Archive for October, 2010

Minority Tennis – A Historical Perspective & the ATA

By · October 30, 2010 · Filed in Coaching, Education · No Comments »


By Bob Davis



Slavery was abolished in the United States in 1865.  Nearly 15 years later, in 1880, the United States Lawn Tennis Association (USLTA) was founded (The name was later changed to USTA).   Tennis was the dominion of the white, upper class and Blacks were neither interested, nor invited to participate.  Segregation was rampant throughout America and an attitude of exclusion was pervasive in most areas of American society.

Blacks began to surface on tennis courts in about 1890 at Tuskegee Institute.  Booker T. Washington, one of America’s great, black visionaries and leaders, founded Tuskegee.   In his famous Atlanta Address of 1895, Booker T. Washington set forth the motivating spirit behind Tuskegee Institute. In a post Reconstruction era marked by growing segregation and disfranchisement of blacks, this spirit was based on what realistically might be achieved in that time and place. “The opportunity to earn a dollar in a factory just now,” he observed, “is worth infinitely more than the opportunity to spend a dollar in an opera house.” Because of Washington’s extraordinary ability to work within the system and to maximize the possible, Tuskegee flourished to the extent only dreamed about when he met his first students on July 4, 1881.

By 1898, Blacks began to have inter-club matches with rival black clubs in New York, Philadelphia and a variety of other eastern seaboard cities.  These inter-club rivalries were primarily networking opportunities; occasions for the black, college-graduated elite to commune with their colleagues from other cities. This group of clubs eventually grew in number until an organizational structure was needed.  In 1916, the American Tennis Association (ATA) was created as the governing body of Black tennis in America.  In the fifty years since slavery was abolished, 80% of the Black population became educated.    Nearly 4 million people came out of slavery as legislated illiterates and by 1915; an elite middle-class had been formed.  By today’s standards, this is a phenomenal accomplishment.  When one considers the growing rate of illiteracy across America, illiteracy that transcends racial lines, we should look at this statistic with awe and wonder! (more…)

Staying in the “Zone”

By · October 5, 2010 · Filed in Coaching, Education, Training · No Comments »

Did you watch the 2010 U.S. Open?  Were you inspired to go out and try to hit the ball like Nadal?  What happened?  Did you end up making more unforced errors or losing a close match?  Could it be that your actual play didn’t meet your expectations?  Maybe you just aren’t getting into – or staying consistently in “The Zone”.

If you are a recreational player and play matches several times a week and take a few lessons now and then – your game will likely improve somewhat over time, but, before long, be about where you started.  You may experience feeling in “the zone” on occasion, but this feeling will most likely remain elusive.  Frustration may occur as you do the same thing over and over again, while expecting a different result (Einstein’s definition of insanity).

However, if you set goals for your achievement as a tennis player and measure your progress toward those goals, including weekly practice sessions with a partner or instructor – and learn methods of attention control, imagery and self-awareness, you will begin to experience more time in “the zone”.  You’ll be playing your best tennis effortlessly and with greater confidence and success.  No player ever stays in the zone all the time, but being it it more than not is a realistic goal.

Dave Stacho, Sports Counseling for Tennis

4236 59th St. W.

Bradenton, FL.  34209

(941) 962-1216

The Best Tennis Training Device – Arthur Ashe

By · October 5, 2010 · Filed in Training · 5 Comments »

Ideal Tennis Teaching, Coaching or Learning Device for use on court or at home consisting of high tension rebound net system with fully adjustable height, return speed and angle and court location to provide for single player training of every tennis shot including serve and volley, overheads, ground strokes, passing shots and lobs