Our Serve: The Best Part of Your Day
In early June, I had the good fortune to be in Newport, R.I., at a USTA New England Section board of directors meeting. (Full disclosure: I’m a member of the section’s board for the 2015-2017 term, and also a member of the USTA national CTA Committee. I feel my involvement as a volunteer helps me do my job better — to promote and grow this sport, and this industry.)
For those involved in the tennis business, if you ever have the chance, spend some time in Newport. Not only is the city a wonderful place to visit, but Newport is home to the historic, magical International Tennis Hall of Fame, which recently underwent a $15 million renovation and expansion. The Hall of Fame also is one of the few places where you can play on grass courts.
(Unfortunately we had a bit of rain on the afternoon we were supposed to play, so instead we played in the new indoor facility, then later on the new outdoor hard courts.)
Our section board, and for that matter our section’s staff, is made up of passionate and dedicated tennis people — and some really good players! — who are all about growing this sport and getting more people playing. For me, part of the fun of these meetings is having the chance to talk tennis with these colleagues, to hear about what they’re doing to grow the sport locally, to hear what motivates them and to see their passion up close.
I was particularly struck by something a fellow board member told me when he was describing meetings he has with his staff. Adam Molda, the tennis director at Cedardale Health & Fitness in Haverhill, Mass., regularly inspires and motivates his staff, and he reminds them that, no matter what sort of baggage a member may come to the club with, “We’re the best part of everyone’s day!”
I think many of us who deal in this industry tend to forget that. I’m not a club manager or teaching pro, but I know that amid all the politics and personal agendas and other, well, “crap” we often have to put up with in this business, when you get right down to it, it’s just tennis, and playing this sport is — and should be — the best part of a person’s day.
No matter what our role in this industry, the fact that we can do what we do and know that we’re helping people to enjoy this game, live a healthy lifestyle and meet others with similar passions should be extremely gratifying to us. We may need to be reminded of this every now and then — just like Adam reminds his staff. But if we want this sport to continue to grow, we have to make sure it remains “the best part of everyone’s day.”
See all articles by Peter Francesconi
About the Author
Peter Francesconi is editorial director of Tennis Industry magazine.
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