Wednesday, September 19, 2012

An Interview With JTT LLC Ava Montgomery

Ava Montgomery is the USTA Jr. Team Tennis local league coordinator in Murfreesboro, TN. This is her first year to be an LLC.  In addition to her LLC duties, she also maintains a blog for her league with lots of great team pictures, so check it out here. Thanks, Ava, for taking the time out of your busy schedule to answer a few questions.

10U10S: How did you get involved with your local JTT?
AM: I've been involved with our local JTT program as a parent volunteer and team captain for four years.  My son was a freshman in high school the first year we had a JTT program in Murfreesboro.  So, that is how I was introduced to JTT.

Boro JTT 10s Wilson Warriors
10U10S:How is your JTT season structured?
AMWe had four JTT seasons in 2012:  Spring, Summer, August, and Fall.  

10U10S:How many kids participate? What age groups?
AM: We offered JTT for players age 5-18 of all levels. We had about 80 players in the Spring and August.  We had about 90 players in the Fall.  We had almost 200 players in the Summer!  Since this was the first year Murfreesboro had a large JTT program and my first year to be the coordinator, it was a little overwhelming.  I've learned a LOT and I enjoyed working with the players and parents.

10U10S:Who are your team coaches?
AMWe use parent volunteers to be the team captains for our JTT Teams.  One of our summer teams paid a pro to be their captain.  That team was "Boro Green" and they won the 2012 State JTT 18 Under Intermediate Tournament and were Finalists in the 2012 JTT Southern Section JTT 18 Under Intermediate Tournament in Auburn, Alabama.  My son played for Boro Green and my family really enjoyed our local league and both tournaments.

10U10S:How do you recruit volunteers?
AMWe use a LOT of teenage volunteers in our JTT program.  Some of our local middle and high schools require their students to work service hours.  So, I recruit helpers for the 8 Under JTT Program from these schools.  I also recruit volunteers from our local middle and high school tennis teams.  Even if the volunteers aren't tennis players, they are great for helping set up and take down mini-nets, load and unload tennis "stuff" from my car, and play games with the 5-8 year old players.  Some of these helpers have told me they'd like to take tennis lessons and start playing tennis because they have so much fun helping with JTT.

10U10S:What advice would you give players considering participating? 
AMIf a parent or player comes to me and asks about participating in JTT, I do my best to encourage them to do so or to try tournaments or other play formats.  I tell all of them JTT is a great place to get match play experience and have fun.  Even if the adults aren't familiar with tennis, I encourage them to come help with JTT because they can learn while they help.  Some of these parents participated in our local adult clinics this summer and started playing tennis themselves!