USTA School Tennis
Beginning in1985 under the leadership of Arthur Ashe, the USTA Schools Program has brought the joy of tennis to millions of students in schools across the United States. In order to achieve the mission of the USTA, "To Promote and Develop the Growth of Tennis," the USTA School Tennis program has become dedicated to introducing children and youth to the sport in schools. USTA School Tennis was conceived to ensure that every young person would be exposed to tennis in the hopes that they continue to play throughout their lifetime. Studies have shown that tennis players score higher in vigor, optimism and self-esteem, and lower in depression, anger, confusion, anxiety and tension than other athletes and non-athletes (Dr. Joan Finn and colleagues at Southern Connecticut University). Tennis out performs golf, running, weight-lifting and many other sports in developing positive personality characteristics like sociability, mental focus, competitiveness, adventurousness, spontaneity, creativity and assertiveness (Dr. Jim Galvin, author of The Exercise Habit). The average person burns more calories playing tennis than doing low impact aerobics, weightlifting, riding a stationary bike, hiking, walking a golf course, or playing softball, baseball, or volleyball (www.nutristrategy.com).
With all these benefits to children, it’s only natural that USTA provides the training and resources necessary to implement the program into school and works with dedicated teachers, administrators, program leaders and volunteers to put the program into action. USTA has developed an up-to-date in-school curriculum and a teacher training program to assist educators and make them feel more comfortable offering tennis in school settings. USTA has also partnered with tennis equipment suppliers and manufactures to assist schools in obtaining equipment.
As mentioned, resources available to qualifying schools are teacher in-service workshops, in-school curriculum materials, equipment and assistance and support in intramural and interscholastic programs. Teacher in-service workshops give educators new ideas and support them in implementing tennis in school. There are suggestions on making tennis a fun and safe experience for the students, guides on transforming a gym or playground into a dynamic tennis playing environment, and skills involving managing large groups. In-school curriculum materials have been developed to offer teacher-friendly lesson plans, station signs and an instructional DVD. Qualifying and eligible schools also may receive equipment loans, discounted equipment and/or some free equipment. Schools offering and providing students with after school programs are also eligible for support and funding.
For additional questions, or to bring USTA School Tennis to your school, contact your District Coordinator listed below:
Colorado - Kristy Harris, (303) 695-4116
Idaho - Justin Hubbard, (208) 322-5150, Ext. 207
Montana - Lauren Olson, (406) 579-2716
Nevada - Ryan Wolfington, (702) 792-8384
Utah - Laurie Lambert, (801) 944-USTA
Wyoming – Mario Ibarra, (307) 742-0892