Moving from NJTL to Southern staff

Miyanda Wynn / USTA Southern | February 27, 2023

This article was written by USTA Southern Coordinator, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Miyanda Wynn, who started tennis at an Atlanta NJTL and went on to collegiate tennis before joining the Southern staff. 


My tennis journey started when I was 11.


My mom made me go to a spring break tennis camp at Joseph D. McGhee Tennis Center in Atlanta after I begged her to let me stay home. I knew nothing about tennis outside of Venus and Serena and had no interest in it whatsoever.

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Miyanda Wynn is joined by her Clark Atlanta teammates.

Luckily, my best friend was at the camp as well. During this camp, I was able to meet Coach William Fulton, aka Coach Wink. He saw potential in me and wanted me to train under him at Washington Park Tennis Center. He cleverly also recruited my friend so I would be more inclined to go and so I did. 


From that point on I was a part of Coach Wink’s NJTL and fell in love with the sport. Tennis brought me so many opportunities and friendships. My tennis coaches, Chris Owens, Drell Artis, and Gene Holliday, became more of a family. They looked out for me in every aspect of my life and made sure I was taken care of as long as I was with them. My parents fully supported the love I had for the sport and made sure I made it to practice, tournaments, team tennis and US Open trips.


Now, almost all of my six siblings have their hand in tennis. I played tennis all through high school with junior team tennis, tournaments, and with Coach Wink’s NJTL. I had a unique experience with tennis during that time since I was homeschooled. I was able to get personal attention and training while other kids were in school.


Eduation was a priority

Coach Wink always made sure that education was just as important as tennis so I would do work while training. I graduated high school with a 4.0 GPA and with honors, however, at this point, I wasn’t sure what college I wanted to attend or if I wanted to play tennis in college at all since, I had several injuries throughout my career.


I started to attend Georgia State University, but Coach Wink wanted me to play varsity tennis.


So, after a semester I transferred to Clark Atlanta University to play on the team.


Being a student athlete was a fairly smooth transition for me since I was homeschooled. I was already accustomed to long practice times and having to make sure I maintained my GPA.


College is all about independence and taking your studies in your own hands and that’s what I have done for most of my life. Even during the pandemic, when we had to do virtual learning, I was still thriving because it was reminiscent of what I had to do as a homeschooled student. I faced most of my challenges during summer classes because I was also working as an intern full time. The classes during the summer are accelerated which often means more work in less time.


COVID-19, injuries limit playing time

My collegiate tennis experience was different than most because COVID-19 came during my first season which resulted in its cancellation. The matches we were able to play were tools for me to rebuild my confidence as a tennis player. The second season was also cancelled due to the virus, however we still played against a few teams to keep our skills up. Right before the final season of my college career I was faced with an ACL and meniscus injury that stopped me from being able to play.


During my time there I made what I feel to be lifelong connections. I had professors that looked out for me and gave me internships and work opportunities. I even interned at USTA Southern as the Diversity, Equity & Inclusion summer intern.


My teammates became my sisters, and we helped each other through the struggles of being student-athletes.


At Clark Atlanta, there was always an emphasis on the student part of being a student-athlete, so I made sure to maintain my 4.0 GPA and get my bachelor’s degree in Psychology.


I was conflicted on my path after college and I am still figuring out what I want to do as a long-term career. However, during this transition period, I remembered my time at USTA Southern as an intern and wanted to go back and find a career opportunity there.


Joins Southern staff

Now, I was just hired as the Coordinator, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, working to make tennis a more inclusive and welcoming sport. Being brought up in Coach Wink’s NJTL and be around a group that looked like me, implemented the drive to want others to have the same experience.


With Coach Wink, I learned to think and act like the champion that I am and know that there is no obstacle that can stand in my way. I learned that proper preparation leads to peak performance and being in an NJTL has prepared me to take on this role at USTA Southern and give back to those that gave so much to me. I want to see people like me being the champions that they are.


I believe that I can make that improvement happen. I believe that I can make all the people that poured into me very proud, especially my family and those who became my family.



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