Press Releases

October, 2012


July, 2012

The behavior of David Nalbandian at last months Queen’s Championship has renewed much conversation questioning problems with tennis player’s behavior and it’s affect on junior tennis.

Scripps Treasure Coast June 26th commentator “Media, sports show degradation” included James Fisher comparing role models. His last statement says a lot, “In tennis: The sport of gentlemen, and women, behavior started going downhill with Jimmy Connors, John McEnroe, Ilie Nastase and Ian Tiriac. Today, tennis players wear from black to whatever, have temper tantrums and smash rackets. In golf, there is Tiger Woods? Where are the heroes today?”

While many of today’s high school players may not know those names, they do follow today players and recognize the inconsistency of the ITF and the USTA. The problem of tennis misbehavior is a much discussed subject with tennis coaches, Pros and organizations. Too often, statements like those stated on Linked In on June 25th, are similar to those stated by Don Petrine – 10:40 am, Jun 25th, “Many of the problems with junior behavior discussed in this forum are a result of the dynamic between coaches and parents. The coach is “employed” by the parent and theoretically lacks leverage to effect change. In order for a coach to be effective, they must have the ability to walk away from the job. The student/parents must need the coach more than the coach needs the money.”

Since high school tennis coaches are not in it for the money, it looks like if the behavior problems of tennis are to be taken seriously, it must be addressed by the high school tennis coaches. If I may, I would like to throw out some lines to digest.

While using new throw down lines for developing 10 and under players is great, understanding of the existing lines need to be understood. The most misunderstood lines might be the interpretation of “Rules” and “Discipline”.

Most recognized the dictionary view of rules being: an established regulation or conduct to govern. How many also recognize that rules have an influence? If Webster is correct and I believe history shows it so, then we should be careful producing and changing rules. Once those rules are established they should be for the whole community and should be respected and enforced by the whole community.

Discipline often gets a raw deal since the lines are often blurred. Most recognize the dictionary description of discipline as stated: to punish or to enforce obedience. Further reading shows what I think is the true meaning of discipline:

  • branch of learning
  • self control
  • system of rules which maintain morality

Some will argue that Nalbandian’s forfeiture of points and dollars ($70,000) shows they are serious, yet a few days later a female player shows up at Wimbledon with purple head ban and white Nike logo??? Are the rules enforced evenly?

While David Nalbandian deserved disqualification, his reasoning that he meant no malice and had seen worse by some players without disqualification might have been true but that does not excuse his actions. Fact that he has not yet learned self control, not only has a negative effect on his game, it also demonstrates the need to have a system of rules which will maintain the community morality. If we are going to uphold an even playing court the lines must not be blurred. Enforcement of rules should be respected by all.

Being that today’s other organization of tennis do not yet seem ready to address the problem, we (Florida High School Tennis Coaches Association) along with the FHSAA and FACA must insist that when a violation of the code occurs the tennis coach take the appropriate immediate action. This action should occur no matter what the score is, who the player is or how it will effect your tennis season. Only when the high school tennis coach respects and understands the rules can we ask our students to obey them and be good role models for their school.

Coach John Danise is the Executive Director of the Florida High School Tennis Coaches Association & Tennis Chairman for the Florida Athletic Coaches Association. John is a PTR/USTA train High Performance Coach at Sebastian River High School. He can be reached by going to


March, 2012


By: Coach John Danise

From: Florida Tennis Magazine

I had not planned to make this month’s article an addition to last month’s article on high school tennis partnering with community organizations but a great relationship was just formed which will grow youth and high school tennis. My excitement is too overwhelming to not share this with you.

Six years ago we formed the Florida High School Tennis Coaches Association as the tennis arm of the Florida Athletic Coaches Association. Our two main goals were, and still are, to better train, recognizes and inform high school tennis coaches and to establish a joint FACA an FHSTCA All Star Tennis Tournament.

I have been blessed to have some of the most recognized college, high school and professional tennis coaches, trainers, educators and organizers assist me in conducting our annual three day workshops equal to any high school tennis organization. As proud as I am of our training, I have been equally disappointed in my failure to produce a High School All Star Tournament.

January produced another successful FACA Tennis Workshop as well as the introduction of another immediate past president; that being Pierce Kelly, immediate past president of Youth Tennis Foundation of Florida; who brought attention to our other need. Like me, Pierce was looking to establish a State High School All Star Tennis Tournament for 2013.

Following its’ success of the inaugural division colleges State of Florida Men’s Tennis Championship, the YTF was looking to expand their Florida tennis activities to include a high school all star tennis tournament.

Amazed at how prepared both organization were to establish this Annual Tournament. The Youth Tennis Foundation of Florida provided to the needed financial investment and leadership to bring the inaugural All Star Tennis Tournament to Embry-Riddle College on May 5th and 6th of this year.

This kick off event fulfills the goals of both FACA Executive Director Shelton Crews and ours of the Florida High School Tennis Coaches Association. We will be using a WTT format I used as Tennis Coordinator of the World Scholar Athlete Games at the University of Rhode Island in 2006.

Sixty-four high school senior players, four boys & four girls will be chosen from each of the eight regions of the FHSTCA sections, plus sixteen high school tennis coaches from Florida. The eight sections will compete against each other, using the WTT formant of Team Tennis play, which is boys and girls doubles play, followed by boys’ & girls’ singles and then mixed doubles determining the team winner.

Play will be at Embry-Riddle College, in Daytona Beach and players and coaches will be provided pool-side Dinner Saturday evening, lodging, breakfast, lunch, T-Shirts, Gamma goodie bags and memories to take to college.

To finish last month’s article, hopefully, we realize that a high school tennis team is not an island unto them self. As high school tennis teams are individual players striving to produce team cohesions to produce a winning unit; so to be high school tennis part of the community: As is the Florida High School Tennis Coaches Association and the Youth

Tennis Association of Florida individually are productive organizations; when working together with Embry- Riddle College, The Florida Athletic Coaches Association and Gamma Sports, they will produce a tennis team, which will bring high school tennis playing seniors recognition that other state high school sports enjoy.

Who knows what would be enjoyed by future tennis players if the United States Florida Association moves beyond 10 and under tennis and join high school tennis in building a bridge between recreational and competitive tennis.

Coach John Danise is the Executive Director of the Florida High School Tennis Coaches Association & Tennis Chairman for the Florida Athletic Coaches Association. John is a PTR/USTA train High Performance Coach at Sebastian River High School. He can be reached by going to


Feb, 2012


By: Coach John Danise

From: Florida Tennis Magazine

During these days of tight high school budgeting one might wonder how will 10 & under tennis fit into my high school tennis planning? I can hear it now, “I don’t have enough time now”, “The season is too short”, “I can’t spend the time I need with the team now”, or “How can Pre-School & Elementary school age children help my program”? Except for the last quote, all are true but fixable problems.

Let’s start with the last remark first; I would first ask are you just planning for this season or the future? If your plan is like that which we encourage our players to look like, it’s a journey to the future, this years districts, or if we are lucky the State Championship, is just one stop along the way. If it’s true that the fundamental mark of leadership is character, than what better way to mentor our team’s growth then reminding them that when we give to others, we receive even more.

Did I hear, too short a season; what better way to build team pride & bonding then sharing their knowledge with these 10 & under players? How better to give a team a sense of unity & accomplishment then knowing their time and dedication helped with the development of a new generation of others.

You say we don’t have time to develop players. I’m sure you emphasize listening, watching and doing.

Another way the team development will hasten is through instructions to others. Often I hear one of my highs school players yell “turn, turn, turn” and observe not only the 10 & under rotate their hips and shoulders but also observe one of the high school students reinforcing their stroke properly or hear another player comment, “I need to keep working on that”. I’m sure those high school coaches who volunteer in this USTA program can give many more examples of leaning through instructions.

Did I hear I can’t afford the cost of additional balls? It’s obvious you did not attend last years FACA tennis workshop. I discussed multiple uses of Quick Start tennis balls for developing your team. If you go to you can find an outline of the presentation. I have learned that having the entire team performing the same drills as often as possible builds team unity. Quick Start tennis balls also helps with developing proper technique. The fundamental of technique is needed at all levels and the different balls provide that reinforcement.

By joining with a local NJTL or USTA chapter you may not only find additional community support you may also find a source for financial support and programming; (see for other programming) And your players even receive volunteer hours they need for most colleges. Keep in mind these 10 & under players will grow and some day go to high school. They are our Future! Best of all the pure enjoyment you will receive when working with these 10 & under is almost illegal.

Coach John Danise is the Executive Director of the Florida High School Tennis Coaches Association & Tennis Chairman for the Florida Athletic Coaches Association. John is a PTR/USTA train High Performance Coach at Sebastian River High School. He can be reached by going to


Jan, 2011

Florida Athletic Coaches Association and United States Tennis Association joined forces to present high school tennis coaches training.


FACA Tennis Chairman and Past PTR/Florida President, John Danise, does not know how he will top the 2011 winter workshop, held this past week-end. Thursday, the three day clinic started with Corbin Graves and John Danise, Florida High School Tennis Coaches Associations President and Immediate Past President, monitoring recommendations to the FHSAA.

PTR & USPTA Pro John MacDonald lectured on the four keys to a great tennis program and Former Wake Forest coach, Dede Allen followed with conditioning drills. After Leon High School coach Kevin Record spoke on how to put together a team line-up, PTR/USTA High Performance Coach and District 15 NJTL Tennis Director, John Danise, ended the day with his presentation of “Growing High School Tennis Programs for the Future.

Fridays program moved from the hotel to the USTA/Florida tennis facility and Florida State Tennis coach Dwayne Hutquist stressed the important aspects of doubles.

Returning with his Florida State Doubles Coach, Nick Crowell, and Dwayne had the high school coaches moving with numerous double drills.

USPTA Master Professional and former University of Cincinnati tennis coach, Dave Power arrived from Windward Lake Club, in Atlanta and stressed the importance of point development. Upon returning in the afternoon Dave shared self coaching aspects from his book, “The Inner Coach”.

PTR Pro and Maclay High School Coach, Corbin Graves shared high school tennis drills and PTR Pro and Sebastian River High School tennis coach John Danise ended the day showing the numerous ways Quick Start Tennis Balls can be incorporated in high school drills.

Saturday morning the volume was turned up as USTA/Fl Section Schools Coordinator, Rebecca Halpern, introduced “National HSCW” trainers, Jorge Andrews & Mike Woody to the 100 plus high school tennis coaches.

The day included team building games, survival training, footwork/warm up, how to run an effective practice and essential games every coach should know.

John is appreciative of all the speakers and the USTA for making this year’s program the best in his ten years of conducting the training. He is hopeful of having many of this year’s presentations available on the Florida High School Tennis Coaches web site within the next couple of months,