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Mentor Day

This year at Palm Creek we ran the “First Annual” Mentor Day. This was a simple event but it had a profound impact on a lot of people, we think. In context, the day was organized to run the day before the smaller of our two major tournaments, our Annual Residents’ Tournament. This event “only” has about 250 entrants but they are all from our club, and we try to create as welcoming an environment as possible for all players, be they 2.5, 3.0 or higher-level folks. And the day before the tournament we cancel our various organized events for the whole day and make the 24 courts available to open- and challenge-court play for the entire day. This insures that many people who have not had much of a chance to play with the same partner and/or haven’t played in a tournament before can come down and get on a court. And this year we added another function. Mentor Day was a four-hour block of time when many 4.0+ players, most of them trained instructors and coaches, came down and volunteered their time, wandering around, catching people who looked like they needed a little bit of help in an area and offering it if they wanted it. We estimate that we have 25+ mentors on the courts during this time, and in addition several folks who were either running the Simon Ball Machine so people could learn to hit certain shots, and others who were available to be referees to give people the experience of playing a match with a referee in advance of their first tournament. It was a pretty cool event, and Irene and I also got a chance to work with several groups and individuals on restoring their lost serves, working together as partners, and on other things as needed. Big fun and I’m sure we’ll do it again next year.