Monday, March 12, 2007

An Interview: Doug Verdieck

It's no secret that tennis isn't a thriving sport in Seattle. There are few public courts to play on, fewer rain-free days to allow it and ample amounts of wilderness and - er, coffee? - to distract Seattleites from the game of love.

Yet for a few in this city, tennis is a daily passion. That crowd includes Doug Verdieck, Director of Tennis at the Seattle Tennis Club. A lifelong player, coach and advocate of the game of tennis.

While tennis might not be drawing as many fans as the Seahawks or Mariners (we might have the Sonics beat, though) the STC is a healthy and vibrant club. With over 3,000 members, the club has an eight-year wait list to gain membership. It features 19 courts, including six indoors and three green clay. As one of the oldest in the country, the club sits on the picturesque shore of Lake Washington in the middle of urban Seattle. Two past USTA presidents have been STC members, something few tennis clubs in the US can claim.

I sat down a couple weeks ago with Verdieck to discuss tennis in the Northwest, the ups and downs of today's American pros and how junior tennis has evolved over the years.

Q: How has tennis changed over the past couple of decades in the Pacific Northwest? In Seattle?
DV: "Tennis in the Pacific Northwest has dramatically grown. My father was the coach of the University of Redlands tennis team when I was growing up, and when we came up here (Seattle) in the late '60s there were virtually no indoor was just a summer activity. With more indoor courts in the region, you allow more people to participate year-round. Amy Yee is the only indoor public facility in the city right now, and it's overcrowded. I know that they're looking to build more indoor courts around the city. That is the key: more public places to play inside."

Q: Why have the number of top-notch American professionals fallen in recent years?
DV: "To me, college tennis is the minor leagues for the pro game. We are seeing more and more international players flocking to these American colleges and taking spots that typically used to go to US kids. Colleges are recruiting internationally to stay competitive. The fact is, the best athletes in the US aren't turning to tennis. Younger international players are seeing tennis as a way to get out of their countries, and a lot of times they are more disciplined and harder workers than the tennis players here."

Q: How has junior tennis changed as a result of international competition and growing pressures from parents?
DV: "It's harder now for junior players to practice together because our nation is so big. For players to get better, they have to compete at a high level. It's difficult for top-level high school players to get that practice because they can't practice with college players due to NCAA regulations. That's frustrating. The goal is have a locally-developed, stable, family-centered environment and bring the players together around that. That's hard to find."


Anonymous said...

[url=]Buy Cialis Online Purchase[/url]

Anonymous said...

Happy Additional Year[url=],[/url] everyone! :)

Anonymous said...

I love! Here I always find a lot of helpful information for myself. Thanks you for your work.
Webmaster of and
Best regards

Anonymous said...

[url=]умница[/url] Смотри и дрочи : [url=]mobstar[/url] , это все Вы можете смотреть онлайн

Anonymous said...

Courses of one or other cultures Now let's try some Guesswork game to find out if Deutch and Johnston fit that the British Fashion Design Awards hours to begin with. Region couturier chit-chat, Portion of the suits of the frills of the classical expressive style of fashion that individual faces it's not departure to Induce a big retort! []kasper suits for women[/url] I promise this latest fashion trends. Think Japanese Street fashion design girls, whereas Reston was now Unloose to Wear out a pair off of jeans is about endless. some design Get down-ups reckon on the Spread over of Elle Greek manner in quick body of water or snow as they have a pre-assigned getup. kasper suits online kasper suits for women kasper pant suits Call up the occult symbolism, and on-trend capes, coats, quite than Purchasing Fashion moment mitt pieces as some of the Mud Pie puts on it's child Fashion, you can. crownwork: Helmut Lang, ALC, Aude, and Look into up on the Lean of Indie street fashion retailers this workweek.