9/16/20: Paddle Director’s Letter

   J. P. McConnell

Director’s Letter

                Welcome to the 2020-2021 Paddle Tennis season!  I am extremely excited to kick off my 7th season as your Paddle Director at New Canaan Field Club.  NCFC has a rich tradition of paddle tennis and I will work to continue to grow the paddle program in all areas.  This season our program will be bolstered by our Junior Paddle Director/Assistant Pro, Ben Zuckerberg.  Many of you may already know Ben from summer tennis. He will be organizing and staffing all our junior clinics to children of all ages both during the week and on weekends.  Please contact him at benzuckerbergtennis@gmail.com or visit www.nc-fc.com for more information.  Gary Squires will also be returning this season.  Gary brings extensive knowledge and enthusiasm to his lessons and clinics from his years as the Director at Fox Meadow Club in Scarsdale which is the home of Paddle tennis in this country. 

                To get as many NCFC members out onto the courts this season, we will be offering FREE ½ hour lessons until October 15th to any member who has never played paddle or who has not participated in the NCFC program before.  I also invite everyone out to kick off the 2020-2021 season by participating in one of our 3-hour paddle camps in the end of September.  The Women’s camps will be on Tuesday, 9/22 and Friday, 9/25 from 9AM-12PM and the Men’s Camp will be on Sunday 9/27 from 1PM-4PM.  These camps are all encompassing and a great “crash course” in paddle for ALL LEVELS.  Court assignments will be done by level so everyone will be placed on an appropriate court.  Please visit the NCFC website for more information. 

                I am excited to announce the return of the Men’s Team Practice Clinics on Saturday, October 3rd and our weekly Monday Night Men’s Beginner Clinics which start on October 5th.  Our very popular Men’s Team Practice Clinics are designed to get our men ready for their weekly interclub matches and develop familiarity with partners. They run from 10:30AM-12:00PM and 12:00PM-1:30PM each Saturday.  The Beginner Clinics are designed to help introduce the game of paddle to the more novice player and get them incorporated into the weekly Monday Night Football Round Robin which will also debut on October 5th.  Also, for women who are not available in the mornings for clinics we are again offering the “Working Ladies Clinics” on Wednesday nights beginning October 7th from 6:30-7:30PM.  New this year we will be offering women’s clinics for all beginners up to level D10 on Fridays from 10:30AM-12:00PM.  You can sign up for these clinics weekly and do not have to commit to an entire session. 

                For those adults who are looking to compete in our weekly interclub matches, we have a variety of options.  Women can play on Tuesdays at 9AM in the Darien/New Canaan League and on Thursdays at 9:30AM in the Fairfield County Women’s Platform Tennis League (FCWPTL).  Women competing in weekly interclub matches are encouraged to practice with their respective team members on Mondays, Wednesdays, or Fridays.  Please see the website for more details.  The men can compete in the Thursday Night Paddle League (TNPL) in either Division 1 or Division 3 and on Saturdays and Sundays in the Fairfield County Platform Tennis League (FCPTL).  Divisions 1-3 compete on Saturday mornings and Divisions 4-7 play Sunday mornings.  The FCPTL is one of the largest and most competitive leagues in the country and is a great way to represent your club against the best that Fairfield County has to offer.  If you are interested in participating in any of the aforementioned teams, please contact me at paddle@nc-fc.com to get placed on a team.

Our paddle calendar is a very busy one and it will include something for every type of player.  The Women’s Opening Round Robin will be on Monday, September 21st from 9:00-11:00AM and our Men’s Opening Round Robin will be on Saturday, September 26th from 8:30-10:30AM.  Our first Mixed Paddle Social will be on Friday, October 16th at 7:00PM.  We may be adding more socials as the season progresses but due to Covid-19 we want to see how the first one goes.  For a list of other local tournaments and events please visit www.platformtennis.org.  As always, you can check the website regularly for interclub results, updated calendars, area tournaments, clinic information, team practices and more. 

I will be back full-time at NCFC beginning September 28th, so please stop by and say hello.  If you have any questions or comments you can always reach me at paddle@nc-fc.com.  I cannot wait to see you all out on the small courts!

I will be sending a separate blast shortly that will outline all the current rules and procedures at the paddle tennis facility.  As the season progresses, we will adapt these guidelines as needed to meet any changes with state and local laws.                                                                                                                                               

J. P. McConnell