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Industry News

Tennis Teachers Conference Returns to US Open

Registration is now open for the 2014 Tennis Teachers Conference at the Grand Hyatt New York, in conjunction with the US Open. The four-day conference, beginning on Aug. 22, brings together the leading tennis teaching professionals and coaches in the industry to share best practices, and will include a series of interactive on-court sessions and presentations. Attendees can register at usta.com/ttc.

The event offers tennis teachers and coaches educational resources, innovative teaching techniques, and networking opportunities. Keynote speakers include Patrick McEnroe, USTA Player Development general manager; Paul Annacone, Australian Open doubles champion and former coach of Roger Federer and Pete Sampras; Judy Murray, mother of Andy Murray and British Fed Cup captain; and Admiral James Stavridis, U.S. Naval Institute (Ret.) Dean of the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University.

In 2014, the USPTA World Conference, which has traditionally been held two weeks after the US Open, will not be held. Instead, the USPTA will join the USTA in hosting the Tennis Teachers Conference. “The opportunity to combine our resources with the USTA for this event allows us to continue elevating the standards of tennis-teaching professionals and coaches,” said USPTA CEO John Embree.

The TTC also will include access to The Tennis Show 2014 on Aug. 24, which will feature products and services from tennis industry companies, organizations and manufacturers. The Tennis Show is coordinated through the TIA.

In addition, attendees will receive access to the US Open and are invited to a special hospitality area at the US Open’s Opening Day, Aug. 25.

Visit usta.com/ttc for information on the 2014 Tennis Teachers Conference. For The Tennis Show, visit TheTennisShow.com.

USTA to Host 10U Workshop During D.C.’s Citi Open

The USTA will host a 10 and Under Tennis Workshop on Friday, Aug. 1, in Washington, D.C., in conjunction with the Citi Open professional tournament. It will be the first time a 10U workshop will take place at an Emirates Airline US Open Series event.

The workshop will provide tennis teaching pros and coaches with skills needed to engage and teach children. The USTA says it’s considering hosting Youth Tennis workshops at all eight Emirates Airline US Open Series tournaments starting in 2015.

At the Citi Open, the 10U workshop will take place at the tournament site, the William H.G. FitzGerald Tennis Center, and will run from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Cost is $25, which includes the workshop, lunch and a ticket to the tournament’s quarterfinal matches that afternoon.

10 and Under Tennis Workshops are part of the USTA’s educational curriculum program, “Coach Youth Tennis,” aiming to improve the quality and standards of teaching tennis to kids and enhance the long-term development of children in the sport. The program, in collaboration with the PTR, USPTA and USOC, consists of a series of online courses and a hands-on workshop and serves as a pathway to certification through the PTR and USPTA.

To register for the workshop at the Citi Open, visit CoachYouthTennis.com.

PTR Relocates Headquarters

The PTR has relocated its International Headquarters to new office space on Hilton Head Island, S.C.

“With PTR’s continued growth, we needed more space to operate efficiently and effectively, said Dan Santorum, PTR CEO. “This move will allow us to decide our best long-term option for PTR Headquarters.”

The PTR’s new physical address is 4 Office Way, Suite 200, Hilton Head Island, SC 29928. (For those familiar with Hilton Head Island, PTR Headquarters will be in the PNC Bank Building just off Sea Pines Circle.) All other contact information, phone, fax, etc. will remain the same, as will the mailing address of PO Box 4739, Hilton Head Island, SC 29938-4739.

Tennis Media Award Winners Named

Chuck McGill, sports editor for the Charleston (W.Va.) Daily Mail, is the winner of the inaugural Tennis Media Award, presented by the TIA in conjunction with the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association. McGill’s story, about a woman who underwent a double lung transplant in 2009 and is now back to playing tournaments, captured the best aspects of recreational tennis, said the judges. McGill will receive a cash award and travel expenses to the NSSA Awards Weekend. The TIA also honored First Runner-Up Doug Robson of USA Today, and Honorable Mentions Scott Fowler of the Charlotte (N.C.) Observer, Jane Havsy of the Daily Record (Parsippany, N.J.), and Blair Henley of TennisNow.com.

Own the Zone Offers EcoGrip Biodegradable Overgrip

Own the Zone Sporting Goods says it has developed the world’s first biodegradable overgrip for tennis, badminton, squash and racquetball racquets. The EcoGrip comes in smooth or tacky, and is made with an innovative polymer that is biodegradable.

“We developed EcoGrip with two goals in mind,” says David Marcus, co-president of Own the Zone. “First, the grip had to play just as well as the best overgrips on the market. Second, when the grip was replaced and discarded it had to break down naturally within one year or less.” Marcus says every year hundreds of millions of polyurethane overgrips, which aren’t biodegradable, are thrown into dumps and landfills around the world.

Players in 10 countries play-tested the product, says Marcus, to make sure it met the first goal. And use of a new technology in polymer chemistry ensured it was the first eco-friendly sports grip product on the market, says co-president Julius Stockfish.

In addition to the smooth and tacky versions, EcoGrip is packaged in 120-cm lengths, rather than the typical 110 cm. “Buckets” of 50 EcoGrips are available for $62.95. For more information visit otzsports.com, or contact sales@otzsports.com or 866-802-5550.

USTA’s ‘Team USA’ Initiative Brings Coaches Together

More than 30 of Southern California’s most respected tennis coaches came together one afternoon in April in Carson, Calif., to share their ideas of what makes a successful coach and, in turn, what will produce successful American players.

Top developmental coaches from every level of the game — including Robert Lansdorp, famed coach of Pete Sampras, Tracy Austin, Lindsay Davenport and Maria Sharapova; USC’s Peter Smith; UCLA’s Billy Martin; and USTA Player Development’s Jose Higueras and Jay Berger — met to envision a successful training pathway.

The meeting was part of the USTA’s “Team USA” initiative to create an inclusive, collaborative, national movement to develop world-class American players. Nine similar meetings were to be held across the country through early June by USTA Player Development General Manager Patrick McEnroe, appealing to top personal and collegiate coaches and USTA section leadership. The forums are designed to lead to more training opportunities and recognition for players and coaches, as well as more opportunities for top instructors to share ideas for success.

“We all want American tennis to be successful, and none of us can do it alone,” McEnroe said.

Adidas Brings Back Laver Shoe

Nostalgic ephemera or harbinger of good times? That is the question to ponder as Adidas brings to market its reimagined Rod Laver shoe line ($65 retail), which includes the classic white/green model, along with three stylized partners in a line updated with an air mesh upper, suede toe and gum outsole.

The company is clear about distancing this line from its performance-technology enhanced shoes. And, among Adidas’ other fashion offerings are an extended Stan Smith line featuring a variety of colorways, and even a lemon-accented shoe and women’s high-heeled version, as well as branded men’s wear.

The new Lavers also echo the evolution of the Converse (a Nike brand) Jack Purcell line, which became a tennis staple during the glory years. Purcells have morphed into a wearable token of hipsterism, sold in a wide palate of stylings tied together by the reinforced-rubber bump toe featuring the iconic “smile.”

Until sales results are in there’s no telling exactly what this means, but could it be time to start looking for serve-and-volley to again become the dominant strategy between the lines? — Kent Oswald

Parkkonen Named by PTR

Brian Parkkonen is the new director of development for the PTR, a post vacated when Steve Keller was promoted to director of education earlier this year. Parkkonen’s responsibilities will include scheduling and coordination of all PTR Certification Workshops in the U.S, and ensuring that workshops are held in all 50 states each year.

Parkkonen earned a PTR Master of Tennis – Performance rating and is a Clinician and Tester in all four PTR education and certification pathways. Additionally, he is certified as both an Etcheberry Strength and Conditioning Coach and USTA High Performance Coach. In 2013, Parkkonen was awarded PTR Member of the Year for South Carolina.

Prince to Give Away Precision Tuning Center

Prince is offering IART Symposium registrants chances to win a free Prince Precision Tuning Center. The IART Symposium will be Sept. 20-23 at Saddlebrook Resort in Tampa, Fla. Every attendee who registers for the symposium by July 15 gets a chance to win. To improve your odds, register by July 8 for two chances to win, or by July 1 for three chances to win.

During the IART Symposium, Prince will also offer a special opening evening event with prize giveaways. Attendees can test the latest Prince product during round-robin play, with the full Prince product development team in attendance to answer questions and talk about future projects. There also will be a roundtable discussion with the Prince product development team.

For details on the IART Symposium, visit gssalliance.com.

Legendary Coaches Honored

Legendary tennis coaches Jerry Baskin, Nick Bollettieri, Robert Lansdorp and Jack Sharpe were each honored as Team USA Coaching Legends at the inaugural Team USA Coaching Awards reception held during the Asics Easter Bowl junior tournament in Indian Wells, Calif.

Also honored during the Easter Bowl was Joseph Gilbert, coach of 2013 USTA Boys’ 18s national champion Collin Altamirano, who was recognized as the 2013 USOC Developmental Coach of the Year. In addition, the Junior Tennis Champions Center (JTCC) in College Park, Md., was named the 2013 Team USA Developmental Program of the Year.

USTA Awards $150,000 In Multicultural Grants

The USTA has awarded $90,000 in Multicultural Individual Player Grants and $60,000 in Multicultural Excellence Program Grants to young players and to organizations across the country

More than 100 student-athletes received individual grants to help with national competition and training, while eight organizations each received $7,500 grants toward their competitive junior development programs, which train young players who aspire to achieve national or international rankings.

Program grant recipients are: Dallas Tennis Association, Addison, Texas; Marty Hennessy Jr. Tennis, Las Vegas; Northwest High Performance Tennis, Seattle; Peterson School of Tennis, College Park, Ga.; Ramp Tennis, Carson, Calif.; South Atlanta Community Tennis Association Inc., Atlanta; Sportsmen’s Tennis & Enrichment Center, Dorchester, Mass.; and T Bar M Tennis Academy, Dallas.

PTR Partners with PlayYourCourt

The PTR has partnered with PlayYourCourt to create new tennis coaching jobs and to help fund education and certification for aspiring tennis professionals. PlayYourCourt.com is a mobile business that allows recreational players to book tennis lessons in their neighborhood directly through PlayYourCourt.com.

PlayYourCourt will reimburse qualified coaches who join and become PTR certified, as well as reward them with higher commissions for continued education within PTR. PTR will provide these new members with eight hours of education in the form of a complimentary PTR certification workshop. New members will also have to complete the USTA Coach Youth Tennis Program.

Nominate for USPTA Awards

June 17 is the deadline for nominations for the USPTA 2014 National Awards Program, honoring members who are committed to excellence as tennis teachers and as ambassadors using tennis to impact people and communities. All Professional-level members are eligible. Recipients will be recognized during the Tennis Teachers Conference Aug. 22-25 at the Grand Hyatt New York. Visit uspta.com for more information and to nominate.

ASBA Facility Awards Applications Due June 2

The American Sports Builders Association, in conjunction with Tennis Industry magazine, is accepting applications through June 2 for its prestigious Facility Awards Program. Winners will be featured in TI magazine in 2015 issues.

Photos of award-winning projects in all categories are often featured articles ASBA writes for various magazines, and in its publications. Also, the awards have been used successfully in the marketing and advertising programs of ASBA members, and ASBA presents all award winners with a free publicity kit to help them spread the word about their win. Visit sportsbuilders.org for more information and for entry forms.

USRSA Announces New MRTs & CSs

Master Racquet Technicians

Rachel Heise — Denver, CO

Certified Stringers

Byron Cleary — San Rafael, CA

Bryan Voelker — Yakima, WA

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