Get to Know a League Captain
September 12, 2019
League Captains are the largest group of volunteers in the USTA. Among the countless other responsibilities in their regular lives, these dedicated individuals clock long hours handling the logistics: Recruiting players, distributing materials, relaying rules for matches and recording results. Their commitment and leadership ensures that USTA Leagues will continue to grow and to flourish in the Eastern Section. Learn more about these tireless tennis advocates with “Get to Know a League Captain”.
Click here for results from 2019 USTA Eastern League Sectionals.
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TODD ALLIEVI, Ridgewood, N.J. (Captain, NJ 40+ 3.5 Men)
What items do you keep in your tennis bag? I overpack. I have five tennis racquets, an extra shirt, anti-cramp stuff, biofreeze in case there’s an injury. ADVERTISEMENT I’m probably forgetting a bunch of stuff—my bag is pretty, pretty large. I think it’s actually larger than me. [Laughs].
What is your earliest tennis memory? I learned [how to play] probably in fifth grade. My father worked for a tennis club as a maintenance man. Because he worked there I got to go to camp in the summer for a couple weeks for free.
What is your favorite tennis shot? It’s a tie between the drop shot and the lob. Basically a lot of people just say I’m annoying. [Laughs]. I’ve been called a mosquito.
How would you describe your playing style? I run everything down, give it all every time, never give up. One time in a USTA match we were down in a set, 0-5, 0-40. We actually came back and won it.
Wow. I’m not a power player, I’m not a big guy, so I have to play within myself.
What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever seen happen on a tennis court? In another USTA match, I was playing with my partner, and I ran for a drop shot. I got it, but I couldn’t stop. I flipped over the net, landed on the other side flat on my back. Everyone came running over, shouting ‘Don’t move! Don’t move!’, so I was thinking that maybe my leg was pointing the wrong way. Needless to say we took a little extra time. I didn’t know if I could play [at first], but we ended up playing and then we won the match. That sticks out!
How do you motivate your team in tough moments? It really depends on the personality of each of my players. Some want to be left alone. Others you just cheer on. Recently I had a friend of mine about to play a tough match. I promised him that if he won I’d buy him the wine of his choice. [Laughs]
Fill in the Blank: The reason I love playing in USTA Leagues is__________. I’ve been in USTA for over 20 years. Some of the people I’ve met doing this have become good friends. One has become a close friend. I was in his wedding party, he was in my wedding party. A lot of these guys I’ve known a decade. It’s really more than just the tennis.