Southern Hall of Famer Roy Barth Releases Book
Roy Barth has released his first book, entitled Point of Impact. To purchase your copy, go to Amazon. The book has been placed in the permanent collection of the International Tennis Hall of Fame library.
Barth is a former ATP Tour player and director of Kiawah Island’s tennis program, which has repeatedly been named the No 1 tennis resort in the world. In 1989 and 1990, he served as USTA South Carolina President. He was inducted into the Southern Tennis Hall of Fame in 1999. In 2014 he was awarded the USTA Southern’s Charlie B. Morris Jr. Service Award. He received the Jacobs Bowl, the section's highest honor, in 2016. He is a member of five other halls of fame, including the South Carolina Tennis Hall of Fame.
Point of Impact is his personal story woven though the history of tennis and a series of life lessons he learned on the court that fueled his off-court success. Part 1 is The Game of Tennis and Part 2 is The Business of Tennis, but the chapter names - and the lessons - are the same.
Barth was the first pro at what has now been named the Roy Barth Tennis Center.
Visit Barth's website: www.roybarth.com
Billie Jean King
Roy’s perspective is right on target.
Roy and I traveled similar paths since we met at age 16: Southern California juniors, college rivals at UCLA and USC, the Pro Tennis tour, and even both settling in the Lowcountry of South Carolina working at Kiawah Island Resort and Sea Pines Resort. Point of Impact chronicles Roy’s journey, demonstrating how he grew as a person through his many successes and significant struggles. He’s become a popular leader in the tennis world. I enjoyed this!
A very important book … a brilliant history of tennis through Roy’s eyes and an insightful application of tennis to life skills.
From Part 1: Gain Confidence Through Mini-Goals
Before I turned pro in 1969, I enjoyed success playing as an amateur in local, regional, and national tournaments. Those tournaments, like the Grand Slam tournaments, organize the players by ability (seeds) and pit stronger players against weaker players in the first few rounds. My national ranking allowed me to be seeded among the top players and I enjoyed a few easier early rounds. These wins in smaller tournaments boosted my confidence.
When I joined the World Champion Tennis tour (WCT) in 1971, however, I was still playing professional tennis, but the business model was different. I was a “contract pro.” The WCT -- and similar tours – offered a guaranteed income (plus prize money for winning) to their hand-picked players and booked them into venues around the world to play twenty WCT tournaments, other non-WCT events, and the Grand Slams.
On the WCT, we practiced, drilled, and competed almost every week from January through October. I played against the best singles players in the world -- Newcombe, Ashe, Laver, and Roche – and the best doubles teams in the world – Rosewall-Stolle, Laver-Emerson, Newcombe-Roche—in the first round every week. These guys were tough; there were no more “easier early rounds” for me to win. I lost a lot of matches, and a lot of confidence. I didn’t like losing.
While playing on the WCT tour against this caliber player, I figured out how to survive by trading winning for “mini-goals.” In the first four events I played on the WCT tour, I lost to John Newcombe, Arthur Ashe, Rod Laver, and Tony Roche. My “easiest” match in the first few months was against Bob Lutz who beat me in a tight three-set duel. I always played my hardest and wanted to win, but in the face of my incredibly tough daily competition, my reality was creating my own “wins,” despite the score. When I played Rod Laver, one of my mini-goals was to attack the net at every opportunity and not worry about being passed. If I did it, it was a “win.” Another mini-goal was to keep my feet in constant motion. If I did that throughout the match, it was a win. I played Rod three times before I was confident enough in my game to forget I was playing the “legendary Rod Laver.” I finally took him to three sets, twice. My confidence grew.
I created and managed my own mini-goals for years, keeping my own win-loss record in my head. It was excellent discipline, my goals were good ones, and it took a lot of pressure off me to win each set.
From Part 2: Gain Confidence Through Mini-Goals
The Kiawah name change from “Kiawah Island Golf and Tennis Resort” to “Kiawah Island Golf Resort” hit the morale of my tennis department hard, but we couldn’t let that deter us. I thought back to what helped me gain confidence in the face of difficult challenges on the tour: creating mini-goals. We didn’t have to dwell on the “big picture” name change – it didn’t at all diminish what my department offered -- we just needed to define and conquer smaller goals to continue to distinguish ourselves …