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Easy Steps To Start a TOC Program

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Do you want to be part of USTA Tennis On Campus, but there isn't a team at your school?  You're in luck because here are some easy steps for developing a successful Tennis On Campus program.  Join the hundreds of others who have started a successful club team on their campus...

þ Contact your local Section's Tennis On Campus Coordinator
Each USTA Section has a Tennis On Campus Coordinator.  This person is the eyes and ears of Tennis On Campus in his/her area & may be able to help put you in touch with key people on your campus.  Your local Coordinator may also have additional resources and strategies to help.
þ Meet with Campus Recreation Professionals
Set up a meeting with the Recreational Sports Director or IM/Sport Club Director on campus to discuss your vision for the program & to identify who will be leading it - tennis professional, professor, volunteer or student leader. Educate yourself on the policies and procedures necessary to comply with the university and the university’s recreational sports department.
þ Secure Tennis Courts
Assess the campus community & identify tennis courts that are readily available to the student body.  Your campus recreational sports department or varsity tennis coach should be able to assist.  Can't get access to courts on campus?  Work with the local Parks & Recreation Department or commerical tennis club.  Make sure to identify days & times the courts are available and if there are any court fees or other requirements.  Make reservations if necessary.
þ Network, Recruit & Advertise
Create excitement about the program so the student body will come out and be a part of it. Use USTA Customizable Creative site to create flyers to post around campus. Identify groups of current tennis players & get them involved. Use new relationships to gain support of your program, and work with all available campus resources to promote the new Tennis On Campus program - school newspaper, radio, student center, school websites, the recreation department and more.
þ Stage an Event
Most schools have events built into their fall schedule where organizations can self-promote.  Use events like this to reach a larger audience.  Stage a free Tennis On Campus Block Party or other event to create excitement.  Create a variety of fun-filled tennis activities to generate interest and motivate registration. 
þ Activate Student Registration & Organize
Create special offers for immediate registration - complimentary can of tennis balls, t-shirt or hat for the first 50 registered participants, or for everyone who registers that day.  Host an organizational meeting to distribute information about the program - make sure to have plenty of handouts that describe the program, fees, locations, times of play, etc. 
þ Play Tennis & Have Fun
Develop rosters, rules and a match schedule & make sure all participants are aware of when matches will be played.  If you need assistance, enlist the help of your local Tennis On Campus Coordinator.  Remember that he or she can inform you about other local campuses you may want to play againstspecific program guidelines to ensure you will qualify for any special benefits or playoff opportunities- such as the Section Championships. 
þ Communicate Your Success
Contact the school newspaper's sports department and ask them to do a feature story to promote your program.  Offer to prepare press releases announcing your team's acitivities.  Create email blasts to keep the campus informed of results and happenings.  Use player testimonials to encourage others to participate.
þ Hold a Season Ending Event
End the season with a special event - championship playoff, team social or awards banquet to highlight the triumphs and tribulations of the season.  Create fun awards that keep the program exciting. 
þ Make Plans for Next Season
With one season under your belt, it's time to identify areas for improvement.  Put together a brief survey & distribute it to all participants.  Remember, continuing to adapt and change to meet the needs of participants will ensure the program's long-term success.  Have exisiting players recruit new ones - offer incentives to students who bring in new players.  Make sure to pre-register students for next season.
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