I hope that you have been enjoying the start of your spring season. I am sure it has been busy and eventful. I can assure you that your officers have been busy with TTCA business. I want to take this month to tell you about a couple of ideas that have been discussed as additions to tennis for the coming years.
The first is the idea of summer leagues for your players. Try to think back when the USTA first offered adult leagues. Now add in the idea of the football players starting the 7 on 7 play. Combine those 2 ideas and you will get an idea of what we have been discussing. All coaches want their players competing as much as possible over the summer months. A lot of our players have a hard time finding ways to travel to the USTA tournaments along with it being very expensive. It is also hard to keep the players motivated when there is no competition in the near future. We are trying to come up with a plan that is FUN, BENEFITIAL, and MEMORABLE. We are envisioning a team format (possibly with all doubles) that boys and girls can compete in together, thus giving them a team feel. The teams will be made up of school players (returning and incoming) competing in and around your area with possibly a chance to move forward to a state playoff system. Nothing is down in writing, just ideas floating around our heads. If you have an interest in being involved in the planning, please let me know. Coaches that travel during the summer, don’t worry. A parent or anyone that you or your players come up with could be in charge. We plan on using the Universal Tennis Rating System to help us group kids and teams in compatible leagues but the Schools will be the basis of the group. The Florida and California High School Tennis Coaches Associations are on board. We are probably the furthest ahead right now and we want to stay out in the forefront. We have a starting goal set in the summer of 2016. We might come up with a Test league in certain areas to play this summer. Again, if you are interested, please let me know.
A second idea that we have been considering is a TTCA Coaches Certification. I hear that this has been kicked around some in the past and feel that we should try to look at the possibility again. The benefits will include a way to try to give certified and experienced coaches a better way to market themselves to possible future jobs or give them ways to try to raise current stipends. Again, this is also still in the infancy stage but no less important. If you have an interest in helping us come up with plans in this area, let me know. I was on a conference call last week with John Embree, Executive Director of the USPTΑ, and they are looking at adding a High School Coaches Certification to their USPTA Certification, hopefully by next school year. The actual USPTA benefits are being worked out now. Our TTCA Certification would include a beginning level and a point value would be worked out for a coach to move up levels. The USPTA Certification would be a possible subset of our certification. The Florida High School Tennis Coaches Association already has the certification for their coaches and are very happy with the results. We would then pass our certification levels on to the State Athletic Director’s Association. We cannot make them follow it but after time, I could see this idea getting put to use by ADs in Texas.
The planning of the TTCA 3A and Under State Team Tennis Tournaments are well under way and the contact people for the events are Brenda Graham (firstname.lastname@example.org) for 3A and 2A, with the 1A Tournament being run by Crystal Blazek (email@example.com). Please email them if you have any questions on those events.
In the very near future we will be putting out a survey to find out your thoughts and preferences about the convention. There will be a one week period that will be available to fill out the survey. Please pass the word around about it. If you know of someone that is not a member, please have them sign up so we can get as many responses as possible. Also, don’t forget to send spring team and tournament pictures to Brad Armor at firstname.lastname@example.org so he can get them up on the website.
Again, thanks for giving me the opportunity to serve the coaches of the TTCA.