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Career Profile: Coordinator, Tennis on Campus

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Newlyn Wing has previously worked as the Coordinator for Tennis on Campus, High School Tennis and Tennis Service Representatives at the USTA. He is now the Manager for Tennis on Campus. In this Q&A, he discusses his career path and his role in the game. 


How did you choose this career path?


I always wanted to be able to have a job in tennis, but I didn’t think of it as a feasible option until I heard about Professional Tennis Management. I actually had a full scholarship to another school, but once I heard about this program, I decided to apply. Applying to this program was kind of a gamble, because I didn’t apply anywhere else. But I got in, and I went, and it was an awesome experience. There were about 50 people in my class, and you’re surrounded by tennis all day every day. You talk about tennis, play tennis together, and go to classes together. So if you love tennis, it’s obviously a great environment. Since I was only the second person in my family to play, I wasn’t the traditional “tennis kid,” so being immersed in tennis was a great experience for me. And I think my experience illustrates that you don’t necessarily have to be “from the industry” to be able to break into it.


How did you get interested in tennis?


I was never the traditional “tennis kid.” My family isn’t a “tennis family,” necessarily. My brother started playing first, and I began playing with him in high school. We had a really great high school coach who gave us opportunities to play and helped us along the way. We didn’t have the funds to take private lessons, but our coach connected us with a tennis pro who worked at a country club, who mentored me for free. I started working at the country club teaching tennis. By then, I loved tennis and played as much as I could. We’re from Michigan, and my brother and I used to dig out the courts from the snow to be able to play in the winter, because we couldn’t afford to play inside – that’s how much we loved to play.


What exactly does a Tennis Coordinator do?


I work on the operational side of the industry, overseeing three different programs: Tennis on Campus, High School Tennis, and Tennis Service Representatives. What that means is that I help coordinate all the “nuts and bolts” of what each of the programs are. I work with the coordinators of various tennis programs to make sure they have everything they need to do their jobs well. It’s kind of like maintain- ing the ship, and also looking for areas where we can improve our programs.


A lot of what I do is administrative work, but then I also work with other people on ideas for growing tennis and getting more people playing. I did the same thing when I was in the Midwest, but now it’s for fifty states instead of five. For example, we’re trying to get 200 people from University of Central Florida out to play short-court tennis. We also do a lot of other fun things – our social media campaign is big – and I’ve been helping run that, too.


We have meetings with representatives from our programs to hear what they are experi- encing out in the field, and we work to come up with solutions on how we can help them the most on a nationwide scale. We also hold meetings out on the court to show people how to set up the equipment, how to use it, and how to use our programs to grow tennis in their area. We might talk to them about fundraising, for example.


How did you get to where you are today?


One of the great things about the Professional Tennis Management program I was enrolled in is that you have to go out and get internships in the summers. I did one in Colorado, one in Michigan, and I was able to travel a lot for that, which gave me a broad spectrum of experiences. The placement rate for my program is 100% upon graduation, which means that  a tennis career is a viable option. And the skill set I gained really prepared me well to do what I’m doing now. I ran the Tennis on Campus program at my university for two years, and that really helped me get my foot in the door. Post-graduation, I worked at the USTA Midwest section for a little over a year, as a Coordinator of League play and Tennis on Campus. And then the opportunity to come to Florida came up, and I applied for that, and I got it. So, this is only my second job since graduating from college.


What skills or interests are important in your career?


I think you really have to love the sport. It’s really done a lot for me, and I’m very passionate about it. I’ve been able to turn my hobby into a well-paying job that uses all of my skills, and I think that’s really important. It means a lot to me to be able to pass on that love of tennis.


What’s the best part of the job?


There isn’t really a typical day – we always have projects that we’re working on, and that’s probably the part that’s the most fun. Working with so many different people has been great. Hearing other people talk about their jobs makes me really happy that I work here. But the best part is trying to get other people, especially at the high school and collegiate levels, to see that you can work in tennis, have a great job making good money, and love what you do. It’s not at all a typical office job. It’s about 40/60 office work versus being out in the field or on the court. So, 40% of the time, I’m doing administrative support: writing reports, answering emails, making phone calls and connecting with people and things like that, but then 60% of the time, I’m out of the office. I’m happy about that because I can’t sit still that long. So, I’m really glad that this is not a desk job.


What are some of the recent innovations you’ve seen in your field?


Some of the operational things we do that are very different in tennis include the creation of a “welcome” desk for each of our events where people can come in and register. We create draw boards and digital displays for social media promotion. We do a lot of social media, and look at web analytics for feedback on our programs.


Can you share any advice for high school students?


I would say, “Go for it!” I think many people are reluctant to go into something like this because it’s not a traditional career path. It’s not something people often talk about doing. They might not think about it because they don’t consider it a feasible option. But there is so much opportunity in tennis, whether it’s monetary, the chance to help a lot of people, or the fact that you can get a job relatively easily. But also, it’s probably one of the most rewarding jobs you can have. It’s been great to me so far!


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