NJTL 50 for 50: David Stingley
As the USTA Foundation celebrates the 50th Anniversary of the National Junior Tennis & Learning network, USTA.com looks at 50 NJTL leaders and alumni who helped shape this incredible community dedicated to helping youth strive for academic and athletic excellence on the tennis court, in the classroom and in life.
In this installment, we catch up with recent NJTL alumnus David Stingley, who currently works as a tennis instructor at the Fred Wells Tennis & Education Center.
The David Stingley File
Name: David Stingley
NJTL Chapter: Fred Wells Tennis & Education Center (St. Paul, Minn.)
Role with NJTL: Former participant, current coach
Year became active in NJTL: 2002
What are some of the thing that you enjoyed most about your time in NJTL?
David Stingley: It was junior team tennis, so I liked that you got a chance to play singles and doubles. The friendships that I developed were something that I kept returning to as well.
How did being in an NJTL program benefit you on and off the court?
David Stingley: I think that you learn a lot of great skills from it. If you’re playing doubles, you need to learn how to work with your partner. If you’re playing singles, you have to give it your all and find it within yourself to win the match. And win or lose, you gain match experience.
I stopped playing tournaments when I was about 15 and played a lot more junior team tennis, which kept the sport more fun for me and kept me involved in it. Off the court, tennis definitely gave me my ticket into college.
Are there are any lessons or values you picked up from your time in NJTL that you try to instill in your players now as a coach?
David Stingley: The main thing I try to instill is teamwork. A lot of the kids that I work with are beginners, but I wish they would get the match play experience that team tennis offers. It’s something that I always try to name drop.
Are you still involved with NJTL?
David Stingley: The summertime is the NJTL season for us here at the Fred Wells Tennis Center and I’ve coached all of the kids on our team. We have our NJTL teams that travel and compete against other high schools. I also coached one team as a substitute this year and really enjoyed it. I’m sure I’ll be back.