Tennis Club Business
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Photo by Tomasz Kraxczyk on Unsplash

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At TCB we want to embrace many racquet sports and introduce you to the games and the forces that drive them. Our topics are e.g. how to get into the sport, how to make money with it, and what's new with organizations, people, and equipment.

In November, we'll introduce Hannah Thompson who's explaining how she grows Pickleball at her club. Lynn Cherry sent us links to 8 more Pickleball Fire Podcasts. PPR and Electrum Pickleball signed a partnership agreement. A very brief recommendation to check out Steve Dawson, his club, and his Pickleball Master Program. And if you need Pickleball resources, scroll down to the bottom for some great free stuff from Oncourt Offcourt! Find the latest issue of Pickleball Magazine further below Oncurt Offcourt.

 

Nate Gross tells us that Spec Tennis is like a Balance Bike and R.O.G.Y. is like Training Wheels.

Mitch Kutner sent us links to 4 nice POP Tennis videos.

As always let us know here if you want to get connected to any of the people featured below. State your name and what you do, please. Thank you. 

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Message from Rich Neher

 

Friends, I highly recommend giving the Morning Brew newsletter a read. It's an awesome daily email that delivers the top business news in a way that's informative and entertaining. Best of all, it's free and only takes 5 minutes to read each morning. Give it a try and subscribe using my personal invite link below:

Subscribe to Morning Brew

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Hannah Thompson

 

Cliff Drysdale Management

Assistant Director of Tennis

Weston Racquet Club
Weston, Florida

How to grow Pickleball at Your Club

This has been one of the biggest challenges I have faced in my tennis career to date. Weston Racquet Club has been a very successful tennis facility under Cliff Drysdale management for many years now. Introducing pickle ball to this facility and trying to grow a new racquet program from scratch was a lot more challenging than first expected.

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Although pickleball has many similarities to tennis the culture surrounding this sport is very different. With so many free courts at public park facilities across the country, it has created a ‘rec’ drop-in culture where people gather together at all hours of the day for guaranteed social match play at no cost.

This drop-in, low-cost culture made it very challenging to start a program with required costs and reservations so how did we overcome this?

We started from ground zero. We knew we needed to create our own pickleball culture at the club. We offered 4 weeks 101 programs for beginners to learn the game with us. Following 101 we offered 201 which dived deeper into technique, strategy, and match play. After 201 we set up a full programming pathway with drop-in clinics for different playing levels, play options, monthly mixers, and competitive tournaments.

As we offered consistent, reasonably priced 101 sessions alongside strong marketing and word of mouth the local players kept coming and we were able to keep these players in our 201 and then drop-in clinic/play options. We have now created a pickleball culture at the club and a quality program where players see the value in reserving a court and paying and coming back consistently to play at the club.

Lynn Cherry, Owner

Pickleball Fire

I wasn't around Pickleball very long before I knew I wanted to start a website about the game. That's because I became addicted to the sport in 2018 shortly after finding it when I moved to Connecticut from North Texas. When I saw the local recreation center had Pickleball, I looked up the sport on Youtube and thought I'm going to love this game! I hadn't played a racket sport in quite a few years because of my bad knees but I realized on the small court I could probably handle the movement. So, using my skills from when I played open-level racquetball and a couple years of tennis, I started playing and writing about the game.  Contact Lynn Cherry

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Professional Pickleball Registry (PPR)  &  Electrum Pickleball

sign partnership agreement

PPR (Professional Pickleball Registry) and Electrum Pickleball recently signed a multi-year partnership agreement.  Electrum will be an “Official Pickleball Paddle of the PPR.”

 

“Electrum makes two of the hottest paddles in pickleball, said Dan Santorum, PPR President/CEO. The fact that PPR Clinician and #1 Doubles player in the world, Collin Johns, plays with Electrum, speaks volumes.  PPR is thrilled to be partnering with such an up and coming brand in Electrum.”

 

“I am so excited about the partnership between Electrum and PPR, said Johns. With Electrum paddles, PPR members now have the opportunity to play with one of the top paddles in the world, and they also get a great PPR discount!”

Electrum has once again produced a new, dynamic line of paddles for the 2021 – 22 season.  The Electrum Pro paddle continues to be one of the grittiest paddles on the market, combined with massive putaway power and an all-around sweet spot, perfect for anyone just starting their pickleball journey, or playing at the highest level.  The Electrum Model E is an extended version of the pro, with a matched grit carbon fiber surface, a thicker core for enhanced control, and a longer face for extra reach at the kitchen.  

 

According to Lauren Stratman, Director at Electrum, “In just three years, I’ve witnessed how PPR and their pros have impressively helped grow the sport of pickleball.  PPR’s impact on pickleball has been immense, and the good news is . . . the best is yet to come.”

 

PPR has enjoyed a record-setting year so far with more new PPR members and certification workshops than ever before.  More and more tennis pros are adding PPR certification in order to obtain the industry’s hottest status – “Dual Impact” certification.  Dual Impact professionals will soon be a minimum industry standard, enhancing PPR as the certification choice for pros around the world.

 

 

About PPR:

PPR is the largest organization of pickleball coaches, with more than 2,700 members.  PPR is the official education and certification organization of USA Pickleball – the USA’s governing body of pickleball.  PPR, which is an integral part of the newly formed Professional Sports Registry (PSR), is dedicated to educating, certifying, serving, and inspiring pickleball pros in order to grow the game.

 

About Electrum:

Electrum was founded by pickleball and technology enthusiasts who set out with a mission to provide the most advanced pickleball paddle available.  They are steadfast in their vision to grow Team Electrum and the pickleball community and aim to develop positive and lasting relations with their customers and supporters. 

Awesome Steve Dawson

 

Rich is a big fan of Steve Dawson, one of the finest players and teachers of Pickleball and also the owner of Bobby Riggs Racket & Paddle in Encinitas, California.

 

The club used to be called Bobby Riggs tennis Club but Steve saw a niche and converted the 7 tennis court facility to 3 tennis courts and 14 Pickleball courts. Visiting his website he saw that Steve is marketing his Pickleball Master Class. To get on his mailing list, he offers a free short video titled THE KITCHEN IS NEVER WRONG. A great tip not only for the beginning player and it shows the quality of Steve's teaching.

Here's the link to sign up and get the video.

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Neuro Tennis
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Nate Gross created Spec Tennis in 2016. He has recently presented at the USPTA San Diego Convention, USPTA Eastern Webinar, USPTA Middle States Conference, Texas Tennis Coaches Association Conference, Between the White Lines Summit, and the USPTA New England Conference. Contact Nate: nate@spectennis.com

WHY SPEC TENNIS IS LIKE A BALANCE BIKE & R.O.G.Y. IS LIKE TRAINING WHEELS

By Nate Gross

If you haven’t heard of Spec Tennis by now, let me summarize it for you in one sentence: It’s the best bridge into tennis.

 

I was talking with my friend Dave Fish (who coached the Harvard Men’s tennis team for many years and was also the Director of Development at UTR) about a month ago, and he made a very powerful comparison.

 

He asked if I had ever heard of balance bikes. I hadn’t, and so he explained to me how balance bikes are essentially small bicycles that have no pedals and the purpose of them is so kids can learn how to ride a bike. He pointed me to a video and an article making the case for why balance bikes are much more effective than training wheel bikes.

 

It all made so much sense.

Balance bikes teach kids the most important skill which is balancing. Training wheel bikes teach kids how to pedal, which is much less important than being able to balance.

 

Once a kid who has learned on a balance bike wants to transition to a real bike, all they have to learn how to do is pedal, which is the easiest of the bike riding skills to learn.

 

When a kid uses training wheels and then takes the training wheels off, they basically have to re-learn how to ride the bike because they have not learned how to balance it, or even how to lean when turning.

 

Dave then told me that he thought Spec Tennis was like a balance bike, and that R.O.G.Y. was like a bike with training wheels. I started thinking about this comparison and realized he hit the nail on the head.

 

  1. Players learn control in Spec Tennis, which in my opinion is the most important skill in tennis (if a player doesn’t have control they can’t go very far). Players often do not learn control in the R.O.G.Y system because the racquets are too powerful, and oftentimes there are more inexperienced coaches at the beginning levels than at the ‘high performance’ levels.

 

  1. When players play Spec Tennis, they are able to learn how to actually play tennis. They are able to visually see and execute patterns on the smaller court and they are able to play an all-court game, rather than just playing from the baseline like you see so many kids doing as they have a fear of playing from the net.

 

Many players who go through R.O.G.Y don’t learn how to hit through the ball, because when they try to with the powerful tennis racquet they hit the ball out, and they have no way to fix it if they haven’t developed control. when they finally get to the yellow ball on the 78’ court, it’s like they have to re-learn technique, just like the training wheel bike kids need to re-learn how to ride a bike.

 

When switching from Spec Tennis to tennis, it’s like the balance bike kid switching to a real bike. The skills the player needs to learn are on the easier end of the spectrum: learning the scoring system, overhand serve, and adjusting to the larger court with a faster ball. Compared to learning control, the skills mentioned above aren’t hard.

 

The R.O.G.Y system uses 4 different racquet sizes, 4 different balls, and 3 different court sizes. Spec Tennis uses 1 court size, 1 paddle size, and 1 ball.

 

Maybe it’s time to simplify the tennis development process and just use Spec Tennis to train our players rather than a system that doesn’t have a great track record?

 

If you’d like to learn more about Spec Tennis or about how I’ve been using it in my racquet sports program, email me at nate@spectennis.com

Sponsors Needed for 1st National
Spec Tennis US Open

February 4-6, 2022 at the Country Club of Coral Springs (Florida)

The tournament will offer 3 divisions: S1, S2, and S3. The top division (S3) will offer prize money for the singles and doubles winners and runner-ups in both men's and women's divisions. We need your help in finding prospective sponsors. Please, take a look at the sponsorship package.

Link to the package

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POP TENNIS VIDEOS

By Mitch Kutner

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Mitch Kutner is currently President of The International POP Tennis Association, a member of the Association Board of Directors & has been involved in the “POP movement” since it began in 2015. Kutner has been a lifelong POP player, still competing in National Pro Tournaments. He is a three-time National Men's doubles finalist (2000, 2003, 2018) and a 2017 POP US Open Mixed doubles finalist. Born and raised in Brooklyn, NY, Mitch has spent time in the music industry (Arista Records), in TV syndication, and over 20 years in the corporate media barter business.

Link to our interview with Mitch Kutner in December of 2020.

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This is POP Tennis promo:

https://youtu.be/wajF28Nyiwg


 

Official promo/USTA Campus:

https://vimeo.com/229913876

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Awesome Steve Dawson

 

Rich is a big fan of Steve Dawson, one of the finest players and teachers of Pickleball and also the owner of Bobby Riggs Racket & Paddle in Encinitas, California.

 

The club used to be called Bobby Riggs tennis Club but Steve saw a niche and converted the 7 tennis court facility to 3 tennis courts and 14 Pickleball courts. Visiting his website he saw that Steve is marketing his Pickleball Master Class. To get on his mailing list, he offers a free short video titled THE KITCHEN IS NEVER WRONG. A great tip not only for the beginning player and it shows the quality of Steve's teaching.

Here's the link to sign up and get the video.

ONCOURT OFFCOURT PICKLEBALL RESOURCES

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Featured Product:

Pickleball Caution Tape

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New Pickleball Magazine

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