Our Serve: Take Full Advantage
It’s worth seeking out industry meetings and conferences, which provide opportunities to learn and enlighten.
One of the best things about this industry is being able to interact with tennis providers at various meetings and conferences. For me, these educational events are not only sources of ideas, but also sources of inspiration.
We all have a lot on our minds and on our plates, but taking the time to attend these events helps me appreciate this sport and the great people involved in it, and to focus on what’s most important — growing tennis at all levels. Two such events I recently attended really drove these points home.
The inaugural New England Tennis Weekend was held in November in Newport, R.I., and attracted more than 200 tennis providers. This workshop included sessions led by USTA National and New England staff, along with other industry experts.
The sessions I attended were terrific. Featured speaker David Benzel of Growing Champions for Life Inc. discussed dealing with parents, customer service and using tennis to “win” at life. He pointed to a study that showed that 74 percent of kids have witnessed out-of-control adults at their competitions. “Coaches need to get more skilled and comfortable dealing with parents,” Benzel said. “Parents are the most under-coached group in sports.”
In addition, the workshop included sessions on how to activate parents as tennis program organizers, how to engage adults with innovative playing formats, how to expand tennis to younger players and local marketing. And just as important, coaches, teaching pros and community leaders had a chance to network and share ideas.
In early December, I had the honor of presenting awards at the American Sports Builders Association’s annual Technical Meeting in Amelia Island, Fla. The meeting, with its informative and timely educational sessions, had the most attendees ever, more than 600 — double what it was a decade ago.
What’s great to see is how, over the last 15 years, court contractors have increasingly been recognized as a key component to helping this game grow. The knowledge, experience and passion for doing the best job possible to serve this sport were clearly on display at this year’s ASBA meeting.
Continuing to learn, network and be inspired at these gatherings are important for this industry, and for your careers. Check out what’s being offered through your section, teaching pro group, TIA, USTA and other organizations. Then, sign up!
We were thrilled to honor our Person of the Year, Don Tisdel, in our January issue. We sincerely regret the misspelling of his name in the story. I apologize for the error and to Mr. Tisdel.
See all articles by Peter Francesconi
About the Author
Peter Francesconi is editorial director of Tennis Industry magazine.
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