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The USTA Missouri Valley is honoring a junior tournament director during each quarter this year. The goal of the award is to identify potential mentors for new tournament directors and set a standard for other tournament directors. The tournament directors must be a USTA member, and must host at least one section tournament and one district tournament. His or her tournament must be staffed with officials, and he or she must take initiative and express a willingness to learn and try new ideas. Honorees will receive a certificate of recognition and an Amazon Gift Card for their achievements.
The first quarter honoree is Kevin Garlington. Kevin is a tournament director in Tulsa.
How long have you been running tournaments?
About nine years
What is the best part about being a tournament director?
Probably seeing the kids.I really enjoy catching up with the kids I've met before.
What's one thing you've learned as a tournament director?
It sounds corny, but being a coach, the biggest thing is you want to put your best foot forward in terms of welcoming people to the facility. As the tournament director, you're the person who's either going to make things great or screw things up. I try to be the first person to lending a helping hand and see how I can help someone before they ask for help.
What advice would you give to new tournament directors?
Spend a lot of time on scheduling and put yourselves in the player and parents shoes. How would you want the tournament run if you were a player or parent?
When you direct a tournament, what's your goal?
With each and every tournament, I want to make sure it's organized and that if I were a parent or coach, I would want my kids to come back.
How many tournaments do you run a year?
What do you do when you're not teaching or directing a tournament?
I run a YouTube channel called Total Tennis Domination and post tennis instructional videos. I also like to play with my infant son.
Who is your favorite player?
What's the most recent song you purchased?
Beethoven's 50 greatest his. It's soothing for my son.