Tennis Today, Endless Possibilities Tomorrow

I am a coach because I want to be a positive influence on youth and their perspective on tennis; I want to foster a love for the sport that will benefit them for a lifetime.

My name is Raith and I am a coach in the USTA Mid-Atlantic Section after school tennis program. I’ve been a tennis coach for a few years and I enjoy coaching in this program because you can see your students getting better and having fun! In this tennis program, children learn how to be successful, in sports and in life, and to me, that speaks volumes for their future.

I started playing tennis when I was very young, around five or six years old. I loved sports growing up, but what I loved most about tennis was that I could really focus on my game and improve. Tennis helped me be a better athlete overall, developing my hand, eye and foot coordination. Now as a coach, I get to see this type of growth from the children I teach in the after school tennis program.

USTA Mid-Atlantic’s after school tennis program is structured in a unique way that I haven’t seen from other tennis programs. I love how we focus on ensuring kids have fun, while actually playing tennis so they can successfully build skills. The use of lower bouncing balls and equipment sized right, meets children where they are so they have success, have fun and want to keep coming back to learn more. There is a real emphasis on the overall development of the child as a whole person and whole athlete, which is a real differentiator.  

I saw this, first-hand, in one of my students that had a little bit extra energy and a hard time being patient during our sessions. I was able to have that child channel the energy into a fun game that works on hand-eye coordination to bump the ball on the racquet while waiting for a turn in the larger group activity. The student did this while waiting and quickly got into focus. Very soon, the student got really good at the activity so we stepped it up to hitting a ball against the wall. The student’s focus and control improved and it was a great lesson that the child can take into the classroom and in life – when you put your mind to it and focus, you can do great things.  

Tennis is a lifetime sport and through the USTA Mid-Atlantic after school tennis program, children are developing skills for a healthy, active life that will benefit them for years to come. This is why it is so important to support the USTA Mid-Atlantic’s after school tennis program. More children need to be exposed to tennis through this program and USTA Mid-Atlantic is on a mission to introduce tennis to many more kids.

You can help by making a tax deductible donation.

When you make a tax deductible gift of $100.74, that donation will cover the cost of equipment, high-quality curriculum, and instruction for one child in the program. And USTA Mid-Atlantic has an anonymous donor that will match all donations made up to $10,000 for 2019, which is a great chance you don’t want to miss to double your impact when you give now.

I hope you will join me in supporting USTA Mid-Atlantic as they bring tennis to more children throughout the Mid-Atlantic region. Tennis is a great opportunity for children to be successful in building skills that will serve them their entire lives.

Thank you for reading my coaching story and why I support USTA Mid-Atlantic’s after school tennis program. You can also read other stories from coaches like me to continue to learn about the impact of this program.

I hope to see you and more children on the courts soon!

Sincerely,

Raith

Proud Coach, USTA Mid-Atlantic After School Youth Tennis Program

P.S. USTA Mid-Atlantic has reached more than 1,300 kids so far in 2019 and more than 10,000 overall since the program’s inception in 2016. Your tax deductible gift of $100.74 will help another child experience the love of tennis.

Physical Fitness Month: On Court Steps Challenge and Giveaway

May is National Physical Fitness and Sports Month, and what better way to celebrate than playing tennis! Spending time on the tennis court playing matches, practicing your serve and volleying the ball with friends and family can help you stay active this month and all year long. Also, research shows that tennis is better for your physical, mental and overall health, so now you have all the proof you need to pick that racquet up, get some tennis balls and get active!

USTA Mid-Atlantic has lots of ways you can add more tennis to your life. From adult tournaments and leagues to fun social tennis opportunities, there is always an opportunity to get on the court and play. To celebrate National Physical Fitness and Sports Month we are sharing stories of how tennis helps people of all ages get and stay healthy and fit.

In honor of this special month, USTA Mid-Atlantic invites you to participate in a fun challenge and GIVEAWAY. We want to see how you are staying active in May through tennis. Get out there with your FitBit or Smartwatch on and then share photos on social media that show how many steps you took during your match or even while you are just hitting around and having fun! Use the hashtag #OnCourtSteps and tag USTA Mid-Atlantic!

This will be a fun and exciting way to see how players are constantly moving during the game. You can even make it a challenge with your teammates; make it a competition to see who took more steps during the match. Tennis is not only a game of focus, but a game of motion, and we encourage you to capture this motion by sharing the number of steps you took while playing the game.

To enter the GIVEAWAY, simply share a photo of your @FitBit or Smartwatch on Instagram or Facebook and tag @ustamas and in the caption or comments tell us how many #OnCourtSteps you got during your tennis match or outing. You will then be entered in the GIVEAWAY and have a chance to receive a USTA Mid-Atlantic tennis bag filled with recovery rollers, sunscreen, tennis balls, and other goodies. This offer is valued at $60 total.

The giveaway will run from Wednesday, May 15th, 2019 through Friday, May 31st, 2019 and a winner will be drawn at random and notified on June 3, 2019. The winner will be messaged directly through Facebook or Instagram in order to claim their prize.

We know that you are enjoying Physical Fitness month as much as we are by celebrating the benefits of tennis every week. Now it is time to share those moments with us on social media so we can celebrate together. Don’t miss this opportunity to enter this GIVEAWAY and have a chance to receive this awesome tennis goodie bag.

The specific rules of this giveaway are outlined below:

The contest will be announced on official USTA Mid-Atlantic social media platforms on May 15th and run through May 31, 2019.  Users can enter one of two ways:

1. On your public Instagram, post a photo and tag @ustamas and tell us how many steps you got during your tennis match or outing using #OnCourtSteps in the caption or comments.

2. On your public Facebook, post a photo and tag @ustamas and tell us how many steps you got during your tennis match or outing using #OnCourtSteps in the caption or comments.

  • Individuals can enter up to one time per week per platform. An individual may have eligible entries on multiple platforms within the same week. Each week is defined as beginning at 12:00am EST on Monday and ending at 11:59pm EST on Sunday. Week 1 of the contest will start May 15th. Week 2 of the contest will end at 11:59pm EST on May 19.
  • Among eligible entrants, one winner will be selected to receive a USTA Mid-Atlantic tennis bag and miscellaneous tennis gear with an equal value of $60. The winner will be selected by USTA Mid-Atlantic at random from eligible entrants.  
  • Winners will be notified via Facebook, or Instagram message and must respond with their address within 24 hours or a replacement winner will be chosen. By accepting the contest prize, winners agree to allow their photo and name to be shared on USTA Mid-Atlantic social media outlets.
  • OFFER VOID WHERE PROHIBITED OR RESTRICTED BY LAW. By submitting an entry, you agree to be bound by these rules and represent that you satisfy all eligibility requirements.
  • ELIGIBILITY: The Physical Fitness #OnCourtSteps  (the “Contest”) is open to residents of the United States over the age of 18. Employees and other representatives of USTA Mid-Atlantic Section (“USTA MAS”) or its affiliates, distributors, agencies, and members of each of their immediate families are not eligible to enter or win. Offer is void where prohibited or restricted by law.
  • TIMING: Winners will be selected from submissions received within two weeks. The contest will begin on May 15, 2019, and the contest will conclude on May 31, 2019. To be eligible for submissions, entries must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. on May 31, 2019. USTA MAS reserves the right to select no winners.
  • SELECTION OF WINNERS: Winners will be chosen at the discretion of the USTA MAS employees, by selection and random drawing. USTA MAS reserves the right, at its discretion, to disqualify any entry that does not comply with the rules or to disqualify any individual (and their entry) who tampers with the entry process.
  • WINNER VERIFICATION: Potential winners will be notified by Facebook or Instagram message. If the winner is unreachable, ineligible or fails to claim the prize within forty-eight (48) hours after being contacted, such winner will forfeit the prize and the prize may be awarded to another winner, at the discretion of USTA MAS.
  • GENERAL CONDITIONS: Entrants grant to USTA MAS the right to use and publish their proper name online, in print or in any other media in connection with the Contest. Acceptance of a prize constitutes permission for USTA MAS to use winners’ names and likeness’ for advertising and promotional purposes without additional compensation unless prohibited by law. By entering, participants release and hold harmless USTA MAS, its parents, subsidiaries, affiliates, directors, officers, employees, and agents from any and all liability for injuries, loss or damage of any kind arising from or in connection with the Contest or any prize won. Promotion is subject to the USTA Privacy Policy found at https://www.usta.com/en/home/about-usta/who-we- are/national/usta-privacy- policy.html?intloc=footer  A list of winners can be made available upon request.
  • No purchase necessary.
  • This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by or associated with Facebook or Instagram

The Power of Coaching

I love tennis because it changed my life; I coach tennis because it has the power to change the lives of others! My name is Noe, and I moved from El Salvador to the United States and started my career as a tennis teaching professional. It is especially moving to see what the sport of tennis can do for a child and I want to continue to bring the benefits of this sport to as many children as possible. I’m sharing my experiences and telling you how you can help more children learn tennis by supporting USTA Mid-Atlantic.

“Always have fun!” I constantly stress this to my students that I coach in the USTA Mid-Atlantic’s youth tennis after school and summer camp programs.

Each week, I see children of all different backgrounds put a racquet in their hand and have fun together.

Growing up, I came from a poor community and didn’t have a way to play tennis. I am so impressed that this program helps make sure all children can learn the sport, no matter the circumstances.

In addition to working progressively each week on different tennis fundamentals, each session also engages participants in activities focusing on leadership skills and character development. These are the lessons that will shape children for life.

Let me share an example:

Earlier this spring, I was doing a fun challenge game with a group of my students. I was so inspired by one student in particular and how his practice outside of the program helped him focus on his game and control over the ball. When kids start the program they want to hit the ball as hard and as far as they can. In this game, the student-focused hard on controlling the ball and keeping it in play. He was able to rally and get the game moving with his peers. And the best part of the story is that it had only been a few weeks since the students picked up a racquet for the first time.

This is the magic of the USTA Mid-Atlantic tennis programs for kids. Given the success of each program, the USTA Mid-Atlantic is committed to expanding the program reach – especially to schools and communities that are economically disadvantaged and need tennis programs the most.

They cannot do this alone, they need your support to introduce tennis to more kids in the Mid-Atlantic region. A tax deductible gift of $100.74 covers the cost of equipment, a high-quality curriculum, and instruction for one child in the program.

This year, an anonymous donor will match all donations up to $10,000 for 2019. Join me and double your gift and impact by giving today because every child deserves this experience.

Thank you for taking the time to read my story about the power of tennis and the power of USTA Mid-Atlantic.

Sincerely,

Noe

Proud Coach, USTA Mid-Atlantic After School Youth Tennis Program

P.S. USTA Mid-Atlantic has reached more than 1,300 kids so far in 2019 and more than 10,000 overall since the program’s inception in 2016. Your tax deductible gift of $100.74 will help another child experience the love of tennis.

Make a Difference: Try a Facebook Fundraiser for USTA Mid-Atlantic

The Mid-Atlantic tennis community has one thing in common – a passion and love for the sport of tennis that is so infectious you cant help but want to play the sport!  Meet any Mid-Atlantic tennis player and they will share all the reasons why tennis is so great, and then they will recruit you to play on their team too! It is this passion for tennis and influence that is so inspiring.

As a non-profit organization, USTA Mid-Atlantic depends on this enthusiasm – and donations – to help us achieve our mission to promote and develop the growth of tennis. We aim to make tennis the most accessible sport in the region and our highest priority is to introduce tennis to all children.

Our youth tennis programs bring the sport to kids who may not ever have the opportunity to pick up a racquet. These programs are directly provided by USTA Mid-Atlantic and need support to grow to reach even more children with the benefits that only tennis can deliver.

This is where the Mid-Atlantic tennis community enthusiasm, creativity and passion can come in! We know there are many tennis players and enthusiasts that want to do more to support the mission. So here is a way you can get involved…

Rally your friends and family through a Facebook Fundraiser! 

By doing a Facebook Fundraiser in support of the USTA Mid-Atlantic you help put a racquet in the hands of a child, and help connect them with a sport for life! Facebook fundraisers are really easy to do and can be done to celebrate your birthday, a special occasion or just to do something good! 

Here are 3 easy steps to getting your Facebook fundraiser off the ground!

  1. Visit our USTA Mid-Atlantic Facebook Page and “like” our page!
  2. Click “Create Fundraiser” on our page or follow this link (https://www.facebook.com/fund/ustamas/) and follow the steps to create your own personalized Facebook Fundraising Page!
  3. Share your fundraiser with friends and family by inviting them from your friends list!

Just getting 10 friends to give $10 equates to $100 to support local youth tennis in the Mid-Atlantic Section and that will make a big difference in a young child’s life. Doing good can be easy, fun and feels great! Give a Facebook fundraiser a try! 

USTA Mid-Atlantic Section, Inc. is an exempt organization as described in Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code; EIN 54-1472806. All donations made to USTA Mid-Atlantic Section Inc. are tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law.

Handle It: Addressing Common Tennis Rules and On-Court Questions

Nothing is more frustrating than when you are having a great tennis match and a question comes up about a rule that stops your game or makes you lose focus. USTA Mid-Atlantic is here to help! We talked with our expert official from the Mid-Atlantic Section, Dzarr Daniels, to find out a few concerns/questions and tips for handling them. These scenarios are good ones to know whether you are playing competitively in USTA League play or for recreation and fun.

  1. Can I call foot faults in non-officiated tennis matches? Yes you can – on deliberate ones where your opponent’s foot is clearly over or on the line as they’re serving the ball.  In a respectful way, you should inform your opponent and request that they monitor their feet before they serve.
  2. Here is a really good one.  Can Player A call a double bounce on opponent Player B?  No, you can’t. Only the player B while attempting to hit the ball can make that call.  And a let should never be played. If player A prematurely makes a call for them they still will lose the point.
  3. In a doubles match Team A was serving to their opponents on Team B.  After Team A served to their opponents one player from Team B called the ball “out” but their partner stated the ball was good.   Team B wanted to play a “let.”  No let is played. Team A subsequently won the point since their opponents saw different versions of the ball. They would have to weigh in the favor of the ball being “in” and the point goes to Team A!

For more information about common issues and “Friend at Court,” questions you can also check out this great resource from USTA, “What’s the Call.”

And if you are looking for ways to spend more time in the sport you love, give consideration to officiating. Officiating can be a great way to deepen your involvement with tennis and gain new experiences and appreciation for the sport. New officials are always in need. Find out more about getting on the path to officiating now. You can also contact Bonnie Vona at USTA Mid-Atlantic about becoming an official in the USTA Mid-Atlantic Section.