USTA SW Holds Regional Community Workshop

October 26, 2010

How to grow tennis, particularly the youth market in USTA Southwest, was the theme of the recent USTA Southwest Regional Community Tennis Development Workshop (RCTDW), held Oct. 9-10 at the Hotel Valley Ho in Scottsdale, Ariz.

Speakers and panelists from across the nation—including several USTA National staff members and high-placed volunteers—as well as renowned guest speakers on youth sports Dr. Bob Pangrazi and Gary Avischious, presented information sessions at the RCTDW on a variety of topics vital to tennis in their local areas.

The weekend started off with an opening talk by educator Pangrazi on “Managing and Organizing Youth.” Pangrazi, who has worked with children for over 45 years, spoke about how most failed athletic dreams are due to parental notions and perceived confidences (or lack of) in the sport at a young age. Pangrazi also did a fun activity session on how to manage and keep control of large groups of children, something many tennis educators (particularly schools programs) encounter.

Other sessions during the weekend included:

Gary Avisichious, who developed the noted website, closed the RCTDW weekend with a talk on “Coaching Youth,” about how coaches and parents need to operate when looking at the skill development of children. Avischious stated that coaches and parents need to look at coaching as more like “gardening,” providing fertile soil for kids to strive to their dreams. Avischious also stated that nearly 75% of all youth sports participants drop out by age 13, so he gave plenty of tips on how USTA programs can be among those sports to be the best at retaining our numbers with solid coaching principles that are kid-focused.

The RCTDW was put on with the help of a $10,000 grant from USTA National and combined with the Section’s regular annual meeting. Sessions were attended by a variety of USTA Southwest Section and district personnel and volunteers, member organizations, city parks department employees, and other interested parties.