While the typical varsity high school tennis team carries about eight students, no-cut teams can include anywhere from eight to as many as 120 students. The institution of the no-cut policy has afforded nearly 44,000 students who would have been cut the opportunity to join their high school tennis team.
"The astounding, rapid growth of this program is a testament to these incredible coaches who see the bigger picture," said Kirk Anderson, Director of Recreational Coaches and Programs for the USTA. "They understand you can still have a winning, and even championship program, while including players at all skill levels. It opens the door for more students to experience the fun of representing their school while learning about discipline, responsibility, teamwork and leadership."
Each of the participating coaches is recognized for their efforts with a certificate from the USTA, congratulating them on incorporating the no-cut policy. In addition, the USTA sends a letter to the coach's principal and athletic director acknowledging the coach's dedication to their students. Each year, two coaches are selected to receive the National No-Cut Starfish Award at the USTA Tennis Teachers Conference held alongside the US Open in New York. Marian DeWane of Boise, Idaho and Jeff Holman of Haddonfield, New Jersey, were the 2006 recipients.
The USTA has established an advisory team of seasoned and successful no-cut high school coaches who offer advice, guidance and resources to coaches who are challenged by obstacles such as organizing practices for large groups and scheduling large numbers of players into match situations. The team of coaches, which includes Tiger Teusink of Holland, Michigan, Dave Steinbach of Brookfield, Wisconsin, and Sarah Miller of Kennewick, Washington, can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. More information on the no-cut initiative as well as additional coaching tips can be found at www.usta.com/highschoolcoaches.