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USTA Seeking Pilots for Kids’ Tennis Club Program

usta_logo_bigIn an effort to establish some strong program models for connecting the dots between 10 & Under and 11 & Over play opportunities, the USTA is seeking middle schools to pilot the Kids’ Tennis Club program model-fun, social, active programs with a focus on supervised and organized play.  The first 20 pilots to register will receive $250 in tennis balls and loaner racquets as well as a $250 gift certificate to NetKnacks for completing a Best Practice form.  The deadline to submit applications is May 15, 2013.

Anyone interested in conducting a Middle School Tennis Program pilot in Spring or Fall must submit this application by May 15th.

Pilot programs should address the following areas:

1. Program is fun, social, and active with a focus on supervised and organized play
2. Program format accommodates a large numbers of students and appeals to the masses
3. Program is self sustainable through player fees, student fundraising, donations, etc., without being grant dependent
4. Program seamlessly connects players to Play Days, JTT, and No-Cut interscholastic teams
5. Program format is so simple and effective, it would work anywhere!

Following is a basic road map of what can be done . . .

1. Keep it Simple
– Offer a drop-in format after school, 1-3x per week for 3-6 weeks
– It’s not unusual to have 50+ kids show up the first day!

2. Charge Appropriate Fees
– $10 – $20 per player for the season can adequately cover basic costs and pay a Play Supervisor
– Ask the PTA/PTO or a local business to be a sponsor for club t-shirts, balls, supplies, etc.

3. Be Innovative
– Experiment with orange ball and green ball play as well as “rainy day” red ball tennis in the gym – see what they like!
– Do a racquet collection drive at the local tennis facility and have kids bring their own racquet

4. Focus on Play
– Show newcomers the instant rally and begin playing – no prior experience necessary!
– Use the Top 10 Games DVD as a reference for fun games that work on any size court for any ability (usta.com/Top10Games)

5. Transition Players to Other Programs
– Host a Play Day with other participating schools
– Organize a JTT league and encourage kids to sign up

Note: The first 20 organizers that complete the attached survey (page 2) will receive a $250 start-up equipment package of tennis balls and loaner racquets. At the completion of the pilot, organizers that submit a Best Practice form (to be provided) will receive a $250 voucher to NetKnacks.

Register for the program online.