ORGANIZER OF THE MONTH
September 1, 2018
Each month, USTA Eastern selects one passionate advocate who has made unique
contributions within the community through tennis. Much like an army recruiter, this avid league player is working to grow USTA League team registration in our Northern region.
Tennis Organizer of the Month: October 2018
Barb Glasser of Rotterdam, New York, started playing tennis 17 years ago, a young mother at the time. A local pro was offering free lessons at an outdoor park, and Barb decided to give it a try. After that first lesson, she was hooked.
“Those free lessons began my tennis life,” said Glasser. “I played when I could in the beginning, but once my kids got older, I focused on training and improving my game.”
Barb became a highly engaged USTA League player, moving up through the ranks from a 2.5 sapling to the seasoned 3.5 competitor that she is today. ADVERTISEMENT When she started playing in the USTA League in 2003, tennis was booming. But in recent years, there have been fewer tennis players to fill her roster.
“We were at risk of not having a team this summer,” said Glasser. “So I decided to find new players from sources that had never been tapped.”
Barb worked with the Northern Local League Coordinator, Vicky Madonna, and one of the region’s Junior Team Tennis coordinators, to drum up interest. She helped develop and disseminate a flyer to promote the league play, and in an effort to recruit younger players, Barb decided to reach out to the local high school and college tennis coaches.
“Many league captains and players may not realize that high school seniors who are on the cusp of turning 18 are terrific candidates for joining USTA Adult Leagues,” said Glasser. “So we sought out help from some local coaches.”
According to data released at the USTA’s 2018 National Convention, the average age of its 18 & Over league player is 47. The organization and all its sections have been looking for creative ways to change this statistic and attract younger players to the leagues. Barb’s drive and engenuity led her to Dylan Davis, who thought older 18 & Under JTT tennis players might be interested in playing in the adult leagues.
“Vicky, Dylan and I were looking for ways to build a pipeline for new league players,” said Glasser. “Reaching out to the coaches and older JTT players were avenues we’d yet to explore.”
Six new players were recruited in 2018. Barb is hopeful that this and additional grassroots efforts will continue as they prepare for the 2019 season. To learn more about Adult League tennis, contact your Local League Coordinator.