College Tennis Operating Budget

budgetI’ve written and discussed the differences between the “haves” and the “have-nots” in college tennis quite a bit over the past several months. My reason for doing so is two-fold:

  1. I think it’s important for junior players and their families to have an understanding of what to expect in terms of facilities, equipment, support, travel, etc. when they visit and commit to a college tennis program; and
  2. I think it’s important as a community that we understand why some programs have all the latest bells and whistles while others don’t even have crack-free courts or scoreboards.

So, in keeping with this topic, I found it extremely interesting to look at Darryl Cummings‘s chart listing the operating budget of hundreds of college tennis programs across all divisions. These numbers are from 2014, so they are a bit dated, but I suspect things haven’t changed all that much in three years.

University of South Carolina in the SEC has the largest overall budget at $1,244,834.00 on the men’s side and $1,422,750.00 on the women’s side. That’s a far cry from the $2841.00 budget at Ulster County Community College and even top D3 contender Emory University at $449,836.00!

The CEO of the Intercollegiate Tennis Association, Tim Russell, is my guest on next week’s podcast, and we talk about this issue in addition to many others. I hope you’ll tune in starting Tuesday at 11amET – you can find the ParentingAces podcast on iTunes, the Podcast App, Stitcher, and on this website as well.

Please click on the link below, take a look at the numbers, and share your thoughts in the Comments area below.

2014 College Tennis Operating Budgets

 

Young Guns at the 2017 BB&T Atlanta Open

BB&T Atlanta OpenListen to this week’s podcast here:

I will once again be covering the BB&T Atlanta Open, the kick-off men’s event to the US Open Series. This year’s tournament will be held at Atlantic Station in the heart of Atlanta’s Midtown district July 22-30, 2017. For more information on the tournament, go to http://www.bbtatlantaopen.com.

At this year’s Media Day, I had the opportunity to chat with Young Guns Chris Eubanks and Trent Bryde (who is coached by Viv Chhetri and Will Wright) about their tennis goals and the role tournaments like this one play in their overall development. I also had the chance to talk to Trent’s dad, Bruce, not only about Trent but also about the other two Bryde children, Karlee and Kyle, and how he and his wife, Kathi, balance the various interests of their offspring.

Be sure to enter the Sol Schwartz #SaveCollegeTennis All-In tournament(s) before the deadlines! For the Atlanta event (July 17-19) go to http://events.universaltennis.com/tournaments/261. For the Baltimore event (August 12-13) go to http://events.universaltennis.com/tournaments/336/. If you’d simply like to make a donation to our fund which will provide grants to college tennis programs at risk of being cut, you can do so via check made payable to The Sol and sent to 70 1st Avenue SE, Atlanta, GA 30317 OR you can now donate via Venmo to lisa@parentingaces.com. Thank you for any support you can give!

This is also the last week to take advantage of the ParentingAces discount on Match!Tennis App. If you haven’t downloaded it and taken advantage of a 30-day free trial, what are you waiting for???? For more information, visit http://parentingaces.com/tennis-parents-gotta-get-app/.

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How to Save Money on Racket Stringing

Racket StringingI’m a big believer in young tennis players learning how to do all of the things necessary to be ready to step on the court and compete. From learning how to tie their own shoes to carrying their own tennis bag and water bottle, these skills are part and parcel of being a competitive junior player. They need to learn how to keep score. They need to learn the rules in Friend At Court. They need to learn how to wrap an overgrip. And they need to learn how to string a tennis racket.

We all read and talk about the expense of developing a junior tennis player – and I’m not here to try and convince you otherwise – but there are definitely some things you can do to help offset that expense. Having your child string his/her own rackets is a big step in the right direction.

Want to know how much you spend a year on stringing? Click here for a calculator.

Now, doesn’t it make sense to purchase a stringing machine and make sure your child learns how to use it? When my son was in middle school, we purchased an electronic stringer. We set it up in my son’s room, and he strung rackets for himself and others (a nice way for him to earn a little money!). It worked great, but we still had to pay for stringing when we traveled to tournaments. After about 6 months, though, the machine started losing tension and causing major stress. After trying to work with the manufacturer and distributor to no avail, we sold the stringer and went back to paying $20/racket. Grrrr!

I recently came across a new stringing machine that is not only affordable but is also portable. That means no more paying inflated stringing fees when you’re away from home!

The Platinum Pro Stringer is the brainchild of tour player Rubin Statham. On tour Rubin saw players paying racket stringers at each and every tennis event. These tournament stringers had a variety of stringing methods and stringing machines, which meant the players were getting inconsistent tensions in their string bed leading to impaired performance on the court. When the tension wasn’t just right, the racket would have to be restrung, adding an enormous financial cost throughout the year. Rubin and his twin brother spent over $17,000 on restringing labor alone in their first year on tour.

Like many players, to save money and to attain consistent string tensions, they resorted to travelling with a “portable” machine that was the size of a large suitcase. The machine weighed over 45lbs (not sure why they called it portable) and was ineffective at producing consistent string tensions.

Rubin, who is currently playing in the ITF Pro Circuit Futures event in Pittsburgh, tapped into his entrepreneurial side and put together a team of engineers from the US and Korea to design a truly portable stringing machine that was accurate and affordable. After 5 years of R&D and 3 years of testing on both the ATP and WTA tours, Rubin decided his machine was ready for public consumption and is now selling it and supporting it with individualized customer service.

The Platinum Pro Stringer weighs only 4.4 pounds! Fully-packed in its case withstringer the necessary tools, it weighs only 8.8 pounds.  And it comes complete with table clamp, mounting bracket, frame retainers, butterfly screws, flying clamps, power supply and cables, universal power adapter, string cutter, string pliers, and a padded carrying case with room for your string. Oh, and every Platinum Pro Stringer machine comes with one year of hardware repair coverage through its limited warranty and one year of complimentary support.

Luckily for all of you, Rubin and I connected between his matches, and he graciously offered a very nice discount to the ParentingAces community! The Platinum Pro Stringer retails for $790.00 (plus shipping). But, if you buy it through the special web page set up exclusively for ParentingAces, you will only pay $690.00 (plus shipping)! Make sure to enter the special promo code “ACES100” during checkout to get your special ParentingAces discount of $100 off!

Note: ParentingAces is NOT a paid endorser nor do we receive any compensation if you buy this product.

I will be doing an episode of the ParentingAces Podcast with Rubin in a few weeks, so if you have any questions about the Platinum Pro or life on the tour, please feel free to send them to me.

I wish this machine had been around when my son was in the juniors. It would have saved us thousands of dollars over the course of his developmental years! I hope you’ll take a look at the website here, watch the videos, read the testimonials, then use the special ParentingAces link to give this little gem a try.  You can thank me later! 🙂

 

John Falbo Pt. 8 Parents’ Responsibility to Build Competitive Athletes

John FalboListen to our podcast with John Falbo here:

Should we parents push our kids to be fiercely competitive? Or should we protect them from the knockouts?

In Part 8 of our conversation, John Falbo is of the opinion that not only should we push our kids to be competitive but it is also OUR RESPONSIBILITY as parents to do so in order for them to be successful in life.

As usual, John doesn’t mince words, and some may find his opinions offensive, but that’s what I love about him! He speaks his mind as someone who has lived through the rigors of junior and college tennis and used those experiences to find success in the business world.

You can find John’s Facebook video here: https://www.facebook.com/

You can find the article he references here: https://tennisdadblog.wordpress.com

To enter the 2017 #theSol Atlanta tournament, click here.

To enter the 2017 #theSol Baltimore tournament, click here.

To get info on the Match Tennis App, click here.

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Tennis Trunk Revisited – Take A Look!

Tennis TrunkY’all may remember my article last year about a new monthly delivery service, Tennis Trunk. Well, yesterday, I received my latest box, and I thought it might be a good time to remind y’all of what Tennis Trunk is all about!

With Tennis Trunk you’ll get a box of carefully selected tennis gear and equipment every month. You’ll always get the essentials for the courts like tennisTennis Trunk contents balls, overgrips, and energy bars. And, each month’s Tennis Trunk will also have some fun extras . . . this month, my box contained a great pair of Zensah tennis socks and Tourna Rx Grip Enhancer plus some adorable Tennis Trunk vibration dampeners. The box it comes in is awfully fun, too!

Tennis Trunk makes a great gift for the Tennis Lovers in your life, including your junior players, but it’s also a great service to set up for yourself. I don’t know about you, but I’m always scrambling to find balls for my matches, and with Tennis Trunk, I know I’ll have 2 fresh cans on hand every month. The fact that this month’s box has the grip enhancer was the icing on the cake for me – do you know how hot and humid it gets in Atlanta in the summer?!?!?!?

I hope you’ll check out the Tennis Trunk website and get signed up for your monthly delivery. If you select the 6-month prepay option, it comes out to only $29.95 a month. You know you’re already spending at least that much on balls and grips anyway!

Take a look at their website and enjoy the goodies!

 

 

BB&T Atlanta Open Welcomes Venus Williams

Image result for venus williams
Image courtesy of CBSnews.com

The BB&T Atlanta Open is a men’s tournament. It is the kickoff to the annual Emirates US Open Series. So why is Venus Williams coming this year?

Tournament Director Eddie Gonzalez has worked hard to set this event apart, striking a deal with Atlantic Station, an Intown Atlanta mixed use development that builds center court smack dab in the middle of the city with an incredible skyline view. The players comment each year how much they love staying on site, riding in the golf carts to and from the courts, having so many options for dining and entertainment at their fingertips. For the 2017 tournament, he’s taken things a step further, investing in shaded seating (for those of you who have attended the BB&T in the past, you know how stinkin’ hot it can get out there!) and more on-site dining and entertainment for tournament patrons.

One additional step Gonzalez has taken this year is to include an exhibition match between Venus Williams and Canadian Genie Bouchard. This morning, I had the opportunity to participate in a conference call with Venus – what a treat! Here’s what she had to say about coming back to Atlanta for the first time in many years . . .

“I can’t believe I haven’t played more in Atlanta in my career! And Atlanta’s such a huge tennis town that I know the love will come from both sides, with me being excited to play there and from the fans getting to watch some great women’s tennis.”

I asked her if she’s going to have a chance to do any youth outreach while she’s here. She said, “I think that’s a great idea. We definitely should look into that! We have a really full schedule but maybe during the day before the match – I would love that!”

I followed up with a question regarding Venus’ role as a role model for young players coming up. She reminded me that she’s been involved in several programs that work with kids and other programs that work specifically in tennis. She said she sees herself marrying those two types of outreach to show kids how great tennis can be and how they can benefit from it.

When asked about the young up and coming American players, Venus said she’s excited about the great players on the rise. “It’s a learning curve”, she said, “and they need time to develop and enjoy the game. They have plenty of time since people are now extending their careers well into their 30s.”  Regarding French Open Juniors champion, Whitney Osuigwe, Venus advises that she should give herself time to develop her game. “Winning the Jr French Open demonstrates that she definitely has the tools!”

If you’re going to be in the Atlanta area July 22-30 (you could just hang out after your junior plays in #theSol!), please be sure to come out to Atlantic Station and watch some amazing pro tennis. For more information on the BB&T Atlanta Open and to get tickets, click here. Hope to see you there!

 

Getting your body in peak shape for college with Dave Mullins

peak shape

Dave Mullins comes from an extensive tennis background, both as a player and as a coach. He is originally from Dublin, Ireland, and came to the US to play college tennis. He wound up in the world of college coaching, having a stellar career at the University of Oklahoma as the head women’s coach.

A couple of years ago, Dave retired from coaching and returned with his wife and two children to Dublin where he is now working at the same club where he grew up playing. He is also devoting a good amount of time to helping families navigate through the tennis development process.

In this week’s podcast, Dave and I talk about how rising college freshmen, as well as current college players, should be spending their summers. Should they be playing tournaments? Should they take an internship? Should they have a paying job? Should they take time off and relax?

Of course, there’s not one answer that is best for every player, but Dave backs up his answers with what he’s learned in his years as a player and as a coach. He shares very important information as we move into the summer season.

To find Dave online, visit his website at www.davemullinstennis.com. You can also reach him via email at davemullinstennis@gmail.com.

Entries for the 2nd annual Sol Schwartz #SaveCollegeTennis All-In Tennis Tournament are now open. For the Atlanta tournament (July 17-19) go to http://events.universaltennis.com/tournaments/261/. For the Baltimore tournament (August 12-13) go to http://events.universaltennis.com/tournaments/336/.

Also, registration for the ITA Summer Circuit is now open. Go to http://www.itatennis.com/Events/ITA_Summer_Circuit.htm for information.

Listen to our latest podcast episode here!