Tennis Industry magazine


Continuing Ed That Connects

By Peter Francesconi

Continuing education is a big key to helping you succeed in this business. And there are a number of excellent choices when it comes to adding to your business knowledge and honing your skills in tennis teaching, programming, and retailing.

Most of you probably know about, and may have attended, the excellent annual conventions of the PTR in February and the USPTA in September, along with the USA Tennis Teachers Conference in August and, for the court construction business, the Technical Meeting of the American Sports Builders Association (formerly the USTC&TBA) in December. These annual gatherings feature top-notch workshops, lectures, seminars and on-court presentations.

There is, however, one event out there that for years has remained a bit under the radar. Yet, as I found out last year — and without taking anything away from the four conventions mentioned above — it is possibly one of the best when it comes to developing and educating community tennis leaders. I’m talking about the annual USTA Community Tennis Development Workshop.

This year, the CTDW (which years ago used to be called the NJTL Workshop) will be held at Sandestin Resort in Destin, Fla., Feb. 4 to 7, and if last year’s event is any guide, you can expect some wonderful and useful presentations. As Karen Ford, the USTA’s manager of Community Development, told me recently, the CTDW “provides us the chance to really connect with community tennis leaders and provide them the tools they need to grow the sport of tennis, or just build a stronger, healthier community through tennis.”

Last year’s CTDW, at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, drew a record 678 registered attendees, and Ford is hoping to break 700 in 2005. The key to the CTDW, though, is that the attendees, presenters, and organizers all are committed to one goal: growing tennis in their communities.

The folks who attend the CTDW are the people who actually deliver the programs and have direct contact with the tennis-playing and equipment-buying public. Some are volunteers in tennis; some make their living from the sport — all stand to gain through the knowledge they come away with. The CTDW sessions I stopped in last year were well-attended, and the knowledgeable presenters fed off of the audience’s enthusiasm. It was one of the best gatherings in this business that I’ve ever been to.

This year’s theme for the CTDW is “Great Ideas, Greater Communities,” and you can bet that the talented Community Tennis staff at the USTA will put together a great lineup of seminars that will easily apply to your business, and that will in fact help you get more business. As we go to press, the preliminary schedule included sessions on trends in recreational programming, USA Tennis NJTL, communication, marketing to minorities, liability and insurance, hiring a certified pro, organizational planning, dealing with volunteers, running league programs, and much more.

If you’ve never been to the CTDW, or haven’t been to one in recent years, consider attending this one (for more information, visit on the web, call 914-696-7205, or e-mail You owe it to your business to find out what it’s all about.

Peter Francesconi

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About the Author

Peter Francesconi is editorial director of Tennis Industry magazine.



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