Two USPTA Members Honored by USOC

February 18, 2009

The United States Olympic Committee honored USPTA members Anne Smith, Ph.D., and Rita Gladstone as part of its Coaching Recognition Program. Smith of Dallas, was honored with the “Doc” Counsilman Science Award for tennis for her contributions in the area of sports psychology and mental training, and Gladstone of Port Orange, Fla., was named USOC Volunteer Coach of the Year for tennis.

Smith, who is a USPTA Pro 1, holds a doctorate in educational psychology and works with tennis players of all levels throughout the Dallas area. She uses a unique mental training regimen to help her students reach their potential. A former world No. 1 doubles player, Smith won 10 Grand Slam championships in women’s doubles and mixed doubles from 1980 to 1984. She calls on her experiences to provide evidence to her students about the rigors of competitive tennis and the importance of utilizing mental training.

Gladstone, who is also a USPTA Pro 1, currently serves as the area league coordinator for Volusia County, Fla., and in 2008 more than 550 kids participated in Junior Team Tennis leagues, which she coordinated. Additionally, she gave lessons to more than 100 new tennis players in 2008, utilizing the USTA’s QuickStart Tennis Play format. She also partners with local schools to provide free after-school programs for both students and teachers, and regularly acts as a guest teacher for physical education classes. Gladstone was a No. 1 player at the University of South Carolina, and had a brief stint on the WTA tour.