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Sun, Aug. 18

Howard: There’s something to be said about continuity
My Point

People like to be able to depend on what’s going to take place and for some it might even seem a bit repetitive. Going to work you have a weekly schedule, the same with school, meals, home and marriage rituals, really just about everything we do we as human beings revolves in and about a continuity in our daily existence.

It’s much like breathing or our heart beating - our survival.

When you bring this thought into the realm of sports and looking more specifically at the game of tennis what’s made each part of it grow to where it is today is it’s continued success of regular programs, rules, tournaments, leagues, events, groups, etc., that are organized and run each year.

And not only run each year, but year after year after year.

There’s a connection made with uninterrupted succession, that creates a durability in the minds of those who follow and participate in whatever it is they’re involved with - which in turn become a tradition.

Part of what makes, let’s say a tennis tournament successful, is a group that cares about how it’s run - that take care of the little details, enjoy seeing and working hard to make sure each phase is taken care of, and prideful that everyone who participates or even just watches has an enjoyable experience.

Wimbledon, the U.S. Open, the French and Australian. Davis and Fed Cup, all have had more than a century of continuity.

The professional organizations of the USTA, WTA, ATP, ITF, USPTA, USPTR and other tennis organizations have also been uninterrupted entities of progress since their conceptions.

Most of these tournaments and organizations started out as small potatoes, certainly had growing pains, but endured because there was and is merit in what they do and what they’ve become.

No doubt there were times when some of the main shakers and movers thought it would be so much easier to just let things go to the wayside - let someone else take the reins, but it takes a lot of fortitude and survival skills to push ahead and they have.

Our smaller tennis organizations and tennis professionals are no different.

They run their annual tournaments and special events, USTA Leagues, weekly drop-in’s, junior programs, playing groups and private play. The weekly clinics, private lessons, team practices, and it all goes like clockwork for the most part.

But just try to change things to another day, or from morning to afternoon after people have gotten used and scheduled for it, or worse yet drop what’s been a dependable program, and see how upset people become.

Tennis pro’s can’t have an open clinic and on a slow day say, “Well, you’re the only one here, so it looks like we’re just have to cancel.” The show must go on and build or you won’t have anyone showing up before long.

It takes a well thought out idea, planning, dedication, evaluations, persistence and subsistence, a good core of hard workers for events, good attitudes and durability to have made the game of tennis as successful as it is today.

Oh, and one more thing - continuity.

Chris Howard is a local USPTA Tennis Professional with over 45 years in the racquet and fitness industry. He can be reached at 928-642-6775 or choward4541@gmail.com.

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