News from World TeamTennis - - December 7, 2006
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Teams capture titles at WTT Rec League National Finals
Schedule set for 2007 WTT Rec League qualifiers
Rec Ntl 06 1

48 teams. 19 states. 10 titles. 1 unforgettable weekend.

That sums up the story of the 2006 WTT Rec League National Finals presented by Advanta, held at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden last month.

Teams from California, Florida, Missouri and New York topped a field of 48 recreational and corporate tennis teams during the 3-day event to win titles in ten divisions: 3.0, 3.5, 4.0, 4.5, Senior 3.5, Senior 4.0, Corporate 3.5, Corporate 4.0, Corporate 4.5 and Open.

Teams advanced to the national finals by either qualifying from their respective division in six WTT Rec League national qualifying tournaments or by winning their local Corporate League. The weekend kicked off with a clinic hosted by WTT co-founder Billie Jean King. To read more about the WTT Rec League National Finals, visit www.WTT.com.

While some teams are probably still celebrating their 2006 titles, the chase for the 2007 championships begins soon with the first national qualifier of the new year, Feb. 23-25, in Bradenton, Fla. Registration for the Bradenton qualifier is open until Feb. 9.

2007 WTT Rec League National Qualifiers

Feb. 23-25: IMG Bollettieri Academy - Bradenton, Fla. (register by Feb. 9)

April 20-22: Darling Tennis Center - Las Vegas, Nev. (register by April 6)

July 20-22: Dwight Davis Tennis Center – St. Louis, Mo. (register by July 6)

August (tentative): Location TBD - Raleigh, N.C. (register July TBD)

Aug. 28-30: Heritage Park - Irvine, Calif. (register by Aug. 14)

Oct. 5-7: DuPont Country Club - Wilmington, Del. (register by Sept. 21)

2007 WTT Nationals: Nov. 1-4 at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden in Indian Wells, Calif.

Final results from the 2006 World TeamTennis Rec League National Finals presented by Advanta
Nov. 3-5 – Indian Wells Tennis Garden in Indian Wells, Calif.

3.0 DIVISION: Braemar (Encino, Calif.) def Southside Slammers I (Virginia Beach, Va.), 31-17

3.5 DIVISION: Plash (Troy, N.Y.) wins with a 5-0 record. Ng’s Tennis Nutts (Las Vegas, Nev.) are runner-ups.

4.0 DIVISION: Game-Set-Match (Key Biscayne, Fla.) def. Roadrunners (Albuquerque, N.M.), 31-30

4.5 DIVISION: San Diego Roamers (San Diego, Calif.) def. Tornado’s (San Diego, Calif.), 33-20

SENIOR 3.5 DIVISION: Good Vibrations (Downey, Calif.) def. Young at Heart (Las Vegas, Nev.), 33-26

SENIOR 4.0 DIVISION: Young at Heart (Kirkwood, Mo.) def. Braemar Fabulous Fifties (Tarzana, Calif.), 30-26

CORPORATE 3.5:(pictured above) NoWaitFreight (Boca Raton, Fla.) def. GE Energy (Delanson, N.Y.), 31-19

CORPORATE 4.0 DIVISION: US Southcom (Miami, Fla.) def. Sports Explorer (Los Angeles, Calif.), 28-26

CORPORATE 4.5: Smith Barney (Miami, Fla.) wins with a 4-0 record. Boston Scientific (Minneapolis, Minn.) finished second.

OPEN DIVISION: San Francisco Tennis Club (San Francisco, Calif.) def. Sherwood Country Club (Thousand Oaks, Calif.), 26-23

King crowns 2006 Delaine Mast Award Winners
DM Award winners 2006

Ronita Elder of Los Angeles and Rich Gottfried of Rockville, Md., were recognized as the 2006 recipients of the Delaine Mast Award at the WTT Rec League National Finals in Indian Wells last month.

The annual award recognizes a male and a female World TeamTennis Rec League director who contributes to the growth of tennis and WTT, as well as being a leader and role model in their local tennis community. Award namesake Delaine Mast (left), National Director of the WTT Recreational League, joins (from l. to r.)Gottfried, Elder and King for the presentation.

WTT names top Rec League directors

Who are the top Rec League directors in the U.S.? World TeamTennis officials today named 12 top Rec League directors based on the numbers of players that play in their WTT Leagues throughout the year. In addition to the recognition, the directors receive Wilson, Bälle de Mätch and WTT incentive gifts.

The top WTT Rec League directors for 2006 are:

  • David Bell, Raleigh, N.C.
  • Ann Bent/Orly Mayron, Broward and Palm Beach Counties in Fla.
  • Martin Brody, Tulsa, Okla.
  • Mary Cook/Harvey Jones, Atlanta, Ga.
  • Scott Hanover, Kansas City, Mo.
  • Mike Hasan, San Diego, Calif. (North County)
  • Mark Johnson, Mobile, Ala.
  • Carol Jory, San Diego, Calif.
  • Pat Purcell, St. Louis, Mo.
  • Steve Riggs, Irvine, Calif.
  • Tri City Tennis Association, Albany, N.Y.
  • Elaine Wingfield, Key Biscayne, Fla.

Tennis Tips from Wilson
Wilson updated

To be a winning doubles team requires more than solid strokes, sound strategy and being in reasonably good physical condition. It also takes healthy, positive communication.

We have all seen it (or experienced ourselves) where a doubles team implodes due to conflicts between the two partners. Yes, it can be frustrating to have to play with the “wrong” partner (You could also be the “wrong” partner in the other person’s mind!) and especially so if you don’t have the choice of whom you will team up with in a match.

Regardless of whether you are able to choose your partner or the choice is made for you, many of the inevitable challenges which arise (particularly when you are losing and/or playing poorly) can be minimized or eliminated entirely, by good communication.

Before I share what I believe are the three most important aspects of good communication between doubles teams, I will mention the #1 communication complaint I have heard over the years.

In general, tennis players do not like to be coached by their partner during a match. Here are a few of many examples:

-- After one person hits a double fault their partner says, “Just get your serve in.”

-- After the receiver hits the ball at the net person who promptly hits a volley for a winner; their partner says, “Do not hit your return to the net person. It needs to go crosscourt.”

These types of comments drive most people crazy. Nobody is trying to lose or make mistakes on purpose. Most people who have played the sport for awhile understand what is necessary for success. Too many of these types of comments will lead someone to think the match is being played with three people against one – their opponents and their partner versus them! Therefore, instead of coaching your partner, use these communication suggestions:

ENCOURAGE - This can be an enormous help, especially if your partner is playing poorly. Instead of noting the need to “just get your serve in” after your partner hits a double fault, say something like, “It’s okay, here we go. It is on to the next point.” (Notice the emphasis on “We” instead of “You.”) Rather than dwell on your partner’s mistake, help them and yourself think about the future, the next point. This also works well after someone blows an easy shot.

SHARE INFORMATION – Your partner, particularly when serving or returning serve, may not see everything about your opponents that you do. The situation is of course reversed when you are serving or returning. Therefore, share information with each other . . . “Do you notice every time we serve to Joe’s backhand he floats the return?” As a match progresses each partner should be collecting information based upon the habits of the opponents. Share this information with each other.

STRATEGY – This is a natural continuation of the Share Information section . . . i.e., “Sally is having trouble with her volley so let’s make her have volley even more.” If you are going to be an effective team, there must be some discussion about strategy and tactics during the course of play. In order to execute a sound strategy, there must first be a sharing of information.

Finally, sometimes simply a good laugh or chuckle (at your own play; not that of your opponents) between your partner and you is all that's needed to help you both relax. Most of us are playing tennis in our free time so we should do everything possible to make sure we are having fun and enjoying the experience.

Good communication skills are like good strokes, they take practice. Improve upon your communication skills and you may discover you are a better doubles team.

Dave Kensler has 24 years of teaching experience with Peter Burwash International (PBI), the most successful international tennis management company. PBI directs tennis programs at 60+ exclusive resorts, hotels and clubs in 23 countries and has taught over 3 million students in their 30 year history. For information on PBI tennis destinations and employment opportunities please go to http://www.pbitennis.com/. All PBI Tennis Professionals play with Wilson rackets, use Wilson bags and wear Wilson shoes. The year 2006 marks the 20th Anniversary of PBI Tennis Professionals using Wilson products.

WTT Pro League Notes
Around the League
King Trophy (white)

HEADIN' WEST: The road to the WTT Championship and the King Trophy will lead to a mall parking lot in Northern California. Westfield Galleria at Roseville, the new home of the Sacramento Capitals, will host the WTT Championship Weekend, July 27-29. Tickets to the WTT Championship Weekend are currently available as part of the Capitals season ticket packages. For ticket information, visit www.gocaps.net or call (916) 638- 4001 x134.

The regular season runs July 5-25 with the top two teams from both the Western and Eastern Conference advancing to their conference championship matches on July 27 and July 28. The conference champs face off in the WTT Finals on July 29. The Philadelphia Freedoms are the defending WTT Champions.

MARK YOUR CALENDARS: Look for the WTT regular season schedule to be released much earlier in 2007. The schedule, which is traditionally released in mid-April, will be unveiled by the beginning of February. Season ticket packages are already on sale in several team markets. For more information, visit www.WTT.com.

Bälle de Mätch offers special deals for WTT members
Yippee oval

Get a sneak preview of the 2007 Bälle de Mätch line. WTT members get 15% off suggested retail on Bälle de Mätch Team and Basic apparel at www.balledematch.com.

Bälle de Mätch, which is the official apparel of the WTT Rec League, is well-known for its broad selection, fit, unique styling and top quality.

Order product from Bälle de Mätch directly online by visiting the special WTT League Player page at balledematch.com. To place an order, login using the WTT League Player user id (wttplayer) and password (playwtt).

Order online or call Bälle de Mätch directly at 1-800-356-1021 and speak to a customer service representative about the program by mentioning WTT League Player.

For the latest Bälle de Mätch merchandise, visit www.balledematch.com.

Love match

Darian Chappell, grassroots programs manager for Wilson Sporting Goods, recently wed Andres Borowiak, who works for The Tennis Channel, on the courts at the appropriately named Darling Tennis Center in Las Vegas. Now that's LOVE . . . congratulations Darian & Andres!

Celebrate the Freedoms at The Tennis Superstore

Freedoms t-shirt
Gear up for 2007 with a t-shirt featuring the 2006 WTT Champions, Philadelphia Freedoms, on sale at The Tennis Superstore.

Visit The Tennis Superstore for WTT merchandise

Coming up:

Feb. 9, 2007: Registration ends for WTT Rec League National Qualifier in Bradenton, Fla.
Feb. 23-25, 2007 WTT Rec League National Qualifier at IMG Bollettieri Academy in Bradenton, Fla.