By Tammi Copelli, Junior Leagues Vice President
There’s nothing better than arriving at City Finals to see the wonder and excitement in the eyes of the junior players and their parents. The first thing I say to my junior teams playing at City Finals is, “Today, there are no losers,” and being at City Finals proves that. I also explain to them their behavior on the court is important because their efforts to get here have earned them the opportunity to be ambassadors of our sport. They are the best of the best; they have already won, and hence, there are no losers.
The players are not the only ones who benefit from being there. It truly is a team effort. It’s also an ALTA team effort: Our office staff providing the tennis opportunity; the parents allowing and encouraging of their children to play and their efforts to make that happen; the team managers managing the line-ups and matches throughout the season; the coaches/pros teaching our juniors to play; our juniors putting in the time practicing and playing; and of course, the vast number of volunteers. This includes the ALTA coordinators, the overall coordinators, the league vice presidents, and the ALTA Executive Committee who help keep the leagues running successfully. Combined, it truly is an incredible machine that works brilliantly, and we are all so happy for these impressionable kids to play at City Finals.
The winning starts the day someone obtains an ALTA membership. The benefits of playing or volunteering are tremendous. ALTA helps members and volunteers feel that sense of belonging and provides members the chance to be a part of a sport/team that most anyone and any age can play. No matter your ability, you are able to play a great sport and can quickly realize that just playing tennis is more important than winning or losing. If you decide to take the next step and captain or manage a team, that can lead to lifelong friendships. Ultimately, ALTA also provides the opportunity to give back to a sport or organization that has afforded you so much. There is so much to gain from playing or volunteering for ALTA. Speaking from experience from being a parent of two junior players, I later volunteered to be team manager. I also served as a scorekeeper back in the day before ALTA was online. Playing as an adult in the Thursday Women, Sunday Women, and Mixed Doubles Leagues also led to being a team captain, coordinator, overall coordinator, Junior Leagues VP, member of the Rules Committee, and serving on the Executive Committee. I can assure you and say with complete confidence that the benefits of ALTA are worth every minute of the time spent volunteering.
So, is winning City Finals the goal? Maybe, but truly being part of ALTA has so many rewards that there really are no losers. Regardless of what part you play in ALTA, in your heart you now know you are part of a winning team. With the ALTA fall season right around the corner, are you ready to be a “winner?”