Innovative Tennis Event of the Year: The Tennis Congress
The goal, says P.J. Simmons, founder of The Tennis Congress, “is to help raise the bar for amateur player development. You get these people together and it re-energizes them. Many tell me the experience was not just game-changing, but life-changing.”
Aren’t familiar with The Tennis Congress? You’ll most likely hear more about this event in years to come. The inaugural Tennis Congress was held in 2013 in Atlanta, and for 2014, the event took place over four days in October in Tucson, selling out with more than 220 adult tennis junkies attending sessions from 67 faculty members (80 players came back from the first year). Tennis Industry was so impressed from comments by both the passionate recreational players and tennis instructors who attended that we created a new Champions of Tennis category and picked The Tennis Congress as our inaugural winner of the Innovative Tennis Event of the Year award.
The Tucson event had nearly 400 customized classes and larger group sessions, covering everything from the geometry of the court, to advanced doubles strategy, to footwork, specific strokes, yoga, pilates and much more. “About 95 percent rated it either good or excellent,” Simmons says.
“The atmosphere when you bring together those who love the sport so passionately, and somehow find a deeper connection to the sport — there is unbelievable energy and sense of community.”
— Peter Francesconi
Tips for success
- Keep the mission top of mind: helping adults improve.
- Focus on curriculum development and innovation. To keep things fresh and bring new ideas, Tennis Congress brought in about 40 new faculty for its second year.
- For true improvement, you want players to take ideas and techniques back home and continue to work.
See all articles by Peter Francesconi
About the Author
Peter Francesconi is editorial director of Tennis Industry magazine.
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