Missouri Valley / Iowa

Nicole Berger Wins Gold Star Award

August 28, 2020

To honor their 100th anniversary in 2020, the USTA Missouri Valley is recognizing 100 deserving recipients with the Gold Star Award. This award recognizes contributions that recipients have made in growing the game of tennis in their community. 


Nicole Berger, Director of 10 & Under Tennis and Assistant Tennis Manager at Life Time Athletic in Urbandale, has earned a Gold Star award this month for the way she continually provides an exceptional tennis experience to our youth tennis community. 


“Tennis is for everybody; it doesn’t matter if you’re athletic or not,” Berger said. “It’s really a sport you can play for a lifetime. I focus on the recreational level, growing the game and providing a positive experience for those learning it for the first time.


The coach began her tennis journey in Des Moines as a junior player at Wakonda Club. She would later go on to play for what was then a top-ranked women’s tennis program at Ferris State University, where she graduated with her Bachelor of Business Marketing and Professional Tennis Management. 


After ten years spent in the Florida Keys as the owner of a local tennis club, Berger came back to her hometown where she now works to grow tennis at Life Time Athletic.


And grow it she has—since Nicole arrived at the club in the summer of 2019, they’ve seen their numbers double. Nicole’s dedication to growing the game and providing a positive experience to local youth is a surefire reason for this incredible growth—which she says is her favorite part of what she does. 


“Going from ten kids to a hundred kids in a program is probably the biggest thing I love about what I do,” Berger reflected. “Literally growing the game, expanding and being able to touch more people through a healthy sport and healthy way of life.”

Nicole’s passion for the game is clear, as she continues to lead aspiring players and coaches as well as volunteer with local clinics to introduce the game of tennis to more young athletes. 


When asked what motivates her to remain so committed to the work she does for tennis, one answer was clear in her mind: 


“Seeing the smile on a kids face when they understand a concept or strategy and are able to implement it in match play situations.”


USTA Iowa is proud to recognize Berger as a Gold Star award recipient, and we are grateful for everything she does to grow the game of tennis.

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