USTA, PTR, USPTA, USOC Launch ‘Coach Youth Tennis’ Curriculum
Working in collaboration, the USTA, PTR, USPTA and U.S. Olympic Committee will launch in February the educational curriculum program “Coach Youth Tennis,” to improve the quality and standards of teaching tennis to kids and enhance the long-term development of children in the sport. The program consists of a series of online courses and a hands-on workshop introducing participants to the fundamentals required for success in working with children ages 10 and under.
“Elevating the quality and standards of teaching tennis to our youth will have lasting impact on our sport,” says USTA Player Development General Manager Patrick McEnroe. “‘Coach Youth Tennis’ provides tennis teachers of all levels with the tools necessary to teach the sport to children.”
The curriculum serves as a pathway to professional certification through the PTR and USPTA. Beginning this year, all individuals who want to become a certified teaching professional will need to complete the “Coach Youth Tennis” curriculum, which establishes a set of standards for teachers and coaches to ensure children are taught the proper essentials of the game.
“These educational resources will impact tennis teachers and coaches throughout the country, with information on how to best deliver the sport to kids, as well as on maximizing their business,” says Kurt Kamperman, the USTA’s chief executive of Community Tennis.
The program consists of two stages of course work, which include six interactive online courses. The curriculum covers several topics, including appropriate methods on how to communicate, understanding characteristics of children, tennis activities suited for young children, effective ways to transition children through ability progressions, and group management. In addition, there’s a face-to-face workshop.
“We are excited about the collaborative effort the USTA organized to expand 10 and Under education for tennis teachers,” says PTR CEO Dan Santorum, “and look forward to supporting the USTA’s efforts to enhance 10 and Under education that can lead to PTR certification.”
“It is not too much to ask professionals who wish to become certified to take seven hours of education prior to certification that addresses our most important initiative, which is to grow our base of players starting with kids 6 to 10 years old,” says USPTA CEO John Embree. For more information, visit coachyouthtennis.com.
Prince, USPTA Sign Multi-Year Agreement
In September, shortly after the US Open, Prince introduced new product to key dealers at a two-day meeting in Newport, R.I.
Now, the Bordentown, N.J.-based equipment manufacturer, which had declared bankruptcy in 2011 and went through an ownership change in 2012, just announced a multi-year agreement with the USPTA, in which the teaching pro organization will endorse Prince racquets, balls, strings, bags and accessories.
The agreement re-introduces the two companies, which had been affiliated during the 1980s and through the early 1990s. Prince has actively been repositioning itself in the marketplace, including re-entering the ball market.
USPTA CEO John Embree served as president of Prince Sports, The Americas from 2008 to 2010. “Having worked closely with [Prince Global Sports CEO] Mike Ballardie in the past, I know the commitment the company and its staff has to the tennis-teaching profession and the grassroots efforts to grow our sport,” said Embree.
“Working with skilled, motivated and performance focused tennis-teaching professionals is a critical factor in driving sales in this industry and Prince recognizes the significant value that an association with the USPTA brings to that equation,” said Ballardie.
“A key part of our 2014 brand strategy is a focus on ensuring that all players are ‘fitted’ for the optimum equipment for their game. This partnership with the USPTA is a valued piece of that puzzle.”
Deadline Nears to Sign Up as NFTC Host Site
Tennis facilities interested in becoming one of the 250 host sites for the 2014 National Family Tennis Championships have until February 1 to sign-up at familytennis.com/sanction. Local events must be held from May through July 6. The tournament offers thousands of amateur players the opportunity to team up with a family member to earn the right to play for a national title in New York City during the 2014 US Open time period.
There are no sanctioning fees for host sites, which receive a free tournament kit with everything they need to promote and run the event, including promotional posters, an NFTC banner, player premiums, finalist awards, balls, access to the NFTC online registration system; and the opportunity to earn a minimum of $612 in commissions based upon participation.
“We encourage all tennis facilities to join our family and offer their families the chance to compete on a national stage,” said Kathleen Francis of the 2014 National Family Tennis Championships. "This program is a great way for facilities to excite and grow their customer base by offering family members and non-club members the chance to join in on the fun."
Head Launches Custom-Made Racquets
In December, Head introduced “Head Custom Made,” a website where players can customize a Head Graphene Speed (Pro, MP or S) or Black frame, then order it (for $400) and have it shipped to them.
At custommade.head.com, players can customize the weight, length and balance of their racquet, along with choosing the stringing pattern and type of string, and the shape, size and type of grip. The frame can also be personalized with the player’s name.
ASBA Honors Distinguished Sports Facilities
The American Sports Builders Association (ASBA), the national organization for builders and suppliers of materials for athletic facilities, presented awards in its various categories at the organization’s annual Technical Meeting held Dec. 7-9 in San Antonio, Texas.
Awards honoring construction excellence are presented for Tennis Courts, Running Tracks, Sports Fields and Track and Field Facilities. Within each category there are divisions; for example, the Tennis Court category recognizes facilities in Residential and Outdoor divisions. Additional honors are given in the “Green” competition, for award-winning athletic facilities that use the most eco-friendly design, construction and operating techniques.
The Outstanding tennis projects appear on page 32 in this issue. For the complete list of winners, including the “Distinguished” facility awards, visit sportbuilders.org.
Ashaway Introduces New PowerKill R-Ball String
Ashaway’s new PowerKill racquetball string line feature Power Filament Technology (PFT), which the company says creates an entirely new surface element of Zyex filaments in the jacket of the string that increases durability and tension holding, and optimizes power.
The new line will initially consist of two strings, PowerKill Pro, and PowerKill 17. Bright red in color, both are available in 40-foot sets and 360-foot reels. Visit ashawayusa.com.
PTR, Penn Extend Ball Partnership
In a new multi-year agreement, PTR has selected Penn to be its official endorsed tennis ball. The partnership builds on the more than 30-year Head endorsement with PTR, the longest lasting active sponsorship in the tennis teaching industry.
Penn tennis balls, including the premium Pro Penn Marathon, will be the official balls for the PTR International Tennis Symposium and other PTR events. PTR members will receive discounts on all Penn balls, including the Pro Penn with PTR logo. Discounts will also be available on junior equipment from racquets to Red, Orange Green and foam balls, as well as on teaching tools like targets and throw-down lines.
“This was an easy decision for us to make,” said Greg Mason, senior vice president of sales and marketing for Head Penn Racquet Sports. “PTR is growing and it’s a great way to send our message to the grassroots players through PTR professionals. We know the impact they have in the market as we’ve seen it first-hand on the racquet side. We couldn’t be more excited to expand our partnership.”
“Pro Penn balls are the most durable balls on the market, which is a tremendous advantage for tennis teachers and coaches,” said PTR CEO Dan Santorum.
Tennis Rules App Available at iTunes
“I Know Tennis!” is a tennis rules app developed by recreational tennis player Barbara Wyatt of Tacoma, Wash., and available at the Apple Store for iPhone, iPad, and iTouch for 99 cents.
The app is written for all players, whether experienced or just beginning in the sport. It entertains and educates through a series of questions, with the official answers provided. According to Wyatt, the app walks users through real-life on-court challenges, category by category. From “Serving & Receiving” to “Game Delays” to “Faults & Lets,” and more, users answer on-court situations, discovering how an official would rule on each challenge.
Host a Tennis Play Event to Promote Your Programming
In celebration of World Tennis Day on March 3, the USTA and the tennis industry is expecting to host thousands of USTA Tennis Play Events. The events welcome kids and families of all skill levels to play tennis. World Tennis Day is a celebration of tennis around the world that includes professional tennis matches in New York City, Hong Kong, and London.
According to the USTA, March is the No. 1 month nationally when parents begin registering their children for spring programs. By hosting a Tennis Play Event, tennis organizers—whether at facilities, parks or municipalities—have the opportunity to showcase their junior tennis programs and attract new players, and consumers, to the sport.
Tennis Play Event hosts will receive a Celebration Pack that includes special giveaways for their attendees. Organizers will have access to customizable marketing materials and be featured in the searchable database on YouthTennis.com, the one-stop destination to register all year-round junior events and programs and where parents search for activities for their kids.
Kids are learning to play faster than ever before through USTA’s Youth Tennis initiative, which is geared toward getting more kids to participate in tennis using modified equipment and courts tailored to a child’s size. Studies have shown that an early, positive experience in sports is vital and creates a lifelong commitment to an active lifestyle.
“These events help support all of our other 10 and Under Tennis programming,” says Mike Woody of the Midland Community Tennis Center in Midland, Mich. “The reason to offer 10 and Under Tennis is to get kids playing, and these events encourage them to bring their friends from school, church groups and different youth organizations to just play. More kids become interested in tennis, and seek out ways to play through you!” To host an event, visit YouthTennis.com.
Sealing the Deal With Ashaway
In December, PTR CEO Dan Santorum (left) and Ashaway Racket Strings Vice President Steve Crandall signed a deal naming Ashaway as the Official String of the PTR. Ashaway is the only U.S. manufacturer of string for squash, tennis, racquetball, and badminton. Operated by the Crandall family since 1824, Ashaway has been making racquet strings since 1949.
- Tennis champion Billie Jean King will be one of two openly gay athletes in the U.S. delegation for the opening and closing ceremonies at the Sochi Olympics in Russia, which begins Feb. 7. President Barack Obama chose King to represent the U.S. in what is widely seen as a message to Russia about its treatment of gays and lesbians. For the first time since 2000, the U.S. will not send a president, former president, first lady or vice president to the Games.
- Caroline Wozniacki is back with Babolat, having signed with the company in December. The Dane played with Babolat when she reached World No. 1, but had switched to Yonex in 2011. Last spring, she started to play with a blacked-out frame.
- Boris Becker is the new head coach for World No. 2 Novak Djokovic. Longtime coach Marian Vajda remains a part of the Djokovic coaching team.
- Longtime USPTA general legal counsel Paul Waldman died in December. He served as the association’s attorney since 1974.
- Dunlop squash player Nick Matthew won the Hong Kong Open in December and recaptured the No. 1 ranking in the Professional Squash Association. Matthew plays with a Biomimetic Evolution 130 racquet.
- The U.S.’s Serena Williams and Novak Djokovic of Serbia were named the 2013 ITF World Champions in December, the fourth time for Williams and the third successive year for Djokovic. Americans Bob and Mike Bryan were named Men’s Doubles World Champions for the tenth time in 11 years, while Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci of Italy took the women’s doubles honor for the second successive year. Switzerland’s Belinda Bencic and Alexander Zverev of Germany were named ITF Junior World Champions, while the ITF Wheelchair World Champions are Aniek van Koot of Netherlands and Japan’s Shingo Kunieda.
- Former tennis champion Angela Buxton received the Ambassador Award from the UK’s LTA recently. In 1956, Buxton, who now runs a tennis consultancy, won the women’s doubles titles at Wimbledon and the French Championships, and also reached the Wimbledon singles final.
- The International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum and the ITF have presented the 2014 Golden Achievement Award to David Jude, a longtime volunteer leader in the tennis community who served as Honorary Treasurer of the ITF for 37 years.
Y-TEX String Offer for USRSA Members
Y-TEX is offering all USRSA members wholesale prices on its sets and reels. Y-TEX is the newest brand on the market and its Quadro Twist was rated No. 1 for spin and No. 2 best string ever tested by USRSA’s playtest team and published in RSI magazine.
Y-TEX was named Official String Sponsor of the 2013 Junior Orange Bowl. USRSA members are invited to e-mail email@example.com, visit the website at ytexstrings.com or call 843-816-1440.
BNP Paribas Showdown in NYC March 3
The 7th annual BNP Paribas Showdown will be Monday, March 3, in New York’s Madison Square Garden and will feature Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray, as well as, for the first time in its history, a unique brothers doubles match with John and Patrick McEnroe teaming up to take on Mike and Bob Bryan. The doubles match, which begins at 7 p.m., will be an eight-game pro set followed by a best-of-three sets for the singles match.
The BNP Paribas Showdown is a part of “World Tennis Day,” a global tennis participation effort. The Showdown is produced by MSG Sports and StarGames. Tickets start at $50 and can be purchased at thegarden.com and at Ticketmaster outlets. For more information, visit worldtennisday.com.
USTA Awards $65K to 18 Wheelchair Programs
The USTA has awarded $65,000 in USTA Wheelchair Tennis Grassroots Grants to 18 wheelchair tennis programs across the country for the sixth consecutive year. Grants were awarded to local organizations that promote and develop the growth of wheelchair tennis and use the sport of tennis to build stronger, healthier communities. Since the inaugural grants in 2008, the total pool of USTA wheelchair tennis grant money has increased each year. Organizations interested in starting a wheelchair tennis program can email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Read Tennis Industry on the World’s Digital Library
Tennis Industry magazine is now available online through Scribd, the world’s digital library. This means that no matter whether you want to read TI on the web or on your mobile device, you’ll have complete access, either through your web browser or through the Scribd app on your iOS or Android smart phone or tablet.
Past digital issues of Tennis Industry (and Racquet Sports Industry) are free. Simply go to TennisIndustrymag.com, click on Tennis Industry magazine archive in the top right, and find the year and month of the issue you’d like to read. The latest issue appears on Scribd the day after the printed issues go into the mail, and all issues back to 2004 are available. You can even search for keywords within issues.
If you’re already a Scribd subscriber, you can also check out a selection of USRSA books online, including “Technical Tennis,” “Biomechanical Principles of Tennis Technique,” “Tennis Training,” “Fit to Play Tennis,” and “The Winner’s Mind.”
USTA Board of Directors Application
Interested in serving on the USTA Board of Directors or USTA Nominating Committee? Applications for the 2015-2016 term are due Feb. 1. Visit usta.com/About-USTA/Organization/Committees/ApplicationInstructions/
Nominations Sought for TI Hall of Fame
The Tennis Industry Association is accepting nominations for the Tennis Industry Hall of Fame for 2014, which honors individuals who have made a significant impact on the sport of tennis. Nominations, which are due by June 21, can be in any of four categories: Inventors, Founders, Innovators or Contributors.
The Tennis Industry Hall of Fame was created in 2008 and currently has eight inductees: Howard Head (2008), Dennis Van der Meer (2008), Alan Schwartz (2009), Billie Jean King (2010), Nick Bollettieri (2011), Howard Gill Jr. (2013), Walter Montenegro (2013) and Sheldon Westervelt (2013). Plaques of Tennis Industry Hall of Fame inductees are on permanent display at the International Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport, R.I.
Criteria for nominating and a short nomination form are available at TennisIndustry.org/HOF.
- Hollywood talent mega-agency William Morris Endeavor Entertainment LLC bought rival talent and marketing agency IMG Worldwide for about $2.3 billion in December.
- The 2014 BNP Paribas World Team Cup, the ITF’s flagship wheelchair tennis team event, will be held in Alphen, Netherlands, May 26-June 1 and hosted by the Dutch Tennis Federation at the Nieuwe Sloot Tennis Centre in Alphen. A total of 105 teams from 48 countries will take part.
- PHIT America says 150 companies have now pledged their support and are behind the national initiative to reverse America’s inactivity pandemic. For more information, visit phitamerica.org.
- Roger Federer and his agent, Tony Godsick, have formed their own management company, Team8.
- The BNP Paribas Open, held in March in Indian Wells, Calif., has renewed its TV broadcast agreement with Tennis Channel.
- NEC Corp. has renewed its title sponsorship with the ITF for the NEC Wheelchair Tennis Masters and will again be an Official Partner of the ITF Wheelchair Tennis Tour for 2014.
- The UK’s LTA has signed a five-year media rights deal with Eurosport and IMG Media that encompass LTA-run ATP tournaments and the new WTA International event to be held in Nottingham starting in 2015.
- Austin, Texas, will be home to a new Mylan World TeamTennis team in 2014, with Austin resident Andy Roddick on the roster. Entrepreneur Lorne Abony purchased the Orange County franchise and will relocate the team, called the Austin Aces, for the 2014 season.
- Global sports and entertainment company Octagon announced it will donate $250,000 to USTA Serves, the national charitable foundation of the USTA, over the next five years.
- The Junior Tennis Champions Center in College Park, Md., was named USTA Mid-Atlantic Section 2013 Outstanding Member Organization of the Year.
- Peter Burwash International will direct the tennis programs for both The Ritz-Carlton, Naples and The Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort, Naples.
- LPGA star Ryann O’Toole, USA Water Polo four-time Olympic medalist Heather Petri and USA Softball two-time Olympic gold medalist Michele Smith are celebrity ambassadors for PHIT America.
- The Grand Slam Tennis Club at Banksville, N.Y. has developed a new 10 And Under Tennis program called IGNiTE, designed to “develop the entire child” through tennis. IGNiTE is the first step in Grand Slam’s Hitting Hot Junior Tennis Pathway, taught using a system founded by eight-time Grand Slam champion Ivan Lendl. The system teaches a complete understanding of how to hit all the shots, play from all positions and in all game situations, both offensively and defensively, says the club.
- France won its first Hopman Cup title with a 2-1 win over Poland in early January in Perth, Australia. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Alize Cornet led the French team.
Americans Set 2013 USTA Pro Circuit Records
The 2013 season of the USTA Pro Circuit concluded in December with record-setting results among American players. The 34th season of the USTA Pro Circuit, the largest developmental tennis circuit in the world, featured 89 events and awarded nearly $3 million in total prize money.
The year included a record 35 tournaments held on clay. In conjunction with USTA Player Development, the USTA Pro Circuit continues to emphasize the importance of increased training and competition for younger players on clay, particularly at the $10,000/$25,000 level for women and $10,000/$15,000 level for men.
Live streaming debuted this year for all 16 USTA Pro Circuit men’s Challengers (prize money of $50,000 and higher) at procircuit.usta.com. Ten of the 13 women’s tournaments with prize money of $50,000 or more were streamed live in 2013.
Notable records included:
- Bobby Reynolds now holds the record for career singles and doubles titles on the USTA Pro Circuit, with 31, surpassing Paul Goldstein. Reynolds won his first title in 2002.
- Michael Russell became the oldest USTA Pro Circuit singles champion at 35 years, 6 months, and 2 days after winning the singles title in Charlottesville, Va., in November.
- Former Stanford standout and 2010 NCAA champion Bradley Klahn was the 2013 USTA Pro Circuit prize money leader with $50,606 in earnings. Four of the top five men’s prize money leaders in 2013 were Americans.
- Shelby Rogers was the 2013 USTA Pro Circuit women’s prize money leader, with $36,308 in earnings.
The U.S. men won more than half of the USTA Pro Circuit singles titles this year with 29. The U.S. women won the most singles titles of any country with 19.
Tornado Alicia Black was the youngest women’s singles champion of 2013 at 15 years, 4 months, and 17 days.
USRSA Announces New MRT
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