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Greetings From the Chair

Shelley George
Shelley George
Greetings from snowy Syracuse, New York!  My name is Shelley George, and I am one of the new co-chairs for the USTA Collegiate Committee.  I have also recently accepted an assistant coaching position for the women's tennis team at Syracuse University.  Along with my new coaching position, I have had the pleasure of working with the club tennis team here at Syracuse.  I wanted to share some information with you about the important relationship between varsity and club tennis on campus.

In my opinion, the partnership between the club team and the varsity team is essential to survive and thrive on campus and in the community.  Although they have different needs, they share the same love of the game!

It is very important for varsity coaches to show support of their club team and offer to assist the student leaders of the program.  These students often need guidance in learning how to run a successful team practice, reserve court time, and come up with fundraising ideas.  Often the mere presence of the varsity coach at a practice can inspire the student-athletes!

I know that time is valuable and coaches are busy with their varsity teams, but involvement with your club team is an investment in the future of your varsity program.  It is important for non-revenue sports like tennis to have support from the community and the club team to achieve success.  It is a win-win situation for everyone involved!

Recently, we hosted a home match and I asked the club team to come to the match to support the varsity.  Not only did they attend the match, they showed up "wearing the orange," with body paint on and with lots of energy!  It was FANTASTIC!  We provided pizza and they provided the cheering section.  Head Coach Luke Jensen has utilized the club players as "bleacher coaches" for the varsity.  They chart matches and help out wherever they are needed at each home match.  In turn, Luke and I are willing to help their team grow and attend some of their practice sessions.  We asked one of the girls on the club team to join the varsity, too.  She has already made a big contribution to the Orange program, recently playing in her first match.

I would like to encourage varsity coaches to get involved with their club teams or to start a new program on campus if you don't already have one.  The rewards are unlimited for everyone involved!  Don't hesitate, PARTICIPATE!  I am looking forward to the next two years as co-chair of the USTA Collegiate Committee and helping to grow the game of tennis on college campuses across the country!  If there is anything that I can do to help you, please don't hesitate to contact me for further assistance at Ihawk10s@aol.com or (315) 403-1484.