coaches.

I now better appreciate the importance of analytics. I better understand today’s training and have a greater appreciation for the sacrifices made by today’s players. I have an increased concern that modern evolving equipment might make tennis less fun to play and watch. My knowledge of how different coaches changed some of the techniques and patterns of play of world-class players has been broadened. It helps that Paul plays tournament tennis himself. He can better understand why some players choke and others thrive in the biggest moments. While I have enjoyed many books that cover tennis, I have yet to find one that covers the sport so well and so thoroughly. It is thought-provoking, easy to read, and truly an exceptional examination of all things tennis. *

November / December 2022

Bobby Bayliss, USPTA Elite Pro

ADDvantage Magazine - 67

USPTA What’s the Dill?


or many tennis players, the tennis court starts as a playground and gradually becomes a sanctuary. The place where you discover and develop your abilities eventually becomes a unique respite from the rest of the world. For a young Logan West, the tennis court was where he could shed everything else and recharge with each satisfying strike of a tennis ball. Now a USPTA Elite Professional, Logan has committed his career to creating that same sanctuary for students ranging from seven to seventy, teaching them life skills, strengthening their game, and making sure they have the time of their life. Logan began playing at the age of three. Like many players, he organically came to the sport by picking up a ball and racquet and allowing his instincts to take over. Logan began hitting against his garage door and eventually moved to public courts with his father. “Neither of my parents were experienced players,” Logan recently told me. “My dad just took me out there and it turned into a really enjoyable bonding thing between the two of us.” He quickly got involved in the junior tennis scene, playing USTA events and playing in high school, where he discovered his passion for team tennis. “It’s a lonely sport. Being on a team allowed me to grow in a supportive and enjoyable environment that you don’t always get when you’re on your own.” He eventually went on to play Division I collegiate tennis at Dartmouth College, lettering all four years- a period that he considers to be “the highlight of his tennis career.” Logan mentioned the fulfillment that came from relying on

himself and others to overcome adversity and develop mental toughness at such a young age. While the value of collegiate tennis continues to be a topic of debate in our industry, listening to Logan’s testimony might turn any skeptic to an optimist.

Logan is currently the Head Varsity Boys & Girls Tennis Coach at Sidwell Friends School in Washington, DC and the Director of Tennis at Sleepy Hollow Bath and Racquet Club. He uses his history with team tennis to enhance the experience of his high school players. Logan said, “Playing competitive tennis alongside others teaches a host of life skills- skills they can use in the courtroom, board room, or operating room.” Logan is also the co-founder of Go West Tennis, a community tennis program in Falls Church, VA designed to provide students of all ages with “Fun & Focus” and “help players get better.” Logan says he enjoys the variety of objectives that come with teaching players of all ages. Some players just want a workout, some want a mental challenge and some simply want to learn a new skill. Not only is it beneficial

to his students, but it also allows Logan to grow as a coach and exercise all his coaching muscles. Above all, Logan wants his students to make the most out of their day and get whatever it is they come looking for in his lessons. “They’ve chosen me to spend their time with,” he told me. “My goal is to make their day better and help them become the best version of themselves.” His team’s home courts sit along the side of a large hill, which his players must climb up and over to get to team practice sessions. Logan has made full use of this metaphor by telling his students to leave all their distractions and frustrations on the other side of that hill. “Those two or three hours at practice are meant to be that same sanctuary I experienced as a young player,” he told me. It is no surprise that Logan was named the 2018 State Coach of the Year by the DCSAA and the All-Met Boys Tennis Coach of the Year by The Washington Post. I love to hear our USPTA members speak with the passion that Logan has for our sport. At the end of the day, Logan says “Remember why you started all of this: it’s fun hitting a tennis ball.” I can’t argue with that! *



President.............................................................Richard Slivocka First Vice President................................................ Trish Faulkner Vice Presidents...................... Tracy Almeda-Singian, Mark Faber, Jason Gilbert, Kevin Theos, Jenny Gray Immediate Past President.......................................Feisal Hassan CEO...........................................................................John Embree Legal Counsel........................................................George Parnell

Editor...............................................................................Marisa Lampe Managing Editor.......................................................Madison Faulkner Layout/Design............................................................... Yaralismar Diaz Editorial Assistance .......................... Fred Viancos, Ellen Weatherford Circulation..................................................................... Trevor Trudelle USPTA World Headquarters 11961 Performance Dr. Orlando, FL 32827 407-634-3050 –

68 - ADDvantage Magazine

November / December 2022

Dillon Chustz USPTA Director of Membership

ADDvantage is published monthly by the United States Professional Tennis Association. The opinions expressed in ADDvantage are those of the authors and not necessarily those of ADDvantage or the United States Professional Tennis Association. Copyright© United States Professional Tennis Association, Inc. 2022. All rights reserved. Reproduction of any portion of the magazine is not permitted without written permission from the USPTA.