Episode:#41 Shaun Boyce & Bobby Schindler

In this episode we talk to Jason Steele, state champion high school tennis coach currently coaching at South Forsyth High School. And with the new GoTennis! and T2 Tennis High School league starting soon, he shares his appreciation for the flexible league format as a parent and receiving the league match data, as a coach.

Learn more about the T2 Tennis High School Flex League

Already convinced? Register to play immediately here: https://t2tennis.com/News.aspx

Shaun Boyce USPTA: [email protected]

https://tennisforchildren.com/ 🎾

Bobby Schindler USPTA: [email protected]

https://windermerecommunity.net/ 🎾

Geovanna Boyce: [email protected]

https://regeovinate.com/ πŸ’ͺπŸΌπŸ‹οΈ

This podcast is powered by GoTennis! Atlanta: Membership has its privileges πŸ€œπŸΌπŸŽΎπŸ€›πŸΌ

🏠 https://letsgotennis.com/

🫢 https://letsgotennis.com/join/

https://shop.letsgotennis.com/ πŸ‘ŸπŸ‘œ

πŸ’° https://letsgotennis.com/deals/

https://letsgotennis.com/podcast/ πŸŽ™οΈπŸŽ§

https://www.facebook.com/gotennisatlanta

https://www.instagram.com/gotennisatlanta/

https://www.youtube.com/@atlantatennispodcast

Do you want to read about some good things going on in the world of tennis?

https://letsgotennis.com/stories/ πŸ”₯πŸͺ‘

Check out our GoTennis! Atlanta Facebook page for deals, updates, events, podcasts, news, stories, coach profiles, club information, and more https://bit.ly/gt_facebook_page

Also, you can support this show (and save some $) by shopping at πŸ€‘https://letsgotennis.com/deals/πŸ€‘

Or, donate directly HERE

Want to get into crypto? This is easy: https://www.coinbase.com/join/boyce_3s?src=ios-link

Want donate with Bitcoin? Here’s the address: 3EqTU1gQBLoieMeFLC1BQgCUajPpPMCgwB

Considering your own podcast? We (obviously) recommend Captivate: This podcast is hosted by Captivate, try it yourself for free.

Transcript
Speaker:

(upbeat music)

Speaker:

- Welcome to the Atlanta Tennis Podcast.

Speaker:

Every episode is titled, "It Starts With Tennis"

Speaker:

and goes from there.

Speaker:

We talk with coaches, club managers,

Speaker:

industry business professionals, technology experts,

Speaker:

and anyone else we find interesting.

Speaker:

We wanna have a conversation as long as it starts with tennis.

Speaker:

(gentle music)

Speaker:

- Hey, hey, this is Shaun with the Atlanta Tennis Podcast,

Speaker:

powered by GoTennis!

Speaker:

Check out our calendar of Metro Atlanta Tennis events

Speaker:

at LetsGoTennis.com,

Speaker:

where you can also find deals on equipment, apparel,

Speaker:

and members get 10% off our shop.

Speaker:

So go get yourself an Atlanta Tennis Monster shirt

Speaker:

or even the Danil Medvedev Lacoste shoes

Speaker:

at 25% off for paid members.

Speaker:

In this episode, we talked to Jason Steele,

Speaker:

State Champion High School Tennis Coach,

Speaker:

currently coaching at South Forsyth High School.

Speaker:

And with the new Go Tennis and T2 High School Tennis League

Speaker:

starting soon, he shares his appreciation

Speaker:

for the flexible League format as a parent

Speaker:

and receiving the League match data as a coach.

Speaker:

Have a listen and let us know what you think.

Speaker:

(gentle music)

Speaker:

- Jason Steele, I've got some questions for you

Speaker:

because I wanna find out and I appreciate you making time

Speaker:

as a high school tennis coach.

Speaker:

I got a couple of questions for you

Speaker:

and then I've got a couple of questions for you

Speaker:

as a parent as a real person, not just high school coach.

Speaker:

But in this case, my first question is

Speaker:

talking about this T2 High School Tennis League

Speaker:

that comes out next month.

Speaker:

Go Tennis and T2 have come together to create

Speaker:

a high school tennis league with no pressure.

Speaker:

There's no ranking points right now, there's no UTR

Speaker:

rating system, none of that matters, there's just extra matches.

Speaker:

And that is really my first question.

Speaker:

So as a parent of a high school player, Jason,

Speaker:

you know the pressure added by points and rankings

Speaker:

and ratings, all those other matches and the tournaments

Speaker:

and everything else.

Speaker:

And now there's a league where your kids can play

Speaker:

without any external pressure.

Speaker:

As a parent, not necessarily as a coach,

Speaker:

as a parent, how much can you appreciate that?

Speaker:

- Well, I really appreciate that because

Speaker:

it's a league for all sorts of skill levels

Speaker:

to where if you have a child who just wants to start

Speaker:

playing tennis, this will give them a chance

Speaker:

to learn and grow.

Speaker:

And if you have a more experienced or intermediate player,

Speaker:

they rank the leagues so they'll be playing against players

Speaker:

in their competition, but they can go out there

Speaker:

and play without the pressure to where they're not worried

Speaker:

about, like you said, rankings or points or UTR,

Speaker:

they can just go out there and mainly work on their game

Speaker:

and have fun and get the experience they need.

Speaker:

So I think a lot of players, one of their fears

Speaker:

and being a parent is just going out there with that pressure.

Speaker:

And so they don't enjoy that pressure

Speaker:

and they have this fear of losing and losing points

Speaker:

or letting team down this way, you just go out there

Speaker:

and it's a match or keeping score,

Speaker:

but it's more, let me practice, let me improve my game.

Speaker:

And you said have fun and that really is the point.

Speaker:

That's one of the things a parent wants.

Speaker:

That's one of the reasons we want our kids

Speaker:

to get into something like tennis

Speaker:

or whether it's another sport that's fun,

Speaker:

but we want them to have fun.

Speaker:

And it shouldn't always be pressure.

Speaker:

And as a parent, even those UTR and USDA,

Speaker:

those tournaments, those events, aside from the pressure,

Speaker:

there's a time commitment.

Speaker:

You got to drive across town.

Speaker:

If you're lucky, there's one nearby,

Speaker:

but it's also either a full day on Saturday

Speaker:

or if it's a UTR event, it could be a full day,

Speaker:

you get a bunch of matches in and that's good,

Speaker:

maybe even better than a full weekend.

Speaker:

Sneaking at a school early on a Friday,

Speaker:

which was always fun for us to get to a tournament match

Speaker:

within your whole weekends newt.

Speaker:

I mean, it's just you're doing that the whole time.

Speaker:

And families don't always want to spend

Speaker:

every weekend playing tennis.

Speaker:

That's got to be appreciated as well.

Speaker:

Yeah, absolutely.

Speaker:

And the flexibility is key.

Speaker:

My daughter can't stand tournaments where you don't know how

Speaker:

many matches you're going to play exactly.

Speaker:

And you get there.

Speaker:

And then if it's raining, you got to spend the whole day,

Speaker:

the whole week in there.

Speaker:

And as almost to the point where sometimes she's like,

Speaker:

"Man, if I keep winning, I got to keep playing.

Speaker:

I got to stay here all day long."

Speaker:

And it really takes the joy out of it

Speaker:

and it ruins the whole weekend.

Speaker:

And kids these days want to do things on the weekends

Speaker:

and not use the whole weekend for a tennis tournament to where

Speaker:

now you have the flexibility to play weekend during the week

Speaker:

exactly when you're going to play.

Speaker:

And who you're going to play, where you go play the match,

Speaker:

and you get that match experience without sitting around

Speaker:

all weekend waiting for the tournament schedule come out.

Speaker:

Yeah, are driving across town,

Speaker:

hoping wondering if you're going to play all weekend

Speaker:

and losing the first match and going home.

Speaker:

Correct.

Speaker:

That's the other thing is you plan a whole weekend around tennis

Speaker:

and now all of a sudden you've got nothing to do.

Speaker:

Yes.

Speaker:

So now I want to switch to your coach,

Speaker:

if you put on your coaching hat,

Speaker:

and why is it important that this league offers players

Speaker:

the matches in the fall?

Speaker:

Is September, sorry, is October and November matches

Speaker:

that should be relevant going into January, right?

Speaker:

Yeah, absolutely.

Speaker:

So the tennis season, high school tennis season,

Speaker:

doesn't start until January.

Speaker:

So they need players need an off season

Speaker:

to where they can get matches in and get that,

Speaker:

like experience.

Speaker:

So having the season starts and late fall,

Speaker:

they are ready for trials in January.

Speaker:

So they're not, especially if there's high school players,

Speaker:

they might not have played another meaningful match

Speaker:

since last high school season.

Speaker:

So this way, this gets them ready and prepared

Speaker:

because the tennis season is short and intense.

Speaker:

So there's not a lot of practice time

Speaker:

before the matches start.

Speaker:

So we'd love to have our players already playing matches

Speaker:

in, quote, in match, in form, not being

Speaker:

right for a play matches middle to end of February.

Speaker:

I mean, it's too late because matches

Speaker:

usually start early February.

Speaker:

Yeah, and how many of your players not use specifically?

Speaker:

But how many of your players as a high school coach

Speaker:

don't play other than high school?

Speaker:

Because there are plenty of players out there

Speaker:

that just, hey, I like playing high school,

Speaker:

maybe I play, maybe I drill a little bit in the summer.

Speaker:

But they're not necessarily five day

Speaker:

of week, or it's like we were back in the day.

Speaker:

They're playing every once in a while.

Speaker:

And this really gets them five matches at least,

Speaker:

and then maybe playoffs, get some so much more available

Speaker:

and ready, available is probably the wrong word,

Speaker:

ready to go when January comes around.

Speaker:

Yeah, no, absolutely.

Speaker:

I would say on my team, I would say,

Speaker:

like, out of every 10 players, I've had a high school team,

Speaker:

maybe for the most five or playing tournaments year-round.

Speaker:

But at least half of them.

Speaker:

That's probably a high.

Speaker:

Your teams are good.

Speaker:

Imagine you say that.

Speaker:

They don't have those.

Speaker:

Yeah, and so, yeah, low other teams might not have any.

Speaker:

But yeah, they even like a top state team,

Speaker:

like the South for size, if the most half the team

Speaker:

are going to be tournament players with the other half,

Speaker:

don't play tournaments.

Speaker:

And they literally, like I said, just play high school matches.

Speaker:

So they come in to try out, so they get in the season,

Speaker:

where the last time they played a match was their last high school

Speaker:

match, the season before.

Speaker:

Yeah, and you as a coach, do you not go to the Booster Club

Speaker:

right now?

Speaker:

And do you not text all your players

Speaker:

and all the potential players?

Speaker:

And after your interest meeting, which probably has already

Speaker:

happened this year, to say, who's interested in tennis?

Speaker:

Go play this league.

Speaker:

Go find a doubles partner.

Speaker:

You're not going to play singles.

Speaker:

Get over it.

Speaker:

We all know that they're trying out for a doubles spot.

Speaker:

Go get some practice.

Speaker:

I can only imagine myself as a high school tennis coach,

Speaker:

just telling everybody, go.

Speaker:

And that leaves my last question, because for you,

Speaker:

you've got a personal reason to want them to play,

Speaker:

because the league also sends you data

Speaker:

from this league, from the match results, they can send you that.

Speaker:

So you know who's putting in the work, especially if they're not--

Speaker:

you know the Academy kids are putting in their work.

Speaker:

You know they're already playing.

Speaker:

Tournament players are already playing.

Speaker:

But the kids that haven't picked up a racket since April,

Speaker:

you really want them to play it?

Speaker:

Absolutely.

Speaker:

So the data shows me, like you said,

Speaker:

that these who's serious, who wants to get better,

Speaker:

who's playing, who is stepping up to become a better player.

Speaker:

And the other thing is about this league

Speaker:

that I think is very, very important is the whole doubles aspect.

Speaker:

Like if you're trying out for a high school team,

Speaker:

there's three lines of singles, two lines of doubles.

Speaker:

So you have three singles players and four doubles players.

Speaker:

So you have more doubles players that are going to make the team

Speaker:

in play, and I tell my players that being improving or getting better

Speaker:

in doubles is the best way to make a team

Speaker:

or to get into the starting line of the play matches.

Speaker:

And so finding a doubles partner, joining this type of league,

Speaker:

playing those doubles and getting that experience is going to be huge.

Speaker:

And as a coach, I see these teams are players who play in this league

Speaker:

and get that experience.

Speaker:

That's going to show me their improvements

Speaker:

and how serious they take wanting to play high school teams.

Speaker:

And even some of those players I mentioned earlier

Speaker:

before we started talking here, I mentioned that I've got two girls

Speaker:

that are going to try out for the team at their local high school.

Speaker:

They've never played a match.

Speaker:

So in this case, at least you have a name that says,

Speaker:

this kid went out and played some tennis.

Speaker:

And maybe they didn't win a game.

Speaker:

Maybe they didn't win a match.

Speaker:

Who knows how well they did?

Speaker:

But you know what?

Speaker:

They went out and did everything they could to get prepared to join your team.

Speaker:

Yeah, absolutely.

Speaker:

As a coach, that's the kind of effort that we're looking for.

Speaker:

Yeah, and aside from whether or not they're good,

Speaker:

they're going to be that teammate that you're going to want.

Speaker:

I would definitely think.

Speaker:

Yes, yes.

Speaker:

So like, as definitely, like I said,

Speaker:

the attitude and effort they were looking for,

Speaker:

and that is a good way for them to show the coach,

Speaker:

that they're doing that because a lot of players can say this and say that.

Speaker:

But this way, like you said, there's actual data.

Speaker:

And as a coach, you can look and see what they're saying is true.

Speaker:

Yeah, that's awesome.

Speaker:

All right, Jason, I got one more question.

Speaker:

And it's my favorite question because I get to ask everybody we talk to

Speaker:

if they were king of tennis, what would they do?

Speaker:

And it's really a lot of fun because we like to hear those great ideas.

Speaker:

If somebody says, ah, if I could make it more affordable or make it more,

Speaker:

you know, some of those things of, I really want to do good for tennis.

Speaker:

If I could do some good, or at least looking at something and say,

Speaker:

these changes need to be made within my niche or just looking out,

Speaker:

I know you've been in the high school tennis world for a while.

Speaker:

So I want to ask you specifically in the high school world,

Speaker:

if you can keep it to that, if Jason Steele was king of tennis,

Speaker:

king of high school tennis, and I'll even just say,

Speaker:

Georgia, it doesn't matter.

Speaker:

King of high school tennis, is there anything you would do or change?

Speaker:

Yeah, I mean, for Georgia high school tennis,

Speaker:

I, if I could make a couple of changes, that doesn't sound like a big deal.

Speaker:

But one, I would like to change the lineup format.

Speaker:

It's more of a USDA maybe out of formats,

Speaker:

to where I would like to make it more like a college format where you have

Speaker:

six singles players in three doubles lines to where players can play both doubles

Speaker:

and singles if they want to instead of kind of like, you know, where they have it now.

Speaker:

And I guess the other thing I would do is I would like to maybe,

Speaker:

if I could change the season to start maybe, you know,

Speaker:

right when school starts in August.

Speaker:

So we're not starting in January and February, we're in it, so, you know, below 30.

Speaker:

This is true, the January trials are always miserable,

Speaker:

but I think the good thing about playing in the spring is you're not competing with football

Speaker:

and high school football is kind of a big deal here in Georgia.

Speaker:

It's never been my thing personally, but I don't know that,

Speaker:

that I want to be the one that says, do I want to go to the football game or the tennis match?

Speaker:

We have a feeling probably what most people in Georgia would choose.

Speaker:

But right around my birthday is the best weather in Georgia.

Speaker:

My birthday is at the end of September.

Speaker:

So I always take the top down on the triumph mid September to Thanksgiving really.

Speaker:

I think it's phenomenal weather and we've started this league to where we're going to start the second week of October.

Speaker:

And we're going to end right before around Thanksgiving.

Speaker:

And then we're going to have a huge city finals event at the end.

Speaker:

So we're pretty excited about it.

Speaker:

I wanted to remind you, I think you and I have talked about some other things

Speaker:

that we highlight in this where we talked about the no points.

Speaker:

And no rankings, no ratings.

Speaker:

There are going to be plenty of people that are going to say,

Speaker:

hey, why don't you report to UTR now that the Georgia High School Association has announced UTR is the official rating system?

Speaker:

And we will definitely take a look at that.

Speaker:

But the flexibility is really important and the data going to the coaches.

Speaker:

If you're a high school coach, I can only imagine how much I would call me and thank me.

Speaker:

It's not just me doing this, but I would call up T2 and say,

Speaker:

hey, Mr. T2, I'd like to say thank you because you're getting the kids the matches that they need.

Speaker:

And you're telling me about it and that's going to help me with tryouts,

Speaker:

which might be the most stressful time for a lot of coaches.

Speaker:

It's actually the first year coaches that may not know how to do that.

Speaker:

You're going to see players that have never seen before, they have no data.

Speaker:

They have no way to do it.

Speaker:

And this league, all that data helps as well quite a bit.

Speaker:

So I've reached out to a lot of my other fellow high school coaches about the league.

Speaker:

And they're all very excited because like you said, that they get their players,

Speaker:

there aren't playing tournaments, especially those players, extra matches before the season starts.

Speaker:

And because they want to see their players getting that experience and they can use the data,

Speaker:

but again, out there, and playing to where, when we start in January,

Speaker:

they're not, quote, rusty, starting almost seems like we're starting over.

Speaker:

They're ready to go.

Speaker:

And so by that time, the season starts, we can get the best performance from them.

Speaker:

Yeah, I think that's one of the things that the coaches are going to like.

Speaker:

And we've got plenty on it.

Speaker:

It just seems like a giant win-win to me.

Speaker:

Yes.

Speaker:

Jason Steele, thank you so much.

Speaker:

I really appreciate your time.

Speaker:

We will be in touch.

Speaker:

No problem. Thank you.

Speaker:

Thanks Jason.

Speaker:

Well, there you have it.

Speaker:

We want to thank Rejovenate.com for use of the studio.

Speaker:

And be sure to hit that follow button.

Speaker:

For more tennis-related content, you can go to AtlantaTennisPodcast.com.

Speaker:

And while you're there, check out our calendar of tennis events,

Speaker:

the best deals on technifyber products, tennis apparel, and more.

Speaker:

If you're a coach, director of any racket sports, or just someone who wants to utilize our

Speaker:

online shop, contact us about setting up your own shop collection to offer your branded

Speaker:

merchandise to the Atlanta Tennis World.

Speaker:

And with that, we're out.

Speaker:

See you next time.

Speaker:

[MUSIC]

Speaker:

[MUSIC]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

four × 1 =