17 Aug Tennis Everyone?!
If there’s one message that the new Director of Tennis, Vernon Gettone, Jr., wants members to know it’s — Get in the Game!
Vernon is ready to infuse the tennis program with energy and enthusiasm, and with more than 20 years of experience on the courts of a 5-star Platinum club, he’s just the guy to do it.
“There’s already a pretty fantastic energy here,” said Vernon. “I want to bring exemplary service to the membership. Regarding tennis, that means new ideas in programming, implementing social events, and encouraging those who haven’t played before or who have maybe dropped the racket for a few years to get back in the game,” he said.
Part of Vernon’s vision for Mizner includes offering beginner clinics, parent-child events, boot camps and challenging other clubs to round-robins, giving members the opportunity to meet new people and create a little friendly rivalry and a chance for Mizner to earn some bragging rights.
A fun event that he cooked up for summer was a Wimbledon inspired round-robin with a special breakfast offering the traditional berries and cream, all to coincide with the 2018 Wimbledon Championships this past July. Of course, all white attire.
One of Vernon’s missions is to bring the game of tennis to new players —which includes kids. He is encouraged by the number of children at Mizner who are already playing but wants to increase that participation by offering family events. Some ideas he’s thinking of are mommy and me classes and expanding the junior summer camp schedule.
But new players aren’t limited to just children. At his last club, Vernon had the pleasure of introducing a member to tennis — All you need to get into the game is to be a kid at heart.
“I had a player who was 70 years old,” said Vernon. “He picked up the racket for the first time two years ago. Right now, he’s having fun with the game and playing socially. He’s excited about tennis and loves to play. It’s a life sport, and whether you are five or 95 you can play.”
Vernon also aims to increase Mizner’s use of technology. Soon the tennis program will make life more convenient by bringing tennis online to your computer, tablet or phone.
“We have recently implemented an online reservation system where members can book a lesson, make a court reservation, or sign up for a clinic online. So far it has been a success and we hope to continue to build our numbers,” he said.
High-tech video training is also on the menu.
“Video training allows the member to take a lesson and then the pro can critique their stroke,” said Vernon. “We can videotape play and then analyze it. We may not be able to play like the pros play, but we can train like they train,” said Vernon.
He also has plans for the fitness department to work alongside the tennis department to develop a program similar to one that now exists between fitness and golf, enhancing performance specific to tennis.
Vernon is excited to be at Mizner, a place he said is unique because it offers an intimate experience, one where he can really get to know the membership. While he loves to teach tennis, for him the most important lesson is passing on his passion for the game.
“This game has done a lot for people — a lot for me. It allows people to get out there and have a good time. Whether you’re a beginner, an advanced player, play socially, or just want to break a sweat, it doesn’t matter, there’s something for everyone!”
If you’re interested in getting started, Vernon said the best way is to call the pros and start with a few private lessons to learn the fundamentals.
“Lessons also challenge experienced players to fill the gaps in their game and to be the best player they can be,” he said.