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  • Racial Discrimination in Tennis

  • Side Hustles for Tennis Pros

  • News from The Commish

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-------- Racial Discrimination in Tennis --------

August 14, 2020

Rich, Hi.

In response to your request for experiences of discrimination in tennis.

 

I am indeed a woman of colour and live in the UK. My experiences discrimination in tennis as a tennis player and as a tennis coach, and I say, unfortunately, are far too numerous to mention them all here.

A little background. I was the first black female tennis coach to be registered in the the UK in 1992. As I write, I believe I am the only one as I have yet to meet or hear of another black female Tennis coach here in the UK. 

 

Two instances I can share.

As a Top player at a local tennis club, I was not allowed to play in the top team (A Team) for the club in league matches because and I quote “The club would look bad to have a Black person in the top team”.

 

As a Tennis coach, running the biggest all-female junior tennis academy in the South West region I was stripped of the coaching position to be replaced by a less qualified coach because and I quote “ Apart from being black, you’re not the face of tennis in this country”.

 

Hope this is helpful for your article. No anonymity required.

 

Best regards,

 

Caroline Gossage

Performance Coach, UK

-------- Racial Discrimination in Tennis --------

August 14, 2020

Hey Rich!

 

Great monthly topic!

 

There are sooo many examples I could give you that happened to me, my players and teammates as juniors competing in tournaments. I’m not even speaking of facing and dealing with it as a business owner and Executive Director of a 501c(3). I don’t think there is enough space in one month’s publication. I plan on writing a book in the near future because of it. I want to be at a certain level in my career so people will read it and think that I’m not or just wasn’t good enough.

 

Racism is rampant in America and is also prevalent in the sport of tennis. I’ll start by saying (and this itself is a result of racism - that I don’t want to sound like a whiner) for me it started in the juniors when we started competing in tournaments meant for suburban white children. Going to tournaments 12-20 deep from the same academy. 

Upon entering the tournament grounds we would get stares and whispers. When we made it to the draw sheets we would see that we all played each other in the first and or second round if we defeated the #1 or #2 seed. By the semi-finals, it would be one of us left because we would all cancel each other out in earlier rounds. I know what you’re thinking, “Someone has to play and the best play the worst in the early rounds.” Ok, but it was 12 of us, and the draws where 32-64 deep and we all were not in the same age groups. So how could every week for 2 summers when we invaded the suburbs we ended up canceling each other out and only one of us would be in the semifinals every week?

 

Here is another horrible story that happened to a close friend who was and is as honest as the day is long. We had all been eliminated in the early rounds and my friend was facing the #1 seed in the Middle Atlantic in the Finals of the Boys 16 indoors. We watched the match from seating that was 3 courts down. Our friend beat the #1 seed in straight sets, we knew the score in every game and set. When they returned to the tournament desk, my friend reports the straight-set victory in his favor. The seeded player lied and said that he won. The tournament director sided with the seeded player and they replayed the match. My friend had to beat the white, #1 seed twice to win the title. 

 

There are so many examples of players I have coached that were outright cheated with line calls and scoring from officials that it’s not funny. Talking to colleagues all over the country and they have similar if not the exact same experiences.

 

I could go on and on Rich, but in my opinion, it won’t matter until I make a statement with one of my players or my organization. Otherwise, White America will say I’m an angry Black man or he’s another Black who couldn’t cut it.

 

What I try to teach my players is to be aware that racism exists. We try to think ahead and be prepared for any and all circumstances that may make it raise its ugly head on the court and in life. Concentrating on being the best and keeping a cool head while doing whatever it is we are doing. Focus and deal with people who show you love and respect no matter what the color of their skin.

 

Thanks, Rich, just a taste of what I’ll be sharing in the near future!

 

Peace.

 

 

Peter Townes 

Executive Director 

NLTE 

http://nextleveltennisedu.com

-------- Racial Discrimination in Tennis --------

August 27, 2020

Hi Rich,

Below is from a friend & colleague:

It’s 2020 and no fun that we are still dealing with so many inequities in our society.  With regards to tennis, fortunately, I have not had many blatant racist experiences, but a couple of incidences come to mind….

  • During a match at XXX Tennis Center, one of the opponents who was a white European lady, was unhappy that they were losing the match and consistently disrespected us by making comments in very derogatory tones.   Here are some examples of comments I can recall:

    • You need to learn how to talk up and be heard

    • Can you speak English, no one can understand anything you say

    • Do you really know the rules of tennis?

    • I can say anything I want because it’s my right (when we addressed her about how she was speaking to us)

    • And of course, there was no handshaking or any form of sportsmanship at the end

  • During a match at XXX, again a white opponent was unhappy with how the match was going and went as far as threatening my teammates and making obscene comments.  The situation escalated to where the police had to be called to address the situation.  A very sad situation but fortunately a black person did not get arrested as is so often the case.

It's hard to recall these incidences because they are extremely hurtful and mind-boggling because there does not seem to be any other reason for the hateful behavior other than the fact that we are not white. 

Hope that sharing our negative experiences will be acknowledged and somehow spark changes to help this world become a better place.

 

Another incident that was shared with me (2018):

A white female player calling her black opponent a “monkey” under her breath and when questioned about what was said, it got ugly.  The black player asked for an official.  Later both filed grievances and the black player was suspended for making bad line calls and engaging in the altercation.

 

Another incident from my intern when he was in high school (2015):

My tennis team an opposing high school. They were a smaller school so we had an advantage as a team. I was playing with my white doubles partner against white opponents. I was hitting good shots and then it was my time to serve. I aced the boy and he turned around to his teammate and said I can’t believe we are losing to a “nigga.” I was very upset, but it made me play even harder. We won the match and the boy did apologize to me because his coach made him. 

 

Another incident (2019)

A diverse team was playing at the sectional championships.  The person at the desk was having problems pronouncing names of players when it was time to put them on the court.  The person said, “Don’t you have any Americans on this team?”

 

Another incident (2016)

White male on a diverse team went to a bar with teammates after state championship in Alabama.  The bar owner refused service to the team because of the black players.  He said he could serve whom he wanted.  They left the bar.

 

In my own experiences, particularly when I have been a part of a predominantly black team, I have been stared at, mumbled about, and felt uneasy about playing the sport that I love to play. My white opponents have an air of superiority as if no one can play tennis but them.  When they are defeated, the handshakes are hard for them to make, but the excuses for the losses are many.

C. Jones

StonesNet-032020.jpg

-------- Side Hustle for Tennis Pros --------

July 24, 2020

Hey Rich,

 

A great side hustle:

 

I have been using the Theragun pre-match and post-match for a few months. Signed up for the Theragun Training Network and once approved you get a 30% discount on your first gun. You get a unique QR code to send to your clients or member and they get a discount when they buy one and you get a 5% commission on your first five sales and 10% after that.

 

Lots of tennis players are using Theragun. They just signed Annismova.

 

Go to their website at Theragun.com and at the bottom of the page, under resources, click on Therabody Network.

 

All the best,

 

Gene Harper

-------- Side Hustle for Tennis Pros --------

July 24, 2020

Hey Rich and Pat,

 

Thanks for this great initiative. One idea for pros could be to be affiliates for equipment companies. OnCourt OffCourt has an active affiliate program for instance and then they would just share the links on their website or social media and get a small % commission on sales (generally about 6%). Another level up if they have websites with checkout/payment capabilities is to be distributors (a lot more margin but also a bit more logistical work of course). 

 

Also as far as MLMs go, Juice Plus is a pretty legitimate one. I take their supplements and especially love their shakes. I don't do much from it from a business standpoint just cause I like the products but my PT friend does and adds to her PT business - just as another option.

 

Kalindi

 

Kalindi Dinoffer

VP Marketing 

www.OnCourtOffCourt.com

www.AceAttack.com

www.PickleballTutor.com

Tel 214-823-3078 Dallas, TX

-------- Side Hustle for Tennis Pros --------

July 24, 2020

Hi Rich,

 

It’s Mike Oransky in Gainesville Fl. I’ve been a director for over 37 years and have had a side hustle that I started doing in 1983. I owned my own tennis academy and new I needed to save for my retirement one day since I did not have a pension. I have always enjoyed real estate and I learned a lot about real estate investing. I made it my side hustle back in 1983. I started by setting a goal to buy at least one rental property per year. Let the tenants pay down my mortgages and by the time I’m ready to retire I’ll have a certain number of properties I own free and clear. That will be my pension.

 

Fast forward to retirement and I own over 25 properties free and clear and draw more than enough money after property taxes, insurance, maintenance expenses in retirement to live a nice lifestyle. I have owned over 30 properties but sold some and owner financed them and held back the mortgages on them and act as the bank for a nice monthly income on the other 7 houses without any headaches of dealing with tenants on those owner financed properties. So rental properties and owner financed properties. Tennis pros are in a unique position with the type of contacts they come in contact with. A lot of high net worth clients that can loan them money to get started, with down payments on properties. The pros pay a respectable interest rate to the investor, and or give them a percentage of the property when the rents come in or when they decide to sell. This is not a get rich quick business but a slow and steady course to wealth.

 

Along the way, I’ve been involved as a result with other investors because of my side hustle and have been included in office/warehouse developments, spec houses that I have been able to turn into quick sales and large profits. A few fix and flips over the years as well all while running my tennis academy.

 

I have lots of information on how other pros could get started on a small scale and slowly accumulate some properties if anyone was interested to learn the basics! Happy to share!

 

Also, I do have one other concept/idea I would like to share with you soon as I am personally working on a project that I am sure I could use your help with that will be a side hustle for tennis pros, directors, coaches. I hope to have it completed in the next 4 or 5 weeks. It’s not ready but is being developed right now.  It could be something good or a total flop but you never know unless you try.

 

Mike Oransky

Gainesville Fl

-------- Side Hustle for Tennis Pros --------

July 26, 2020

Shipt is a good business to get into.  Shopping for others and delivering to their homes. One makes their own hours. Work as much as you want and service people. 

Depending on the size of the order, one can make between $8 and $25 a customer plus tip. During  COVID-19, many people stay home. They appreciate the service.

 

I know a person who has averaged between $600-$700 per week. I do a run here and there which gives me an extra $125 to $200 per week.  Again, it depends on how much an individual wants to work. 

Charles Werner

-------- Side Hustle for Tennis Pros --------

July 24, 2020

Hi Rich,

 

One of the best ways I’ve raised money for either myself, (when I was a head pro and tennis director) or my school, (when I coached high school tennis), was what I call my “Super Saturday” program. (Described in my new book as well as my “Coaching Mastery” book.)

 

I attribute our ability to create dozens of state champions as well as building a great community and tennis culture through this program.

 

Below is a description of this program and how it can raise a good sum of money while doing amazing things for a pro’s tennis community.

 

Thanks and best wishes,

 

David W. Smith

Author, High School Coaching Mastery, Tennis Mastery, Coaching Mastery

Creator, Co-author, Disney’s Hidden Mickey Mysteries

USPTA Elite Professional

Dunlop Master Professional

Super Saturday: Win-Win-Win

Making additional money for pros and coaches or raising funds for team programs

By David W. Smith

I’m often asked what one thing I’ve created or done that I feel has a significant effect on tennis in my community. My answer is always, “Super Saturday.”

                When asked to contribute an idea to Tennis Club Business by Rich Neher, ways that professionals can add income to their wallets in a legitimate and proven way, I immediately thought of my Super Saturday program.

                Let me first say that I created this about 20 years ago and it has never failed to not only add significant income, it truly created a ‘tennis culture’ in our community. I would say that this program had a great deal in the development of dozens of state champions. It is the only sports program that brings together juniors, adults, college players, and seniors in one program that all enjoy; all get virtually everything they could ask for in a one-day tennis event.

                In summary, Super Saturday is run every week, obviously on Saturday. We have used a city tennis facility with eight courts, and we have used a high school with six courts. (The more the better.) The program, once going, attracts on average about 30 -50 players each Saturday. I have run this on my own and with an assistant pro, so you do not really need staff at all. I conduct a highly active clinic for one hour at the start of this event. We usually start at 8 am in the summer, at 9 am in the winter. (We have a mild climate where I live. Obviously, other areas will need to adjust.) The clinic I run just like my team and clinic programs; I use six to eight teaching carts, but you can run a clinic any way that works for you. We do a lot of partner-drop-fed drills along with serves, live volley drills, and rally drills. (I love a large group and will tell you that if you understand this process, you can teach over 50 players on just a few courts. Don’t believe me? I taught 75 players on two courts in one of my drop-in programs!)

                Following this clinic, I set up a ‘Fast Format’ tournament. This is a modified compass draw with players picking partners or me setting up teams if they don’t have a partner. In the last ten minutes of the clinic, I have all the players hit with their partner while I set up the draw. Everyone checks in on a clipboard, I collect the money usually before the clinic; some players do arrive after the clinic to take part in the tournament.

                We charge a measly $5 per player. I could easily charge $15 or $20 and most would still take part. I have a fast-food restaurant sponsor the event, providing a couple of platters of sandwiches, or I simply buy a bunch of fruit and have my coolers filled with water. Racquet manufacturers often have provided “prize boxes” with a variety of branded merchandise we give as prizes for each of the “tiers”.

                I pair better players/teams with weaker teams in the opening rounds. This provides the opportunity for weaker players to actually play someone they normally don’t get the chance to play. The better players have a nice warmup in the first round.

                The “FAST FORMAT” is where matches are Two-out-of-Three set matches…but each set is the first to three games; at two games all the next game wins the set. If sets are split, and the third set goes to Two-All, a regular tiebreaker is played for the final game and match-winner. We use ad scoring unless we have a huge group, then we go to no-ad scoring. Typical matches last 15-20 min.

                Everyone is in Tier 1: I have a 32-bracket draw. There are five total tiers; Tier 2 is a 16-bracket draw; Tier 3, 4, and 5 are all 8-bracket draws. I have a dry-erase board and use “artist’s tape” (1/4 inch or thinner tape, different colors), to make the lines for each draw.

Losers of Tier 1 go to Tier 2; 2nd round losers of Tier 1 go to Tier 3; 1st round losers of Tier 2 go to Tier 4; Second round losers of Tier 2 go to Tier 5. This way everyone is guaranteed a minimum of three rounds with most getting four or five rounds depending on your numbers. We give prizes for winners in each Tier.

The value of this event goes far beyond the income generated. (Which can be significant, especially if you are charging more than just the $5 we did. If you get 30 players and charge $10, that’s $300 income less any expenses you might have.) The real value is that all ages and sexes play together. It builds a community of tennis players as the adults love to play against young players who usually have good strokes. The juniors are challenged by the usual smarter more “mature” adults. We often get an adult paired with a junior, a boy with a girl, or with a senior player. This opportunity to compete against a wide range of players and abilities truly makes everyone better. We literally produced over dozens of state champions from a number of different schools that I attribute to this added opportunity for players to compete.

Unlike USTA events, (which are either only age-based or ability based), Super Saturday is the only event that brings everyone together for a one-day event. Because it is a ‘drop-in’ program, we often get players from out of town who are visiting or just passing through, which adds another dimension of variety.

We use one can of balls per court for the entire event. Thus, the event also provides more used balls for my teaching carts by us using six cans of balls per Saturday event.

Finally, you build players who want to get better by having a weekly event, instead of a league or tournament for only a weekend every few months. This desire will increase your lesson interest. It will increase interest too in clinics and club activities, especially if you are running Super Saturday in a club setting.

You have to be able to think on your feet because every Saturday will be different, with different numbers and players. But, it gets easier as you run these events and I guarantee if you run these consistently, they will be the most popular tennis event in your community.

If you have any questions, please email me at: acrpres1@msn.com or read my books, “High School Coaching Mastery” and “Coaching Mastery”. I have these discounted direct or you can order from Amazon or Barnes and Noble.

David W. Smith is a National High School Tennis Coaches Association, Hall of Fame inductee. He has been “speaker of the year” twice for the USPTA, has lectured at over two-dozen USPTA and USTA conferences, clubs, and coaches workshops. He is the author of the new, top-selling book, High School Coaching Mastery as well as two highly regarded tennis industry books, Tennis Mastery, and Coaching mastery. Dave offers a 6-hour workshop called, “Building a Successful Tennis Program—From Nothing to Impressive” to coaching and teaching groups. Contact him at acrpres1@msn.com to order autographed books or to reserve him for your next convention. 

75 players showed up for one of my clinics

-------- Side Hustle for Tennis Pros --------

July 24, 2020

Try TaskRabbit. It's a service that pairs homeowners/renters with people who are willing to do tasks for them, such as: putting together their IKEA furniture purchases, hanging pictures, waiting in line for concert tickets, picking up dry cleaning, assembling kids playsets or bicycles, etc. 

 

Make money by selling unwanted-but-valuable goods. You can go online to Craigslist, NextDoor and FB Marketplace and look for people giving away free items they don't want to haul off, and then you can sell it. You can niche yourself. For example, you can drive around town picking up all of the free exercise machines people don't want, clean them up, then sell them cheap all at once (e.g. ellipticals, treadmills, exercise bikes -- all only $30!) If you sell 20 pieces for $30 each, you make $600. You can do this children's playground sets (you'll have to disassemble them from people's yards) or bicycles, work tools, kitchen cabinets (after people remodel), yard furniture (lots of patio sets), grills, etc. 

 

Learn to pressure wash decks. You don't need a big equipment investment or long learning curve. Send a flyer to one subdivision to test your idea to see if it will fly. You will be inundated with work in the spring; it might not be too late this summer season to pick up some work. If the business works, you can add staining/painting.

 

Try mobile auto detailing (you come to their home to detail their car).

 

Here are loads of ideas you can try if you need more contributions...

 

https://www.google.com/search?q=side+hustle&oq=side+hust&aqs=chrome.0.0l2j69i57j0l5.1838j0j7&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

Anonymous

-------- Side Hustle for Tennis Pros --------

July 24, 2020

Call Ramon OSA as he is doing online video instruction.  At our club, we did a series as zoom tennis instruction that the members loved.

 

Perhaps some online or zoom fitness training.

 

Thanks for reaching out

 

John Austin

Director of Tennis

Mulholland Tennis Club

-------- Side Hustle for Tennis Pros --------

July 24, 2020

Hi Rich,

 

You are searching for a unique and ethical way tennis professionals can make extra money on and off the court?

 

Well, here it is and it is no scam, but really lots of scientific research and development together with tennis and high-tech experts:

 

Tennis pros can soon create their virtual club with players, competing in VR tournaments and the VR eLeague.

Tennis professionals receive 30% of the subscription fees, which the VR players pay to the platform. 

The Pros manage & train their players, organize events & tournaments and play in the VR eLeague.

 

Our Vision

We want to create a hype, new enthusiasm for our tennis training & game. It will motivate people to return to the court more often and will bring kids from electronic games onto the real court.

 

Our Approach

Our approach is to utilize new technologies such as virtual reality, motion learning, and realtime tracking in order to create a new category of digital training & E-sports. We focus on motion learning, the real key to being able to play tennis well. In the future, you will be able to learn, practice, and play in virtual reality, as realistic and authentic as on the tennis court. There will be virtual tournaments and E-sport events & conventions bringing a whole new audience of folks and kids playing tennis. Once people have virtually learned the motion skills to play tennis, they sure will go out to the real court and play with their friends.

 

First Tournament

VR Motion Learning, an Austrian VR & SportsTech start-up, hosts the first VR Tennis World Championship August 24th to 28th at the Arsenal premises of A1 Telekom in Vienna, Austria.

Tennis eSports presents authentic tennis with real ball physics virtually from home. In the future, there will be Grand Slam tournaments and a Tennis eLeague.

 

The Market besides Tennis

The global VR gaming market is expected to reach USD 92 billion by 2027, expanding at a CAGR of 30.2%, according to a new report by Grand View Research, Inc. 

The intensifying demand for technologically progressive games amongst millennials is driving the growth. Serious educational games show the highest growth at a breathtaking 47.9%. 

There is a significant demand for recreation activities in 3D using compact VR gaming devices. Continual innovations of wide-ranging VR games have enticed gaming enthusiasts worldwide. 

Startups are making the most of crowdfunding to develop innovative solutions. For instance, Tennis eSports Inc., an Austrian and U.S. based research lab, will launch a crowdfunding campaign for their VR-enabled educational game.

Moreover, 5G network technology is poised to further augment VR in gaming experience due to low latency, improved reliability, high density, and cloud solutions. Telecom providers are partnering with the gaming industry to enhance the VR-based offerings such as A1 Telekom with Tennis eSports Inc. 

 

Olympics

VR Tennis is on the way to the Olympics. IOC President Thomas Bach foresees VR Tennis becoming an Olympic discipline. Mr. Bach has tested VR Tennis and believes that one day it will be part of the Olympic Games. 

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FNdQOfUlB_o

 

Our Technology

Our company, VR Motion Learning, develops groundbreaking educational programs optimizing the motion technique based on individual biomechanics.

The applied technologies cover video & audio fidelity in VR, highest levels of immersion, haptic feedback, real-time full-body motion tracking and capture, interaction with people and objects, multiplayer games, games between locations and usage of data collection, similarity modeling, biomechanical modeling, real-time data analysis and processing using Machine Learning & Artificial Intelligence tools.

 

Roll-Out

We will start rolling out from October 2020 onwards with pioneers only, who have a high level of tolerance and pain level. 

The real commercial launch will happen in the beginning of 2021.

 

 

Best,

Gregory

 

 

 

Gregory Gettinger, PhD.

Founder & CEO

VR Motion Learning GmbH & Co KG

Mariahilferstrasse 136, 1150 Wien

www.vr-motion-learning.com

 

Tel. +43 680 502 1059

Gregory@VR-Motion-Learning.com

-------- Side Hustle for Tennis Pros --------

July 24, 2020

They could just join PlayYourCourt... our coaches are slammed and we could use more help.

Scott Baxter

CEO & Founder

-------- Side Hustle for Tennis Pros --------

July 24, 2020

Rich,

I’m thinking pros should diversify… Pickle, Paddle, Spec, and Padel. I don't know about making money but mental health is becoming an issue. Author a book, take up an instrument, make a podcast… I’m doing an 8 episode podcast starting August 14th. I’ve been making relationships with different people… it seems as if most people are interested in finding Silver Linings. I wrote 8 songs for an album and I’ve been doing short videos for Facebook. I started voice and piano lessons and I’m taking a very different look at teaching tennis. This pandemic has taught me the value of change. Constant and continual improvement have become daily habits. I don’t like the idea of "getting back to normal” but I do like the idea of embracing the “new abnormal”!

Best,

Anthony Dececco

E-mail

-------- News from The Commish --------

August 31, 2020

The commish has their ears to the floor.  The commish’s pronouns are They/Them. 

The commish heard from a fellow pro that he was extremely disappointed by any tennis organization that aligns itself with BLM. The commish wholeheartedly agrees that sport is a fun diversion from everyday life and that aligning with politics is anathema. 

Of course, EVERY BLACK LIFE MATTERS, but when you see the power fist, that is a symbol for BLM, which is admittedly a Marxist Organization.  The commish says, don’t be bullied into complying unless you wholeheartedly agree with the abolition of police. Tune in to the demands of BLM/Antifa Antifa/BLM in Portland. They are saying abolish Police, abolish Criminal Justice, abolish Jails, and Prisons.   So, please keep playing. The commish represents the silent majority that does not bully, but they do vote with the dollars and at the ballot box. You might have to dig a little deeper than what you see in the paper. One particular journalist the commish supports is Andy Ngo. Look him up on Twitter and elsewhere.

The commish loves what Djoker and about 50 players are doing.  Good for them, great for the sport.  Look at golf, look how deep the money goes.  Players need a voice, not just a moot voice at the table. The commish posits the question:  If you are against a group of people having a stronger voice, are you a gatekeeper?  Think on that. The commish was supportive of Djoker’s comment that the ATP made the decision to postpone play in 5 minutes without consulting players, that's well, unprofessional of that leadership.

The Commish

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