USTA Membership – Good for you, Good for Tennis
We get lots of inquiries from adult students and parents of younger students asking if we think a USTA membership is something they should get. Well, it depends on how involved in tennis the student wants to be. The perception among many parents, especially parents, who’s kids are just getting started in tennis is that USTA membership is intended only for serious, die-hard competitors. It isn’t, but I understand the apprehension. Most parents want their kids to compete because competition is good for character building, but they don’t want them getting discouraged by having to face down an 8 year old Andre Agassi (or something similarly scary). So, how do we protect our kids while, at the same time, getting them into competitive circulation? Parents and other students, therefore, need to know how a USTA membership can be helpful to their development, a job the USTA itself has done a poor job in the past of explaining.
The USTA is the governing body for U.S. tennis. Everything you want to know about rules, players, tournaments and development can be found at USTA.com. Information is free for the taking, but for kids and adults who want to compete, a USTA membership means access to play in all the tournaments they could ever possibly want. There are three types of tournaments: Novice, Satellite and Open. One of our students (an 8 year old new to tennis this year) has been competing in a different novice tournament every month this year. Age categories and ability taken into account have never put him in too far over his head. Yes, he has lost to a few players who were clearly better, but he has also won a few tournaments. The fun, in other words, is meeting new people, and having fun competing against them. At the novice level there are no monsters. It’s safe to go in!
Improving as a Player is All About Competition:
We here at Gonzo Tennis have a variety of teams ranging from USTA teams to local club teams. Any way you slice it, competition is the way to test yourself. Taking group or private lessons is how you’ll improve technique and start thinking about how to construct games. However, competition is the test of what you’re learning. “But,” you say, “I haven’t learned enough! I’m still so green!” Perhaps you’re not Samantha Stosur – so what? You’re going to get onto that court with another player at the same level as you, and you’re going to test yourself in such a way that, win or lose, you’ll have learned something beneficial about yourself. You’ll be glad you did it. And, every match you play, you’re guaranteed to improve.
If you have a kid who loves tennis, get him/her a membership. If you’re an adult student who’s wanting access to the U.S. tennis scene, get a USTA membership. Gonzo Tennis will help you find tournaments, and Gonzo Tennis is here to help you prepare!