RALLYING WITH THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
The SCTA wants every person in Southern California to have the opportunity to engage with tennis.
That means a person could play, coach, volunteer for the Board, committees, projects or events, teach, run a tournament, officiate, manage a facility, and be a fan or an employee.
There is a role for everyone in the tennis pipeline.
The SCTA believes in the “Neighborhood” philosophy because tennis starts locally. A young player once told legendary Stanford tennis coach Dick Gould that she was going to be the number one player in the world someday. He asked her if she was the best player in her neighborhood yet. No matter what our aspirations are, it all begins with local play. All communities should have entry level play events for adults and youth so that new players can get started near home without having to incur the expense of travel and time to compete.
In SoCal, we have NTRP events like adult leagues and tournaments at the 2.5 and 3.0 levels so that a person can meet and compete with players of similar skill level. If a player improves and wants a more difficult test of his/her skills, there are 3.5, 4.0, etc. levels available. The SCTA has youth progression in red, orange, green and yellow levels by age group to allow new players to develop their skills in tournaments and Junior Team Tennis. Tournaments start at Level 7 for new players and move up in steps of challenge and difficulty to Level 1, the highest level of Section and National competition. Junior Team Tennis has a similar rating system that promotes skill-level based play.
The SCTA Adult Competition and Junior Competition Committees and the staff create schedules of play that allow sites to host leagues and tournaments during the year at different levels of play to provide competition and development opportunities for all. Their purpose is to offer the different levels of competition on various calendar dates so that all players have access to opportunities near them to play and grow in skill.
All these play events give public and private facilities the opportunities to create revenue and sustain tennis in each community. The various levels of play also allow players to reach the level of excellence to which they aspire. We never know when we are pitching red balls to a youngster if this person will enjoy social tennis for the rest of his/her life, captain the high school tennis team, play collegiately, be a member of a USA Davis or Fed Cup team, or a Grand Slam champion. We do know that if we don’t have local play opportunities for all, we’ll have no future players, coaches, etc. Please contact us if you would like to offer local play in your neighborhood. We’d love to help. Call Cari at 310.208.3838 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bruce A. Hunt – Executive Director
Southern California Tennis Association