Offer ROG Tennis for All Ages
Regarding the article “Pickleball and Tennis: Can They Be Friends?” in the November/December issue, I believe tennis facilities should offer adults ROG tennis on 36- and 60-foot courts, rather than lose tennis courts to pickleball. ROG tennis on 36- or 60-foot courts offers the same fun and social elements that pickleball does.
Before a facility converts a tennis court to a pickleball court and removes a tennis court from permanent use, I suggest the facility try the pop-up nets used for red-ball tennis. Four 18-foot pop-up nets easily fit on a regular tennis court, and sometimes six will fit depending upon the space behind the baseline. This means you can have at least eight people playing in the space of one 78-foot court, and possibly up to 24 players. That is a significant revenue opportunity!
Another option would be to add blended lines for a 60-foot court, with the orange ball. The smaller court and slower balls are similar to pickleball. Beginners can focus on stroke production and movement; older players who no longer can cover the full tennis court can continue to have fun playing with their peers.
Using 36-60 blended lines, ROG balls and shorter nets gives a tennis facility options that can provide for fun, social interaction and competition without permanently converting a tennis court to pickleball. ROG allows students of all ages to learn tennis. It allows for an older tennis player to stay on the court and play the game he or she loves.
USTA Southern California
Thank you so much for putting the pickleball article in Tennis Industry’s November/December issue. I am a tennis pro at Five Seasons Sports Club in Cincinnati and heading up our pickleball. It is really taking off and many of our tennis players are picking it up. I love the exposure!
Five Seasons Sports Club
A ‘Health Problem-Solver’
I read with great interest the excellent editorial “Catching More Players” in the November/December issue, and it really struck a chord with me. As an orthopedic surgeon and sports medicine specialist (also a USPTA member) whose lifelong passion has been exercise, including the promotion and prescription of exercise and activity by physicians and other health-care professionals, I believe we have made some small strides in getting the medical community to embrace their role as exercise advocates, but really have not touched the surface. We could do so much better, and I sincerely believe tennis could be a huge health problem-solver for many, especially our aging population.
In the late 1980s, I was part of the President’s Council on Physical Activity and Sports (PCPFS) under the leadership of Arnold Schwarzenegger. One of my personal initiatives was the creation of a prescription pad geared toward having physicians prescribe exercise. Hopefully the Canadian physicians you referenced will be more successful than we were, as U.S. physicians were not quite ready for our program. I still believe this should be taught in every medical school, and I continue to work on that goal.
In terms of the health benefits of tennis, Dr. Jack Groppel and I co-wrote an article for The Physician and Sportsmedicine titled “Tennis: For the Health of It!” which underscores the power and potential of tennis to improve the health of our nation, just as you emphasized in your editorial. I believe you are spot on! Tennis has numerous scientifically documented health benefits and it would behoove us to get that word out any way we can.
I have often discussed this with tennis pros and believe it is an untapped strategy for motivating and activating our relatively sedentary adult population. Tennis pros and the tennis industry have not figured out how to connect these dots, but it can be done. This will not only help those who take up the wonderful, healthy lifelong sport of tennis, but could also be a boon to the tennis industry.
Nicholas DiNubile, MD
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