Rallying With The Executive Director
The SCTA purchased a territory in the San Fernando Valley (SFV) from Teach Grow Achieve (TGA) Premiere Youth Tennis in Spring 2014 to begin teaching tennis in after-school enrichment sessions. In the 2014-15 school year, the SCTA hired an area director and tennis teachers for the TGA SFV area and provided after-school tennis and summer camps in 56 schools to 604 students. The numbers for the first nine months of the 2015-16 school year were 67 locations and 755 students. Another SCTA Schools initiative trains teachers to provide tennis to students in PE or after school. Please call me at 310.208.3339 if you want tennis in your community school.
In early December 2015, the SCTA held a workshop for community tennis providers to introduce a program called “Tennis in 10” (TNT) to create new adult tennis players. The SCTA is offering grants to tennis teachers that will offer a series of no or low-cost tennis lessons for adult beginners using Red-Orange-Green balls. The title “Tennis in 10” conveys the goal of having the adults rallying with each other in 10 minutes during the first lesson. Echo Park, Fountain Valley Tennis Center, and Morongo Basin Tennis Association are the first SoCal sites for TNT. There is more grant money available so interested tennis providers should contact me at 310.208.3339 and ask for more information about how to start TNT on your courts.
Another initiative to create tennis players is a partnership with USTA National, the USTA Pacific Northwest Section (PNW) and the SCTA that puts tennis programming on vacant public courts. The concept was pioneered by PNW and the idea is to provide turnkey tennis programming for youth and adults on courts that Parks & Rec Departments or schools don’t want to run. The PNW model hires the pros, provides equipment, collects the funds, generates marketing and returns a portion of the fees back to the sites for maintenance and upkeep of the courts. The SCTA is looking for unused or under-utilized public courts in banks of three or more to conduct the pilot in SoCal with the USTA and PNW. If you have neighborhood courts that don’t have lessons, clinics, and match play formally conducted on site, please call me at 310.208.3339. We’ll connect with you and determine how to put tennis on the courts.
I also encourage pros to offer Serve Stroke and Volley (SSV) at their facilities. SSV is an oncourt tennis skills test that provides a skill score for each player. Players can compete against other players with similar SSV scores to provide optimal competition. A player who thinks he or she has improved enough to play at a higher SSV level takes the SSV test to determine the new score. Contact Randy Johnson at 818.458.6882 for LA and OC SSV. Contact Neil Johnson at 760.781.5782 for San Diego SSV.
In 2016, the SCTA is adding new ways to grow tennis so that we can create more players for the future of the game. If you want our help, give me a call.
Bruce A. Hunt
Executive Director – Southern California Tennis Association