Children: Nicholas, 19; Brett, 17; Keeli, 15
Tell us your story of how tennis became a special part of your life.
I initially jumped into tennis as a way to stay fit after I had Brett. I am a lifelong dancer, and the small town that I lived in at the time had limited options for dance. So I tried a 10-week beginning tennis course at a nearby country club. I had never picked up a ball or racquet – or a sport for that matter! But the instructor was fabulous and made it so much fun. I loved it from the
At the same time, I had these two little boys, and I was always looking for things for them to do. (Especially Brett, who always loved playing with any kind of a ball. He’d throw a ball over our house at 2 years old!) I put his older brother in indoor tennis during the winter months, and we’d watch. Nicholas’ coach said, “Why isn’t this younger one playing, too?” And I said, “Well, he’s only 2, and he’s in diapers.” But Brett was so excited about the game that they made an exception. And then the boys were hooked, too!
Twelve years ago, we moved to Colorado, and tennis was our means of connecting with a new community. I decided to sign up for a USTA League team, even though I didn’t know a soul and I didn’t feel like I was very good. But I got put in with a group of women, and after the first clinic we took, we had formed a team, chosen outfits and become the best of friends! I instantly felt like I had a connection as a mom, as a woman, to a group of sisters, and we are all still the best of friends today.
Why do you think it’s important for your children to play tennis?
Both of my sons play competitively as juniors but for different reasons. Nick is my science guy. He loves the math and geometry of the game. Brett just loves smashing balls and the action of it all. But tennis has taught them both invaluable life lessons – learning to win with humility and lose with dignity, learning intensity and competitiveness while having complete respect for opponents. You know, it’s difficult to teach kids those things, but tennis – it’s the perfect tool. It teaches us how we can be good humans.
One of my favorite photos of my boys is from a tournament where they had to play each other in the final. Nick is leaning over the net to shake Brett’s hand. As a mom, it doesn’t get much better than that.
What are some of your kids’ notable tennis accomplishments?
My boys have both excelled at athletics, and Brett has truly found his passion, and I love that. In fact, he chose to go to a training camp during spring break, rather than come with us on a family trip to the beach. Tennis is just his thing.
But I’m so proud of Nick, too. Once he told me, “Mom, I like tennis. I don’t have to like it like Brett does, but I enjoy it and want to play.” Then he carved out his own place and found joy in it. It’s probably why I love watching high school tennis so much. You can appreciate watching top talent on the pro level, for sure. But the excitement and enthusiasm
You don’t have to be the best at everything, but the confidence you build in learning tennis and learning how to do something… it can take you a long way!
Tell us about some of your community and personal accomplishments.
I am currently the president of the Colorado Tennis Association Board of Directors and have served for many years on its board and in various committee assignments. I love volunteering and working with the Colorado USTA and local tennis professionals. All of these people are so dedicated and committed to tennis in our community. They all play huge roles day in and day out. I’m so grateful to serve with them.