Team Tennis Ron McDaniel March 7, 2016 Lifestyle, Pro Watching the USA win the Davis Cup round over the weekend got me reflecting on team Tennis. With a serious junior player in the family, we spend a lot of time at tournaments in the midst of other Tennis parents and players. While most people civil and even somewhat friendly most of the time, there is always a undercurrent of tension as the kids are all competing with each other and the parents are supporting their own kids against the others. Serious junior players are rarely part of a team where they can share goals and not be such lone wolves. Sure there is school tennis, but unless a player lives in a very competitive area, the school tennis may actually hurt their game instead of improve it. Also, Tennis has such a broad range of skills that, other than at the top of the game, it is hard to put together competitive groups, unless you are part of a big Tennis Academy. So how can team tennis be improved? If a club is running a team tennis activity then really foster the team atmosphere. Take team pictures, get shirts, etc. Have a team pep talk before each match. It is up to organizers to foster the team environment and the excitement for the team will improve participation in the future. Develop formats that make it easier for teams to be smaller and play regionally on a flexible schedule. Have more doubles tournaments to foster doubles teams. Promote junior team news better – currently it is very difficult to find anything about the programs that are already running. Form micro tournaments for doubles only. (Example Coming Soon) Pro Leadership – Coaches and Club Managers need to provide leadership to keep team programs going. Solicit help from a parent as well, but communicate and organize programs so that everyone knows what is expected and how to maximize participation. How else would you encourage team tennis for the junior level? Let us know on our WWTA Facebook page.