I just can't stand still - never ever! Always had ideas for new Social Tennis Networks. So today, 7 months after settling into my new home in the Los Angeles area, I am starting the planning phase for 2 of those ideas. For everyone interested in more current updates about those projects, I suggest to check out my daily messages on Twitter under MrTennis: http://twitter.com/MrTennis. I'm also trying to get more involved networking through LinkedIn.
My tennis projects have always had four things in common:
1. They have to create new playing opportunities for tennis players, which will ultimately help grow our sport
2. They have to create new social networking opportunities for tennis players
3. I have to be able to multiply my efforts and take the concept into regional or national expansion, if the opportunity arises
4. The project has to be a commercial venture
First project: San Fernando Valley Tennis Network
Similar to my successful first venture into social tennis groups, the San Diego Tennis Network, http://www.tennis-sandiego.com/, the San Fernando Tennis Network will provide tennis matchplay and social networking opportunities for adults, here are the parameters:
Play at nice clubs (Host Clubs) at their off-peak hours (weeknights and weekends)
Provide a reliable calendar of drop-in mixers, preferrably 4-5 times a week
Match up skill levels and captain all mixers with integrity
Charge low annual fees and low pay-as-you-play fees, and always include new balls on every court
Let the members of Host Clubs always play for free during Network Mixers
Appoint one or two Social Directors who play for free and have enough of a following and reputation to organize activities
Offer a full social program, from dancing to bowling to softball to tennis trips
Never charge for social actiivities if they don't incur any expenses
Willingness and openness to fundraising opportunities for local charities
My plans call for exploring local clubs and public facilities in March and April. The first club needs to be signed up by May 1, with at least one mixer per week. This will allow me time to create a basic web site and some simple color handouts, which I will distribute all over the area as soon as the first Host Club is in place. I will also utilize every kind of networking opportunity available to me, and talk to tennis players at clubs and parks regularly. By the end of the year, I want 4 mixers in place every week at different venues. Players will be able to purchase tickets for Network Mixers in batches of 5, 10, or 20 online from Active. Captains who are running the mixers will be able to get a daily report about the eligibility of players and their membership status directly online from an Active registration site.
Second project: Beach Tennis in the Park
Beach tennis is getting real popular and every single player I have talked to in my capacity as Board Member of Beach Tennis San Diego (www.beachtennissandiego.com) has expressed to me this was the best thing that ever happened in tennis. While this may be a little exaggerated, I can always see the excitement when players start playing tennis over that volleyball net. However, since most of the country do not have the luxury of being at or near a beach, and since many "regular" tennis players can't afford to live in a beach town, my idea is to let them play Beach Tennis in the Park, on grass. All we need is some equipment and a grassy area in a public park.
RULES OF BEACH TENNIS
Beach Tennis is strictly an aerial game, so it is played with volleys. The game is a hybrid of tennis, beach volleyball and badminton. Aside from the aerial aspect, the scoring system is the same as tennis. Then you bring in the net, (1.7m or 5 1/2 ft high) which is higher than a normal tennis net, so it is not a wham-bam thing, it is played more with finesse and skill.
You only have one serve. There is no advantage system in the points scoring. Once it gets to deuce, the next point wins. When the ball hits the ground, the point is won by the opposing team.
Beach Tennis is played in many European countries with a special padded paddle. In the United States efforts were made by the Beach Tennis USA organization (www.beachtennisusa.net) to introduce Beach Tennis with a standard tennis racquet. I want to stick with the paddle in order to eventually (probably years from now, haha) be able to compete on an international level. I know, very ambitious, but where would the world be without ambitious entrepreneurs? Furthermore, the sport is played with low compression balls, and additional accessories include line ropes, anchors, etc.
Exciting? You bet it is! Can't wait to organize the first Network Mixers and start the first demos for Beach Tennis in the Park. Lots of fine players have already committed to helping and participating. Life is good!