Senior / Adult Spotlight – Ed Trost
When Ed Trost is finished handing out all the trophies from his senior tournament, which happens to be one of the largest in the world, he sees more than the typical tournament director.
For the past 10 years at the end of each January, Trost and his wife, Jayne Robertson, have run the ASICS World Tennis Classic headquartered at Mission Hills Country Club in Rancho Mirage. As someone with a Masters degree in Physical Education and a Ph.D. in Sociology of Sport from UC-Berkeley, Trost is fully aware of the benefits and effects that playing a sport can have on a person and a community.
“I played sports growing up, so I understand the camaraderie and all of the positive aspects that sports can engender,” said Trost, who had taught undergraduate and graduate courses at San Jose State in Sociology of Sport and History of Sport in the P.E. Department. “I love doing it. It’s a lot of work, but it’s very rewarding to see what’s been created and the ways in which tennis has played such a huge part in many of these player’s lives. It’s also interesting for me to observe first-hand how the game creates community and all of the positive attributes that go along with that. So I guess you could say I see the tournament from a number of different angles.”
The ASICS World Tennis Classic is the country’s largest adult tournament hosting more than 750 men and women ages 35 to 90. It is a USTA level Category II tournament and this year players came from 28 different states, and a large contingent from British Columbia. This year, rain fell for two days making scheduling of more than 900 matches manually much more challenging than in the past.
Trost took over the tournament in 2005 after volunteering in the tournament for a few years. “We saw some things that we could improve upon and tweak, adding aspects that have made it more player friendly,” said Trost, who has grown the event in numbers by 25 percent since taking over. “There is a special vibe to the tournament. A player might run into a player they played college tennis with and hadn’t seen for 30 or 40 years. It rekindles a lot of relationships which is always fun to see.”
He added: “I think what we do very well is we are very focused on the players. My sense is that if you get the scheduling right everything should flow.”
Trost, 64, a Palm Springs resident, grew up in the Bronx and after teaching at San Jose State spent a number of years in sales in the Bay Area. He lived in Australia for three years where he met Jayne on a blind date in Melbourne. Jayne is a yoga therapist and is Program Manager for the Mind-Body Program at the Eisenhower Wellness Institute. The two moved to the desert 15 years ago when he was a VP of Sales for American Golf Corporation.
Trost stays busy working on the event year-round, seeking sponsors like he had this year: Tennis View Magazine, Eisenhower Desert Orthopedic Center, Reed’s Ginger Brew and Quest Nutrition, in addition to his title sponsor, ASICS.
“We start planning right after Thanksgiving and it’s very, very intense for about two months,” he said.
Trost played basketball and baseball growing up and picked up the game of tennis while in graduate school at Berkeley learning from legendary coach Chet Murphy. “I was a pretty decent 4.0 player and played regularly for about 40 years,” Trost said. “I’ve had some hip issues over the past few years so my tennis playing has been on hold.” He will be having hip replacement surgery in the next few weeks.
He and Jayne love to travel and this past summer they trekked to Machu Picchu and spent time in the Galapagos Islands. Aside from his hip, Ed says he feels as healthy as ever.
It was just six years ago that Trost experienced a life-altering event: open heart surgery. So five years ago, he established a chapter of Mended Hearts, a national support organization at Desert Regional Medical Center in Palm Springs where he had the surgery.
Trost reports on his Linked In page the following: “Each week I visit heart patients and caregivers offering hope and encouragement. What I have gleaned from my volunteer work is that while ALL heart patients (especially those who have had open-heart surgery) want to change their lifestyle to a healthier one, the statistics show that only one in ten are able to make such changes and unfortunately our medical system is not equipped to help people make meaningful strides in their recovery effort.
“My training and education background and experience tells me there is a way that I can make a difference in people’s lives by offering ‘heart centered coaching’. This approach will help heart patients (or those individuals who may have some heart risk factors) establish healthy habits as they relate to diet, exercise, stress reduction and emotional wellness (mind-body-spirit).”
After the surgery, Trost was back behind the tournament desk and realized how much he enjoyed running a tournament the caliber of the ASICS World Tennis Classic.
“It’s a very high quality event,” he said. “To see these nationally ranked players who are 60, 70, 80 and even 90 years old compete at such a high level is truly inspiring. Just to see them on the court and how they handle themselves. It’s an inspiration to me and an inspiration to many of the younger players watching them compete.”