2023 Eastern Tennis Conference
Note: Registration for the 2023 Eastern Tennis Conference is now closed.
The Eastern Tennis Conference—USTA Eastern's annual professional development gathering—will be held January 27-28 at the Sheraton Mahwah Hotel in Mahwah, N.J., with several sessions Friday afternoon at the Ridgewood Racquet Club.
In addition to serving up networking opportunities with the best and brightest in the industry, the conference will once again feature several on-court demonstrations courtesy of the USPTA and PTR, as well as informative panel discussions on a variety of topics, including:
Developing a recruitment strategy for coaches
Fostering a collaborative environment to better develop junior players (featuring Conrad Singh of Centercourt Tennis Academy, the facility that has produced a Wimbledon junior champion and two finalists over the last three years)
Utilizing new digital tools available to facilities
Forging partnerships with schools and parks and recreation departments
We are also incredibly excited to announce that our opening session will feature a discussion with three top former Eastern juniors who went on to reach the upper echelons of the game at the pro level and have since announced their retirements from the sport: Kristie Ahn, Christina McHale and Noah Rubin. The trio will share more about their development in the section as well as their experiences competing on the biggest stages in the sport.
Below, find a tentative schedule of events at the 2023 in-person Eastern Tennis Conference. We will add more information as it becomes available. All sessions and speakers are subject to change.
12:30 PM - 1:30 PM: USPTA On-Court Session – Sport of a Lifetime: Player Development From Initiation to College (at Ridgewood Racquet Club)
How does a young child progress from tennis novice to collegiate athlete? Does the long-term aspect of player development seem impossible to understand? This presentation will show how coaches can work with junior tennis players over many years: from their initiation into the game to training at an elite level. There are optimal times to train skills at various ages and stages of player development and this presentation will give an overview of this to help you give your best to junior tennis players.
1:35 PM - 2:25 PM: Diversify Your Offerings, Grow Your Business – Part 1 (at Ridgewood Racquet Club)
In the United States, millions upon millions of children and adults live with a disability. The tennis industry—and your business—can only expand by offering inclusive playing opportunities. In Part 1 of this interactive on-court session, learn from multiple leaders in the field about how tennis facilities and providers can develop inclusive programming and create a safe, supportive space for all individuals. Part 1 of this session will feature Lisa Pugliese of Love Serving Autism and Karla Ruaya of Push to Walk. Part 2 will be held on Saturday at the Sheraton Mahwah.
2:30 PM - 3:30 PM: PTR On-Court Session – Drills and Exercises That Make Teamwork Dream Work (at Ridgewood Racquet Club)
High school tennis teams often include a large group of players who all play at differing levels. In this session, learn different exercises, games, drills and activities that will engage all of your athletes together.
4:30 PM - 5:45 PM: PTR Meeting (at the Sheraton Mahwah)
4:30 PM - 5:45 PM: USPTA Meeting (Closed Meeting; at the Sheraton Mahwah)
5:00 PM - 8:00 PM: Welcome Reception (at the Sheraton Mahwah)
*All January 28 sessions will be held at the Sheraton Mahwah
7:45 AM - 8:45 AM: Breakfast
9:00 AM - 10:00 AM: Flying Sky-High with Eastern's All-Stars
Kristie Ahn defeated 2017 French Open Champion Jelena Ostapenko en route to a fourth round showing at the 2019 US Open. Christina McHale attained a career-high ranking of world No. 24. And throughout his time on the pro circuit, 2014 Wimbledon junior champion Noah Rubin scored wins over top players John Isner, Benoit Paire, Lucas Pouille and more. All three recently-retired former Eastern juniors join us for a wide-ranging discussion about their development in the section, experiences competing on the biggest stages in tennis and future goals in the sport.
10:00 - 11:00 AM: Level Up: Digital Tools to Give Your Business the Advantage
Upgrade your operation with Serve Tennis, the USTA's tennis management software. Peter Hall—a customer success manager at ClubSpark, the company that developed the product—will take attendees through the various functionalities the tool offers, including court booking, programming, website development, tournament management and other important administrative processes. *Note: Peter will be available beyond this session throughout the conference to answer any questions one-on-one about Serve Tennis.
11:00 AM - 12:00 PM: If You Build it, They Will Play: Forging Partnerships to Create a Tennis Community
Local tennis advocates and instructors Domingo Montes (15-LOVE NJTL) and Dennis Zaide (Rockland Community Tennis Association) explain how they have developed partnerships with schools and parks and recreation departments. Through these relationships, Domingo and Dennis have introduced tennis to scores of youth and adult players and have ultimately developed a pathway to future play opportunities in their respective municipalities. See how you can implement new programming within your communities by developing partnerships at the local level.
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM: Lunch + Regional Meetings
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM: Junior Tennis Foundation Meeting (Closed Meeting)
1:00 PM - 2:00 PM: Recruiting and Engaging Coaches in 2023
Recruiting and engaging coaches continues to be a major priority for the governing bodies of the sport in 2023. USTA leaders will discuss the steps they've taken—as well as future plans—for addressing this pressing issue in the industry. And two local tennis providers—Amber Marino, the executive director of the 15-LOVE NJTL in Albany, N.Y., and Ari Roberts, the president and founder of MatchPoint Tennis in Goshen, N.Y.—will share how their respective organizations develop coaches from within their own programming.
2:00 PM - 3:00 PM: Diversify Your Offerings, Grow Your Business – Part 2
In the United States, millions upon millions of children and adults live with a disability. The tennis industry—and your business—can only expand by offering inclusive playing opportunities. In Part 2 of this interactive session, learn from multiple leaders in the field—as well as a junior athlete—about how tennis facilities and providers can develop inclusive programming and create a safe, supportive space for all individuals. Part 2 of this session will feature Janet Lefkowitz of HERO Adaptive and Aki Wolfson of the Wheelchair Sports Federation.
3:00 - 4:00 PM: Centercourt takes Centre Court: Coaching Young Champions in the Eastern Section
During his tenure as CEO at Centercourt Tennis Academy in New Jersey, Conrad Singh has recruited and trained a successful team of coaches who have produced two junior Wimbledon finalists and one champion, as well as countless athletes who have received college scholarships over many years. In this session, Conrad will discuss how he attracts good coaches, what the facility’s onboarding and training process looks like and how the staff works together to foster a winning culture.
5:00 PM - 6:00 PM: Annual Meeting
6:00 PM - 7:00 PM: Cocktail Hour
7:00 PM - 10:00 PM: Awards Dinner