Last week, John Block, Tennis Director, and Anna Becker, Facility Manger, traveled to the Tennis Teachers Conference in New York City courtesy of the USPTA PNW. Here is a recap of their trip!
Thank you USPTA PNW for an amazing five days at the Tennis Teachers Conference in New York City! We had a great time learning from the best Tennis Professionals in the country like Jose Higueras, Paul Annacone, Kathy Rinaldi, Rick Macey, Peter Smith, and Tom Gullikson.
The Saturday session began with a Grand Slam Panel featuring Jose Hugueras, Paul Annacone and Kathy Rinaldi, sharing their insights and experiences from coaching and playing at the highest levels of the game.
Next, we sat in on a presentation from Ajay Pant, “No Nonsense Training,” where he stressed implementing a systematic way of training to ensure that the club and its employees consistently produce exceptional results.
The Saturday afternoon session started with a presentation from Rodney Marshal, a strength and conditioning specialist for the USTA Player Development, known for his work with Mardy Fish, John Isner, and Sloane Stephens. He demonstrated warm ups, pre-hab and mobility exercises to ensure players health and fitness.
Following Marshal, Jorge Capestany exhibited a few of his favorite tennis drills that can be adapted to players of all levels. He included different ways vary the drills to engage players from the 2.5 level and up.
Saturday ended with a presentation from Rick Macci discussing a few of the most common mistakes made at all levels of tennis teaching. Macci believes the most important part of coaching is to develop a player’s courage to play the ball, love the volley, and enjoy competition.
The Sunday morning session kicked off with David Epstein reinforcing the importance of athletic development in the early stages of junior tennis. Challenging the “10,000 hour rule” Epstein emphasized developing more than just tennis players but competent athletes.
Next up was Mark Bey, demonstrating the “Transition From Green to Yellow Balls” for high level players by using different balls to teach technique and understanding tactics.
Anne Davis spoke about how to host a successful Play Day with the goal of all players serving, rallying, and scoring. Davis highlighted the pathways that Play Days create for programming and lessons while growing the game of tennis.
Rick Vetter’s presentation, “Running Team Practices on a Small Court” showed that the more play-centered the activities are the more success your players have.
USC men’s head tennis coach, Peter Smith, addressed teaching competitiveness through team play. Smith shared from his own success that practices need to be dynamic, fun, competitive, and meaningful. Within that environment, there are many teachable moments such as, losing is natural, playing for a higher purpose than yourself, and that other groups sports can teach competitiveness.
After the closing of the Tennis Teachers Conference we were treated to an afternoon at the opening day of the US Open!