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(Page last updated 12/19/08)

(9/8/08)

No matter where I go, I invariably run into dedicated volunteers of the WTA.

Today it was at the Senior Olympics at the Mooreland Park Tennis Center in New Berlin. My partner and I were in town to participate in the doubles tournament. We were fortunate to win our 1st match but not so lucky in our 2nd round match against two very tough opponents from Milwaukee… Greg and Dave. When we met our opponents at the tournament desk, Greg immediately shook my hand and told me that he has seen my picture “all over the place.” (Net Lines newsletter and on the web I expect.)

After the match, Greg mentioned that he was a USTA Umpire and was telling me some of the tournaments that he has worked and also how much he enjoys officiating. He went on to say that the reason he enjoyed officiating so much was that he loves to watch great tennis matches… thus, it’s a perfect fit for him. He also plays league tennis and enjoys it very much. Finally, he thanked me and the WTA for all that we do for tennis throughout the District. I then thanked him for being one of the hundreds of dedicated volunteers that make up the Wisconsin Tennis Association District and told Greg that it is people like him that make the WTA strong.

Have you thought about volunteering in the WTA? If yes, why not give it a try? You can start on a small scale if that works for you…there are so many ways that you can do that and it’s quite easy actually. You could simply help out at a one or two day event like Tennis on Tour at Summerfest or help out at a tournament or coach a Junior Team Tennis Team, serve on one of our many committees or volunteer to serve on the Board or Management Committee of the WTA. Volunteering is simply giving back to the great game of tennis… the game which has been very good to most of us. Give it some thought and when you are ready to “jump in,” just contact Nancy Massart, our WTA Executive Director.

Are you 50 years old yet? If yes, have you tried the Senior Olympics? You too can go for the gold and if you win the gold or silver medals, you will qualify go to Nationals to represent the great state of Wisconsin… Qualifying years are every other year. This year was a qualifying year which means the winners can choose to play in the Nationals in August 2009 at Stanford University in Palo Alto, CA..

This year, the Wisconsin Tennis Association was well represented with players including: Elizabeth Barnhill - Immediate Past President and member of the Management Committee, Debbie Burgess, - Treasurer & member of the Management Committee, Joanne Williams - Board Member, Howard Myers - Chair of the Deaf & Hard of Hearing Committee, and me,of course – President of the WTA.

Many thanks to all of our volunteers for all that you do to make the WTA a strong and vibrant tennis organization and many thanks to the Tournament Directors of this year’s Senior Olympics Tennis Tournament: Carl Tyggum, Rick O’Connor, Mel Wade and Gerald Heck. Thanks for putting on such a great tournament!

One more note about the tournament. After losing in the 2nd round, we met Don and Frank in the match for the Bronze. After taking a commanding lead in the 1st set, our opponents managed to out-play and out-smart us and took the 1st set 6-4. In the 2nd set, they made some adjustments and beat us 6-3 to take home the Bronze Medal. One note about Don… several years ago, Don and his partner Paul beat us in the finals to take the Gold Medal. They made the trip to Nationals and had a great time. The next year, we beat them and took home the Gold… This year, my partner Steve and I took home a Senior Olympics T-shirt and no medals… oh well, there is always next year.


Questions, comments, concerns, suggestions, or ideas…
…please e-mail me at wisconsintennis@hotmail.com

Lloyd Cook, USPTA
President – Wisconsin Tennis Association
www.wisconsin.usta.com

(3/11/08)

As you know, Wisconsin is blessed to have a plethora of extremely dedicated, talented, and excellent USPTA, USPTR, and PBI tennis pros

I’d like to take a few minutes to recognize some of our Wisconsin and one Midwest Section pro who recently received awards from the USPTA/Midwest Division.

The USPTA of course is the United States Professional Tennis Association, of which I have been a “card carrying” member since the early ‘90’s. The USPTR is the United States Professional Tennis Registry and PBI is Peter Burwash International.

I read the Midwest Connection newsletter today and saw several familiar faces on the front cover… each smiling and holding their much deserved awards.

I’d like to publicly congratulate each of the following award recipients:

Art Santos, PBI and Head Pro at the Kohler Club received the USPTA Midwest Wisconsin Professional of the Year Award. Art, as most of you will remember, was the Executive Vice-President – President Elect of the Wisconsin District, until the PBI Tennis Show took him on the road all over the world… including China. Art also served as the Junior Development Coordinator for several years while with the WTA.

Andrea Calvert-Sanders of the USTA/Midwest Section was the proud recipient of the Nancy Mickler Memorial Award.

Not pictured on the front cover of the Newsletter is Barbara Ann Mueller of Oconomowoc, WI. Barb was awarded the USPTA/Midwest Women’s 55’s Player of the Year Award. Barb, as most of you may know, is a WTA Board Member and chairs the Multi-cultural/Diversity Committee for the WTA.

Scott Ansay, another WTA Board member and Immediate Past President of the Wisconsin USPTA’s, was listed as third is the Cardio Tennis Feeder Shootout. Scott is also serving as the Treasurer/Secretary of the USPTA Midwest Division.

Last but not least, the bottom picture on the cover of the Midwest Connection shows the smiling face of Wisconsin’s own Rick Vetter, standing with his fellow Midwest Hall of Fame members. Rick has served in many volunteer positions in the Wisconsin District and currently serves as the Girl’s Endorser for the WTA.

Amongst the list of USPTA/Midwest District President’s is John Frausto. John took over from Scott Ansay when Scott moved into the Officer Ranks at USPTA/Midwest. As most of you know, John Frausto, who works out of Center Court in Fond du Lac, served the WTA as the District League Coordinator for Junior Team Tennis (JTT), for the past 5 years and has help this incredible JTT program grow to nearly 3,000. John turned over his DLC/JTT responsibilities recently to Christy Etten.

Finally, and her picture was not in the Midwest Connection, nor did she receive an award, I’d like to recognize the Editor of this fine publication… Carol Anderson. Over the years, Carol has responded to my request for mailing labels as well as other information that I needed from time to time. FYI… Carol is always looking for articles from local pros… to include in the Midwest Connection. If you have any that you would like to submit… just go to the USPTA/Midwest Division website. Great job Carol!


Questions, comments, concerns, suggestions, or ideas…
…please e-mail me at wisconsintennis@hotmail.com

Lloyd Cook, USPTA
President – Wisconsin Tennis Association
www.wisconsin.usta.com

(1/22/08)

2008

A new year, new goals and new programs… all part of the agenda of the Wisconsin Tennis Association this year.

Armed with 3 new members on the Management Committee, 6 new Board Members and a new Executive Director, WTA Adult Leagues Coordinator and JTT Leagues Coordinator, I believe that the WTA is poised to face the challenges of 2008.

The membership numbers are in for 2007 and we very nearly met our ambitious goals.
Here is a summary of the final numbers and comparison with some of the other top Districts in the Midwest Section (out of 14 total Districts):

Wisconsin’s 2007 total membership goal: 12,654
Wisconsin’s 2007 total membership actual: 11,712
Note: In 2006, our Total memberships were 10,410

Total Membership:
1. Chicago 11,954
2. Ohio Valley 11,945
3. Wisconsin 11,712
4. Southeast Michigan 11,114

Adult Memberships:
1. Ohio Valley 7,816
2. Wisconsin 7,767
3. Southeast Michigan 7,257
4. Chicago 7,164

Junior Memberships:
1. Chicago 4,590
2. Ohio Valley 4,055
3. Wisconsin 3,882
4. Southeast Michigan 3,804

Note: You can view the charts on the Membership pages.

Wisconsin’s 2008 total membership goal:
14,119
Adults 9,324
Juniors 4,795

Note: to help us attain our very ambitious 2008 membership goals, we have appointed a new Membership Committee. (You can view a list of all committees and committee members if you click on the About Us and then the Committees page on the WTA website at:
www.wisconsin.usta.com This new committee is Co-chaired by Sarah Cyganiak and Nikki Timm.

New Programs include the brand new QuickStart Tennis program being offered by the USTA for the 1st time in 2008. This is an excellent program for getting young players playing tennis on smaller courts and having fun, from the very 1st minute on the court. You can view a great program overview on the USTA website at: http://www.quickstarttennis.com/

Also new this year is the Midwest’s launch of a great new & innovative concept called:
Ace’s Kids Club. Yes, a great new, fun, and interesting club for tennis kids. You can learn all about this Kid’s Club by clicking this link or by clicking on the Kid’s Club logo on the home page of the WTA website: http://www.aceskidsclub.com/

Also new this year. The WTA is not printing or providing an Adult or Junior Sanctioned Tournament schedule this year because, we have found a new and better way to provide you with your tournament schedule needs in 2008. TennisLink has everything you need not only to find, but to register for a tournament or two… Just follow the links on the Adults, Juniors or Tournaments links and you will see how easy TennisLink has made things for you. You will be able to view Adult or Junior or all other tournaments by month and yes, you can print the tournament schedules by month too. And, if, for some reason, you still need a tournament schedule (if you or someone you know does not have access to the website, has a dial-up modem or for what ever other reason,) printed out, the “old fashioned” way, just contact Nancy Massart – WTA Executive Director, and she will provide you with a printed tournament schedule. Here contact information is on the About Us – Staff link on the WTA website.

Are we ready for 2008?

Questions, comments, concerns, suggestions, or ideas…
…please e-mail me at wisconsintennis@hotmail.com

Lloyd Cook, USPTA
President – Wisconsin Tennis Association

(12/11/07)

Season’s Greetings…

It’s that time of the year… to reflect, give thanks, and give out thanks…

This has been a year of transition for the WTA, perhaps the greatest transition in the WTA’s 80 year history.

John Jansky, after 10 years at the helm of the WTA as its Executive Director, retired. I can’t begin to thank John enough for all that he has done over the years, to guide the Association. We wish him all the best in his new role as “retired.” Thanks John!

Nancy Massart, our long-time and extremely successful District Leagues Coordinator retired from her role in Leagues, and takes on the ominous task of Executive Director. All of us on the Management Committee and Board of Directors have the utmost confidence in Nancy, her skills and abilities and feel fortunate to have her as our new Executive Director!

Judy Veloff, one of our long-time Leagues Coordinators took over as our new WTA DLC. Recommended by Nancy and approved by the MC & BOD, all feel confident that Judy will do a great job in her new and challenging role of running and growing Adult Leagues. Welcome Judy!

John Frausto has retired from his position of Junior Team Tennis District Leagues Coordinator. John has done an outstanding job in helping the WTA grow the JTT program throughout the District. We wish John well as he continues to teach at his Club in Fond du Lac, and as he takes on the new role of President of the Wisconsin USPTAs. Thanks John… for all that you have done to bring JTT to the level it is today. JTT, as you and I both agree, is an outstanding program for junior players, and affords them the chance to play tennis in a fun, team format.

Christy Etton, a new-comer to the WTA, is taking over as our Junior Team Tennis District League Coordinator from John Frausto. We have offered Christy a challenge and she has accepted it… grow JTT to 10,000 participants. Christy did note that it might take her more than one year to reach that lofty goal…. Welcome Christy!

Tom Widener has retired from the WTA after many, many years of dedicated service… to make room for new/younger volunteers. Tom believes change is good and that this is a good time to step aside and let the next generation come into the ranks of the WTA BOD and MC to help take us to a new level. Tom has been a long-time mentor… was one of the 1st people that I met when I 1st became involved with the WTA some 20 years ago. He helped me, coached me, taught me and guided me over the years and for that, I want to thank you Tom. Tom has served on the Board of Directors and Management Committee for many years and was one of our two-term WTA Presidents, not to mention his many roles at the USTA/Midwest Section level. Thanks Tom from all of us at the WTA, for your many years of dedicated service… we appreciate all that you did… very much.

Art Santos has also retired, in a sense, to pursue a life-long dream and opportunity… the chance to travel the world with the PBI Tennis Show, while continuing to serve as the head teaching pro at Sports Core in Kohler, WI. Art’s most recent role was Executive Vice-President of the WTA (and was scheduled to take over my job as President in November 2007.) Art served as the Chair of the all important Junior Development Committee for several years and did and outstanding job in that role. Art will be missed on the WTA MC and as Chair of the Jr. Development Committee.

Chip Lefert, one of several new/younger people serving on the WTA BOD, has been appointed to fill the shows of Art Santos. Chip has taken on the challenging job of Chair of the Junior Development Committee and all of us at the WTA are confident that Chip will do an outstanding job in his new position. Welcome Chip!

Who did I miss? Well, if I missed someone, I apologize in advance…

Next, I’d like to personally welcome the following new (1st time) Board and Management Committee members to the WTA:

New Board members:

Sarah Cyganiak, Shorewood
Andrew Kurer, Port Washington
Chip Lefert, Franklin
James Niquet, Waukesha
Nicolette Timm, Milwaukee
Bill Van Lieshout, Oshkosh

New Management Committee members:

Executive Vice President - Eric Volcheff, Manitowoc
Vice President - Mike Sharp, Pewaukee
Delegate at Large - Rick Luther

Finally, I want to thank all of the continuing Board members and members of the Management Committee, for their dedication, hard work, and efforts in making the WTA District… the best in Midwest!

Hope each and every one of you has a very nice Holiday Season and also, and joyous and prosperous New Year.

Thanks for all that you do… to promote the great game of tennis in the WTA District!

Lloyd Cook, USPTA
President – Wisconsin Tennis Association

(10/5/07)

Need your help please…

Thanks to each and every one of you, we are approaching our membership goals for 2007… but are not quite there yet.

2007 WTA Membership Growth vs Goals (September 07)

As you can see from the chart, we are a mere 59 Adult members from taking over at #1 from Ohio Valley and only 792 Junior members from taking over at #1 from Chicago. As you can see from the chart above… only 300 new members would put us at #1 in TOTAL MEMBERSHIPS!

Our overall 2007 membership goal is 12,654 and as of 09/30/07, our combined memberships stand at 11,597… only 1,057 memberships to go for 2007.

What can you and I do? If we follow the slogan “Every Member Get a New Member”, we will easily meet/exceed our 2007 membership goals and will, indeed, move ahead of Chicago and Ohio Valley and take over as #1 in the Midwest Section… as we approach, meet, and exceed our membership goals for 2007

Thanks for your help… appreciate it.

Just for the record… yes, I did get my new member… did you?


Lloyd Cook, USPTA
President – Wisconsin Tennis Association

(8/31/07)
Retirement Announcement and Special Invitation:

John Jansky will retire on November 11, 2007 as the Executive Director of the Wisconsin Tennis Association.

After nearly 10 years of service, John will be honored at the WTA Annual Meeting at Western Racquet Club in Elm Grove, WI.

Nancy Massart, long-time WTA District Leagues Coordinator & Assistant Executive Director will be assuming the responsibilities of Executive Director and Judy Veloff, long-time Leagues Coordinator, will be taking over as the WTA District Leagues Coordinator.

Please join us at the WTA Annual meeting on November 11 to pay tribute to John, shake his hand, wish him well in his new role as “officially retired” and thank him for all that he has done to promote the great game of tennis throughout the Wisconsin District.

Lloyd Cook, USPTA
President – Wisconsin Tennis Association

(7/31/07)
JTT District Championships

We just got back from a road trip to Madison and the Nielson Tennis Center, where we watched some of the great Junior Team Tennis (JTT) Championship matches… and they were great matches to watch. Cindy and I also had a chance to video tape some of the action, as well as interviews with the WTA District Leagues JTT Coordinator – John Frausto, 4 of the participants in the 18 Advanced division and one of the parents of the players. We will have the videos available on the WTA website soon and hope you have a chance to watch them. They will be posted as the #1 news article and will also be available on the JTT portion of the WTA website.

In JTT, the participants get a chance to play singles, doubles and mixed doubles, with their friends with similar skill levels, against players of similar skill levels, in a team format. I think JTT is the key to the growth of Junior Tennis at the grass roots level and hope to see the JTT program grow from its current level of 3,000 participants to over 10,000 in the next several years. Every small city and town in the WTA District can form a team and compete with other teams in cities and towns nearby and have a great time doing it. JTT is awesome, and watching the kids compete today at the Nielson Tennis Center really confirmed my belief, especially after hearing the comments from some of the players and the some of the players’ parents. Parents play a key role in JTT in that they form small organizations, coach the teams, drive them to matches… etc. In other words, JTT is a family effort… and fun for everyone involved.

I’d like to mention that wherever we go, Erika Wentz, our Wisconsin TSR is there. Erika was helping John Frausto run the 2-day JTT District Championships in Madison. On Wednesday night, Cindy and I were in Kohler, WI for the PBI International Tennis Show and Erika was there, staffing the USTA booth, offering information about USTA/Midwest/Wisconsin tennis programs, grants, and selling memberships. Thanks Erika!

Finally, I’d like to give a big thank you to John Frausto and his team of Local League Coordinators, for making 2007 the best year yet for JTT.

Let’s all work together to make Wisconsin #1 in JTT Participation in the USTA/Midwest Section in 2008! In other words, let’s give many more junior tennis players around the District, the chance to play and enjoy JTT!

PBI International Tennis Show

As I mentioned, Erika Wentz – TSR, was at the Sports Core last Wed. night, staffing the USTA Tennis Booth as was her mom – Beverly Wentz, who, by the way, is a Board Member of the USTA/Midwest Section and, a JTT Coach, as well as Pam Dwyer, who is a member of the WTA Management Committee, currently serving as a Vice President. What a team that was… staffing the booth… a Midwest Board Member, a TSR, and a WTA Management Committee member. Thanks to each of you for all that you do to grow the great game of tennis in the Wisconsin District and in the USTA/Midwest Section!

Having said all of that, we observed, that night at Sports Core in Kohler, WI, the most incredible Tennis Show that we have ever seen… the Peter Burwash International Tennis Show!

Art Santos, head tennis pro at Sports Core, is a member of the PBI Tennis Show, and decided to bring the show to his club in Kohler. Art Santos was also, until he recently resigned, the WTA Executive Vice-President and was set to take over my job this November, that is, until he decided to spend most of his free time… touring the world with the PBI Tennis Show. It’s still hard for me to believe that someone would give up being the volunteer President of the Wisconsin Tennis Association, to go off on a world tour with a tennis show…

Art and the cast of the show, put on the most incredible 1-hour display of tennis skills, skits, and fun stuff that we have ever witnessed… anywhere. They played to a crowd of over 300 kids, parents, and tennis players… each of whom was totally engaged in the performance… for the entire hour. The Show, sometimes touted as the “Harlem Globetrotters of Tennis,” featured music, racquet and ball tossing skills between cast members, instructional segments, funny skits including costumes, to make a point, and a quiz at the end of the program.

The show is currently touring the Midwest and, if you get a chance, please see the show… in person. The PBI Tennis Show has a website here.

Thanks Art and thanks to the entire cast of the PBI Tennis Show… for entertaining and instructing us with your most extraordinary tennis show.

If you have and questions or comments about JTT, the PBI Tennis Show, or questions about the WTA, please let me know. You can e-mail me at the address on the home page of the WTA website.


Thanks for listening and I look forward to hearing from you soon…

Lloyd Cook, USPTA
President – Wisconsin Tennis Association
Member of USTA/Midwest Section Awards, Budget and DIF Committees
Past Chair – USTA/Midwest Section District Presidents
Tennis Volunteer

(7/14/07)
Membership and a Challenge for All of Us:

I want to thank all of our USTA members for your continued support of Wisconsin Tennis and welcome all of the new members, many of whom have taken advantage of our membership rebate programs…

We just received our membership numbers from Midwest and they are quite good. As most of you know, we are in the midst of a membership drive and have goals to reach, as set by the USTA/Midwest Section. In order to reach our goals for 2007, we need an additional 797 junior and 733 adult Members. That’s not many, when you consider that we now have a combined total of 11,198 members! Note, in 2006 at this time, we had a total of 10,544 members.

While charting the membership numbers, two things came to mind:


1. With a little effort by each of us, and by using the “Every Member Get a Member” philosophy, we can easily reach/exceed our 2007 membership goals. Did you get your new member yet?

2. As of June 30, 2007, the Wisconsin District ranks 3rd overall in Midwest memberships, behind Ohio Valley (#!) by only 828 members and behind Chicago (#2) by only 450 members. Remember, there are 14 Districts in the Midwest Section so overall, Wisconsin is doing great! When we meet our WTA 2007 membership goals, Wisconsin can/will be #1… I’d like to challenge all of you to go out and get a new member and help make Wisconsin the #1 district in the USTA/Midwest Section. Wow, what a party we could have when we attain the #1 spot… What do you think? Does Wisconsin have what it takes to surpass Ohio Valley and our neighbor Chicago as the largest district in the section? I think we do… so, let’s just do it!

FYI: Adult members:
Wisconsin is ranked #2
Chicago is ahead by a mere 828 members.
Junior members:
Wisconsin is ranked #4.
Chicago is 1st, ahead by only 978 members
Ohio Valley is 2nd, ahead by only 746 members
Southeast Michigan is 3rd, and is ahead of us by only 166 members.

Let’s all work together to make Wisconsin #1 in total, junior and adult memberships in 2007

CTAs and Volunteers:

CTAs and Volunteers are the heart and soul of the Wisconsin Tennis Association… and I would like to take this opportunity to thank each and every one of you for your hard work, dedication, and commitment to the growth and development of tennis throughout the Wisconsin District… at all levels!

Thank you…

In an effort to properly recognize some of you, we have embarked on a program to recognize Wisconsin District “Outstanding Volunteers” on our WTA website and… have also embarked on a program, in cooperation with the USTA/Midwest Section, to recognize some of you at the Section level too.

If you know of someone who is deserving of recognition, please contact me and tell me their story... I’d be very happy to hear from you, will forward the information to the appropriate people and we’ll get your person some well deserved recognition.

Along these same lines, if you or someone you know is interested in volunteering at the District level, on the Board of Directors or on the Management Committee, please let us know. We are always looking for new volunteers… to keep our Board and Management Committee full of new faces and new ideas. We now have a form available for this purpose and I would encourage you to think about serving the WTA in a new way. The form is available here:

Nominate someone today… as an Outstanding WTA Volunteer, Board Member or Member of the WTA Management Committee!

Thanks for listening and I look forward to hearing from you soon…

Lloyd Cook, USPTA
President – Wisconsin Tennis Association
Member of USTA/Midwest Section Awards, Budget and DIF Committees
Past Chair – USTA/Midwest Section District Presidents
Tennis Volunteer

(5/25/07) - C&G Column commentary:
On the eve of Memorial Day Weekend, I received the latest edition of the C & G Column from my long-time friend, Jim Cummings of Baltimore, MD. Jim has been kind enough to share this column over the past year and each one has some comment on tennis, rules, tournaments, officials, etc… because, that who he is… a long time USTA Official, Tournament Director, Tennis Player, and Tennis Volunteer..

This time, however, he writes about attending a funeral for a long-time, retired military friend (who was the past President of the Mid Atlantic States Section), and the setting is, Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, DC.

The column so moved me (because it made me stop and think) that I wanted to share it with everyone. Thus, I am encouraging each and every one of you to take a minute and read his column. It’s the #1 news article on the home page….

JTT:

Junior Team Tennis (JTT) is growing like crazy in the Wisconsin District. Why? JTT is basically, Adult Leagues tennis for juniors. Kids, like adults, love playing team tennis, competing against teams of similar skill levels, and also enjoy the thought of winning at the District level and going on to play at Sectionals and…yes, Nationals too. Speaking of the District Championships, this year, John Frausto, our WTA District JTT Coordinator, rented the Neilson Tennis Center in Madison, WI, the same place that the UW Badgers Division I team plays to host the 2007 WTA District JTT Championships. I personally think this is an excellent venue for the District Championships and am so excited about this that I plan to attend and observe some of the JTT championship teams in action. If you are not on a team and would like to be on a team, just contact John Frausto and he’ll make sure that you find a team to play on and you too, might have a chance to compete for the District Championships in Madison, WI… at the Neilson Tennis Center. Yes, I have played at the Nielson, and it was awesome… Hope to see you at the Neilson Tennis Center in Madison at the end of July!

Adult League Tennis:

Adult League Tennis, in my estimation, has got to be one of the greatest things that the USTA ever invented for players of all skill levels… from 2.5 to open players. Players of equal skills, compete on teams during the season and the winning teams advance to the WTA District Championships, yes, also at the Nielson Tennis Center (for 2007 & 2008 for sure). The winners at that level then advance to Indianapolis for the Sectional Championships, and. for those teams lucky/good enough to win there, travel to Arizona or Hawaii to compete at Nationals. Yes, I was lucky enough to captain many years ago, thru Districts, then Sectionals, and then Nationals in Arizona. That was, indeed, one of the highlights of my “tennis career.” This was, indeed, something that I will remember and cherish… for a lifetime. Not on a team? Why not contact a Local League Coordinator today, before match play begins, and see how far League Team Tennis can take you…

Volunteering:

Volunteering is a perfect way to give back to the sport that has given us so much over the years. It is exactly why I volunteer. I feel that I have been blessed by tennis, in so many ways over the years, the people that I have met, the friends that I have made, the exercise, fun, challenges, travel, all add up to one extraordinary trip over time… and, for the most part… all positive.

At one time, I decided to become a tennis pro… hit balls against the wall, practiced endlessly, played tournaments, leagues, and social tennis. I have played in England, Washington DC, Los Angeles, Chicago, Lansing, Minneapolis, Texas, Arizona, New York, Milwaukee, Madison, Traverse City, Petoskey, and many other places. Even though I never made it as a pro, I became a USPTA Tennis Teaching Pro. I have taught tennis, coached Junior College Tennis teams, and had the privilege of doing tennis lessons for visiting students from Japan, Russia, Spain, over the Caribbean and many other parts of the world. All of this happened to me, because my dad taught each of us the great game of tennis, at age 5. What a gift he gave us, what a rewarding and incredible gift.

Thus… I volunteer… I give back a little, to the sport that has meant so much to me in my life’s journey. Do you give back too? Do you want to give back? There are hundreds of ways in which you can do this… at the local level, District lever, Section level and yes, the USTA level as well. If you have been thinking about volunteering, send me an e-mail, and I’ll see if we can find a way for you to give back to the great game of tennis too.

USTA Membership:

I have been a USTA member for years. In part, because I played in Sanctioned Tennis Tournaments as well at USTA/Adult League Tennis. So, what do I get for my $40.00 membership fee? Well, besides the usual stuff such as the magazines, discounts on merchandise etc, I long ago discovered that some of my USTA Membership fee comes back to the District. So, what does the District do with that money? Well, for one thing, the District gives grants for new/innovative tennis programs in such remote and rural areas as Marinette, WI. What does the local Rec Dept do with their grant monies? They offer tennis programs, at the grass roots level, to players who don’t have dads that teach them tennis at age 5. Who knows how those tennis lessons will positively affect some young “kid”… coming out onto the courts for the 1st time, picking up a racket for the 1st time and… “whacking” that little yellow tennis ball? In a nutshell, some of those USTA Membership fees may result in the creation of some/many lifetime tennis players, who will, in turn, turn out to be the next generation of tennis volunteers… at the local, District, Section and maybe even the USTA level. Are you a USTA Member? If not, just think of the impact that you could have on someone’s life in tennis. Food for thought… You can join today… on-line, from the comfort of your computer chair…

Thanks for listening…

Lloyd Cook, USPTA
President – Wisconsin Tennis Association
Member of USTA/Midwest Section Awards, Budget and DIF Committees
Past Chair – USTA/Midwest Section District Presidents
Tennis Volunteer

(1/30/07) - I just wanted to share this “paper vs electronic” tidbit with you…
I have been pushing the WTA to go “electronic” on everything that we do for a long time now. Some did/do not agree with me. As of December, 2006, everything is in “e” version only… it’s all on the web now… Our Tournament Schedule, Yearbook, Leagues stuff, grant apps etc. are all on-line and no more paper is being mailed out to our members… Just think of all the money we are saving the WTA, and just think of how easy it is for everyone to access everything that they need, with a few mouse clicks. I was happy, and maybe, a bit smug… until…

Mel Wade is a good friend and long-time tennis associate. We were coming home from Indianapolis last December and arranged to stop in and visit with Mel and his wife. We had a great visit and were discussing some tennis things in Mel’s “high tech” office, when Mel told me that he felt out of touch with the WTA. He said he did not receive a notice of the WTA Annual Meeting in the mail. I looked at him, in his office with 3 desktops, 2 laptops, 4 printers, 2 scanners and said “Mel? Everything is on the WTA Website.” He looked at me and told me that he rarely goes to the WTA website. I was shocked… I had presumed that he was looking at the website every day of the week.

I guess I thought everybody visited the website frequently… which is natural for me, since I oversee the entire website. I know what’s there, where it is, when it was updated, but Mel did not know the date of the Annual Meeting. Hmmm, I thought. Then, I heard the same story from a few other “tennis savvy” people. With all of the stuff that is on this website, available with a click or two, WTA Members and others did not know or go…to the website.

At our December Management Committee Retreat, many present pressed for a “good old fashioned” paper, in the mail, newsletter. I resisted, of course. Eventually, a vote of the MC approved the print version of a newsletter to all of our members, and others.

The newsletter went out in the mail last week… most of you have already received it… as did my friend Mel Wade. Several days ago, I received an e-mail from Mel… it was about the “paper” newsletter.

Mel wrote (he calls me Coach… a long-time nickname)

Dear Coach:

Congratulations, Coach, you definitely "put it all together" in your "Net Lines" newsletter. I think that it is perfect for the time and situation (from someone who doesn't always get around to visiting web-sites unless prodded, and I am retired) and it is truly an excellent publication. It has many well thought ideas (Rebate Program, Get a Member, History (WTA RC--that makes me feel old), Timely info. on grants, etc. and interesting and useful promotional articles on tennis events, programs, tips, new developments, recognition, Community Tennis News, contact persons, and a great chart on Tennis Participation as well as many other features. The spacing is great and articles are well organized, extremely well written and balanced. The writing has a nice enthusiastic and informal style (The excellent style of the President is very evident and is to be commended!) There is just the right amount of pictures, and Lloyd Cook looks great!

The publication is indeed very well thought out and well produced and I know it involved a considerable amount of work on your part, developing the ideas, gathering the information, planning, writing and all the many other things involved in such a great job of leadership and journalism.

Tennis is obviously in great hands in the state of Wisconsin!!!!!!! Bravo!!! I can emphatically and sincerely state that I am proud to have been able to have the privilege of working with you for a "generation" On behalf of tennis players in Wisconsin, thank you!

Yours, Mel Wade

I immediately replied to Mel’s e-mail and told him:

Mel,

Thanks so much for the kind remarks on the "Net Lines" Newsletter.... I really appreciate it, coming from you... and I'm thrilled that you enjoyed all of it.

However, I can't take much credit as... I had a "Ghost Writer" or two....

As a matter of fact, I can't take much of the credit at all for this "professionally" produced newsletter.... because, I didn't do it...

Kudos go to: Nancy Massart (Editor in Chief), Linda Freedman, Jan Dowden, and John Jansky. They are the team that built and produced this outstanding newsletter, not me.

I did, in fact, contribute the lead article... "Every Member Get a Member." However, after I composed my version, the editor asked if it was ok for the "editorial staff" to re-work my article... I said yes... go ahead... So, I can't even take complete credit for "my own article." It was, in fact, done by "professionals."

I guess that I am stuck with the fact that, this particular Newsletter, was, in fact, done by "professionals." And for that I am glad. I was so impressed with this newsletter, much the same as you are... and, with your permission, I will pass your e-mail along to them, unless, of course, you wish to re-write it, prior to me sending it to them?

I'm sure that they would be thrilled to hear from you Mel... about your thoughts about the newsletter... much as I was, when I read you e-mail.

The only thing that I can get credit for is being the WTA President... at the time of this newsletter... and for reviewing several drafts of said newsletter...

Thanks so much for giving me too much credit, for something that I did not do.... I appreciate it.

Well, I guess with that, the ball is "back in your court."

Your serve Mel.

Lloyd

A generation huh? That's really neat....

On behalf of the Editorial Staff of "Net Lines"... you are very welcome!

Mel Replied:

Dear Coach: That is very hard to believe that you didn't write much of it. It has your style and stamp on it and I am sure that you were the guiding light. I will rewrite my note slightly to make the credit more general if you want me to. You are just too modest to take enough credit. At any rate it is one of the best and very high quality and newsworthy.

Yours, Mel Wade

I thanked Mel again and asked him if he’d tweak his e-mail a bit and address it to the Newsletter Team… which he did… as follows:

Dear President Cook: Congratulations to everyone who had a hand in producing or contributed to the “Net Lines" newsletter in some way. I think that it is perfect for the time and situation (from someone who doesn't always get around to visiting web-sites unless prodded) and it is truly an excellent publication. It has many well thought ideas (Rebate Program, Get a Member, History (WTA RC--that makes me feel old), Timely info. on grants, etc. and interesting and useful promotional articles on tennis events, programs, tips, new developments, recognition, Community Tennis News, contact persons, and a great chart on Tennis Participation as well as many other features. The spacing is great and articles are well organized, extremely well written and balanced. The writing has a nice enthusiastic and informal style. There is just the right amount of pictures, and the official Presidential portrait is commendable.

The publication is indeed very well thought out and well produced and I know it involved a considerable amount of work, developing the ideas, gathering the information, planning, writing and all the many other things involved in such a great job of leadership and journalism.

Tennis is obviously in great hands in the state of Wisconsin!!!!!!! On behalf of tennis players in Wisconsin, thank you!

Yours, Mel Wade

Thanks Mel…

(1/8/07) - "Every Member Get a Member"
What does that mean?

We ask that you think, for a moment, about all of the benefits of your USTA Membership.

Then think, for a minute, about all of the benefits of your membership to the Wisconsin District.

Did you know, for example, that some of your membership dollars help fund new start-up tennis programs in local communities like yours?
Did you know that some of your membership dollars…
* fund Ralleyball and Junior Team Tennis programs throughout the District?
* provide seed grants to Recreation Departments for new/innovative tennis programs as well as racquets,
balls, nets, and instructor’s fees to communities large and small?
* assist local Schools with seed grants for training and implementation of Schools Programs?
* go towards refurbishing and even building tennis courts in the WTA District... maybe your community?
* provide support for championship Leagues Teams going to Nationals & the Wisconsin Senior Team
to compete in the Midwest Championships each year?
* bring tennis to underprivileged children, who, without your help, would never be exposed to the great
game of tennis?
* provided skilled tennis instruction to Deaf and Hard of Hearing Children?
* give children in wheelchairs the opportunity to become active tennis players in our District?

In 2007, we are embarking on a new venture, we are going to increase our USTA memberships, and are asking for your help in accomplishing our goals.

Why a membership drive in 2007? We have been handed a challenge by the USTA/Midwest Section... to increase our memberships over the next 5 years, and we have accepted that challenge. We are, in fact, a membership organization, and depend on your membership dollars to fund a wide range of tennis programs, for all ages, and all skill levels. Our goal is to expose every child in the WTA District to the great, life-time sport of tennis. And with your help, we will accomplish that goal. Here are the numbers:

2006 2007
Actual Goal
Total 10,406 12,654
Adult 7,452 8,418
Junior 2,895 4,236

New Members needed by 12/31/07

Total 2,248
Adults 966
Juniors 1,341

What can you and I do to insure that we reach our goals? Simple really. Every Member Get a Member. So, please go out and get your new member today and you will be finished, will feel good about contributing to the growth and development of tennis, and will, most importantly, bring a wide range of USTA Membership benefits to your new member.

To make it even easier for you to get your one member, the WTA will be initiating a New Adult (over 18 yrs of age) Member Rebate Program, starting on Feb 1st, and running thru Aug 1st, 2007. Each new adult member (not having been a USTA Member since 12/31/05) will receive a $10.00 mail-in rebate check in the mail from the WTA. It's simple. Just have your new member go to the WTA website, click on New Adult Member Rebate Form, complete the form with proof of USTA Membership, and mail it to the WTA Office. It's that simple, and it's our way of thanking all of our new members.

Remember, your one new member does not need to be a Tournament or League Player. She/he could be a Junior Team Tennis Coach, Ralleyball Instructor, High School Coach or player, Inner City Youth Programs instructor/player, Deaf and Hard of Hearing instructor/participant, summer tennis instructor/player at your local park and recreation courts, local CTA members in your community, a college “club tennis” player, a local volunteer that wants to learn more about the great game of tennis or a Tennis Club Owner/Teaching Pro. Tennis is played on a multitude of levels throughout the District, and your membership dollars reach all of those levels. Everyone involved with or interested in tennis, at any level, is a potential USTA Member.

Thanks for your help with our membership drive and we hope that you feel great about bringing in your one new member. We'll track our progress on the WTA website at: www.wisconsin.usta.com

Lloyd Cook - USPTA
President - Wisconsin Tennis Association

(Yes, I did get my one, no, make that two new members... and yes, it does feel good.)

 

 
 
 
 
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