College Tennis During COVID-19 Webinar Series: Life After Tennis and Career Opportunities

Date: Thursday, November 5, 2020

Time: Noon (East) / 11 a.m. (Central)

Featured speakers:

  • Frank Barnes, Men’s and Women’s Tennis Coach, University of Wisconsin-Whitewater
  • Brandon Currie, CEO, Stryv365; Tennis Club Owner
  • Cy Dofitas, US Grassroots and Promotions Director, Wilson Racquet Sports
  • Katie Orlando, Director of Tennis, Towpath Tennis Center; Vice President, USTA/Midwest Section Board of Directors
  • Erica Perkins Jasper, William B. Arce Director of Athletics, Physical Education and Recreation and George R. Roberts Fellow, Claremont-Mudd-Scripps
  • Kevin Theos, Tennis Service Representative for Alabama, USTA Southern

Moderated by Denny Schackter, Owner, Tennis Priorities Company; Member, Collegiate Committee, USTA/Midwest Section

Read speaker bios here.

Register here.

“I am very proud to moderate this webinar with a group of outstanding tennis ambassadors. I urge all tennis pros to circulate this link to their high school juniors and seniors so they can see what a wonderful career tennis is and can be.” – Denny Schackter


Shortage of Tennis Officials

In a recent article, Denny talks about the shortage of Tennis Officials in USTA Tournaments and how we can potentially solve this issue.

“Like teaching pros, the average age of officials continues to rise, which means as they get older, they leave the ranks. The problem is, we aren’t recruiting enough young people to replace those retiring from officiating .”

Read the full article here: http://www.tennisindustrymag.com/issues/201908/your-serve.php


USTA Midwest Summit

The USTA Midwest completed it’s third Summit in Columbus, OH July 11-12.  The purpose of the event was to add “teamwork” to the growth of tennis.  Pictured left to right are Denny Schackter , Tracy Davies of the USTA National Office, Brian Parkkonen of the PTR, Jim Amick of the USTA Midwest and Jim Hendrix, Board Member of the USTA Midwest and a club owner in Columbus, OH.

Tennis Lessons

Tennis Club Business: Letter to the Editor – May 2019

Tennis Priorities was recently featured in the Tennis Club Business Newsletter. Our founder, Denny Schackter, discusses his thoughts on the issues facing tennis today and how more people can learn to play at a young age.

Check out the full letter to the editor here:


Hi Rich,

You are doing great work keeping the issues facing tennis in front of everyone. It’s always fun to hear what the folks in the trenches have to say.

In looking at the dialogue about certification and seeing what has transpired thus far, it really got me thinking about how other sports have structured themselves and tennis has not.

My insurance man has three daughters, all in college now, who are, or were, outstanding youth softball players. All three could have played in college, but only one is. During their formative years, they were coached by their Dad and other fathers. The only time they saw a “pro” was entering high school and/or college softball programs. Another bud, currently a tennis director, here in Chicagoland, has a son who took a liking to hockey. His youth coach was his Dad and other parents, and I believe, still is. I am sure soccer, boys baseball, volleyball and lacrosse all have similar structures. The only two sports, to the best of my knowledge, that have a “paid pro” as youth learners, are tennis and golf.

It maybe too late, but I would love to see the USTA, PTR and PTA really get on board training parents to become tennis teachers on a more organized basis. I see NET GEN is on a push to gain more certified teachers, but the solicitation really does not specifically target parents of players. My only stipulation, if such a program was generated, is that those parents who became trained, would try their best to not work with their own children.

I do not know if this premise has been brought to your attention, but in my mind, such a program makes sense and is sorely needed based on the huge hole we have gaining adequate training for youngsters wishing to be part of tennis.

I see the need for greater continuing education and certification for current teaching pros and the solicitation and marketing of young people to enter the industry, but the low hanging fruit in the attempt to gain more qualified folks on court, are parents.

– Denny Schackter

Subscribe to Tennis Club Business here:


Be Certifiable

College Players Are Ideal Candidates to Become Certified Tennis Teaching Professionals.

By Denny Schackter


The tennis industry needs to bring in younger people. We’ve known this for many years, but as the average age of teaching professionals has climbed into the late 40s, the importance of doing so has only grown.

I’m in the business of recruiting people into this industry, and I’ve worked with college tennis players for many years. When I see former college players who have taken jobs in other professions, they often tell me “something is missing” about their new jobs. What they miss is not having as much contact with other people, like they did when they played tennis.

Both the USPTA and PTR have initiatives to bring young men and women into the tennis teaching profession, and we all should be encouraging young adults to get and stay in the industry. There are many reasons I give to college and Tennis on Campus players on why they should consider becoming certified tennis teaching pros:

Help people of all ages enjoy and benefit from tennis.

Most college players come out of school with great experiences from their time on teams. As a certified teaching pro, former college players can continue to pay this forward.

Get a handle on the tennis business.

Certified pros stay informed and updated on the tennis industry, new teaching adaptations, rules, equipment, new products, programs, facility administration and much more.

It’s a good career backup plan.

If a young person enters a profession and then later feels it wasn’t the right choice, being certified to teach tennis can almost guarantee a job.

Hone organization and time management skills.

While tennis pros work with others, they have to set their own schedules, organize their commitments and budget their time – all skills that other jobs and professions also require.

Gain and maintain a strong circle of friends.

Who do high-school and tennis players often consider their best friends? Their teammates. And these are friendships they maintain for the long term. On a staff with other tennis pros, strong friendships also blossom, and these professional connections can reap benefits down the road.

Draw out a hidden talent.

College players who enjoyed the game can be terrific teaching professionals because of the wealth of experience they gained in match play. Often, players don’t realize they can be effective teachers. Going through certification helps bring out these talents.

Stay in shape.

How many jobs give a person the chance to stay in shape? Teaching tennis is a great way to stay healthy and fit, while remaining aware of the body’s limits. This shouldn’t be overlooked.

Stay engaged in the game.

Most tennis players genuinely love this sport. Becoming a certified teaching pro keeps players connected to it.


USTA/MW Section Hosts 1st Tennis Industry Summit

2017 Tennis Industry Summit

The USTA/Midwest Section hosted its first Tennis Industry Summit August 16-17 in Mason, Ohio, in conjunction with the Western & Southern Open.  Organized by the section’s Tennis Industry and Education Committee, the Summit brought together a diverse group of innovators, tennis and community leaders for discussions about how to grow tennis participation.  The event provided a forum for idea-sharing and for establishing partnerships that will help create new play opportunities for people of all ages and abilities.

In addition to roundtable discussions and networking, the event included three presentations from industry leaders.  Jim Baugh, Founder and CEO of PHIT America, and former USTA board member and ITA president, spoke on the first day – which was capped off with dinner (and tennis) at the W&S.  Other presenters were Dr. Marc Gillinov, a cardiac surgeon at the Cleveland Clinic, who spoke about the virtues of tennis in relation to social, emotional and physical health, and Kim Hendrix, who discussed innovative ways to implement technology and marketing to help keep tennis current and relevant at the local level.

35 industry leaders attended, representing a variety of sports, health and community organizations such as the Federation of High School Athletics and Life Time Fitness.  Although attendees came from different organizations with different types of roles and responsibilities, all of them shared a common goal of using sport and fitness to create stronger, healthier communities.

Denny Schackter has been serving the Tennis Teaching Professional Industry for his entire career.

“I am so pleased with how this first Summit went,” said Denny Schackter, Chair of the Tennis Industry and Education Committee.  “Events like these help grow the grass roots support the tennis industry needs in order to create new, innovative ways to grow the sport and open up new opportunities for all.  I look forward to doing this again next year!”