Developing Junior Tennis Players: David Bailey
It was a lucky day for The Quechee Club when Head Tennis
Professional Chuck Kinyon, convinced tennis professional David Bailey to join
the staff specifically to manage and build the junior racquet programs. That
was in 2010. David’s experience with junior programs, as well as coaching and
management in the tennis world is extensive.
After playing tennis for four years at Nasson College in Maine, David was ready to follow that sports path. His career took him far and wide largely due to his employment with the renowned Peter Burwash International (PBI) a tennis management consulting firm based in Honolulu, Hawaii. As a member of the administrative management team, David developed, managed, and staffed tennis programs in luxury resorts, camps, clubs, and multipurpose facilities, including Grove Isle Yacht and Tennis Club in Miami, Doral Resorts and Country Club in Miami, and Seabrook Island Resort in Charleston, South Carolina, where he was the tennis director with multiple roles. He also coached tennis and was responsible for program development, but he also started pro shops, dealt with inventory, staffing, and management. On top of that, he ran multiple tennis events and tournaments that PBI and other corporations – Volvo, IBM, Federal Express, Pfizer and many others – sponsored. In 1991, David was named Peter Burwash International professional of the year.
In his various positions, David, was on top of the bottom line to raise interest in the sport of tennis, raise revenue, and increase membership. A decorated member of the United States Professional Tennis Association (USTA), he directed USTA Quickstart Junior leagues in many locations throughout his career.
Not too many tennis pros venture into jails, yet David conducted tennis clinics in the program called “Tennis Behind Bars” at Rahway State Prison, in Woodbridge, New Jersey, and Hawaii State Prison. Add to that – conducting clinics for wheelchair and disabled players. And in one Montessori school, he found himself teaching tennis-centered physical education and started a mom’s USTA team. And at the historic Biltmore in Coral Gables, he developed and trained several ladies tennis teams.
“I think I moved 24 times,” David says. World-class resort assignments were a chance to see the world, as well. He did admit it was a bit tricky for the family once his two children arrived. His stint with PBI ended in 1995, and he joined Steering Bay Yacht and Country Club in Coral Gables in Florida as their Tennis Director. While at PBI, David worked in Thailand, Canada, Hawaii, the Caribbean, Germany, Austria, Greece, and Florida.
All in all, David made his base Miami for 23 years before he joined The Quechee Club. In 2013, after two years of returning to Miami after working the summer at The Quechee Club, he decided to make the Upper Valley his permanent home. “I am a New Englander accustomed to four seasons; it wasn’t a hard choice.” Plus his son, Micah, came north to attend Quinnipiac University, in Hamden, Connecticut, where he played Division 1 Tennis. He now lives and works in New Haven, Connecticut. And Bailey’s daughter, Leanna, is in college in Washington, DC, where she just started a nanny business. And his only sibling, a sister, whose company he loves, lives in Dover, New Hampshire. And now all but nine or 10 weeks in the summer, David coaches at the River Valley Club in Lebanon, New Hampshire.
A focus on junior tennis programs
Throughout his career, David has focused on building interest in tennis at an early age. Yet he is accomplished and completely at ease coaching all ages and all abilities: from seniors to tots, beginners to 4.0 players, and even celebrities. “It’s all good,” he says.
“Dynamic junior programs draw more young folk to the game. They have parents and why not bring them into the game, as well,” he says. Building teams in all age groups and doing the footwork to entice interest in joining these teams is his emphasis at The Quechee Club. Yet tennis clinics for all age groups are popular and increasing in numbers.
“Through David’s guidance, the Junior Travel Team has become the center of the junior program. There are at least 25-30 members that play on the team during the summer months. The team competes with other clubs in the Upper Valley and once in a while travels outside the Upper Valley to play clubs like Dublin Lake Club [in Dublin, New Hampshire] and Rutland Tennis Club [in Rutland, Vermont]. Since Quechee has best tennis facility in the area, most of the matches take place on our home courts, which limits the travel of our kids and gives parents a great opportunity to watch their kids develop in a great lifetime sport,” says Chuck. David puts together matches every Friday depending on the attendance at the two weekly practices.
When asked about the junior team training, Bailey says, “They learn courtesy, sportsmanship, and respect for all.” And the skills of the game plus strategy, of course,” he adds.
Racquet sports equipment and opportunities for every age
Quechee has eight impeccably maintained Har-tru courts, and a Pro Shop stocked with all things tennis. If they don’t have it, they will get it pronto. Sue Kinyon buys inventory for the shop, and Susy Battoro manages the shop.
Pickleball – which combines elements of badminton, tennis, and table tennis – is coming into its own at Quechee and is often incorporated into the junior tennis camps. The courts across from the tennis facility are lined with the rules of Pickleball. Platform tennis courts also play into the program. “The tiny ones use a big foam ball on these courts, and sometimes we use the two platform tennis courts to introduce that game,” Davids says. Members can reserve times on both these courts on the Club web page.
Visit “The Quechee Club” website (www.quecheeclub.com) take your time. I think you will be impressed.
An aside: David Bailey and I are both from Bristol, Connecticut. We never crossed paths, but we participated in many of the same activities there. One huge pastime was skating under the lights at Page Park, playing Crack the Whip, and speed racing on figure skates. Hockey was unknown in our town. We went sliding on the hill near the Page Park Pool. We dived off the same high dive. And on it goes. Sweet.