Building the future
In early December, I spent three days with people who may well comprise the most important group involved in tennis in the U.S. — the members of the American Sports Builders Association. These are the people who build and repair the courts that all our businesses depend on.
The ASBA (formerly called the U.S. Tennis Court & Track Builders Association) met in Tampa for its annual Technical Meeting and Trade Show. At first blush, you may not think seminars on engineering net-post footings, or building concrete slabs for indoor facilities, or maintaining grass courts, can be all that exciting. But for people involved in many aspects of tennis, whether construction-related or not, these presentations are extremely informative. In part, it’s because of the excellent faculty that the ASBA assembles for its meetings. But also, the presentations are interactive, and there’s much to learn, both from presenters and peers, no matter how long you’ve been in the business.
This year, the keynote speaker was Dr. Jim Loehr, the chairman, CEO, and co-founder of LGE Performance Systems, which specializes in helping people reach their full potential or, as he calls it, “full engagement.” I’ve heard Loehr speak before, and he is truly amazing, but even I was a little skeptical that the 350 hardened court and track builders in the room would be “fully engaged” in the presentation. Was I ever wrong. For two hours, Loehr simply captivated the audience.
Over the last two years, under the chairmanship of David Marsden of Hanover, Mass., the ASBA has experienced much growth and change. At the end of the ASBA meeting, Marsden turned over the gavel to a new chairman, Gerry Wright of Raleigh, N.C. Working with many committed volunteers, along with a very competent and caring staff (Executive Vice President Carol Hogan, Association Coordinator Cynthia Jordan, and Financial Manager Judy Mellendick), Wright will no doubt continue the cycle of growth for the ASBA — and for the sport, as well.
If you’re not familiar with the ASBA, visit the group’s website. If you’re a court builder and not a member of the ASBA, you really should consider joining. From court awards, to continuing education, to construction standards and guidelines, to court builder certification, and much more — there’s so much good stuff going on here, it would be a shame for you to miss out on it.
See all articles by Peter Francesconi
About the Author
Peter Francesconi is editorial director of RSI magazine.