The men’s tennis team has hopes that community involvement will help them increase attendance at home matches, the team’s coach said.
Head men’s tennis coach David Roditi said he put a plan in action to raise attendance at home matches. The team set a goal to have 1,000 fans in attendance at a home match.
Senior tennis player Zach Nichols said the goal stemmed from Roditi, also a former TCU tennis player, and the experience he gained while on the team. When Roditi played, the team was top 10 in the nation and had a large number of people at their matches.
Sophomore tennis player Santiago Centeno said, “I think it’s a very reachable goal if we expand our audience and our community.”
Roditi said the fans who would choose to support the current team would watch exciting matches at a higher-level of play.
“We have guys that will be playing in the professional tour someday. It’s by far the best tennis in town,” he said.
Even with talented players, the program recognized that increased community involvement was necessary to reach their goal, Roditi said. The team has joined forces with people in the area to target individual groups from different demographics.
The men’s program created a committee of 10 people from different community areas such as country clubs and high school teams to help spread the word about TCU tennis, he said.
“We [the team] can’t be arrogant enough to think they [the community] are going to come to us, we have to go to them,” he said.
Nichols said one way the program worked to become well-known in the area was through the hosting of a free tennis clinic at the Bayard H. Friedman Tennis Center. Attendees of the clinic were able to take part in drills and play alongside the players and coaches.
“TCU is growing, and I think it’s a good idea if we start stepping up and helping out with the community in anyway we can,” Nichols said.
Attendee of the clinic and longtime TCU tennis fan Becky Moorhead said she enjoyed being able to meet the players and support Roditi as head coach.
“I watched David play when he was a student here at TCU. That was part of the attraction for coming out,” she said.
Jennifer Ledbetter was in attendance and said that being at the clinic peaked her interest in bringing her family out to a match.
Roditi said the tennis center was a place that all ages could enjoy, from families that have brought picnics to students cheering for their Horned Frogs. The program also plans to have competitions and prizes at the matches to create an event that people want to come to.
“It’s a great sport and a great environment, so the community has to get involved,” Centeno said.
Roditi said he had confidence that the 1,000 fan goal will be reached with time and effort put in from him and his team.
“Whether it takes us three months to get there or two years to get there…We will get there.”