Our Serve: Learning Curve
In the fall, I had the chance to attend three national conferences that were important in terms of education in the tennis industry: First was the USPTA World Conference in New Orleans in late September, then the USTA’s Tennis Development Workshop in San Diego in early November, and in early December, I was at the American Sports Builders Association’s Annual Technical Meeting in Scottsdale, Ariz. (Another important conference in December I wasn’t able to be at was the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Coaches Convention in Naples, Fla.).
Attending these conferences once again showed me how important education is when it comes to being a successful tennis provider. Not only were the presentations packed with great information, but the opportunities to network with peers and exchange ideas, challenges and solutions are a key to keeping your tennis business vital and moving forward.
Other tennis-specific national conferences are coming up: Feb. 17-21 the PTR will hold its International Tennis Symposium on Hilton Head Island, S.C., and March 23-25 in Miami, the Tennis Industry Association will present its third annual Tennis Owners & Managers Conference (including a State of the Industry Forum). The USTA holds its Annual Meeting & Conference March 12-14 in Carlsbad, Calif., and its Semi-Annual Meeting & Conference in New York Sept. 3-6 (during the US Open). And of course, there are other sports and fitness-related national conferences, too, such as with the CMAA, IHRSA, NIRSA, NRPA, etc. (For a calendar of tennis industry events, go to TennisIndustry.org and click the “More” tab.)
Keep in mind, there’s also an extensive list of regional and sectional conferences, conventions, symposiums and workshops that go on all the time around the country by groups such as the USTA, PTR, USPTA and USRSA. Clearly, there are many in this industry who feel the growth of this sport, and of your business, is important and want to help give you every chance to succeed.
And this is where you need to come in. With the tens of thousands of teaching pros, facilities and retailers in the U.S., only a fraction actually take advantage of these educational and networking opportunities that are out there. While I realize online education is growing, necessary and incredibly important (witness the success that Coach Youth Tennis has had with its online modules), there’s nothing quite like being in the thick of a gathering with hundreds of colleagues, hearing presentations and insights from renowned coaches, motivational speakers, business leaders, community leaders, successful teaching pros and others, and being able to interact on a spontaneous level.
So, no matter what professional organizations you belong to, or even if you don’t belong to any at the moment, this is a plea to “get involved” and take advantage of these educational and networking opportunities. Your business, and this sport and industry, depend on it. I hope to see you at many of these industry events.
Peter Francesconi, Editorial Director
See all articles by Peter Francesconi
About the Author
Peter Francesconi is editorial director of Tennis Industry magazine.
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