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Focus On The USA Tennis Teachers Conference Each year
USTA Tennis Teachers Conference
Each year, the USTA holds the USTA Tennis Teachers Conference (TTC), a multi-day
program designed to equip tennis teachers with the tools and knowledge to
educate, coach and instruct individuals to play tennis. The TTC also offers
comprehensive sessions on how to administer tennis programs through appropriate
business tactics and how to manage career and financial matters, making it one
of the premier coaching workshops in the nation.
The TTC is held each year at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in New York City on the
weekend immediately preceding the start of the US Open and many attendees are
also able to participate in Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day. “The TTC gives tennis
professionals from across the nation an opportunity to share and gain insight to
coaching ideas and philosophies,” said Kurt Kamperman, Chief Executive,
Community Tennis, USTA. “By holding the TTC alongside the start of the US Open,
the attendees are given the chance to see the techniques they have learned
during the conference utilized by world champions on the game’s greatest stage.”
Click here to find out more about this year’s USTA Tennis Teachers
Each year, at least one scholarship is available for a multicultural coach to
attend the TTC. For information about possible scholarships, contact
Kristy Harris. In 2004, the Colorado Tennis
Association and the USTA/Intermountain Section awarded scholarships to three
Colorado tennis instructors to attend this conference. Here’s what they had to
From Quincy Howard (Denver Star Search Program & former Montbello High School
My experience at the teacher conference was amazing to say the least. There was
so much information out there to grow on, you could not help but improve. Tons
of ideas on how to get students interested in tennis, with just as many ways to
help them improve: the atmosphere, the professionalism, and the way it was run
was top notch. But the highlight of the event for me was Arthur Ashe Kids Day.
The time and money put into that day will permanently affect many of those kids
for the rest of their lives.
One of the things I would share is that, no matter how good of a coach you are,
there are many things you can learn. I also learned the importance of
communication. Brad Gilbert spoke about how it is important to understand that
not everyone communicates the same way you do, so you have to be open to
different ways to communicate with your students. The way Brad said it was
coaches normally think like this: "My way or the highway." Open yourself up to
the way people are trying to communicate with you.
From Tobias Ortegon (Current Denver P&R Tennis Coordinator & USTA Junior Team
There wasn’t just one highlight from the weekend, but seeing the Bryan brothers
and their dad who coached them from day one was great. Wayne is very comical and
a captivating speaker. They demonstrated on-court drills and tactics, focusing
on quickness/reflexes, movement/positioning and poaching strategies.
On encouraging minority participation in tennis:
As a coach, we face numerous challenges, but stability in the home is probably
one of our biggest challenges. Parental involvement is key to developing and
motivating our youth, by teaching them respect, appreciation and hard work. This
is the foundation that allows us to build and create their full potential in
anything in life. We can then reaffirm those same values that are most important
for success in sports and the real world.
From Guss Morrison (Mount Vernon Country Club tennis pro):
This was truly one of the very best conferences (of any sort) I have ever
attended, starting with the very creatively designed and content-laden
Conference Events brochure to an awesome array of former tennis greats and some
of the best coaching minds in America there to share their knowledge, wisdom,
On encouraging minority participation in tennis:
A common thread of all sports is that those attracted to a particular game tend
to share a sense of identity and level of comfortableness in participating in
that game, and a certain degree of confidence in their ability to learn and play
it. Tennis is a game that is largely unfamiliar to significant segments of many
cultures and ethnic groups, and thus is not a sport they can identify with, nor
does it provide the comfort level and confidence factor necessary to make it
popular and attractive, especially among the youth of these populations (as in
the case of soccer, for example). Thus, to achieve our goal of bringing the same
level of diversity to tennis as is occurring throughout America in general, will
require an enormous effort to expose, introduce, and involve the “unfamiliar
millions” with the game of tennis.
As I left the grounds of the Tennis Center at Flushing Meadows at the end of
Arthur Ashe Kids Day, the thought and idea kept resounding in my head that if
this day could be replicated all across America, tennis would be a much more
popular sport, very very soon. A national replication of AAKD (or some
reasonable facsimile), in my opinion, would be one of the most effective and
successful approaches possible for attracting and exposing tennis to a much
broader spectrum of urban/suburban communities (where the greatest diversity
exist); thus, making USTA’s goal of increasing diversity in tennis a much more
realistic possibility….not just among the youth, but adults as well. The parents
at AAKD were just as excited as the kids.