De Part Ments - United States Professional Tennis Association

De Part Ments - United States Professional Tennis Association


the to tal pro fes sion al – en hanc ing your ca reer

de part ments

2 USPTA mailbox

Ask the Professor – by Jack Groppel, Ph.D., USPTA Master Professional

See this month’s redesign of “Ask the Professor.”

Jack Groppel uses this forum to introduce USPTA’s newest PR campaign.

10 USPTA boosts member business with health campaign

11 Tennis – for the health of it! SM – Health, fitness, fun make

sport excellent choice – 34 reasons to play tennis

14 Are you really training for tennis-specific endurance –

by Mark Kovacs, Ph.D., USPTA

3 CEO’s message

5 Vice president’s message

9 Classifieds

13 Pro to pro

18 USPTA drills

24 Career development

26 Industry action


4 USPTA gives Grand Valley State University’s wheelchair

tennis team $2,000 grant

8 Get online to earn prizes in personal Web site contest

9 “On Court with USPTA” receives

Gold Award

12 Michigan’s Palladino and Sun win singles

titles at the USPTA Indoor Championships

On the cover …

Page 10 – Tennis for the health of it! SM

Adult league players get a physical and mental

workout during a drill session with their

USPTA Professional.

vol ume 32 • is sue 1

ADDvantage magazine editorial offices

USPTA World Headquarters

3535 Briarpark Drive, Suite One

Houston, TX 77042

Phone – 713-978-7782


Fax – 713-978-7780

e-mail –


Managing editor



Shawna Riley

Kimberly Forrester

Kathy Buchanan

John Dettor

Office hours: 8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m. Central time

ADDvantage is published monthly by the

United States Professional Tennis Association.

The opinions expressed in ADDvantage are

those of the authors and not necessarily those of

ADDvantage or the USPTA.

Copyright© United States Professional

Tennis As so ci a tion, Inc. 2008. All rights

reserved. Re pro duc tion of any portion of the

magazine is not permitted without written

permission from USPTA. ADDvantage/January 2008 1

USPTA mailbox

USPTA received a large number of responses to CEO Tim Heckler’s October-November message addressing the problem

of cheating in junior tennis. We apologize for not being able to print them all. Also, we had to edit some of the letters

for space, but we tried to leave their meaning intact. The letters are published in random order.


The dictionary defines cheating

as, “acting dishonestly, practicing

fraud, and to deceive by trickery.”

You can find cheaters in every aspect

of life; sports, business, entertainment,

and unfortunately, even in

our personal lives. Is there any way

to stop cheating Sure, create a society

where all people live by the same

code of honor and where Darwin’s

“survival of the fittest” theory is

replaced by the Golden Rule.

Anyone who has spent more

than five minutes at a junior tennis

tournament knows how prevalent

cheating and accusations of cheating

are even at that level of play.

The questions we must address as

coaches and parents are:

1. What causes our youngsters

to cheat

2. How do we teach our kids to

handle cheating when they are

on the receiving end

If we understand why our

children cheat, we can better work

to change this behavior by dealing

with the problem at its source.

However, until every parent raises

their child to play fair, we owe it to

our young players to prepare them

by teaching them how best to deal

with cheaters.

What causes our children to cheat

The main reason children cheat

appears to be a very simple one;

they feel tremendous pressure to

win (sometimes internal, sometimes

external, and sometimes both) and

will do whatever it takes to be victorious.

Internal pressure arises from

a player’s own competitive nature

and their motivation to win at any

cost. External pressure is applied

from numerous sources, including

parents, coaches, siblings, peers,

media, and society as a whole.

As both a coach and a parent,

I want both my students and my

own children to have a level of internal

pressure that motivates them

to always be looking for ways to

improve themselves and to always

be pushing themselves to reach the

next level. Unfortunately, I have

seen many young players who are

extremely motivated and driven,

but have failed to achieve the necessary

balance between ambition and

self-satisfaction. Self-satisfaction

cannot be achieved at any level

if the victory comes as a result of

cheating. A true champion is satisfied

with winning only when they

have earned it fair and square.

External pressure is a completely

different animal. The first

step to alleviating unnecessary

negative external pressure is to

identify the source. As coaches and

parents we have some, but very

limited, power in controlling the

messages our children receive from

their peers and the media. We can,

however, keep a watchful eye on

who our children spend time with

and what they are watching.

The easiest source of external

pressure to control is ourselves.

Do you, as parents or coaches,

Tennis relies on the honesty and integrity of the players.

That is the very essence of a tennis match.”

– Arthur Klein

As adults we can influence the

level of both the positive and the

negative internal pressure within

a young person. Everyone is born

with a certain personality type,

but parents, teachers, and coaches

can help each child reach their full

potential (or not) through their

level of expectation. As long as

a youngster believes there is no

positive correlation between their

success rate and an adult’s unconditional

love and acceptance there

really are no limits for that child.

So, don’t be afraid to expect a lot

out of kids…they will always rise

to the level at which you’ve placed

the bar … so, place it high.

The essential component to

creating highly motivated kids is

the most difficult…role modeling.

As much as we expect out of kids

we have to expect even more out

of ourselves. I have yet to meet a

kid who cheats who hasn’t learned

it in one of two ways; (1) from

watching the role models in their

life bending the rules themselves;

or (2) from growing up in an environment

where the consequences

for cheating are either nonexistent

or too weak to be effective.

find yourself treating your child or

student differently depending on

the outcome of a match In many

cases, it can be small comments

made after a loss, or it can even be

a facial expression that your son,

daughter or student happens to

catch after a particular result. It is

important that we, as adults, reward

our kids for the right reasons. Regardless

of the score at the end of a

match we must base our children’s

performance on three criteria: attitude,

concentration, and effort.

When you get right down to

it, our players have no control over

whether they win or lose a match.

They don’t even have complete

control over whether they play

well or not. I can tell you countless

stories of times when I just knew

my player was better prepared and

ready to roll over an opponent,

only to have everything go downhill.

The opponent may just happen

to be in the zone that day. It

could be windy, or other than ideal

conditions, and nerves can often

play a huge factor in the quality of

play and the outcome. Regardless

of the factors not in their control,

our kids do have control over their

attitude, their concentration, and

their effort. As parents and coaches,

we should base our feedback on

these three components to avoid

pressuring them to always win.

I am very familiar with feeling

pressure to win. I don’t care if I’m

playing a friendly game of Backgammon,

I want to win! The trick is to

show our kids how to maintain their

integrity without extinguishing the

fire that gives them a competitive

advantage. We do not want to

“win at all costs,” but rather do

whatever it takes to win within the

rules and within the boundaries

of good sportsmanship. Nobody

wants to be labeled a cheater, and no

athlete wants to look in the mirror

at the end of the day knowing they

stole a match. Kids must learn to

answer to themselves and to their

conscience in order to change their

behavior. So, don’t be afraid to hold

them responsible if you catch them

cheating…let them know through

negative consequences that cheating

will not be tolerated at any level.

Together let’s work together

to create a generation of kids that

grow up with strong ethics and the

confidence to stand up for what is

right, not just easy. Then let’s hope

that some of them decide to become

politicians and line judges!

Nick Bollettieri

USPTA Master Professional

Bradenton, Fla.

Hi Tim,

I enjoyed your CEO message

on cheating in the latest issue of


I am responding to your request

for solutions.

As it turns out, the title of my

presentation at the most recent

UPSTA World Conference was

Developing Character Through


The following are excerpts from

a past article that is very relevant to

the topic of cheating.

continued Page 20

Send your letters to the editor, along with a daytime phone number or e-mail address, to ADDvantage, USPTA, 3535 Briarpark Drive, Suite One, Houston, TX 77042; fax to (713) 978-7780; or via e-mail to Letters may be edited for length and clarity.

2 ADDvantage/January 2008

CEO’s mes sage

USPTA offers ideal programs

to promote new PR campaign and you

The headline on a previous message written by

USPTA President Harry Gilbert accurately

sums up his feelings about USPTA’s public

relations program and its goal to promote USPTA

members. The headline read, “Who We Are is about

you and me.”

With the arrival of the new year

and with this issue of ADDvantage

magazine, this theme continues to

hold true. With your support and

participation, USPTA’s new public

relations campaign – centered on the

health and fitness benefits of tennis

– will deliver publicity and business

to you.

New board member and public

relations committee chairman, Jack

Groppel, Ph.D., introduces Tennis

– for the health of it! SM on Page 10.

He’s enthusiastic about using his expertise in exercise

physiology and nutrition to promote USPTA

and its members, and I’m sure some of you will

see him out in the industry pushing this and other

USPTA messages in the coming months.

Although the health and fitness benefits of tennis

have been touted over the years by various tennis

groups, it seems the message may have gotten lost

long before it reached the masses. USPTA’s goal is

to get the public’s attention with its latest PR push,

and that’s where you come in.

You can make a huge difference in our campaign

to get people to take notice of the health and fitness

benefits of tennis. You’re on the front lines, you’re

active in your communities and you’re the experts

on tennis.

USPTA helps you deliver Tennis – for the health

of it! with a wonderful array of programs that target

various ages and playing levels.

You can get the youngest players started with

Little Tennis ® . Parents can be encouraged to participate

with their children, and tennis becomes a

family affair.

The USPTA Junior Circuit program is a

Tim Heckler

natural progression from Little Tennis. It provides

inexperienced juniors with their first taste of competition,

but doesn’t require the travel or time commitments

of higher-level competition.

The USPTA Adult Tennis League SM has been

around for years and provides professionals and

players with off-season activity.

Adults who participate enjoy the

social as well as physical benefits of

our game.

People who already play may

jump at the chance to get their

nonplaying friends into the game,

and the health and fitness hook may

present the best tool. If so, start out

by using the USPTA Member-Beginner

Guest event. Each playing

member pairs up with his or her

guest to take a short lesson, mingle at

a reception or light lunch, and then play a roundrobin


The programming ideas are endless. The industry’s

best example of a fitness-oriented program is

Cardio Tennis. You might also consider recruiting

your club’s fitness members by inviting them to a

cardio event. This is another way to capture new

interest for tennis and your programs.

Of course, as spring approaches, we will begin to

promote Tennis Across America. This program

is another great way to recruit new players. The

original, free grassroots program offers players a free

lesson or clinic that can be followed by additional

tennis activities.

Whether you offer Little Tennis, the Adult Tennis

League or an original program of your own, we want

you to promote your services as a tennis leader and

the person through whom players can get fit and

healthy with tennis.

In the coming months you’ll see more stories,

ads and resources promoting this campaign. It’s our

hope that you will embrace Tennis – for the health

of it! and realize the benefits it offers to tennis and


Whether you offer

Little Tennis, the Adult

Tennis League or an

original program of your

own, we want you to

promote your services as

a tennis leader and the

person through whom

players can get fit and

healthy with tennis.

ADDvantage/January 2008 3

USPTA gives Grand Valley State University’s

wheelchair tennis team $2,000 grant

USPTA First Vice President Tom Daglis presents a USPTA Foundation check

to Lynn Bender and members of the Grand Valley State University Wheelchair

tennis team.

The United States Professional Tennis Association presented

a $2,000 grant to the first collegiate wheelchair

tennis team at Grand Valley State University in Allendale,

Mich. USPTA first vice president, Tom Daglis, was on hand to

present the check to the Rolling Lakers.

“We applied and requested funding because (wheelchair

tennis) is a new program at Grand Valley,” said Lynn Bender,

wheelchair tennis team program director. “We don’t have

any pre-existing funding, so we are basically starting from


The team applied for the grant several months ago and

recently received a check for $2,000. The money will be used

specifically for the team’s travel expenses.

The USPTA Foundation provides grants and donations to

programs and organizations that strive to help economically

disadvantaged people learn tennis. All proceeds from the annual

USPTA silent auction held at the World Conference on Tennis

go to the foundation.

For more information on this and other USPTA programs,

please visit

4 ADDvantage/January 2008

Vice president’s mes sage

Technology and you – it’s not just

about computers and the Internet

Even before USPTA launched what was one of

the first tennis industry Web sites in 1995,

our Association had been on the cutting edge

of computer technology since the very early ’80s.

When we started computerizing USPTA, it wasn’t

nearly as glamorous as what would become

the much-publicized Information

Superhighway. Technology in the early

days involved placing typed and sometimes

hand-written information about

each member into a computer database

and actually writing the computer code

that would organize the information

and make it retrievable.

It was this sort of behind-the-scenes

work that you probably wouldn’t give a

second thought. But, it led us to more

advanced uses of computers, an eventual Web presence,

our first Internet-based member services and

the reality that we can and will continue to give you

– the USPTA member – the ability to manage your

membership and even your tennis business with the

world’s latest technology.

This month, we’re once again promoting one of the

most valuable of these benefits – the USPTA personal

Web site – with the announcement of a contest

on Page 8. If you’re already using this phenomenal

tool, that’s great. If you’re not, this is as good a time

as any to start the new year off with a new Web site.

Use Find-a-Pro to find your own last name and then

use the link on the right side of the page to get to

your basic site, which already features your name

and professional rating. Under the “Contact me”

tab, you’ll find your name, address and work phone

number. To begin personalizing your site, just log

in at the top left corner to get started.

While we will continue to offer you the latest trends

when it comes to computers and your membership,

there’s a lot more happening on the technology

front that’s not directly related to computers.

Along this vein, and as chairman of the USPTA

Randy Mattingley

Information Technology Committee, I’m happy

to announce that USPTA will begin a series of

articles in ADDvantage that will highlight various

types of technology. These articles, written by staff

members of the USPTA Information Technology

Department, will explore numerous topics, including

digital TV, high-definition TV

and combined services for Internet,

telephone and TV.

Also, look for articles on home networking,

including wireless networks,

and the latest news about computer

security, including virus protection,

spyware and malware.

These topics and many others will

be covered, and you’re welcome to

suggest some of your own. More

tools and guidance on how to utilize these tools will

help you to become more efficient and more “professional.”

It’s our hope that the information you glean

from these articles will help you take advantage of

the technology that is available to you as a general

consumer and a USPTA member.

Use Find-a-Pro to find your basic site. Under the “Contact me”

tab, you’ll find your name, address and work phone number. To

begin personalizing your site, just log in at the top left corner

to get started.




Harry Gilbert

First Vice

Tom Daglis


Vice Presidents Mark Fairchilds

Jack Groppel

Randy Mattingley

Tom McGraw

Secretary-treasurer Paula Scheb

Past President

Ron Woods



Tim Heckler

Director of Operations Rich Fanning

Executive Assistant Marty Bostrom

Director of

Shawna Riley


Creative Services Julie Myers


Publications Kimberly Forrester


Public Relations Poornima Rimm



Jill Phipps

Director of

John Dettor


Sports Marketing Rick Bostrom


Digital Asset Coordinator/ Clair Maciel

Technical Writer

Digital Asset/ Jason Potthoff

Technical Content Coordinator

Video Production Joe Birkmire


Video Editor

H.R. Topham

Director of

Fred Viancos

Professional Development

Corporate Janice Stollenwerck

Services Administrator

Director of

Dan Wilson

Information Technology

Information Technology/ Scott Bucic


Computer Services/ Kathy Buchanan

Club Relations

Divisional Stephanie Shipman

Executive Administrator

Membership and Vicky Tristan

Certification Coordinator


Sylvia Ortiz

Membership/ Melony DeLoach

Insurance Assistant

Financial Manager Kathy Ladner

Payroll/Benefits Renée Heckler

Controller Ellen Weatherford

Merchandise/ Shelina Harris

Accounting Assistant

Legal Counsel


Paul Waldman

For information, write the

USPTA World Headquarters

3535 Briarpark Drive, Suite One

Houston, TX 77042

Phone 713-97-USPTA


Fax 713-978-7780

e-mail –

Internet –

Office hours: 8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Central time

ADDvantage/January 2008 5

Get online to earn prizes

in personal Web site contest

Have you developed the free Web site you get just for being

a member of USPTA

If you have added your personal touches to your site and think

it’s prize-worthy, then you’ll want to enter the USPTA personal

Web site contest for a chance to win fabulous prizes. If you haven’t

visited your site or made changes in years, then it’s time to get busy

before the contest ends March 1, 2008.

Your own personal Web site is a wonderfully accessible

tool for attracting new clients and communicating

with current students.

Now that you can edit and update your own personal Web site, it’s

a wonderfully accessible tool for attracting new clients and communicating

with current students. Many members use this benefit

daily for everything from promoting tournaments and social tennis

activities to notifying their students of schedule changes. Some

members have used video, added links and more to make their

sites comprehensive tennis sources for their clients.

If you’re proud of your USPTA Web site, send the link to Type “USPTA personal Web site contest”

in the subject line. It will be judged by the USPTA communications

staff and USPTA Vice President Randy Mattingley, who is

chairman of the Information Technology Committee.

If you haven’t explored the possibilities of your Web site, visit, click Find-a-Pro under “Players” and enter

your last name. The link to your site is on the right side of the

page, across from your first and last name. Click the link to get to

the home page of your site, which features your name and USPTA

rating. If you’ve submitted photos or material in the past, it remains

on the site. If you want to make changes to your Web pages, log

in at the top left corner of the site. Once you’re logged in, you can

begin to explore and add new material. Also, if you need help,

there’s a “USPTA personal Web site help manual” that will walk

you through the steps of setting up your pages.

Each Web site entered in the contest will be judged in the following

categories. Each category is worth a maximum of 5 points, and will

be judged on a scale from 1 point to 5 points, with 5 points representing

the best score for meeting the criteria of a specific category.

Only sites may be submitted. No independent sites,

please. Entries must be received for judging no later than March 1,

2008, at 11:59 p.m., Central Standard Time.

_______________ Criteria


Use of technology

• Working links, both within the site and to other sites

• Proper use of images, tables, video, etc.

Use of all site features

• Bio, facility, events, lessons, news


Tennis related, appropriate for site

• Proper spelling, grammar, punctuation

• Updated information

Use of graphics and photos

• Photo sizes – not too big or too small, proportional

• Photo quality – good quality, in-focus photos

• Placement of pictures/graphics

• Use of fonts, not too mixed

• Use of color


You may also send a brief statement explaining

how you use and promote your site.

There will be one grand-prize winner and three runners-up. Winners

will be announced by April 1, 2008, and will be featured

in ADDvantage magazine. Prizes will be products from USPTA

endorsee HEAD/Penn Racquet Sports, including racquets, bags

and string.

Good luck!

8 ADDvantage/January 2008



Wholesale prices on strings, balls,

racquets, apparel, footwear, bags

and accessories. Get baskets, carts,

training equipment, books, videos

and more. 800-833-6615.

Log on and see why NETPROFIT:

The Business Program for Club

Tennis Professionals by Dave Sivertson

is a must for the career development

of all tennis professionals

or call (805) 493-9046.


Tennis and Health Club for Sale.

Four indoor courts with Nautilus

and free weights. Pro shop and racquetball

courts. Six outdoor courts

with clubhouse and garage. www.

toddsmith. Phone



USPTA’s Find-a-Pro. The best

job-posting service so you can

find the best jobs, free. For more

information, visit

TENNIS LESSONS is creating the

world’s largest collection of tennis

lesson providers. Launched in

April 2007 with the goal of making

searches for local tennis lessons

easier, the site currently has more

than 700 coaches and club posts

in more than 250 cities across

30 countries. To post an ad, visit It’s free

and takes less than five minutes.





Go to and

enter “USPTA” in the promotional

code. See why legendary coach

Nick Bollettieri and Brad Gilbert

endorse SlingHopper Drill Bags

and so should you.


iTennisSystem – Download

Free Drills. Tennis instruction

software for tennis professionals.

Organize your tennis knowledge.

Illustrate tennis drills and lessons

graphically. An advanced and easyto-use

system for representing and

organizing your tennis programs.

Includes over 100 free drills. Visit

us at for

more information. Call 919-740-

1403 or e-mail sales@interTennis.

com to order.

iTennisRound-Robin & iTennis

Ladder. New ladder and roundrobin

software. Run and manage

multiple tennis ladders and round

robins simultaneously. If you are

not running a ladder at your tennis

facility, it’s time to get started.

Let us show you how: www. Automate your

tennis events and save hours each

week. Call 919-740-1403 or e-mail to order.


Vacation opportunities for tennis

professionals at the No. 1 allinclusive

Sandals and Beaches

resorts in Jamaica and St. Lucia for

you and your partner. Certification

required. For information contact

Mike Romisher at 847-207-9475

or e-mail

Vacation/Exchange Program.

Stay at the Iberostar in Mexico in

exchange for tennis lessons. www. Telephone

(937) 885-0468.

“On Court with USPTA”

receives Gold Award

“On Court with USPTA,” the cable TV show produced by the

United States Professional Tennis Association, received the Gold

Award in the Ava Awards 2007 competition. The award-winning

episode “Ask the Professor – Episode 1,” which aired on the Tennis

Channel, won in the category of video/film/sports.

“On Court” is a 20-minute instructional show featuring USPTAcertified

professionals as guest instructors. The USPTA became

the first tennis-teaching organization ever to produce and air an

educational television series on playing and teaching tennis on the

Tennis Channel in 2003. Since then, more than 46 shows have

been produced that provide instruction about technique, strategy

and other facets of the game, such as fun and fitness.

“Ask the Professor – Episode 1” offers helpful insights on tennis

from USPTA Master Professional Jack Groppel, Ph.D. In this show

he explains how important the role of fun is during the heat of

competition. He also discusses how to extend your playing career

without serious injury and gives key tips on avoiding tennis elbow.

In addition, Groppel shows how to maximize your enjoyment of the

game with tips on how to reach the next level of play and provides

helpful information about playing in extreme heat.

The Gold Award is presented to entries judged to exceed industry

standards. About 14 percent of the entries received this honor.

All production is done in-house, which includes everything from

planning and scripting to shooting and editing to graphics and

DVD duplication. Joe Birkmire, the multimedia department

manager, is also the show’s director and editor, and H.R. Topham

is videographer and editor. Other production team members are

Rick Bostrom, Scott Bucic, Julie Myers, Shawna Riley, Fred Viancos

and executive producer Tim Heckler.

Check local listings for the Tennis Channel availability and visit for show times for “On Court with USPTA.” A

DVD of “Ask the Professor – Episode 1” will be available in January

for purchase online at, but visit the site

today to view more than a hundred other USPTA-produced DVD

titles and all other “On Court” episodes also available for purchase.

Rates: $30 for 20 words, minimum per issue. 50 cents per word thereafter. Pay by

check, money order, Visa or MasterCard. Prepayment is required. Supply typed copy

and include full name, telephone number, credit card number and expiration date. (No

agency or cash discounts.) Issue closes 15th of month, two months preceding cover date.

Fax to 713-978-7780, attn: ADDvantage classifieds. No classifieds will be accepted by

telephone. No exceptions are made. USPTA cannot verify nor be responsible for the

contents of any advertisement. The USPTA is committed to the policy that all people

have equal access to its programs, facilities, employment and membership without

regard to race, color, creed, religion, national origin, gender, age, disability, marital or

veteran status. USPTA is an equal opportunity employer. USPTA reserves the right to

reject any advertisement at its discretion, or to edit the advertisement to be certain

that any employment requirements set forth in it conform with the law.

The Ava Awards is an international awards competition that recognizes

outstanding work by creative professionals involved in the

concept, writing, direction, shooting, and editing of audio-visual

materials and programs. Entrants include video and film production

companies, Web developers, advertising agencies, PR firms,

corporate and government communication departments, producers,

directors, editors and shooters. This year over 1,700 entries were

submitted. Entries are judged by the Association of Marketing and

Communication Professionals who set the standards for excellence

and look for industry members who exceed those standards.

ADDvantage/January 2008 9

USPTA boosts member business

with health campaign

by Jack Groppel, Ph.D., USPTA Master Professional

I’m really excited to dedicate

this month’s “Ask the Professor”

column to USPTA’s

newest public relations initiative:

Tennis – for the health of it! SM

In my new position as vice

president on the USPTA Board

of Directors, President Harry

Gilbert recently appointed me

chairman of the Public Relations

Committee. Both of these

roles will allow me to use my

45-year involvement in tennis,

along with my educational background

in exercise physiology

and nutrition, and public speaking

experience to do something

that we truly believe will benefit

USPTA and you.

Beginning this month, we

will tie the USPTA brand to

the health and fitness benefits

of tennis. Our goal is to identify

USPTA and its members as

the means through which the

public can receive these benefits

– from lessons and other tennis

activities. Through this public

relations initiative, we seek

to drive business to you – the

USPTA member – as a tennis

leader in your community.

If we are successful, not only

will people view tennis as a way

to get and stay healthy, but we’ll

also see more people playing

and staying with the sport.

So, the public may ask,

“Why tennis” The next page

provides you with 34 ways to

sell tennis to new and former

customers. We suggest that you

post this list on a bulletin board

or hand out copies to your

members. The page includes

scientific proof that backs up

our claims. It demonstrates

that no other sport mimics the

functioning of the human body

like tennis does.

In the physical realm, there’s

a natural oscillation of stress

and recovery when a player

competes in a point and then

has the rest period between

points or on the changeover.

Like heart rate, muscle activity¸

brain waves, sleep cycles, and

glucose cycles, tennis oscillates

in a similar pattern.

The psychological aspects

of tennis also mimic life. When

you compete against another

person, you must punch and

counterpunch. This requires you

to think under pressure, handle

an opponent’s tactics, prepare

for what’s coming next, manage

mistakes, and deal with crises.

Yes, tennis truly is an amazing

sport. But, physical and mental

benefits aside, no one would

consider trying it if it wasn’t also

a fun, social activity that can

be enjoyed by teams, doubles

partners and friendly rivals of all

shapes, sizes and ages.

Now, we need your help to

push Tennis – for the health of it!

We’ll provide you with the

public relations tools that will

help you explain why tennis

is one of the best sports you

can play for improved health.

Look for more resources and a

future marketing kit that will

help you make presentations

at your clubs, at local schools,

Rotary meetings and other civic


We also plan to identify 20

or more USPTA Professionals

who will be passionate about

pushing this message to their

fellow USPTA members and the

public. It’s important that this

message not stop here. We want

every USPTA division, state and

district to use this campaign

to increase tennis activities in

their communities, educate the

public about the benefits of

tennis and tie these messages to

USPTA. Our ultimate goal is to

identify USPTA Professionals as

the tennis experts in their communities

and generate business

and publicity for you.

As for me, I’m eager to begin

promoting USPTA in every way

possible. Tennis – for the health

of it! will give me many reasons

and opportunities to do so. I

hope you’ll join me in promoting

the health, fitness and fun

of tennis with the USPTA.

Tennis is a fun, social activity that can be enjoyed by teams, doubles partners and

friendly rivals of all shapes, sizes and ages.

10 ADDvantage/January 2008

Jack Groppel, Ph.D., USPTA Master Professional, is co-founder of the

Human Performance Institute. He is the author of The Corporate Athlete

and co-author of World Class Tennis Technique. Information can be

found at

We’ve all heard tennis referred to as the “sport

for a lifetime.” But, is this really true

According to world-renowned scientists

from a variety of disciplines, there is no doubt

that tennis can improve your overall health,

including your mental and physical fitness.

Here are the facts:

• People who participate in tennis three

hours per week at a moderately vigorous

intensity cut in half their risk of death from

any cause, according to the late Dr. Ralph

Paffenbarger, who was an internationally

recognized exercise authority and studied

more than 10,000 people for 20 years.

Tennis players scored higher in vigor, optimism

and self-esteem while scoring lower

in depression, anger, confusion, anxiety

and tension than other athletes and nonathletes,

according to Dr. Joan Finn and

colleagues at Southern Connecticut State


• Since tennis requires alertness and tactical

thinking, it may generate new connections

between nerves in the brain and promote

a lifetime of continuing development of the

brain, reported scientists at the University

of Illinois.

Tennis outperforms golf and most other

sports in developing positive personality

characteristics, according to Dr. Jim Gavin,

author of “The Exercise Habit.”

• Competitive tennis burns more calories than

aerobics or cycling, according to studies in

caloric expenditures.

With these facts in mind, review the 34 specific

reasons why you should consider playing


Tennis – for the health of it! SM

Health, fitness, fun make sport excellent choice

by Jack Groppel, Ph.D., USPTA Master Professional

Physical reasons to play tennis

Tennis enhances your:

Why play tennis

1. aerobic fitness by burning fat and improving your

cardiovascular fitness and maintaining higher energy


2. anaerobic fitness by offering short, intense bursts of

activity during a point followed by rest, which helps

muscles use oxygen efficiently.

3. ability to accelerate by providing practice in sprinting,

jumping and lunging quickly.

4. powerful first step by requiring anticipation, quick

reaction time and explosion into action.

5. speed through a series of side-to-side and up and back

sprints to chase the ball.

6. leg strength through hundreds of starts and stops that

build stronger leg muscles.

7. general body coordination since you have to move into

position and then adjust your upper body to hit the ball


8. gross motor control through movement and ball-striking

skills that require control of your large muscle


9. fine motor control by use of touch shots like angled

volleys, drop shots and lobs.

10. agility by forcing you to change direction as many as

five times in 10 seconds during a typical point.

11. dynamic balance through hundreds of starts, stops,

changes of direction and hitting on the run.

12. cross-training through a physically demanding sport

that’s fun for athletes who specialize in other sports.

13. bone strength and density by strengthening bones of

young players and helping prevent osteoporosis in older


14. immune system through its conditioning effects,

which promote overall health, fitness and resistance

to disease.

15. nutritional habits by eating appropriately before

competition to enhance energy production and after

competition to practice proper recovery methods.

16. hand-eye coordination because you constantly judge

the timing between the oncoming ball and the proper

contact point.

17. flexibility due to the constant stretching and maneuvering

to return the ball to your opponent.

Psychological reasons to play tennis

Tennis helps you:

Contact your local USPTA teaching professional for programs that will have you playing Tennis – for the health of it!

For more information about USPTA, visit

18. develop a work ethic because improvement through lessons

or practice reinforces the value of hard work.

19. develop discipline since you learn to work on your skills

in practice and control the pace of play in competition.

20. manage mistakes by learning to play within your abilities,

and realizing that managing and minimizing mistakes in

tennis or life is critical.

21. learn to compete one-on-one because the ability to do

battle on court trains you in the ups and downs of a

competitive world.

22. accept responsibility by practicing skills and checking

your equipment before a match, and by making accurate

line calls during a match.

23. manage adversity by learning to adjust to the elements

(e.g. wind, sun) and still be able to compete


24. control stress effectively because the physical, mental

and emotional stress of tennis will force you to

increase your capacity for dealing with stress.

25. learn how to recover by adapting to the stress of a

point and the recovery period between points, which

is similar to the stress and recovery cycles in life.

26. plan and implement strategies since you naturally learn

how to anticipate your opponent’s moves and plan your


27. learn to solve problems since tennis is a sport based

on angles, geometry and physics.

28. develop performance rituals before serving or returning

to control your rhythm of play and deal with pressure.

These skills can transfer to taking exams, conducting a

meeting or making an important sales presentation.

29. learn sportsmanship since tennis teaches you to

compete fairly with opponents.

30. learn to win graciously and lose with honor. Gloating

after a win or making excuses after a loss doesn’t work

in tennis or in life.

31. learn teamwork since successful doubles play depends

on you and your partner’s ability to communicate and

play as a cohesive unit.

32. develop social skills through interaction and communication

before a match, while changing sides on the

court and after play.

33. have fun – because the healthy feelings of enjoyment,

competitiveness and physical challenge are inherent

in the sport.

Summary and reason No. 34

Is it any wonder that scientists and physicians around the world view tennis as the most healthful

activity in which you can participate While other sports can provide excellent health benefits and

some can promote mental and emotional growth, none can compete with tennis in delivering overall

physical, mental and emotional gains to those who play.

All these benefits make tennis the ideal sport for kids to learn early in life. What parent wouldn’t

want their children to have these advantages through their growing years

And, it’s never too late for adults of all ages to take up the game. The human system can be

trained and improved at any stage of life. The key is to start playing now to get the most out of these

benefits throughout your lifetime.

And, that brings us to reason No. 34: Tennis is truly the sport for a lifetime! The proof is in the playing.

Michigan’s Palladino and Sun win singles

titles at the USPTA Indoor Championships

Alex Palladino of Grand Rapids, Mich., captured the men’s

open title at the $2,500 United States Professional Tennis

Association Indoor Championships held November 9-11

at Ferris State University in Big Rapids, Mich. Palladino defeated

Richard Beijer of Novi, Mich., 6-1, 6-1, for the championship.

Amy Sun of Big Rapids, Mich., won the women’s open title by

going undefeated in round robin play. Sun defeated Marilyn Baker

of Eagan, Minn., 6-2, 6-1.

Richard Beijer of Grand Rapids, Mich., and Dana Gill of Cupertino,

Calif., earned the men’s open doubles title by going undefeated

in round robin play. Beijer and Gill defeated Joseph Van Deinse of

Williamsburg, Mich., and Ryan Dloski of Grosse Pointe Woods,

Mich., 6-2, 6-1.

The tournament was the last in the series of national tournaments

on several court surfaces that the USPTA offered to its members as

part of the USPTA National Surface Championship Series.

Men’s open winner Alex Palladino

The national tournaments are open to members in good standing.

For additional information, please contact the USPTA at 800-

USPTA-4U. USPTA Professionals may log in to the “members

only” section of the USPTA Web site at for more


Following is a complete list of results

from final-round matches:

Men’s Open Singles Finals

Alex Palladino, Grand Rapids, Mich., def. Richard Beijer,

Novi, Mich., 6-1, 6-1.

Women’s open winner Amy Sun

Women’s Open Singles Round Robin

Amy Sun, Big Rapids, Mich., def. Marilyn Baker, Eagan,

Minn., 6-2, 6-1. Amy Sun def. Molly Basha, Statesboro, Ga.,

6-1, 6-4. Marilyn Baker def. Molly Basha 6-3, 7-6 (3).

Men’s Open Doubles Round Robin

Richard Beijer, Novi, Mich., and Dana Gill, Cupertino,

Calif., def. Joseph Van Deinse, Williamsburg, Mich., and

Ryan Dloski, Grosse Pointe Woods, Mich., 6-2, 6-1. Richard

Beijer and Dana Gill def. Alex Palladino, Grand Rapids,

Mich., and Anwar Khan, Portage, Mich., 6-2, 6-4. Joseph

Van Deinse and Ryan Dloski def. Alex Palladino and Anwar

Khan, 6-1, 6-3.

Men’s open doubles champs Richard Beijer (left) and Dana Gill

12 ADDvantage/January 2008

It’s only demographics, but I like it

My old economics professor always used to say “pay attention

to the demographics and you will run your business with

success and invest well.” The baby boomers are back and ready to

play tennis. In the ’70s they hit their 20s and were responsible for

giving tennis a great growth spurt. Then life got in the way. They

had careers and kids to chase after. Now they are starting to retire

and are looking for something to do rather than golf. We will need

more courts in our new active-adult communities.

by Rod Dunnett, USPTA

The baby boomers are back

and ready to play tennis.

They are back! We need to look at the way we are teaching and who

we are hiring to teach these successful baby boomers. The formula

for hiring tennis pros has been previous college or professional

playing experience. It may make some sense to find professionals

who have been successful in other professions and communicate at

a level similar to the client. These folks are not kids trying to make

a college team or the pro circuit. They want to get the foundation

back so they can play doubles in the local active-adult community.

Not to say that there are not still quite a few type A personalities out

there looking to play on the various age group senior circuits. Their

emphasis is more on getting into shape to compete in singles.

As a general manager of a club or director of tennis, it does not

make interesting press to announce the hiring of the new head

pro who used to be a banker. It is sexier to announce his or her

previous ranking, tour experience or what college he or she played

for. It is a challenge, but hiring to match the demographics of the

client/member base is the key. A young club requires the traditional

hiring process, but a resort that caters to successful business

people or an active-adult community should look to a previously

successful business person. There are a lot of USPTA pros who

have changed careers.

We need to emphasize the tools to hit consistent shots, not how

to hit a running topspin forehand. We will not see a lot of smoke

coming from their sneakers as they cover the courts. Teach the grip

that will give them more consistency. I know we all do it now, but

stretching before and after is very important as we age.

This is a great group to market to. They have a tendency to bring

the racquet out that was new 10 years ago. Get them into new

equipment. They will pay attention to their pro even more than

Baby boomers represent the ideal market for tennis businesses.

the previous generations. This is the same group that sees value

added in a good teaching pro. As the strings age the elasticity is lost

and more vibration is created. Use vibration absorbers and change

strings more often. We really have to be aware of things that may

give them tennis elbow. Using less tension with strings makes sense.

As their swing path shortens, more power is needed.

If you have not done it yet, get certified in cardiopulmonary

resuscitation (CPR) and make sure you have a cell phone on the

courts to call 911 if there is an emergency. As our client base ages,

we must be prepared.

Rod Dunnett, USPTA, teaches at Topnotch Resort in Stowe, Vt., in

the summer and is the head pro for an active-adult community in the

Palm Springs, Fla., area. Previously, he was an executive for Bank of

America and president and chairman of the board of his own private


ADDvantage/January 2008 13

Are you really training

for tennis-speci c endurance

by Mark Kovacs, Ph.D., USPTA

Training for tennis is

complex and it requires

a committed coach to plan

and implement a structured

endurance-training program

based on an athlete’s

physiology, playing style

and competitive level.

Competitive tennis requires players to compete in many matches that

last longer than two hours, but also involves short and intense bouts

of exertion combined with brief rest periods [1]. The duration of work

and rest is highly variable and each match has a different physiological profile

[2]. For these reasons, training for tennis is complex and it requires a committed

coach to plan and implement a structured endurance-training program based on

an athlete’s physiology, playing style and competitive level.

When designing training programs, it

is important to train the metabolic energy

systems that dominate during match play.

A common problem that still occurs with

regard to training specificity is the method

by which tennis endurance (aerobic capability)

is developed. Developing tennis

endurance is usually the major focus during

the off-season or pre-season (general

preparatory/specific preparatory) periods

of training. Traditional slow aerobic

conditioning or even long-interval training

sessions are still used in many tennis

conditioning programs. It is still common

to see well-meaning coaches run their

players using inefficient training routines.

Examples of this include running multiple

400-meter sprints on a track or running

miles to build aerobic capabilities or even

increase lactate tolerance. The question

that needs to be asked by these coaches

and trainers is: How specific is that training

program to the sport of tennis

To understand if an activity or drill

is specific to the sport, it is important to

focus on a few major variables: the length,

the recovery and the intensity. Although

long-distance, continuous aerobic routines,

such as 30-minute to 60-minute runs, do

develop aerobic capabilities, is this type

of capability transferable and necessary

to tennis play Long, slow, continuous

movements are not highly specific to the

length of movements, the recovery or the

intensity seen during match play. Simply

stated, they do not match the physiological

requirements of tennis match play. Many

of you reading this will be thinking that

athletes still need aerobic training to last

for long matches and also recover fast after

long matches. Aerobic capabilities still need

to be developed since the majority of energy

regeneration is performed aerobically.

Therefore, short sprint/interval training

would be a more tennis-specific method

of training if the workload could replicate

match play (i.e., work/rest intervals) and

is performed for 30 to 45 minutes.

Work/rest analysis

A good method for noninvasively determining

the requirements of tennis match

play is a work/rest analysis. The ideal

way to make this specific to your athletes

would be to videotape five to 10 matches

and have your athletes determine how

long points and rest periods lasted. Timing

the average length of points and rest

continued page 17

14 ADDvantage/January 2008

Although long-distance,

continuous aerobic routines,

such as 30- minute to 60-minute

runs, do develop aerobic capabilities,

is this type of capability transferable

and necessary to tennis play


from Page 14

periods, as well as determining in what

time frame the players predominantly

played most of their points (i.e., 0-5

seconds, 5-10 seconds, 10-15 seconds)

would allow the coach to design highly

individualized programs for each player.

If you do not have the equipment or time

or the number of students that you teach

is just too large to practically make this

work, a brief summary of the tennis-specific

research in college and professional

tennis players is provided.

In the majority of studies the average

point length is less than 15 seconds [3-8].

An analysis conducted by our research

group compared the final of the 1988

and 2003 U.S. Open men’s singles. It is

interesting to note that the average point

length has decreased by over 50 percent

in the last 15 years. The time of work for

each point decreased from 12.2 seconds

in 1988 to 5.99 seconds in 2003. Furthermore,

the average rest between points also

decreased by approximately 50 percent

when compared to 15.18 seconds in 2003.

A statistic that is potentially more important

is that 93 percent of all points lasted

less than 15 seconds [9, 10]. Therefore, if

coaches are using old training guidelines

from outdated data, they may think they

are designing tennis-specific programs;

however, without using current work/rest

data these programs will be inefficient for

developing the endurance requirements of

today’s tennis athlete.

Work/rest ratio

The previously mentioned data led to

the next important component for training

design – the work/rest ratio. The

currently published data reveals that for

every second of work performed there is

three to five seconds of rest [2]. Therefore,

it is important to structure programs

utilizing a work to rest ratio that mimics

match play.

Current errors in program

design for tennis

This data provided highlights of how

short the time of each point is during tennis

match play. These findings, although

important, are rarely used when designing

physical conditioning programs for tennis

players. Until now too much emphasis has

been placed on traditional aerobic training

methods such as 1.5- or 3-mile runs or

lactate-producing interval training in the

form of one- to two-minute sprints (400-

to 800-meter sprints). Furthermore, it has

been shown that plasma lactate levels do

not rise during tennis competition [11],

which would suggest that training involving

large increases in lactate (one- to twominute

sprints) would not be beneficial

and is, in fact, ill-advised for tennis players.

It is much more specific and efficient to

train athletes using time frames ranging

from five to 45 seconds at a higher intensity

and repeating those varied intervals for 30

to 45 minutes to develop tennis-specific



The purpose of this article is not to provide

examples of different court drills, but to

present ideas on how to incorporate your

current drills and movement patterns (both

on and off court) into a scientifically and

physiologically based tennis conditioning


Further recommendations that should

be followed when designing tennis-specific

training programs are as follows [12]:

• It is beneficial to maintain physical conditioning

intensity equal to or greater

than match intensity.

• The majority of work should take less

than 15 seconds to complete.

• Work should not exceed 45 seconds

without an appropriate rest interval.

• Work/rest ratio should be comparable

to that of match play. An acceptable

range is between two to four seconds

of rest for every second of work.

• After every 10 to 15 repetitions, a longer

rest period (to simulate rest during

games) should be taken.

These recommendations are for energy

system development specifically for

tennis. They should not be used when

focusing on speed development or highintensity


Mark Kovacs, Ph.D.,

USPTA, is a coach, trainer,

certified strength and conditioning

specialist and tennis

physiologist. He is an assistant

professor of exercise science

and wellness at Jacksonville

State University in Jacksonville, Ala., and is

a former professional tennis player, collegiate

All-American and NCAA doubles champion

at Auburn University. He is the co-author

of “Tennis Training: Enhancing On-Court

Performance,” which is available through and bookstores. He can

be contacted at


1. Kovacs, M., W.B. Chandler, and T.J. Chandler,

Tennis training: enhancing on-court

performance. 2007, Vista, CA: Racquet Tech


2. Kovacs, M.S., Tennis physiology: training the

competitive athlete. Sports Medicine, 2007.

37(3): p. 1-11.

3. Chandler, T.J., Work/rest intervals in world class

tennis. Tennis Pro, 1991. 3: p. 4.

4. Deutsch, E., S.L. Deutsch, and P.S. Douglas,

Exercise training for competitive tennis. Clinics

in Sports Medicine, 1988. 7(2): p. 417-27.

5. Ellliott, B., B. Dawson, and F. Pyke, The

energetics of singles tennis. Journal of Human

Movement Studies, 1985. 11: p. 11-20.

6. König, D., et al., Cardiovascular, metabolic,

and hormonal parameters in professional tennis

players. Medicine & Science in Sports &

Exercise, 2001. 33(4): p. 654-658.

7. Richers, T.A., Time-motion analysis of the

energy systems in elite and competitive singles

tennis. Journal of Human Movement Studies,

1995. 28: p. 73-86.

8. Kovacs, M.S., Applied physiology of tennis performance.

British Journal of Sports Medicine,

2006. 40(5): p. 381-386.

9. Kovacs, M.S., et al. Time analysis of work/rest

intervals in men’s professional tennis. Southeastern

American College of Sports Medicine

Annual Meeting. 2004. Atlanta, GA.

10. Kovacs, M.S., A comparison of work/rest intervals

in men’s professional tennis. Medicine and

Science in Tennis, 2004. 9(3): p. 10-11.

11. Bergeron, M.F., et al., Tennis: a physiological

profile during match play. International

journal of sports medicine, 1991. 12(5): p.


12. Kovacs, M.S., A new approach to training tennis

endurance. International Tennis Federation

Coaching and Sports Science Review, 2006.

38(2-3): p. 2006.

ADDvantage/January 2008 17

USPTA drills

Alternating team singles

prepared by Brett Hobden, USPTA

Type: Singles

Category: Conditioning/strategy and tactics

Levels: Intermediate/advanced Time/players: 15 minutes/1-8

Description and goals:

Creating teamwork and anticipating your teammate’s shots so that

your team can win the most points.


Players on each side will alternate hitting a shot. The next player

in line will have to run in to play the next shot. Players must pay

attention to the situation and anticipate the shot from their teammate

and the opponent. The point continues until either a winner

or error is made. Variations: Teams can only earn points with a

winner. Teams must win points at the net.

Key points:

Focus on reading the situation and adjusting your shots and position


Fire in the hole

prepared by Brett Hobden, USPTA

Type: Doubles

Level: Intermediate/advanced

Category: Doubles/overhead/volley

Time/players: 15 minutes/1-4

Description and goals:

A very exciting game that is fast-paced and develops quick hands,

footwork and great teamwork. Players will work on a variety of quick

net shots, touch shots and defensive shots.


Four players start inside the service line. Any player can receive

the first shot. Another player (or coach) stands just off the court

near the net post and feeds the first ball, which can be any type

of shot (low or high volley, drop shot or overhead). The point is

played out with the player who makes the error or loses the point

being replaced immediately by the next player (player A) waiting in

line to come in. When a lob is hit the team receiving the lob must

let it bounce. The opponents move back quickly, calling out “fire in

the hole” and try to defend against the overhead.

Key points:

Mix up the feeds so that players receive volleys, dinks and overheads.

Focus on teamwork, closing in and defending against overheads.

Serve and volley surprise

prepared by Brett Hobden, USPTA

Type: Doubles, singles Category: Return of serve/serve/serve-volley

Levels: Intermediate/advanced Time/players: 15 minutes/1-8

Description and goals:

All players work on their serve and volley at least 1 in 3 points. This drill

has players surprise their opponents by using the serve-volley tactic,

which creates uncertainty in the receivers.


Players serve in doubles formation. Each player will serve three

points with at least one of the 3 points being a serve-volley point.

However, a player could choose to serve and volley more than once.

Rotate players after 3 points. Rotation can be one spot on each side

of the court or as a team. Variations: Play singles points. Allow one

serve only.

Key point:

Focus on making good serves and first volleys. Have net players focus

on poaching or cutting off the return.

18 ADDvantage/January 2008

Generated by iTennisSystem –

USPTA drills

Steal the net

prepared by Brett Hobden, USPTA

Type: Doubles

Levels: Intermediate/adv.

Category: Doubles/lob/return of serve

Time/players: 15 minutes/1-8

Description and goals:

Return team tries to “steal” the net from serve team. Returners

focus on making a good offensive lob over the net player’s head and

moving forward.


Returner hits offensive lob over net player’s head (net player can

only retreat as far as the service line to play shot). Server covers

behind partner and partner switches to other side. Returner moves

forward so that he and partner are inside the service line and have

stolen the net from the serve team. Play out the point. Once point

ends, everybody rotates one spot (new player moves in to serve,

server moves to net position, net player is out, new player moves in

to return, returner moves to net position, and net player moves out).

Variations: Server must hit second serve or rotate in as a team.

Three strikes, you’re a champ

prepared by Brett Hobden, USPTA

Key points:

Focus on offensive lob that helps steal the net. Move as a team.

Type: Singles

Levels: Intermediate/adv.

Category: Strategy amd tactics

Time/players: 10 minutes/1-4

Description and goals:

To get players comfortable playing three variable play situations one

after the other and to win 3 consecutive points.


Start with both players at the baseline. Player A must feed the ball

past the service line or is out. Play out the point. If player B wins

the point, player A feeds a ball that must land inside the service

line (if the feed is missed player A is out). Player B must hit an

approach shot and play out the point. If player B wins the point,

player A feeds a ball to player B that must be volleyed. The volley

from player B must go past the service line and play out point. If

player B wins all 3 points he becomes the champ and takes the

place of player A. The game continues until another player wins

3 consecutive points, then rotate. Anytime player B loses a point,

rotate other players.

Key points:

Helps players develop the skills to play in three situations: a baseline

rally, transition shot and volley.

Up, back, stay and in

prepared by Brett Hobden, USPTA

Type: Doubles, singles

Levels: Intermediate/advanced

Category: Strategy and tactics

Time/players: 15 minutes/1-8

Description and goals:

To help players improve their awareness and positioning. Most players

move quite well side-to-side, but many times struggle with moving

up and back. This will help them anticipate where the ball will

land based on its speed, trajectory and spin.


Players start the point on the baseline. Players must call out their

movement strategy (up, back, stay or in) for each shot before the ball

bounces on their side of the court. If they don’t they are out. They are

also out if they lose the point. Variations: With fewer players, use the

whole court. Use crosscourt half of the court as a doubles variation.

Key point:

Focus on having players call out their next court position by recognizing

the type of ball they are about to receive.

Generated by iTennisSystem –

ADDvantage/January 2008 19

USPTA mailbox

from Page 2

While it’s generally believed that

participation in sports builds good

character, this is not always the case.

As we can see by the recent wave of

bad publicity, poor sportsmanship,

unethical, illegal and “bad” behavior

exists in most sports, even at the

elite level. Sadly, the need to win,

the lure of money and the sense

of entitlement and invulnerability

that wealth and power bring tempt

the very core values that sports were

designed to develop.

As parents and coaches, you can

make a difference. Tell your kids

why these behaviors are bad and

inappropriate. Invite them to discuss

their views and the penalties

and consequences they feel would

be warranted.

Seek out examples of great

athletes who are fine role models.

Discuss the value of playing hard

but fair, of winning and losing with

honor and humility, of trying your

hardest even when you are competing

against a much stronger team

or you aren’t playing your best.

Teach your kids how to respect

officials even when they appear to

miss a call or make a bad one, not

out of fear of a penalty but because

it’s the right thing to do.

Help youngsters learn to control

their emotions under pressure

and not play out of fear or anger

but out of desire and confidence.

Be a good role model yourself.

Demonstrate ethical and moral

behavior toward others and it

will carry over to how your kids


All of us have a significant

role to play in helping our youth

develop good character through

sport. It’s just too important to

leave it to chance.

Best regards,

Robert Heller, Ed.D., USPTA

Boca Raton, Fla.

Editor’s note: Robert Heller’s seminar,

Developing Character Through Tennis,”

is available in MP3 format as part of the

2007 USPTA World Conference seminar

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877-8248 or at


Your article in the October-

November issue of ADDvantage

magazine was right on target.

Having played junior tennis and

now having a child who plays sectional

and national tournaments, I

am aware of the cheating problems

we have in our sport today. The

true cheaters are as skillful with

their timing of the bad calls and

score changes as they are with hitting

forehands and backhands.

There are a few solutions I

believe would be effective. First, I

believe that 10 percent of the field

cause 80 percent of the problems at

the sectional level. Countless times

I’ve seen referees give suspension

points for hitting a ball over the

fence, throwing a racquet or using

foul language, but they rarely

give suspension points for obvious

and gross cheating. This needs to

change. I also see many instances of

warnings and threats of suspension

points for poor behavior, but the

refs don’t usually put it in writing.

If they do, the tournament directors

don’t follow through and turn

in the forms.

Secondly, virtually every player

and parent knows when the draw

comes out, who the cheaters are.

In many cases they notify the refs

or tournament directors before the

match is even played in hopes of getting

a ref to monitor their court. If

you send out surveys to each junior

in each state and national players, in

each age division, you will quickly

get a consensus of who the cheaters

are. With this information in hand,

(it could be done through e-mail

at no cost), you will know what

the juniors already know: who the

cheaters are. If, for example, 80

percent of the surveys have the same

four or five names coming up, then

an obvious red flag goes up.

The next question is what to do

with the information. You distribute

the results to the appropriate USTA

sectional presidents and head umpires.

You establish and distribute

a strict suspension policy that all

juniors are made aware of and then

implement and enforce the policy.

Once the policy is enforced fairly

and consistently, then the juniors

will either stop cheating or be

subject to suspension. It’s time to

be tough for the sake of our juniors

and the integrity of our sport.

Victor Albo, USPTA

Plantation, Fla.


I just finished reading your letter

in ADDvantage about cheating,

and have one idea that I still use in

our one-day junior tournaments.

I have been competing for over

35 years. As we were growing up,

it was common to pull a parent or

older player to act as umpire over

any match with problems when the

referee was busy or manpower was

short. This pickup person could

call foot faults, lines, keep score,

or cover whatever problem was

existing on the court.

The referee or tournament

director would locate such an individual

that they knew had nothing

to do with the match. They would

then let the individual know that

they were there for a specific purpose,

and to monitor that problem

through the rest of the match. The

individual would only be called

upon if a player had a question,

then would rule or overrule the

situation. In all these years, I have

not had any issues with the individual

who was called on to help

keep a match honest.

We are definitely at a point that

the parents and players need to assist

in the honesty of a tournament,

due to the cost of umpires and the

fact that they do not stay for the

duration of the match. In the event

the pickup person had an issue (the

match went long), they could be

replaced by another person. I do

not know why this process stopped,

but it worked extremely well while

I was in juniors and afterward.

Jack Sheehy, USPTA

Arlington, Texas

Mr. Heckler,

I appreciate you speaking out

on cheating, lying and stealing.

Sometimes I can’t believe the responses

from parents concerning

the behavior of their children. It

reminds me of the time when I was

5 years old and I stole a penny piece

of candy at the grocery store. When

my Mom found out she took me

to the store checker and made me

apologize. If I caught my son or

daughter cheating, I would have

them defaulted immediately and

apologize to the other player and

tournament director.

Winning outside the rules of

the game is a hollow victory and

results in you becoming less of a

person. Tennis and winning are

only part of life. What to do

My son played in a special

four-day tournament event this last

summer for 10-and-under only.

This was a team event where the

players were put on four teams (10

boys and 10 girls on each team) and

played another team on each day.

Matches involved singles, doubles

and mixed doubles. On the first

day, a mandatory meeting was

held with one to two hours of instruction

on rules, court etiquette,

proper match behavior, and how

to check in. This meeting was followed

up with a mandatory parents

meeting with a video about proper

behavior for parents. The whole

idea behind this tournament was

to provide some instruction in the

beginning years of a tennis player’s

career. This tournament was geared

toward the top-ranked players in

the region and was a great event.

Another suggestion that I

thought of after reading the part

in your article about the scoring

dispute is to bring a scoring marker

to your tournament matches. The

marker fits on the net and is adjusted

after each game.

Finally, character begins when

someone speaks up. Thank you for

doing so.

John D. Penner

Fullerton, Calif.

Hi Tim,

Just read your article on cheating

in junior tennis. As you know,

it is not just in junior tennis, but

adult leagues too. The problem is

systemic and societal. Unfortunately,

winning is more important

than integrity. Ramsey Earnhart,

a USPTA member, mentor and

former NCAA doubles champion,

told me long ago, “tennis doesn’t

build character but rather reveals

it.” How right he is.

So how do we solve the problem

of cheating Here is a possible

solution: In the past I sometimes

would video some of my ladies

teams during league play and

found out that the line calls on

these matches were much better. I

can only assume the players’ know-

20 ADDvantage/January 2008

USPTA mailbox

ing the camera was on cleaned

up their act. While there were no

provisions in ALTA rules for using

a video to challenge a call, the

idea relates to your “undercover”

referee. Admittedly, some of the

opponents and some of my own

members objected, but I always

was able to convince them that it

was a learning tool and prevailed

upon them to allow it. If not, I just

backed off and used the zoom lens.

The entire match can be videoed

and an appeal could be based upon

a few bad calls caught on video.

Sadly, cheaters – from presidents

to heads of industry, tennis

players, and others from every walk

of life – will always be with us. At

least you have a pulpit from which

to voice your concern. What about

the moms and dads with kids playing

tournaments who only have

their pros to guide them through

the USTA tournament maze

Fred Burdick

USPTA Master Professional

Dalton, Ga.

Dear Tim,

The problem of cheating to win

tennis matches has many people,

including myself, very disturbed.

The days of a “gentleman’s game”

with fair calls and good sportsmanship

have given way to a “win-atall-costs”

mentality. A solution to

address this situation may come from

racquetball. Many years ago I was the

tournament stringer at a sanctioned

racquetball tournament. I observed

the structure of the tournament and

was surprised when the winner of

a match had to stay for additional

duties – refereeing another match.

This is an excellent solution to the

problem of cheating in tennis.

Tennis tournament directors

could state on the tournament’s

entry form that every player will be

required to umpire or referee another

match. This would guarantee that

the player would fulfill his or her

duty or they would not be allowed

to advance to the next round.

Another option is to include an

umpire fee in with the entry fee.

For instance, players would pay

$50 to enter and they would be

refunded $25 if they umpired one

match. The extra $25 fee would

discourage players from leaving

without doing their duty or the fee

could be used to hire another player

to umpire an additional match.

Having a match umpire on

the court of a junior tennis match

would discourage cheating and bad

line calls and would accomplish

several things.

The first is just having a peer

on court to witness the conduct

of each player. Many times when

a player was ready to question an

“out” call by his or her opponent,

I have observed a friend, coach or

parent nod to indicate that the ball

was indeed out. This confirmation

by another witness really helped to

calm the player.

The second benefit would be

for the match umpire to be able to

correct line calls when asked by the

opposing player.

Third, the match umpire could

also record all overrules for each player

on the scorecard and turn it into

the tournament referee for further

action. This would make all players

more accountable for their conduct

and line calls. Tournament referees

would be able to track problem

players through the tournament and

in future events as well. Governing

bodies could also take disciplinary

action against chronic cheaters.

Lastly, the match umpire would

also be in charge of keeping score to

stop any errors or cheating in scoring.

An official scorecard would be

given to each match umpire to be

turned in at the end of the match.

The idea of having another

player being the umpire of a tennis

match would go a long way to help

curb cheating. It would hold both

players in a match more accountable

for their actions and give the

match umpire an appreciation for

tournament officials.

Doug Hofer, USPTA

Visalia, Calif.

Hi Tim,

I read your article in the USPTA

publication. It’s something I am really

struggling with myself, not just

the actual cheating, but coming up

with a viable solution. To put my

two cents in, I do have some ideas.

When I was growing up playing

tennis, we all had to show up for

the tournament at 8 in the morning

on the first day. This way we

all developed a certain camaraderie

playing cards, etc., waiting for our

matches or during rain delays. We

knew one another, which made it

harder to cheat. More importantly,

when the first matches were called,

they also asked for volunteers from

the players, corresponding to the

number of courts, and asked them

to sit up in the chair and call the

first match. After that, the loser had

to go back to the same court he lost

on, and chair the next match. This

would teach the kids a good lesson

about controlling the flow of the

match, and dealing with attitudes.

It would be beneficial to have

a card at every tournament where

players can voice their opinions

about the worst cheaters, and the

tournament director would have to

submit it to the USTA. I guarantee

that the same fi ve names would

come up over and over again. These

names could be published once a

month with the rankings and color

coded on the draw sheet (yellow,

for instance). We already have red

for seeded players, green for non-

USTA members and so forth.

I hope I did not bore you to

tears. But it ticks me off when I

see those cheaters winning matches

because they call a ball out on game

point or set point or match point.

You are right; they don’t waste their

time at 15 all.

Zsolt Karosi, USPTA

Helendale, Calif.

Dear Tim,

I was reading your message

in the October-November issue

about cheating and thought I’d let

you know how we had umpires for

almost every match.

I think parents and coaches

should be reminded that tennis is

supposed to be a “gentleman’s” game

– at least that’s what I was taught ever

since I started. Do your best, have

fun and all the other good stuff.

I’m sure you have heard how

things might work nowadays. The

thinking is “win at any cost” and

“when in doubt call it out.” Trying

to get rid of this cheating on the

court problem has to have everyone

involved, including players,

parents, coaches and friends.

When I was a junior we used to

have players who were waiting for

their matches or players who were

done with their matches help by

umpiring matches. Of course, you

should make sure that the umpire is

not from the same academy as one of

the players or one of the parents.

The players (umpires) can at

least watch the lines and keep track

of the score along with the players.

We used to have the regular umpire

chairs (the tall ones) but clubs

where they didn’t had those chairs

set up sturdy tables with chairs

on top so the umpires could get a

better view of the lines. I think it

might make things easier for the

referee or the roving umpire, players

and everyone involved. Who

knows Umpiring may help some

players learn a couple of things.

All the best, and hope this helps

in at least getting things started

with players helping each other.


Emmanuel John, USPTA

Beechwood, Ohio

Dear Tim,

I wanted to let you know that

I enjoyed the cheating article that

you wrote. I might not be sure why,

but it reminded me a little bit of

an old Vince Lombardi story that I

read. One day at a Packers practice

one of his players gave up before

the end of the play. Lombardi

started yelling at him and said, “If

you quit in practice, then you’ll

quit in the game. If you quit in the

game, then you’ll quit in life. And

I won’t have that!”

I definitely agree with you that

cheating is excused or even encouraged

in certain drill groups and

high schools. Diligent high school

coaches and club pros can be the

ones to turn this epidemic around,

but at the moment something needs

to be done at the national level as

well. There is too much at stake in

the USTA tournaments (namely

scholarships) to let them go unsupervised.

I like the idea of plain clothes

referees or scouts because honest

kids are getting hurt by the current

system and that just isn’t fair.

Thanks again.

Trip Norkus

Strake Jesuit College Preparatory


continued next page

ADDvantage/January 2008 21

USPTA mailbox

Hello Tim,

The USPTA, USTA, and other

tennis organizations have promoted

putting people into competition

almost from the beginning of their

involvement with the game, before

any skills have been ingrained. This

is the first cause of the cheating

because if you don’t have the skills

to win on your own, and you know

how important winning is, then

you will be inclined to cheat in

order to be the winner. The old

saying goes, “It doesn’t matter if

you win or lose, it’s how you play

the game,” but from everything

we see around us, even little kids

know that isn’t true. The winners

get everything while the losers get


If you want to do something

about cheating, delay the start of

people competing. Teaching people

the skills of the game with no competition

allows them to develop the

skills in a relaxed, nonthreatening

environment. I have people that

take lessons from me for years in

group situations that have no desire

to compete, but love getting out,

running around, hitting some balls,

and gradually getting better. When

you learn in a noncompetitive environment

you are given the time

to learn not only the physical skills,

but also the mental and emotional

skills. Also, what happens is that by

working together over many years

it becomes much harder to cheat

someone that you are friends with

and respect.

Until you change how the

system works, there will always be

cheating. It’s not just happening

in junior tennis, it’s happening

extensively in recreational tennis

and even in low-level professional

tennis where there are no line

judges. One of my long-term students,

who was ranked No. 1 two

years ago in Northern California

Women’s Open singles, went to

Mexico to play qualifying for a

tournament there and when she

came back she was horrified at how

much cheating was going on. In

her very first match her opponent

cheated her on three of the first

four points in the first game! Her

observations were that this was the

rule, not the exception, and that

if someone cheated you, you just

cheated them right back.


Brent Zeller, USPTA

Woodacre, Calif.


I just read your CEO message

in ADDvantage. As I close in on

retirement from coaching, I feel

more and more like you did returning

from that tournament with

your son. Our society is just not

giving/teaching the right message,

and tennis, squash and golf are the

last holdouts for ethical behavior,

but we are being overwhelmed by

the negative aspects of everything


Remember “The USPTA Complete

Guide to Coaching” Check

out my two brief articles on sportsmanship.

I still coach the same way,

but it is harder to get through to

my kids every year, both because

there are no similar messages out

there and because no other coaches

seem to pay any attention to ethics

and sportsmanship. It is all about

winning and who is coming in next

year to make my team stronger.

I have been really lucky to coach

at Williams & Haverford – very

high quality, intelligent kids – and

they have listened and learned.

But I don’t have much hope for

the future!

Sean Sloane, USPTA

Glassboro, N.J.

Dear Mr. Heckler,

I am rarely moved to send a

letter to the editor. But your recent

message regarding cheating in our

game hit a nerve. My first thought

was, “It’s about time someone with

some ‘punch’ said something about

this ongoing problem.”

When I taught and coached

in Florida, my school was the host

school for the South Florida high

school district championship. We

played 300 matches in three days

and rarely had a problem with line

calls. We handled it this way. On

the fi rst day of the tournament

we had a meeting with all the

players and all the coaches. We

explained that every coach was to

22 ADDvantage/January 2008

USPTA mailbox

be considered a roving umpire.

They could make line calls, solve

disputes and make decisions on

the spot. Our players respected

this. The mere presence of a coach

watching a match probably helped

keep matches controlled. I must

mention that this rule only applied

to the high school coach, not one

of the private coaches who worked

with many of our players.

Now, I fully understand that a

high school tournament operates

under some rule differences. This

method would probably not work

in USTA without some tweaking,

or maybe not at all. But for us, we

had created what basketball and

football officials call “potential of


This worked for us on the local

level. Unfortunately, when our

winners went on we faced some of

the problems you mentioned in the


I applaud you for writing on

this subject and for the courage to

step on the toes you did. My sincere

hope is that this article gets a great

response and produces ideas that

will help solve it.

Hopefully the time will come

when none of us walk off the court

saying, “I don’t want to play with

him anymore, he cheats.”

Robert L. Schweid, USPTA

Henderson, Nev.

Howdy Tim,

After reading your “Cheating,

lying, and stealing” editorial, I

just had to write you and say that

I take my Texas-sized, 10-gallon

hat off to you for telling it like it

is. As I read your editorial, I could

relate to your feelings all too well

because I was once a junior tennis

parent myself and experienced

some of the very same frustrations

you are experiencing in the junior

tennis world of today. Fortunately,

the problems I experienced 20

years ago weren’t as bad as they are

today. My daughter had the good

fortune to have worked with classact

teaching pros like Jim Parker,

who wouldn’t tolerate cheating for

a nanosecond nor would her dad!

As you know, I am a USTA official

and primarily work the junior

tournaments in the Houston area.

Time and time again, I’ve had junior

players come to me requesting

that I monitor their match for bad

line calls, foot faulting, etc. After

not seeing any bad line calls, foot

faults, or other forms of cheating

during two or three games, I typically

move on to monitor another

court, only to have the same player

call me back to his/her match five

minutes later for the very same


Fortunately, we are blessed

in the USTA Texas Section with

a great Discipline & Grievance

Committee chair in the form of

Paul Christian. I’m here to tell you

though, Paul and his committee

can’t do their job effectively if the

USTA officials and tournament

directors don’t do their jobs by

submitting reports of cheating.

As far as I’m concerned, submitting

cheating reports to the D&G

Committee is one of the most

important responsibilities assumed

by a person who chooses to become

a USTA official.

The idea of an “undercover

official” is an absolutely fantastic

idea! I sincerely hope that Paul and

the Texas Section D&G Committee

give serious consideration to

using “undercover officials” on a

trial basis for two or three years

and then evaluate the results. You

know and I know that this cancer,

in the form of cheating, lying, and

stealing, must stop now; otherwise,

our beloved game of tennis is

headed down the wrong path like

a runaway train!

Rod Hotz, USPTA


Dear Tim,

I enjoyed your thoughts on

cheating at junior tournaments. As

you and I are of the “old school,”

we know that the sense of shame

over being accused, or even suspected,

of being a cheater or poor

sport kept participants, on the

whole, being very fair. In my day,

at the early level of junior play in

New Zealand, all competitors were

made to adjudicate a match; usually

the loser adjudicated the match

following theirs on a court. There

was, therefore, an independent

observer that a player could appeal

to without having to look for an

official. The “scorekeeper” would

make sure that scores were correct

and no arguments regarding what

the score was developed, as the

monitor would be the final voice.

All players had to do this and even

winners were assigned a match at

some point during the event. I

know that time is an issue at many

tournaments today, but if, at the

entry level of junior tournament

sanctioned play, monitoring was a

requirement of entering the tournament,

then good habits would

be developed at the early stages

of a player’s tournament career. A

secondary byproduct of this was

that losers would have to immerse

themselves in another match so

the sting and self-criticism of losing

would be shortened and focus

given to another match.

I applaud the other suggestions

you made and hope that

publicity can turn the tide in the

adult segment of the junior player’s



Ian Crookenden, USPTA


Dear Tim,

You wrote an excellent article

about cheating in junior tennis

tournaments. I was quite taken

aback by the story. I agree with

you 100 percent ... cheating cannot

be tolerated and must be stopped.

There is no place for cheating in

sports, just as there really is no

place for cheating in any of life’s


I like your idea of using “undercover

officials” when one player

may be suspected of cheating. I

have a couple of other suggestions,

too. First of all, players should be

given a “standard speech” before

every match about the need to

make line calls clearly and quickly

and the need to be fair and give

the opponent the benefit of the

doubt in a close call. Tennis relies

on the honesty and integrity of the

players. That is the very essence of

a tennis match. I know the kids get

sick and tired of listening to this

“spiel,” but as a high school coach,

I repeat it at the start of each and

every meet. The players know it by

heart, but they still need to hear it

at the start of every competition.

It just might make an impact

on someone who hasn’t listened


Secondly, at USPTA- sanctioned

junior tournaments, perhaps

matches could be videotaped so

they could be reviewed in the event

of a dispute. Just an idea, especially

when a player is suspected of cheating.

This might help.

The very thought of cheating in

a tennis match would make Harry

Hopman turn over in his grave! In

my more than 35 years of playing

tennis, I have never thought of any

other sport having such a necessity

(or history) of fairness, honesty and

integrity associated with it. I’m sure

that every tennis champion around

today, and every single honest

player, would feel the same way.


Arthur Klein, USPTA

Morristown, N.J.

We greatly appreciate all the input

from our members concerning possible

solutions to the problem of

cheating in the game of tennis.

Many suggested solutions would be

great, in theory, but there are certain

realities in junior tennis that would

make them hard to implement. For

instance, if a player won a match

but was suffering from heat exhaustion,

you could not prevent him from

advancing to the next round because

he needed to rest or even left to seek

medical attention instead of refereeing

a match between two peers. Also,

many players travel to tournaments

with their academies and drill groups,

and it would be unfair to make a group

of players stay at a match site for

two extra hours while one of their

mates has to umpire a match. Most

tournament directors have a hard

enough time keeping things running

smoothly with the huge draws in junior

tournaments these days without

having to worry about tracking down

players who are not used to having

responsibilities once they have

turned in their scores.

However, we realize the only way the

cheating epidemic can be stopped,

or even slowed, is by a group effort

among players, parents, teaching

professionals, tournament directors,

and officials, and we encourage

everyone to continue to brainstorm

on how we can most effectively

maintain sportsmanship and fair

play in the sport.

ADDvantage/January 2008 23

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cancellation fee – $25; fail ure to can cel – $25 plus the up grade fee is for feited. Reg istration

for an other exam will not be ac cepted until can cellation fees are paid.

specialty courses

Doubles connection: how to be a better doubles partner, Jan. 19,

Manhattan Beach, Calif., P. Scheb

Science and psychology of competition, Jan. 19, Manhattan Beach, Calif.,

K. DeHart

Curriculum development for tennis professionals, Jan. 26, Lincolnshire,

Ill., B. Love and G. Parks

Singles strategy, Feb. 7, Grapevine, Texas, M. Fairchilds

Mental toughness teaching for the USPTA pro, Feb. 8-9, Grapevine,

Texas, B. Young and L. LeClaire

The complete professional, Feb. 10, Grapevine, Texas, F. Hassan

Competitive singles patterns, March 4, Las Vegas, M. Fairchilds

The deadline to register and/or cancel a course is 15 working days before the event. Anyone

canceling late or failing to cancel will forfeit one-half the course fee. Sched ule is subject to change.

Call the USPTA Education Department for more information or e-mail

Earn education credits from World Conference DVDs

(Seminar DVDs, ½ credit/specialty course DVDs, 2 credits)

Receive your education credit report card via e-mail by visiting the members-only section


24 ADDvantage/January 2008

Enhance your decor with USPTA logo plaques

Display pride in membership


This is a great opportunity to own

a hand-painted cast replica of the

wood-carved USPTA logo. Each

plaque has been painstakingly finished

with 23K gold leaf and premium

paints and stains, and is suitable for

interior or exterior use. Together with

the matching personalized USPTA

professional plaque, it will create a

dynamic impression in your pro shop or


A. USPTA logo plaque

A cast replica of the USPTA logo wood carving

with painted and 23K gold leaf lettering. Mounting

hardware included.

16" diameter x 1¼" thick


$149 plus $7.95 for shipping and handling/cont. U.S.

B. Personalized USPTA professional plaque

Custom made with your name in 23K gold leaf

lettering to match USPTA logo plaque. Mounting

hardware included.

16" x 5½" x 1¼"

$99 plus $7.95 for shipping and handling/cont. U.S.

SHIPPING ADDRESS (No. P.O. boxes, please):


Order your USPTA member plaques today.


_____ USPTA logo plaque(s) @ $149 $ _________

_____ B Personalized USPTA plaque(s) @ $99 $ _________


Houston MTA residents add 8.25%

$ _________

Other Texas residents add 7.25% Sales tax $ _________

Add $7.95 for each plaque Shipping & handling $ _________

(Alaska, Hawaii, U.S. territories and Canada – additional fee required for air freight)

Total $ _________

Name to be carved on personalized plaque: (maximum 18 spaces)



PAYMENT METHOD: Visa MasterCard American Express

Check (payable to USPTA)




Daytime phone No.


Member No.

Name as it appears on credit card

Credit card No.

Exp. date


U.S. Pro Tennis Shop, 3535 Briarpark Drive, Suite One, Houston, TX 77042 • e-mail: • (800) USPTA-4U • (713) 97-USPTA • fax (713) 978-5096

industry ac tion


USPTA Professional Greg

Lappin received the

NOVA 7 Award presented

by Fitness Management

magazine for his development

of an employee

customer service training

program that defines hospitality

for his employees.

Lappin is the general

manager of the Rochester

Athletic Club in Rochester,


USPTA Professional Keith

Swindoll, director of tennis

at Indian Hills Country

Club, recently hosted two

charity events at his club

in Tuscaloosa, Ala. The

first was a tennis mixer

held in conjunction with

the Drive 4 The Cure golf

tournament benefiting the

DCH Breast Cancer Fund.

The combined events


raised more than $250,000

for the DCH Foundation.

The second event was an

Adopt-A-School Tennis

Tournament. Eighty-two

ladies participated in this

one-day event to raise

money for the Tuscaloosa

school system.


Metaltek, manufacturer of

Playmate Ball Machines,

has introduced two new

portable tennis machines:

the Volley and the Half

Volley. The Half Volley has

a three-hour removable

Club4Life in Monroeville, Pa., hosted its fi rst Play for the Cure Tennis

Round Robin in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October.

Hosting the event were USPTA Professional Rochelle Seilhamer, survivor

Berry Campagna and membership coordinator Tracey Cook. Over 50 players

participated in the fundraiser. All proceeds were donated to the Susan G.

Komen Foundation. The event raised more than $1,000. The goal for the

second annual event is to exceed $2,000.

battery pack, simple pointand-shoot

design, plus it

offers three do-it-yourself

upgrades. These upgrades

include a commercial remote

control system, a

two-line oscillator with random

option, and a six-hour

battery pack, all of which

can be installed in just a

few minutes. The Volley

comes fully loaded with all

the upgrades and replaces

the original Playmate

Portable. The Playmate

Portable Series features

a nonmemory, removable

battery pack with SMART

Charger. This means users

simply remove the battery

pack instead of taking the

entire machine out of the

car to charge it. The machines

also have variable

electronic ball speed, feed

rate, topspin, and backspin;

an integrated sliding

hopper that holds 200

balls; commercial pitching

wheels; manual height

control; and a two-year

limited warranty. For more

information, visit www. or call



The Henri “Bijou” Elkins

Tennis show was busy during

the weekend of Oct. 18

in Austin, Texas. Together

with USPTA Master

Professional Fernando

Velasco, the Bijou show

was seen at the opening

ceremonies of the Little

Mo National Tournament

at the Austin Tennis Academy,

during the 24-hour

“tennithon” by Israel Castillo

to raise money for the

Lance Armstrong Foundation

at the Barton Creek

Resort, before the finals

of the $12,500 Pro Show

Down at the Onion Creek

Country Club, and finally

during the Super Senior

Sectionals at the Lakeway

USPTA Professional Jeff Bingo, director of tennis at Addison Reserve Country

Club in Delray Beach, Fla., since 1995, has been promoted to director of

Esplanade operations after a recent $9.2 million renovation of the Esplanade

area. The expansion included remodeling of the Esplanade Bistro, expansion

of the Fitness Center to include a kinesis wall, stretching, and aerobic rooms,

the addition of a world-class spa, a Kidz Zone children’s center, and a tennis

department makeover including the addition of a state-of-the-art practice

hitting court with an automatic ball machine replenishing system. In 2004

- 2005, Bingo was voted District Professional of the Year in the Florida

Division. He will be in charge of operations for this new facility in addition to

retaining his position as tennis director under the management of CEO/CFO

of Addison Reserve, Michael McCarthy.

26 ADDvantage/January 2008

industry ac tion

Curly Davis, adult director of Academia Sanchez-Casal, Florida, held a 24-hour

tennis marathon to benefit the Toys for Tots campaign. Davis started playing tennis

at 6:30 p.m. Dec. 14 and continued straight through until 6:30 p.m. Dec. 15

at the academy’s headquarters at the Naples Tennis Club & Resort. Davis invited

all comers to play against him in half-hour sessions. The “charge” was a new,

unwrapped toy for donation to Toys for Tots. He encouraged people to sign up

for doubles play in their half hour because it brought in more toys. The USPTA

Professional said he wore a pedometer that showed he logged 45.6 miles during

that 24-hour period. To raise even more toys, a car was filled with tennis balls

and people were invited to guess how many there were. There was no limit to the

number of guesses per person, but the cost of each guess was a toy. The winner,

whose guess came closest to the correct number, won a HEAD racquet autographed

by Davis, three one-hour private lessons with him, and two box seats at a session of

the International Tennis Championships in Delray Beach. HEAD/Penn donated

the 1,375 tennis balls. “We ended up with five big boxes of toys!” Davis said.

Members of the Peter Burwash International Tennis Show performed on the

Great Wall of China in September, culminating their 2007 tour. Last year the

PBI Tennis Show had a one-month tour in August with its finale at the USTA

Tennis Teachers Conference in conjunction with the U.S. Open in New York.

This year the tour was expanded to July through September with performances not

only in China, but also in Seoul, Korea, as well as the United States, according

to Dan Aubuchon, PBI Tennis Show director and USPTA Professional. In its

nearly 30-year history, the PBI Tennis Show has been performed for millions of

people in 99 countries. Often described as the Harlem Globetrotters of tennis,

the show combines music, skits and extraordinary tennis skills that highlight

the way people play the sport. (Photo) In a “U” shape from the left going back

are Patrick Alle, Tyson Thomas and Sebastian Morning. From the right going

forward are Dan Aubuchon, Art Santos and Dara Sok.

World of Tennis banquet.

The show, named after

USPTA member Henri

Elkins, is a combination

of a tennis lesson and

comedy and has entertained

tennis crowds in

more than 30 countries.

Tennis Addiction Sports Club

hosted a pro-am tennis

tournament to benefit

Living Beyond Breast

Cancer Research on

Oct. 13. Tennis Addiction

Sports Club, owned

by USPTA Professional

Anthony DeCecco, has

eight tennis teams made

up of 12 players in the

Deltri Suburban Tennis

League. Each team plays

competitive tennis with

other clubs in the area

from October to March.

For the past six years, all

of the Deltri teams have

held events to raise and

donate money to Living

Beyond Breast Cancer.

This year Tennis Addiction

had its best year, reaching

a goal of $10,000. For

more information about

Tennis Addiction Sports

Club and Living Beyond

Breast Cancer, visit their

Web sites at



Frank E. Gaillard, a USPTA

Professional and retired

Army colonel,

passed away

Oct. 15 at the

age of 80. Gaillard,

who earned


certification at

the age of 70,

was the head tennis pro at

the Lake of the Pines community

in Auburn, Calif. He

was still avidly playing and

teaching tennis in spite of

his battle with cancer. “It

was his life,” said his wife,

Joanie. He was the area

representative for admissions

to West Point and

president of Korean War

Regiment 224. The 6-foot-

5-inch Gaillard graduated

from West Point Military

Academy in 1950 and

served for two years as a

paratrooper in the Korean

War. Gaillard was a member

of the Army Reserve

for more than 30 years.

During this time he worked

as a program director in the

Silicon Valley electronics industry.

He also taught tennis

at Fairbrae Swim and

Racquet Club in Sunnyvale,

Calif. Although he had

played tennis since his

West Point days, he did not

start teaching until after

he completed his military

service. After moving to

Auburn, Gaillard coached

the girls and boys teams

at Bear River High School

in Grass Valley, Calif. The

Lake of the Pines Tennis

Club started a memorial

fund in Gaillard’s name and

members of Fairbrae Swim

and Racquet Club contributed

as well. These monies

will go toward scholarships

to teach tennis to Auburn

area youth, Joanie Gaillard

said. “He would be

very happy about that.”

Scholarship donations may

be made to the LOP Tennis

Gaillard Memorial Fund,

care of Richard Knowlden,

president of LOP Tennis,

12023 Lakeshore North

Drive, Auburn, Calif.,

95602. Gaillard’s ashes will

be buried at West Point

Military Academy in the

spring of 2008.

ADDvantage/January 2008 27

United States Professional Tennis Association, Inc.

World Headquarters

3535 Briarpark Drive, Suite One

Houston, TX 77042-5235







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