The USTA announced that its Player Development division will host a series of coaching education symposiums geared to engage under-represented coaching communities. The overall goal of these symposiums is to continue USTA Player Development’s ongoing efforts to create a collaborative partnership with a full spectrum of its American tennis stakeholders. At the symposiums, USTA Player Development will share the division’s coaching system and philosophy and discuss potential improvements to enhance its support of specific groups.
The first symposium, focusing on the African-American coaching community and former top African-American professional players, will be held December 4-6, 2015, at the USTA Training Center Headquarters in Boca Raton, Fla. The second and third will be centered on Hispanic American Coaches and Female Coaches, respectively. Those next two will take place in the first half of 2016, with the exact dates yet to be determined.
A select group of influential African-American coaches and players from the past 30 years were invited to take part in this three-day meeting. Katrina Adams, Chairman of the Board, CEO and President, USTA, will serve as the opening speaker of the symposium, with Martin Blackman, General Manager, USTA Player Development and D.A. Abrams, Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer, USTA, also presenting to the group. At the symposium, USTA Player Development aims to share concepts and give insights into its overall philosophy while also listening and learning from the experiences and knowledge of those in attendance. Discussion and instruction will take place both in the classroom and on the court. The discussions will be designed to take the collective knowledge and experience of the group and use it to identify tactics and recommendations that the USTA can use to improve its developmental support of African-American players and coaches.
“One of my biggest goals is to reach and grow the game in underrepresented communities in this country,” said Adams. “This first symposium represents my background, and I’m excited to share philosophies with so many great coaches that have paved the way.”
“This symposium is an opportunity for us to not only share what we are doing at Player Development – our learnings, philosophies and ideas – but also gain insight and ideas from some of the most influential African-American players and coaches of the last 30 years,” said Blackman. “The symposium aligns perfectly with the overall Team USA initiative, as we look to reach players and coaches outside of the traditional system, to ensure the highest level of tennis education and instruction throughout the United States.”
The USTA is the national governing body for the sport of tennis in the U.S. and the leader in promoting and developing the growth of tennis at every level -- from local communities to the highest level of the professional game. A not-for-profit organization with more than 715,000 members, it invests 100% of its proceeds in growing the game. It owns and operates the US Open, the highest-attended annual sporting event in the world, and launched the Emirates Airline US Open Series, linking seven summer tournaments to the US Open. In addition, it owns approximately 90 Pro Circuit events throughout the U.S. and selects the teams for the Davis Cup, Fed Cup, Olympic and Paralympic Games. The USTA’s philanthropic entity, the USTA Foundation, provides grants and scholarships and helps under-resourced youth and individuals with disabilities, and supports wounded, ill and injured service members, veterans and their families. For more information on the USTA, log on to usta.com, “like” the official Facebook page, facebook.com/usta, or follow @usta on Twitter.