Focus On What Is Important

Mark Faber, USPTA Vice President

I hope that those of you that were able to join us at the World Conference in Las Vegas enjoyed it. This event is always amazing and the USPTA National Staff puts in countless hours to provide a top notch event for us all. If you could take a brief moment to send the staff a quick e-mail thanking them, that would be awesome. Also, I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate all the award winners. It is an amazing accomplishment to be recognized and I encourage each of you to treasure this moment.

As I sit and write this article, I have gone back and forth on what subject matter would be of interest. My fellow board members have hit on some great topics over the past two years and hopefully they have made as big an impact on you as they have on me. 

Several weeks ago, I was fortunate enough to attend the USTA Semi-Annual meeting during the US Open. I attended many committee meetings and had some outstanding conversations with passionate volunteers that truly love the game of tennis.

There is no denying the importance of both the USPTA and the USTA in growing the game of tennis. It could be through a USTA program, a club-created program or a personally created program. But that doesn’t mean the USPTA can’t lead the charge.

It does not matter where it comes from!

What stood out to me while attending the committee meetings and in my conversations is that people simply want to see the game grow. The USPTA does not need to wait and see what is next, we just need to lace up the work boots, pack our lunches and put on our hard hats.

We can never ignore the negatives, but the USPTA should focus more on the positives. The USPTA needs to continue sitting down with people that do not always agree with us, for this challenges us to be better and allows us to learn. The more we learn and the more we execute, the better the Association we will become.

Great leaders understand that they do not know everything and it is the team that accomplishes things, not the leader themself. I truly believe that the USPTA and our professionals are great leaders in the industry. That means each of you reading this article is a leader in your community. That, in turn, means your ability to influence others to help grow the game is beyond measure.

It would be great next year to sit in these meetings and hear about USPTA professionals that have run or created a program that helped change the current trend of tennis. Each and every one of you has that power.

It is time that we stop worrying about items such as scoring formats in junior tennis, ratings and rankings, short courts and beyond. It is time to start worrying about getting more people into the sport of tennis so we can develop not only the next American Grand Slam champion, but the next high school JV, Tennis on Campus, Junior Team Tennis and Adult League players, not to mention the next you or I as industry leaders. We, the USPTA, need to step up, lead by example and impact the conversation!