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THIS MONTH

Dear Reader

My August Suggestion For the USTA CEO

Ken Stuart Needs Your Help

USTA SECTIONS
Executive Salaries - How Much Is Too Much? You Decide!

Why Tennis Should Embrace Clubhouse!

Some Tech News

Things Are Looking Up at USTA Southern California... But Not So Good for the

Carol Kimmelman Athletic and Academic Campus in Carson

'Tennis Boom Radio' on Clubhouse - July is in the Bag

3 Headlines and a Lie

Brought to my Attention

Shout-Outs

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DEAR READER,

Thank you for sticking with us when you have a choice of tennis publications to read every month. Ours is not like any of the standard magazines and eZines out there that have the USTA as their biggest advertiser. And I don't want to knock them, don't get me wrong. They all have their place in our tennis ecosystem. 

However, they would probably not do what we are doing this month!

 

THIS MONTH

After a very nice person pointed out what kind of salary his USTA section CEO is making, we decided to look at all USTA sections and their 990 filings. Most of the data is from 2019, of course, but this puts us in a unique position to a) compare the data to their 2020 filings once they become available and b) it allows us to continue posting that data year after year to show you where changes occur and how those changes affect the bottom line, etc.

I bet you can't wait to see the results. Please scroll down to USTA SECTIONS - Executive salaries - How much is too much? You decide! In some cases, it's an eye-opener, folks.

An issue that's near and dear to my heart is the health of Ken Stuart, the best friend tennis has in Southern California and beyond. Please scroll down to read what happened to him and why his club members are going the Go Fund Me route to help defray his medical expenses. Give whatever you can. It's being appreciated!

One main question plagued me for the longest time: Who's moving the needle and who's just saying it to sell seminars? I've looked at two candidates that are pretty serious about that, Fernando Segal and Noel Walsh. Read about it in Tennis Ecosystem: Who Can Move The Needle? Anyone?

Our friend Rod Heckelman gives us his perspective on the Naomi Osaka situation in "Too Much is Too Much." The Commish is making noise again. Scott Mitchell is writing about Tennis Advocacy. Javier Palenque continues to hold the USTA's feet to the fire. We have a bunch of good items listed under Tennis Industry. How about Edgar Allegre's "Big 3" NFTs? Under Alternative Racquet Sports, we are posting items about Spec Tennis, touchtennis, Platform Tennis, Beach Tennis, and Pickleball. In Special Features, we posted content from Pierre Lamarche (Canada), Dana Andrews (Florida), Emma Skingley (England), Paul Saxton (England), and Susan Nardi (California). Tennis Confidential (for our premium members) gives you some background information and my personal opinion about hot issues. Lots of good stuff, folks!

USTA SECTIONS
Executive Salaries - How Much is Too Much?
You Decide!

Many TCB readers will probably look at the below information and say, "Why are they doing this?" The answer is simple: Because nobody else is doing it. No one is holding the USTA's section feet to the fire. We showed it to a tennis parent and he said, "You empower the powerless." That is exactly what we're are doing after one league player happened to look at his section's 990 filings and wrote to me, "They're looting our USTA section."

WE EMPOWER THE POWERLESS

I don't want to go that far, though. No one is looting here, of course, because each section's Board of Directors is watching out for the good of their organization. Or are they?

One section's Board member told me they never get to know the conditions when a new ED is hired because those decisions are made by the 'good old boys" or Executive Board. In case you forgot, that's this never-changing group of 3 or 4 distinguished servants of the greater good, mostly men, who make sure they all get their regular awards, Hall of Fame induction, and President's Box tickets to the US Open.

So, we decided to be the first (and probably only) member of the tennis media that looks a little closer at section finances with special emphasis on Executive salaries and the overall health.

Most of the 990 filings we inspected are from 2019 (except, unfortunately, from Midwest) and we understand that 2020 will look a whole lot different because of COVID. However, as soon as all 2020 forms 990 have come in, we'll update that list and see how each section had come through the pandemic. Did they cut Executive salaries? Did they trim down or reach into the reserves? It'll be interesting to compare all this.

Profit or Loss? We understand that nonprofits are not required to make a profit. So we decided to not put too much emphasis on losses but still point them out here.

Definitions

We are not financial experts. However, we think we know how to read a 990 filing and trust those filings were done correctly by each section accountant. Each section's filings, except the ones for the Caribbean section, can be seen when clicking on the link IRS 990 FORM. We guess, since Puerto Rico is not (yet) a US state, they don't fall under IRS rule.

In case you are concerned, we are not at all sharing private or illegal information. Form 990 filings are public information nonprofits have to file and allow access to. Some sections have that on their website, others don't. Every state has different interpretations of the so-called Sunshine Laws, but they all state that nonprofits have to publicize the 990 filings.

 

Here's what the numbers mean:

Revenue/Expenses/Profit/Loss: Self-explanatory We looked at overall expenses without breaking them down.

Reserves: The combination of cash on hand, publicly traded securities, and other investments.

CEO/ED Income: Only salaries over $100K plus "other compensation" like bonuses were listed (Executive Income). Pension plan accruals and contributions, incl. 401 (k) are NOT included.

We believe that a section CEO or ED should not be making less than $125 or, depending on the overall financial situation, should be capped at 3% of expenses.

IPE: The ratio of Income as Part of the Expenses. Should not be more than 3% in our opinion. After all, we think since these organizations are all non-profit, money should be spent on growing tennis and not on growing a person's wealth.
COMP: We wanted to know the sum of all compensation incl. all salaries, "other" benefits, pension plans, and payroll taxes and also show that figure as a percentage of a section's expenses.

Star Rating

  • A top section that has an IPE of 3% or less, COMP below 40%, and reserves that carry their operation for at least 6 months, gets a 5-Star rating.

  • When COMP is below 30% of expenses we add 1 Star.

  • When the section COMP s over 50% of expenses we deduct 1 Star, over 65% we deduct 2 Stars.

  • When a CEO's salary is over 3.5% of expenses, we deduct 1 Star.

  • When all Executive salaries are over 10% of expenses, we deduct 1 Star, over 15% we deduct 2 Stars.

  • When the reserves fall well below the minimum needed for a 6-month survival, we deduct 1 Star. When they get close to zero we deduct 2 Stars.

Results

SECTION: Northern California

2019 REVENUE: $5,833K

2019 EXPENSES: $5,590K

2019 PROFIT/LOSS: 243K

RESERVES: 1,844K

2019 ED INCOME: $153K

CEO IPE: 2.7%

COMP: $2,509K = 44.9%

TCB SECTION RATING

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IRS 990 FORM

COMMENTS: Overall, the USTA NorCal section looked healthy at the end of 2019.

SECTION: Southern California

2019 REVENUE: $5,259

2019 EXPENSES: $5,591

2019 PROFIT/LOSS: $267K

RESERVES: $5,404K

2019 INT. CEO INCOME: $216K

CEO IPE: 3.9%

TOP 4 EXECS INCOME: $679k

TOP 4 EXECS IPE: 12.1%

COMP: $2,519K = 45.6%

TCB SECTION RATING

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IRS 990 FORM - not published yet but management sent us the 2019 Tax Filing.

COMMENTS: $216k for an Interim CEO seems too high. The good news: At the end of 2019, the SCTA looks in good shape as far as the reserves are concerned.

SECTION: Pacific Northwest

2019 REVENUE: $5,690K

2019 EXPENSES: $6,423K

2019 PROFIT/LOSS: $733K

RESERVES: $6,471K

LAST PROFITABLE YEAR: 2015

2019 CEO INCOME: $294K

2019 COO INCOME: $228K

2019 GM INCOME: $177K

CEO IPE: 4.6%

TOP 5 EXECS INCOME: $1,004K

TOP 5 EXECS IPE 15.6%
COMP: $3,080K = 48%

TCB SECTION RATING

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IRS 990 FORM

COMMENTS: Executive incomes look excessive and not justifiable. The entire section looks top heavy. The only good news here: with $6.4Mio in reserves, money management looks good.

SECTION: Pacific Northwest

2020 REVENUE: $4,021K

2020 EXPENSES: $4,700K

2020 PROFIT/LOSS: $678K

RESERVES: $4,968K

LAST PROFITABLE YEAR: 2015

2020 CEO INCOME: $263K

2020 COO INCOME: $206K

2020 GM INCOME: $195K

CEO IPE: 5.6%

TOP 3 EXECS INCOME: $665K

TOP 5 EXECS IPE 14.1%

COMP: $3,331K = 70.8%

TCB SECTION RATING

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IRS 990 FORM

COMMENTS: Executive incomes still look excessive and not justifiable during many years of losses (although some of the Execs may have been axed in 2020.) One Exec income increased during 2020!

SECTION: Southwest

2019 REVENUE: $1,635K

2019 EXPENSES: $1,389K

2019 PROFIT/LOSS: $245K

RESERVES: $793K

2019 CEO INCOME: $111K

CEO IPE: 8%

COMP: $577K = 41.5%

TCB SECTION RATING

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IRS 990 FORM

COMMENTS: We discounted the 8% IOE because we think a section CEO or ED should not make less than $120K. Overall, the USTA Southwest section looked healthy at the end of 2019.

SECTION: Texas

2019 REVENUE: $6,358K

2019 EXPENSES: $6,227K

2019 PROFIT/LOSS: $131K

RESERVES: $2,659K

2019 ED INCOME: $221K

2019 DIR INCOME: $130K

CEO IPE: 3.55%

TOP 2 INCOME: $351K

TOP 2 IPE: 5.6%

COMP: $2,329K = 37.4%

TCB SECTION RATING

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IRS 990 FORM

COMMENTS: Overall, the USTA Texas section looked healthy at the end of 2019 although we think Executive income looks excessive.

SECTION: Hawaii Pacific

2019 REVENUE: $1,613K

2019 EXPENSES: $2,278K

2019 PROFIT/LOSS: $665K

RESERVES: 0

2019 ED INCOME: $108K

ED IPE: 4.7%

COMP: $711K = 31.2%

TCB SECTION RATING

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IRS 990 FORM

COMMENTS: We can only hope that the "No Assets" part of their 2019 tax filing was done by error since they had almost a million dollars in assets at the beginning of the year, including $386K in cash. If it's true, this may well be the worst run section of the USTA.

SECTION: Intermountain

2019 REVENUE: $3,111K

2019 EXPENSES: $3,105K

2019 PROFIT/LOSS: $6K

RESERVES: $600K

2019 ED INCOME: $134K

ED IPE: 4.3%

COMP: $723K = 23.3%

TCB SECTION RATING

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IRS 990 FORM

COMMENTS: We took one star away because of very low reserves and one star for IPE over 3.5%. We added one star for COMP below 30%

SECTION: Missouri Valley

2019 REVENUE: $3,376K

2019 EXPENSES: $3,425K

2019 PROFIT/LOSS: $49K

RESERVES: 1.112K

LAST YEAR PROFITABLE: 2010

2019 ED INCOME: $115K

ED IPE: 3.4%

COMP: $1,351K = 39.4%

TCB SECTION RATING

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IRS 990 FORM

COMMENTS: Relatively low reserves cost them an extra star.

SECTION: Northern

2019 REVENUE: $1,929K

2019 EXPENSES: $1,729K

2019 PROFIT/LOSS: $200K

RESERVES: $733K

2019 ED INCOME: $121K

ED IPE: 7%
COMP: $923K = 53.4%

TCB SECTION RATING

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IRS 990 FORM

COMMENTS: Relatively low reserves and COMP over 50% cost them two stars.

SECTION: Southern

2019 REVENUE: $13,139K

2019 EXPENSES: $11,605K

2019 PROFIT/LOSS: $1,534K

RESERVES: $11,896K

2019 ED/COO INCOME: $307K

CEO IPE: 2.6%

COMP: $2,578K = 22.2%

TCB SECTION RATING

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IRS 990 FORM

COMMENTS: It's hard to argue about an executive salary when that section is doing so well and the person also functions as COO.

SECTION: Midwest

2018 REVENUE: $11,053K

2018 EXPENSES: $11,169K

2018 PROFIT/LOSS: $116K

RESERVES: $2,269K

TCB SECTION RATING

IRS 990 FORM (2018)

COMMENTS: The second largest USTA section has low reserves which lost them one star. However, they gained one star with COMP below 30%. Question is: Why is the 2019 filing not available? Should we have taken a star away for such laziness? Is there more to that story?

2018 ED INCOME: $227K

2018 CFO INCOME: $150K

2018 COO INCOME: $125K

ED IPE: 2%

TOP 3 INCOME: $502K

TOP 3 IPE: 4.5%

COMP: $2,843K = 25.5%

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SECTION: Florida

2019 REVENUE: $5,736K

2019 EXPENSES: $5,446K

2019 PROFIT/LOSS: $290K

RESERVES: $8,163K

2019 ED INCOME: $142K

2019 COO INCOME: N

2019 DIR INCOME: $134K

CEO IPE: 2.6%

TOP 2 EXECSINCOME: $276K
TOP 2 EXECS IPE: 5%

COMP: $3,299K = 60.6%

TCB SECTION RATING

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IRS 990 FORM

COMMENTS: Overall, the USTA Florida section looked healthy at the end of 2019 but COMP over 60% cost them one star.

SECTION: Mid-Atlantic

2019 REVENUE: $6,134K

2019 EXPENSES: $6,064K

2019 PROFIT/LOSS: $70K

RESERVES: $3,541K

2019 CEO INCOME: $301K

2019 COO INCOME: $167K

2019 DIR INCOME: 120K
2019 DIR INCOME: 104K

CEO IPE: 5%

TOP 4 INCOME: $694K

TOP 4 IPE: 11.4%

COMP: $2,815K = 46.4%

TCB SECTION RATING

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IRS 990 FORM

COMMENTS: This section is top-heavy. The CEO's salary is excessive.

SECTION: Middle States

2019 REVENUE: $3,553K

2019 EXPENSES: $3,348K

2019 PROFIT/LOSS: $205K

RESERVES: $3,202K

2019 ED INCOME: $182K

ED IPE: 5.4%

COMP: $1,321K = 35.2%

TCB SECTION RATING

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IRS 990 FORM

COMMENTS: ED salary a little too high for a section that's losing money.

SECTION: Eastern

2019 REVENUE: $4,904K

2019 EXPENSES: $4,703K

2019 PROFIT/LOSS: $201K

RESERVES: $3,087K

2019 ED INCOME: $189K

2019 DIR INCOME: $118K

CEO IPE: 4%

TOP 2 INCOME: $307K

TOP 2 IPE: 6.5%

COMP: $1,705K = 36.3%

TCB SECTION RATING

4Stars.png

IRS 990 FORM

COMMENTS: The section looks healthy but the ED salary is a little on the high side.

SECTION: New England

2019 REVENUE: $3,786K

2019 EXPENSES: $4,036K

2019 PROFIT/LOSS: $250K

RESERVES: $2,649K

2019 ED INCOME: ???

ED IPE: ???

COMP: $1,642K = 40.7%

TCB SECTION RATING

4Stars.png

IRS 990 FORM

COMMENTS: Unfortunately, the full 990 filing was not publicly available which cost them an extra star. The 2018 ED income was $137K which would have meant the IPE was 3.4%.

As you can clearly see, John Callen is not looting the Southern Section with his income. We think he's not being paid enough. Under his leadership, tennis made some extraordinary progress in the South.

Going into this study we fully expected the Florida section to come out with 5 Stars. But when we saw their COMP of 60.6% we were troubled and asked ourselves, what are their 55 employees doing all day? Comparable sections with similar revenues show numbers way below those in Florida. Generally accepted guidelines for nonprofits state that payroll including all related expenses should not be more than 20% of revenue. We decided to regard 30-50% as acceptable for USTA sections.

Would be interesting for a workflow consultant to come in and examine why most sections need so many employees to do the job and whether it can be done with fewer people. The money saved could go into - you guessed it - grassroots tennis.

  • Congratulations to Northern California, Southern, Midwest, and Southwest, for receiving the new (and hopefully soon coveted) TCB 5-Star rating.

  • For Pacific Northwest, we're asking: Is that what they call Mission Incapable?

  • For all sections, we can't wait to compare those numbers with your 2020 filings.

 

We would have loved to see programming fees itemized in each 990. It seems easy to hide shenanigans in such numbers. By shenanigans, we mean dollars spent on not growing tennis or fees paid to Board members or staff without disclosure. We're not saying this is happening but we're planning to enable all section staff members to anonymously rate their section in certain criteria very soon. That way we will find out what's potentially happening there. More information about this next month.

We want to encourage section staff that is not happy with our analysis to come forward and let us know. We'll post every letter in our next issue without editing. And if you like what we're doing, let us know, too.

 

Don't forget:

We are asking all Pacific Northwest Section players, providers, staff, club owners, did you know that your CEO took home $294K incl. "other income" and your COO $228K? What are these people doing all week to justify that money? Then there is some GM who took home $177K (and that salary was increased in 2020 to $195K incl "other income"!) Does the full PNW Board know about this? Are you OK with that?

 

And your top 5 executives earned over a million dollars combined in 2019. That's a whopping 15.6% of all expenses. FOR 5 PEOPLE? Ouch!

WE EMPOWER THE POWERLESS

BROUGHT TO MY ATTENTION (scroll down for info on how to reach us)

USTA OUTSOURCED CUSTOMER SERVICE

TO CANADIAN COMPANY BLUE OCEAN

I mentioned it under Tennis Boom Radio Episode 12 on Clubhouse (scroll up).

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I don't want to just glance over the fact that the company the USTA hired to do all their future customer service functions is headquartered in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. Like so many times before, I get that distinct feeling that someone may be getting rich from that transaction. Why else select a Canadian company, right? Similarities come to mind when looking back at the selection process for ClubSpark which so far ended in a fiasco. I still haven't found out who got rich from that deal but.

 

I was always thinking when Kurt Kamperman retired why did he move to Canada? I hope he didn't HAVE to leave the country. We may never know about that, of course, but, holy moly, Kamperman moved to Halifax, Nova Scotia. Coincidence? There's no such thing, people. The ex-USTA Executive under whose stewardship we lost millions of players in the United States, is the new CEO of Tennis Nova Scotia in Halifax.

And a team from Blue Ocean is currently in Orlando getting trained. On what? Blue Ocean is part of the IMP group specialized in Aerospace, Aviation, IT, Defense IT, and aircraft sale. Wow!

A USTA section ED friend of mine with very dry humor put it this way, "Kurt is in Halifax to teach Tennis Nova Scotia how to lose members. Blue Ocean is in Orlando to teach the USTA how to communicate without pissing everyone off."

 

Be that as it may, this does not pass the smell test for me. If Kamperman really was involved in it (and I don't know for sure), hold on to your seats, folks. What could possibly go wrong?

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MY TAKE ON AN ONGOING PICKLEBALL PROBLEM:
KICKING OUT THE OLDER PLAYERS FOR YOUNGER ONES!

 

I was following Pickleball Champion Barbara Wintroub's never-ending ordeal with tournament organizers who do not want to let the older senior players compete in their own age groups. Instead, they make them play with women sometimes 25 years younger than them. In my eyes, this is a scandal. I have brought this issue to the forefront for years and never got any reaction from the USAPA nor did any of the tournament directors ever comment. As I said before, they seem to copy the old USTA mantra "Ignore a problem and it will go away."

This is another issue that doesn't pass the smelltest for me. My question:

Does the USAPA, in an effort to make Pickleball more attractive for younger players, intentionally make it impossible for the older seniors to compete? These are the ones that made Pickleball to what it is today. The players who became Ambassadors and evangelists for their sport.

 

But for the USAPA, they are not where the money is. Right? Didn't the USTA do the same thing in 2007 or 2008? Had they not gotten rid of the Super Senior events because there wasn't enough money in it anymore? But the USTA did it abruptly from one year to another. The USAPA seems to have concocted up a sneaky, slimy strategy.

I feel sorry for the Pickleball seniors who are the best in their age groups but have to compete against much younger players.

Cardio Tennis “Hit to be Fit” Tour  

The first “Hit to be Fit” tour in Chicago, IL was a great success with 35 coaches trained and over 150 consumers experiencing Cardio Tennis activations. 

 

The purpose of the “Hit to be Fit” tour is two-fold:

1) Re-energize and educate tennis and fitness instructors by elevating the standards of delivery

2) Re-engage consumers with the message, you can “get fit” by hitting tennis balls regardless of skill level. Cardio Tennis is the ultimate mind/body engagement (fun) workout.

The Chicago events were scheduled over two bookend weekends (this event would typically be scheduled over a 2-4-day period)

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Seven unique consumer activations were delivered at 5 locations which included multi-court Cardio Tennis workouts, CT with TRX suspension trainer, and the fan-favorite Triples events. Approximately 150 consumers participated in these various activations.

 

The demographics of the consumers across all events were varied and included a high percentage of starter players and a high percentage in the 25-35 age group. It also included those who hadn’t picked up a racket in years, all ages (our most senior athlete was 83), and all fitness and ability levels.

 

Two Cardio Tennis Training Course opportunities were offered at different locations to attract more coaches and part of the training included the coaches participating in a live consumer activation to cement the learning and to experience the workout/event with real athletes.  

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The “Hit To Be Fit” Tour model is flexible and cost-effective. One can schedule any number of events from a menu of activations that would be most appropriate for your market and goals. For more information contact michele.krause@contractor.usta.com

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Tennis Investor Completed Significant Strategic Investment in a Global Innovative Multi-Sport Marketing/Sponsorship Business.

For the year 2022 annual sponsorship will be offered to 200+ high-level tennis players. Selected players will qualify for the opportunity to get annual sponsorship between 600 USD and 60,000 USD.

 

The value of sponsorship is directly related to the previous, current, and potential performance of the selected tennis players. Tennis Investor is now accepting applications for this selection process worldwide during August and September 2021.

 

Tennis players worldwide are invited to apply by email with a detailed TENNIS CV which lists relevant details including social media profiles and number of followers on each individual social media channel and a social media link to their accounts. Include links to your ATP, WTA ITF, UTR profiles. A Tennis Player Profile website page would be an advantage as it lists in one place relevant details. 

 

Terms and conditions apply. Minimum age 14+. No age limit. Please spread the word and invite other players you know to apply also. Email.

Players Can Now Learn To Slice, Volley and Serve Like the Pros With New Grip MD 

Steve Pratt sent over a press release about Grip MD, a revolutionary new unique training device developed by two former collegiate tennis stars with the goal to aid players of all levels how to perfect the proper volley, serve, and slice grip.

 

He writes, "Grip MD is the creation of former ATP World Tour doubles No. 38 and NCAA Champion Mark Merklein and former Notre Dame No. 1 Matt Daly. The device simply slips onto the handle of the racket, allowing the player to feel the perfect Continental grip.  The Continental grip is used for the slice, serve and volleys in tennis and is vital to a player’s development."
Grip MD website.

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USTA Webinar - Junior Competition Pathway-The Why

Am I the only person thinking this webinar was really weird? I appreciated how Tracy Davis was quite honest when she talked about those hundreds of thousands of players that were lost to tennis over the past years. But I couldn't really follow Karl Davis too well. What did he really say? And Julio Godreau? Nice guy but no new information in anything he said. Karl Davis mentioned there were 900 parents signed up and he anticipated "tons of questions." But the webinar ended after 30 minutes and there were only 2 or 3 questions. Hu?

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TopCourt Expanding Stable of Coaches: Amanda Anisimova

TopCourt writes, "Amanda has taken the tennis world by storm, winning her first WTA title at 17 years old, and becoming the youngest French Open semifinalist in the last decade. Her powerful groundstrokes and calm demeanor have made her a force to be reckoned with on all surfaces. Through patience, dedication, and hard work, she's been able to turn her dreams into reality, one day at a time."

Amanda joins a list of remarkable players such as Venus Williams, Alexander Zverev, Nick Kyrgios, Petra Kvitova, Chris Evert, Brad Gilbert, Paul Annacone, Lindsay Davenport, Andrey Rublev, Iga Swiatek, Taylor Fritz, Sloane Stephens, Felix Auger-Aliassime, Denis Shapovalov, Bianca Andreescu, Bryan Brothers, and many more. 

Dates for 2021 BNP Paribas Open: October 4-17

The BNP Paribas Open, a combined ATP Masters 1000 and WTA 1000 event, will be held October 4 – 17, 2021 in Indian Wells, California, it was announced today by Tournament Director Tommy Haas.
The first-ever fall edition of the BNP Paribas Open will feature a women’s event with 96-player singles draw, 32-player singles qualifying draw, and 32-team doubles draw, while the men’s event will feature 56-player singles draw, 28-player singles qualifying draw, and 28-team doubles draw.

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Exciting New Racquet Sport Spec Tennis Revolutionizing How Game Of Tennis Is Taught

Played on a pickleball court, all that is needed is a paddle and orange-dot low-compression tennis ball for hours of enjoyment using the same strokes & strategies as tennis.

Intrigued by the size of a pickleball court and recalling the paddle tennis he played as a youth in Southern California, tennis teaching professional Nate Gross had an idea. What if there was a way to use a paddle and low compression orange-dot tennis ball and take advantage of the pickleball craze and the hundreds of courts being built each month across the country. Putting those two components together, the game of Spec Tennis was created by Gross in 2016 and is quickly revolutionizing the way the game of tennis is being taught to beginners young and old.

Gross has created the United States Spec Tennis Association (https://www.usspta.com/index.html) and a unique ambassador program where tennis and racquet directors, as well as Spec Tennis enthusiasts, can grow the sport while receiving a commission on paddle sales, and a discount on additional paddles. (https://www.usspta.com/ambassador.html).

 

What is Spec Tennis video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vs89qUovH50

See also the Spec Tennis content on our Alternative Racquet Sports page.

USTA Foundation Grants

The USTA Foundation, the charitable arm of the United States Tennis Association Incorporated (USTA), has awarded grants totaling more than $1,070,000 to 105 National Junior Tennis & Learning chapters (NJTL) in 36 states and the District of Columbia. The grants are designated to support under-resourced youth through tennis and education programs designed to improve health, build character and strive for academic excellence. This is an initial investment as the USTA Foundation will award approximately $4 million in grants in 2021.

 

These grants, targeted towards community programs designated by the 105 NJTL chapters, are anticipated to support 60,000 youth participants at the selected chapters, including 30,000 who are estimated to pick up a racquet for the first time.  In total, these chapters will offer more than 56,000 hours of education and 95,000 hours of tennis activities, including the creation and expansion of after-school and summer camp programs. The USTA Foundation also designated $100,000 of the grants towards 20 new NJTL network members. 

CLICK HERE TO SEE A FULL LIST OF GRANT RECIPIENTS

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Serve For Hope Tennis & Pickleball Tournament

Agape Tennis Academy out of Atlanta, Georgia, is hosting a great charity event at the Dekalb Tennis Center in Decatur, GA on Saturday, August 28. The Serve For Hope Tennis & Pickleball Tournament will benefit the Canadian nonprofit Heart For Africa. Janine Maxwell and her husband, Ian, are the co-founders of Heart for Africa, which focuses on bringing HOPE to the Kingdom of Eswatini (formerly Swaziland) in the areas of Hunger, Orphans, Poverty and Education. Bravo, Agape and bravo, Amy Pazahanick. If I lived in Georgia, I would play in it.

10th Annual Tennis Seminar for Professional Coaches, Assistant Coaches, and Parents

Marguerite Tennis Center, Mission Viejo, California

August 15, 8am to 5pm

Have you guys signed up for that wonderful event yet? I will be there and hopefully meet many old and new friends! Steve Riggs has done a great job 9 times in a row and I have reason to believe no. 10, together with Steve Borelli, will be even better! Who doesn't want to listen to Ken De Hart and Karen Ronney? Right?

TennisPros-SteveRiggs.jpg

Speakers: Dave Borelli, Amanda Fink, Dina McBride, Ken De Hart, Matt Previdi, Karen Ronney, Brooke Ronney, Dave Hagler, Evan Perry, John Michael Chamakoon, Martin Parkes, Ryan Hill, Mike Gennette. Qualifies for continuing education points with PTR and USPTA. 

Raffle Prizes: Gamma 5003 Stringing Machine values at $1,400, 6 Travel Teaching Carts, 12 cases of tennis balls...

$75 includes lunch and raffle tickets.

Register PayPal Registration

https://paypal.me/Riggs642?locale.x=en_US

or Venmo Steve Riggs @Steve-Riggs-11

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