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Jody Wilson



Children: Chase, 14; Lance, 12; Reece, 8

Photo of Jody Wilson and family
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Tell us your own story of what makes tennis a special part of your life.

Tennis is special to me because it began with spending time as a family. My dad taught me to play tennis when I was about 7 or 8 years old. My dad, mom, older brother and I would walk to the park to play tennis or to the local tennis court in our neighborhood. I started out playing with a full-sized racquet and regular balls. I remember the ball bouncing fast and tennis being difficult to learn. My dad had the patience to encourage me to keep trying and not give up.


Tennis is also special because it has improved my overall health. I have always loved sports. I have been involved in tennis, gymnastics, swimming, soccer, basketball, volleyball and softball. When the opportunity to play other sports ended, tennis remained and keeps me active and healthy today. I believe tennis is the sport of a lifetime and benefits the whole person, providing an outlet for stress relief, healthy competition, positive social interaction and improving mental focus. Currently, my goal is to play at least three times per week.


Finally, tennis has opened up many doors of opportunity for me as a career in the sport I love. Tennis is special to me because it translates so well to many life lessons that I can pass on to my family: taking on a challenge, never giving up, discipline to practice, a desire for self-improvement, as well as excitement and anticipation because you never know what is going to happen!


How long have your kids been playing tennis? How did they start to play?

All three of my sons, Chase, Lance and Reece, began playing around the age of 7 years old in my year-round Quick Start program with the Ephrata Recreation Center. Chase, Lance and Reece are currently involved in local tournaments, Junior Team Tennis, tennis clinics and camps, as well as playing other sports, such as basketball, baseball and soccer. My two older sons, Chase and Lance, joined the Tennis Central Leadership Team last year so they could volunteer hours in the summertime helping children with tennis and learning. My oldest son, Chase, a freshman at Ephrata High School, aspires to be equipment manager and tennis court assistant this summer for the 2018 Tennis ACES program held at Franklin & Marshall College.


Why do you think it’s important for your children to play tennis?

As mentioned before, I believe tennis is the sport of a lifetime. It benefits the health of the whole person and teaches many life lessons I want my children to learn, including sportsmanship, effort, leadership, responsibility, developing a positive attitude and never giving up.


What are some of your notable tennis accomplishments? How about your children’s?

Jody: Played varsity tennis for four years at Ephrata High School; USPTA certification; was awarded 2014 USTA Central PA District Junior Team Tennis Director of the Year; 18 & over A Team Hempfield Covell 2014 USTA District Champions; coach JTT teams qualifying for district playoffs.


Chase: 2013 champion in the Dr. Charles Appel Memorial Tournament; 2014 runner-up in the Dr. Charles Appel Memorial Tournament; ranked No. 1, USTA Central Penn District Boys 10 & Under

Chase; played No. 1 for Ephrata High School as a freshman; played on JTT teams advancing to district playoffs.


Lance: Played on a JTT team advancing to district playoffs.


Chase and Lance: serve as ball boys for the Koser Jeweler Pro Circuit Tournament at Hempfield

Recreation Center in Landisville, Pa.; are members of the Tennis Central Leadership Team.


What is your most memorable tennis moment?

I was in charge of summer tennis camp, with 30 kids of various ages and ability levels signed up.  On the morning the camp was to start, one of my adult court leaders did not show up. Seeing that I needed some help, my oldest son, Chase, who was 12 years old at the time, came up to me and said, “Mom, I can take a court,” and he did! He took a group of 10 kids and did an awesome job teaching tennis and having fun with them for an hour and a half. I really appreciate Chase taking initiative, showing responsibility and helping me out in my time of need that day!  


Talk about some of your community or personal accomplishments.

I have helped promote the growth of tennis in the community through various programs, including Steinman Patrons Cup, Freedoms World Team Tennis, summer enrichment with the School District of Lancaster and local tournaments. I also directed the 2017 Summer ACES program with over 350 tennis players, ages 5-18, and managed a staff of 30 counselors. I am the boys’ and girls’ high school tennis coach for Ephrata. I direct Tennis Central’s education program and am the winter and spring Junior Team Tennis league director. I established a successful and growing, year-round tennis program for juniors through the Ephrata Recreation Center, including Quick Start tennis, private lessons, clinics and camps. And I helped plan and develop NJTL in New Holland, which is run through the Lancaster Family YMCA-New Holland.



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