Junior tennis champion of the year: Phil Parrish
When Phil Parrish joined the Longfellow Club in Wayland, Mass., as tennis director 13 years ago, he brought to the role all the best practices discovered through his travels to clubs nationwide as a sales director for Reebok. And while the club has thriving adult programs, it’s Parrish’s success with junior tennis, including embracing new ideas and turning them into successful programs, that makes him Tennis Industry’s Junior Tennis Champion of the Year.
Parrish is “brilliant with youth tennis,” says USTA Director of Junior Tournaments Bill Mountford. “What Phil has been doing with offering shortened-duration, entry-level junior tournaments — including times that are more convenient for parents — has been fantastic. He has a ton of kids in his programs and feeding into junior tournaments.”
With three indoor and five bubbled hard courts — all with 60-foot lines — the Longfellow Club offers comprehensive programming for hundreds of juniors. For ages 4 to 8, the red ball Zip Tennis follows the USTA’s 10 and Under program. The USA Tennis program for ages 8 to 12 incorporates orange and green balls. There also is a 12 & Under Tennis Academy to develop tournament players from red to yellow; programs for ages 12 to 18; and a Tournament Training Program also 12 to 18.
With a staff of 24 certified pros, Parrish drives the commitment to developing well-rounded players through tournaments, interclub competitions, round robins, and match-play opportunities that are extended to non-member players, too. The facility also hosts Handi-Racket Tennis for players with autism and other challenges.
“Our goal is simple: Provide tennis for everybody,” Parrish says. — Cindy Cantrell
Tips for Success
- Develop a feeder system. The Longfellow Club runs low-cost programs through neighboring towns’ park and rec departments. In addition to extra revenue, the partnership acts as a feeder system into other club offerings.
- At your convenience. For players reluctant or unable to commit to weekly sessions, match play can be scheduled during club downtime.
- Network, network, network. Whether you meet with your peers on the job, or as part of the PTR/USPTA certification process, networking will equip you with new ideas and skills.
See all articles by Cynthia Cantrell
About the Author
Cynthia Cantrell is a contributing editor of Tennis Industry magazine.
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