How do advanced or intermediate players get their beginner friends involved in tennis? How do tennis professionals attract new players and pique their interest to continue playing? Both these tasks can be accomplished by participating in a USPTA Member-Beginner Guest event at a local facility.
The idea is that a club or facility’s tennis-playing members invite non-players or beginners to be their guests for an event that includes an instruction session and social play. Each member will be his or her guest’s partner throughout the event.
A typical event might hold the instruction portion on a Friday night, immediately followed by a reception, and then feature a round-robin tournament on Saturday morning. Some events are held over the better part of a day and are separated into two parts by a light lunch.
During the instruction portion, tennis professionals can offer instruction as the beginner guests practice with their more experienced partners. A practice drill can also be offered to the beginners. Because friends are playing together, the event is social and fun.
Pro Penn Stars balls are recommended to help the beginners have faster success, and to equalize play between the beginners and accomplished players. The non-pressurized, soft balls come off a player’s racquet more softly than a regular ball, making it easier for beginners to make solid contact and control their shots. Although Stars bounce true, their slower flight will require that adjustments be made by the better players, making pace less of a factor.
Special rules for the round-robin tournament will make play fair and permit the beginners to be successful. With the right drills and by using the right ball, the member-beginner guest is an enjoyable event for members and guests, despite the difference in their tennis skill levels. Beginners who participate in a USPTA Member-Beginner Guest event will be encouraged to continue tennis by taking lessons, getting involved in other programs and making tennis a lifetime sport.