USTA Leagues: Social, Competitive, and Fun
Social and competitive are words often used to describe USTA League play. Each of the 14 USTA Leagues teams at Yonkers Tennis Center has a captain or two that help to oversee practices, make line-ups for upcoming matches, and lead their team to, hopefully, a few victories over the season. Catherine Hammond and Bruce Rosner are two USTA captains at YTC that have experienced the best that USTA has to offer.
Becoming a captain can often start out as something as simple as just wanting to play on a team. Bruce and Catherine both fell into that category at YTC. “I wanted to join a 2.5 team, but the club was looking to start a new team,” noted Catherine, who has been playing USTA Leagues since 2007. “I also said yes to starting a team because I wanted to make sure that there would be a team for others to play on.” Bruce echoed similar sentiments, “I started playing USTA Leagues in 2010 and I wanted to join a team, but there weren’t any teams available at the time. Mark (Santucci) asked if I was interested in starting a new team and becoming a captain of a team seemed to be the best way to play.”
The social atmosphere on the court and off of the court is a big part of why players continue to play USTA Leagues year after year. “The team camaraderie is great and it’s nice to always have someone to call to play tennis with,” said Bruce. “We play a lot of tennis together, but we also get together for dinners, drinks and have a team party at the end of the season with all of our families,” commented Bruce. New friendships are often started on USTA teams. Catherine notes, “I am most grateful for the many friendships that I have formed over the years and also the opportunity to meet new women each season.”
There’s a lot that goes into being a captain. Catherine gives insight into what most captains go through during the season. “I enjoy the mental challenge of being a captain and trying to put together line-ups each week that will give my teammates the opportunity to play competitive matches and be successful at the same time.”
The social aspect is a big part, but at the very heart of USTA Leagues is competition and teams are still trying to achieve their goals each season. For some teams the goal is winning a few matches or their league, for others it’s getting to the national championships. The goal for Catherine’s team has been to get to the USTA Eastern 3.5 sectional tournament. “Our team made it to the 3.0 sectional tournament in Albany a few years ago and it was a thrill to make it that far,” said Catherine.
If you’re looking to meet some great people, become a part of a team, and play a lot of tennis, than USTA League play is for you.