Originally Published: November 18, 2002 6:10 p.m.
What makes tennis shake and move in a community?
Certainly enough players of all abilities to give each other a necesssary opponent is one of the main ingredients.
Facilities is another factor. There's a big difference in having different sites around your town or city, so it's easy access and not too much of a hassle to find a court and have some fun. Also that there are enough courts so that during prime times the tennis players aren't having to look through the fence to watch for three hours before they can get on themselves. A few court rules posted go a long way toward these problems too.
Keeping up the maintanence of these facilites enhances the safety and playability of tennis in each community as well. There's nothing worse than cracked courts, nets that are falling apart, night lights with bulbs out or mis-alined creating dark spots, trash strewn about, and the grounds unsightly. Clean and kept up restrooms are a plus too.
The fact that there is a line item budget to make sure these recreational facilities are taken care of without having to use crisis management when we know that every five years or so the courts will need resurfaced, that the trash needs picked up every couple days or so, grass mowed and weeks killed, cracks filled yearly, etc. is also important.
A community tennis association can make all the difference in helping to insure the public is aware of the different outlets availible to those who wish to participate.
They become the voice of tennis as needed, help in the direction of making the sport of tennis grow, and lend their support in fund raising efforts for different projects that become self sufficient.
Other aspects can be: newsletters; clean up days; player rosters with ability levels and phone numbers; annual tennis events; adult and junior tennis promotion and more.
Instruction in how to play tennis can come from many sources. Books, magazines, tapes, CD's, college classes, and most importantly certified tennis professionals.
Without some type of instruction the players have a tendency to fall away from the game. But you find that the better everyone gets the more they enjoy the game of tennis and the more they want to play.
Now you have to add in the different aspects of competition that entice and nurture this product for the folks to easily join in on without taking up too much of their time having to find a game within their ability level.
Once again, if each facility has a tennis professional with well rounded programs, they normally try to have programs that fit this need.
They should provide; Instruction for all levels and ages; Leagues; Drop In Tennis; One Day Tournaments; and Weekend Tournaments; Team Tennis Formats; Inter and Intra City Match Play; and enough open court time to let people form their own groups and have a good time.
If all of the above items can be rounded out with a city or town coordinator for tennis, then all of these sites can build programs that are non repetitive, don't over-lap and work on adults and juniors of all abilities.
The United States Tennis Association can be a great help in providing information, staff and sometimes seed funding for each community in just about all aspects of getting tennis up and going. So they are a wonderful source to use.
In Prescott, there are many subdivisions that have their own tennis facilities, thus the need to have each of those have a tennis committee to do much the same that has been mentioned, and to reach out to the other subdivisions and compete against one another can be a lot of fun. It just takes someone to take the bull by the horns and put it together.
I have seen tennis vibrant in a community and then lose it over time and it's a shame because the game of tennis has so much to offer those who embrace it.
Let's keep it going in the right direction in our hometown.
"Yavapai County Tennis Tournament Results"
Tournament director Don Jones did a fine job in running the Prescott Area Tennis Associations Yavapai County Tennis Tournament this past weekend. Here are the results.
Singles: 4.5 Men: Andy Mraz def. Matt Mraz 6-4, 6-0. 4.0 Men: Miles Kreiger def. Brian Bucholtz 6-0, 6-2. 3.5 Men: John Kolody def. Stuart Sussman 6-2, 6-4. 3.0 Men: Tom Winker def. Peter Stevens 6-0, 6-1. 3.5 Women: Debbie Cassidy def. Tafline Laylin 6-3, 7-5. 4.5 Men's Consolation: Dick McGaw def. Stan Preston 6-2, 6-3. 4.0 Men's C: Steve VanUmmerson def. Lander Sims 6-4, 6-4. 3.5 Men's C: David Keyes def. Myron Hartz 6-1, 6-3. 4.5 Men's Doubles: Dick McGaw/Dave Tucker 1st Place-Don Jones/Ken Jackson 2nd Place-Cody Williams/Stan Preston 3rd place. 4.0 Men's Doubles: Dave Rainey/Russ Wagner 1st Place-Matt Mraz/Andy Mraz 2nd Place-Don Jones/John Houston 3rd Place. 3.5 Men's doubles: Russ Wagner/Rico Cananea def. John Kolody/partner 7-6, 6-4. 3.5 Men Doubles C: Stuart Sussman/Matt Sims def. Steve Lafleur/David Keyes 5-7, 7-6, 6-2. 3.5 Women's Doubles: Eileen Chalfoun/Pam Bouchard 1st Place-Debbie Cassidy/Vicki Fox 2nd Place-Betty Heath/Gail Wagner 3rd Place. Mixed Doubles: David Keyes/Toni Sadova 1st place-Patrick/Julianne Cananea 2nd Place-Margie Farthing/Kevin Compton 3rd Place.
Chris Howard is a local USPTA Tennis Professional with over 30 years in the racquet and fitness industry. He can be reached at 445-1331 or firstname.lastname@example.org