Last week, Pelican Marsh tennis director, Pete Minarich was honored as the 2010 Collier County USPTA (United States Professional Tennis Association) Professional of the year and will officially receive his award at the Florida state convention in Port St. Lucie next month. One of the many reasons, Minarich was sited for this prestigious award was his relentless and tireless pursuit of one of the most popular events in the area: The Naples/Ft. Myers Tennis Challenge.
Minarich, as the tennis director at the Bay Club in Pelican Bay, organized the first county challenge almost thirty years ago and has continued to be the force behind this incredible event that features the areas best players ranging from junior stand-outs to the 75 and over doubles division. Minarich is also credited with bringing his spirited tennis program to the Vineyards Country Club over twenty years ago.
Presently, Pete Minarich is in his third year at Pelican Marsh (Naples) and a member of the CCCTA advisory committee. Finally, Pete is a graduate of both Naples High School and Wake Forest University and has been of the area’s best doubles specialists for his entire career. In other big news, Stonebridge Country Club pro and USPTA district director, Ron St. John has been appointed the new tennis director at one of the most prestigious clubs in Collier County, the Royal Poinciana Country Club in central Naples.
St. John was recently awarded the Collier County USPTA pro of the year (2008) and last year the USPTA-Florida sectionawarded St. John the district director of the year. Ron St. John previously was the YMCA tennis director and YMCA general manager (fourteen years) and for the last seven years the tennis director at Stonebridge Country Club in north Naples. St. John will begin his new duties at Royal Poinciana in the next two weeks.
With Ron St. John beginning his new career at Royal Poinciana he has stepped down as USPTA district director and he will be succeeded by Quail Creek tennis director Doug Welsh.
Tennis tip of the week:
Are you looking to put-away your overhead smash? Remember, the secret to producing an overhead winner is to anticipate your opponent’s lob. Additionally, if you can visualize what good baseball outfielders do when they have to catch a deep fly ball and then quickly throw the ball back to the infield – – Go back as far as possible and keep the ball in front of your body so you can have the power to either pound the overhead stroke or the legs to catch the ball and throw out the running trying to advance a base.
Practice tip: Do not let the lobs come to you. Have your coach hit the stroke over your body so you can learn to turn and move back quickly.
Bottom line – Utilize your baseball skills when fetching a tough lob that may go over your head. Be ready to turn and move back rapidly so you can strike the ball out in front of the body. Good luck.