Middle States

Focusing on Community & Friendship



USTA Middle States Captain of the Month - August 2020
Delaware District

 

Everyone finds tennis in their own way. Rob Hite chased it down.
 
Literally.


Hite, a USTA League Tennis captain who lives in Delaware, spent time as a kid chasing down and picking up tennis balls during the clinics his mother was participating in. 

“That work earned me a few free 15-minute lessons,” he said with a laugh.

He didn’t realize what tennis would later become in his life. 

Hite now helps lead a massive group of tennis fanatics in Delaware, competing in men’s and mixed leagues throughout the state. He’s been a USTA League captain since 2005, captaining at least one team per year since then. In many years, he’s played on as many as six teams.  Over those 15 years, he has captained or co-captained six Delaware District Champions, as well as 16 other teams that advanced to local championships.  

 

He has also contributed as a player and team strategist on six other mixed doubles teams that advanced to Middle States Section Championships.  

After receiving feedback from teammates and other players, Hite was named USTA Middle States Captain of the Month for September.

 

For Hite, captaining is about building friendships and a sense of community around tennis. There are times he finds himself recruiting random players who he sees playing at local parks.

“We just like to play,” he said. “Being in Delaware, there are always so many teams affiliated with clubs. Our identity is more about public courts and being open for anyone who doesn’t have any other club affiliations. I like to give people a chance to be a part of our team and meet new people who also love to play.”

Hite grew up in Philadelphia and played non-competitively throughout his younger years. He began playing more tennis in his late 20s, with his father, when pickup basketball was taking more of a toll on his body. He learned about USTA League Tennis at a park in Newark, Delaware, and joined his first team.

“My dad was my first doubles partner,” he said.

 

His father continues to play in 65 and over leagues.

Over the years, Hite has grown as a player and a captain. He said the strategy behind captaining is his favorite aspect of the role. He’s also discovered a few things about himself that he didn’t realize before.

“Through USTA League I realized I am competitive,” he said. “It’s not something I recognized in myself early in life.”


“I spend a lot of time speaking with my players, gathering their input and analyzing the best way for our team to compete,” he added. “I love working with other captains to gain new insights into the game of tennis, and we all learn from each other as a result.  I even have some situations in which I have a teammate who is a rival captain on another team at a different level. It’s really cool working with them in one sense and then playing against them a few weeks later.” 

When he isn’t setting lineups or spending time on the courts, Hite is spending time with his family and working at his IT Manager job.

 

Interested in captaining or joining a league? Let us know by emailing communications@ms.usta.com or filling out our simple form.

 

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