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USTA Team Programs Keep Mississippi Coach Busy

August 14, 2017 04:20 PM

Story and photos by Ron Cioffi/USTA Southern

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Omar Alcaino give final instructions before a match.

Omar Alcaino must like the USTA. He was in Mobile, AL, for the USTA League 18 & Over Southern Sectional Championships last month.

Then, a week later, he was back in Mobile for the 40 & Over version of the sectional event.

Guess where he is this weekend? Back at a USTA team tournament … here in Rome, GA, coaching another team of dedicated players.

Only younger.

“I like to see people playing tennis,” the tanned pro from the Tupelo Country Club said. Sounds about right, as he is committed to guiding so many teams.

At the USTA Southern Junior Team Tennis Section Championships, he led the 10 and Under Intermediate team from Mississippi. He also coached the 18 & Over Women’s 3.0 team captained by Shellie O'Rear and the 40 & Over Women’s 3.0 team headed by Lynda Bullard at the adult championships.

Asked what his secret is, he answered, “One of my assets is putting teams together. Find the right players and let them grow. … At our club we focus asides from teaching is to promote the game the we love. I love to see my students play and compete  at their highest level."

Another key, he said, was to find captains who are willing to build teams and have a positive experience. “We have a lot of good leaders who motivate their players, who motivate each other.”

Writing in our media questionnaire, he said, “Six months ago, 80 percent of these players did not know how to keep score nor play doubles! It was a challenge, but they want to play so badly that it didn't take them long to learn it.”

Alcaino added, “Kids, adults, it doesn’t matter. The key is to allow them to have fun on court.”

 

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