How Your Donation Supports Tennis

As a non-profit charitable organization, USTA Mid-Atlantic helps people and communities grow stronger, healthier, and more connected through tennis. We aim to make tennis the most accessible sport in the region and want everyone to have the opportunity to experience the lifelong benefits of tennis.

One of the ways we do this is by introducing youth to tennis through after school and summer camp programs.

When you make a tax-deductible donation, you help with program expenses such as these:

Donate today, and make an impact beyond the net.

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.

Tennis Obsession in Middle Schools in the Mid-Atlantic

When you are a middle-schooler there are lots of different things to be obsessed with: the latest fashion trend, that post on social media, the hottest music, hilarious memes and so much more that dominate the world of tweens and teens of today. For some middle-schoolers in the Mid-Atlantic region, they are adding a different obsession to their list – tennis. 

As thousands of children participate in USTA Mid-Atlantic youth after school tennis in elementary schools and progress through the program, many are taking their tennis skills with them into middle school.  And many middle-schoolers are finding their love for tennis for the first time too. That’s why USTA Mid-Atlantic, a non-profit organization, began after school tennis in area middle schools to introduce the sport to more kids, and give those that have been playing an outlet to continue to pursue their game. It is fundamental to the mission of USTA Mid-Atlantic to offer programs such as these and, thanks to the support of donations, it enables us to offer them in a way that reduces barriers and makes tennis more accessible to all kids. 

middle-school-club-320x195In one local middle school in Loudoun County, Va., participants in the after school tennis program saw a new potential in themselves they never knew existed. Week after week, their tennis skills improved and they were becoming more confident in their game, so much so they set a goal to get to the next level – the high school tennis team. 

But to do that, they knew they would need to work hard and take their practice further. 

With the encouragement of their after school tennis coaches and USTA Mid-Atlantic, they created their own tennis club team. So far, more than 65 middle school youth have participated in the middle school tennis club

The club meets on Sundays for two hours and the focus is advancing the kids’ fundamentals of tennis strokes followed by team activities and matches. This allows the participants to bridge the gap between their learn-to-play experience and competition in a fun, low-pressure setting. 

And the work is paying off. 

Some of the middle school club members had the confidence to enter their first entry level USTA Junior Tournament this past spring, several practiced throughout the summer on a weekly basis, and some have continued to hone their skills with additional lessons.

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New shirts for the USTA Mid-Atlantic middle school club team

And now with school back in session, the club is practicing regularly. Recently this fall, 18 tennis club players from two different middle schools played each other in a friendly round robin competition in both singles and doubles matches. Using their improved skills from all the practice sessions, they were able to complete matches and see all their hard work come together in real match play experiences. At the end of the day, the players and coaches talked about the highs and lows of match play and shared best practices with their biggest takeaway – you must get your serve in! They celebrated their success with new team t-shirts and popsicles; a perfect ending to a good day on the tennis court.  

For all of the middle school tennis club participants, learning the sport and playing in a team setting is proving to be a powerful experience that is inspiring them to do more and to discover a new talent, maybe even an obsession, with tennis. 

USTA Mid-Atlantic wants to bring the power of tennis to more middle school students and children all across our region this school year through after school programs, but we need help to make this happen.

As the school year is just getting underway, your gift can make an immediate difference. Importantly, you can double your gift when you give thanks to an anonymous donor matching all donations up to $10,000 in 2019.

You can help change lives through the power of the USTA Mid-Atlantic after school tennis program. Give today.


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.

Give Recognition – Nominate Champions of Tennis Today

Every year, USTA Mid-Atlantic recognizes and awards individuals and organizations that are champions in the tennis community. Award season is an exciting time of the year because individuals and organizations are being nominated by peers and others who are working hand-in-hand to fulfill a common goal, which is to bring more tennis to the community.

The accomplishments being made in the community for tennis take time, passion and commitment. Being recognized for this hard work can leave a lasting impression, validate the importance of the work being done, and can inspire others as an example to emulate. That is why it is important to nominate deserving individuals and organizations today!

We turned to last years’ award winners and asked them about the significance of being nominated and awarded a USTA Mid-Atlantic Section award.

When Jill Rene Steele, the Principal of Simpson Elementary School in West Virginia, was asked what it meant to her and her school to be awarded the Outstanding School Partner Award she said, “We were so honored to be chosen, and thrilled to be involved.” Simpson Elementary was a USTA Mid-Atlantic school partner and offered in-school opportunities to students eager to learn tennis in 2018. “Our school has gained increased confidence in realizing we can attain recognition for achievements at a greater level than just locally,” Jill notes further.

Not only are organizations recognized for their achievement in promoting tennis across the region, but individuals are also being celebrated as well.

When Riley King, winner of the Most Valuable Member Award, was asked why it is important for fellow members to nominate deserving individuals for awards he said, “It is nice to show recognition to those who invest in a sport and have a positive influence on others.” He further noted, “I’m never surprised how widespread and far-reaching the tennis community is, and yet it always feels like a “small world” because you are able to make so many connections to different people.” For Riley, being involved in this sport is not just about teaching tennis, it is about building relationships within the community as well.

Another individual who notes the importance of nominating people and organizations for a Mid-Atlantic Section award is Jerry Cifuentes. Jerry won the Diversity & Inclusion Champion Award in 2018 and winning this award continues to be a positive reinforcement in his life. When asked how it felt to be recognized in front of a crowd of people at the Washington Kastles match he said, “The feeling was incredible! It gave me the motivation to continue to do what I love, which is teaching tennis.” Not only did it feel great for Jerry to be awarded this honor, but it gave him the confidence to continue to move forward with his work. “I want to continue to work with those who may not be exposed to tennis, due to cultural, racial, or social boundaries; and I want to put them at the forefront of my coaching,” he said.

All award winners felt honored to be recognized by peers and motivated to continue to bring tennis to more people in the future.

Now it is your turn to leave your mark. If you know a deserving person or group to honor with a USTA Mid-Atlantic Section award, nominate them today and let them know they have made a positive impact for tennis.

USTA Mid-Atlantic will be accepting nominations until July 1 and will present the winners with their awards on July 20 at USTA Family Day at The Washington Kastles. Happy nominating!

If you have any further questions, please reach out to Megan Driscoll at driscoll@mas.usta.com and we will be happy to assist.

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.

Gearing Up: Physical Fitness for Adult Tennis Players

We are keeping the “Gearing Up” series going for all you adult tennis league players out there in the Mid-Atlantic so that you are prepared for your best season of tennis yet! Besides getting some of the top questions you may have about playing USTA Mid-Atlantic League tennis this season answered, part of getting prepared is being ready physically.

We caught up with Atlantic Orthopaedic Specialists, who are the provider of certified Athletic Trainers at all of our USTA Mid-Atlantic tennis Championships in the Hampton Roads, Virginia area. They’ve spent a lot of time with Mid-Atlantic tennis players at our regional and sectional events and have taken a range of questions from players. Out of all the questions asked, they identified the top three they heard the most during the 2018 League Championship year as it relates to physical fitness. They have provided the questions here with their top tips associated. Read up and see how these tips may help you prepare for playing league tennis this spring in the Mid-Atlantic.

1. How do I prevent myself from overheating and becoming too dehydrated during match play, so that I can perform my best all tournament long?

There are many preventable ways to beat the heat and maintain a low body temperature and proper hydration levels during your match and throughout a tournament. Here are some tips and guidelines to ensure you stay healthy!

  • Acclimatize your body before your match by performing a 5 minute warm-up so there won’t be a sudden shock to your body on hot days!
  • It’s imperative to limit sun exposure (as much as possible) in between and during the break times during matches.
  • Make sure to bring cold packs and cold towels with you to the court to cool off during breaks and changeovers.
  • It is very important to MAINTAIN HYDRATION during your match with ICE COLD water and sports drinks.
  • Wear proper attire to allow for breathability and provides moisture wicking properties that will assist in keeping body temperatures low.
  • Be cautious of too much caffeine and alcohol consumption because these can cause dehydration, especially on warmer days.

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Review additional resources on hydration and heat:

Heat and Hydration tips

2. I will be playing a lot of tennis this season and want to protect my shoulder. What can I do to keep my shoulder healthy?

In order to keep your shoulder healthy in any overhead sport, such as tennis, it is important to address strength and mobility. The Throwers Ten Shoulder Program is a relatively simple but comprehensive compilation of shoulder exercises to address weakness and promote proper shoulder mechanics. Click here to view a video of one of our athletic trainers performing these exercises.

It is also important to prepare for the season by slowly increasing your activity level over time.  After a period of rest during the off season, your body needs time to acclimate to the stresses being placed on it. Follow a natural progression by increasing the demands placed on your shoulder over a few weeks. Click here to find an interval tennis program to help increase your activity in a systematic fashion.

3. My elbow hurts and I’ve been told it is most likely “Tennis Elbow.” What exactly is tennis elbow and how can I treat it? 

The medical name for Tennis Elbow is Lateral Epicondylitis. It is a painful condition involving the tendon attachment to the bone on the lateral side of the elbow. The tendons help to anchor the muscle to the bone. The muscle involved in this condition, the Extensor Carpi Radialis Brevis, helps to extend and stabilize the wrist. With Lateral Epicondylitis, degeneration of the tendon’s attachment occurs, weakening the anchor site and placing greater stress on the painful area. This can then lead to pain associated with activities in using the muscle such as lifting, gripping, and or grasping. Such sports as tennis are commonly associated with this condition secondary to the repetitive nature of the sport. Treatment options for Tennis Elbow can include bracing with a tennis elbow strap, proactive stretching, ice massage, anti-inflammatory medications, and strengthening the surrounding musculature. Below you will find further explanation of these treatment options. If pain should persist following treatment, please consult with an orthopaedist for further evaluation.  Find our other article about Tennis Elbow on Tennis on Point with more information.

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What are some ways you get yourself in shape physically before the start of the tennis league season? Share them with us on social media – tag us and use #ustaspringgearup.

And be sure to check the 2019 calendar here to see which leagues are registering in your area. Contact the listed Local League Ambassador for your local area or our Tennis Connect service to get playing!

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