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One-On-One With Whitney Kraft, All Racquet Sports Managing Director
  | By Long Island Tennis Magazine Staff

 

In recent years, racquet sports have become more and more popular throughout the country and across the globe. Pickleball and Padel Tennis have become two of the fastest growing sports, and are played by not only tennis players, but other athletes as well who find them an ideal way to pick up a racquet sport, remain active and try something new.

Long Island Tennis Magazine sat down with Whitney Kraft, Managing Director of All Racquet Sports, to learn more about this trend, and how All Racquet Sports continues to be at the forefront of growing these games.


1. Talk about your new role and what you do at All Racquet Sports?

ARS belongs to a network of experienced Padel court builders worldwide and our US based team is dedicated to promoting complementary sports in North America. Our 360 degree approach includes facility design, court sales and installations, certification of coaches, programming and bringing the best products to market in padel, pickleball, beach and pop tennis with our Adidas partnership.


2. Are we currently in a racquet sport boom? Why do you think that is?

Yes, the silver lining of Covid is that it provided a safe and healthy opportunity for folks to be introduced, return to, and play more frequently tennis, pickle, beach, pop and padel. The growth of pickleball in the US has been incredible and the growth of Padel in Europe is off the charts. Now we are seeing both sports cross migrating across the pond.


3. What makes sports like pickleball an attractive sport for people to pick up?

The quick adaptation and immediate perceived competence to serve, rally and play for pickleball is huge. The sweet spot closer to the hand is key along with the smaller dimensions of courts creating more social interaction, bridging levels and mitigating mobility limitations. The sport did everything right in its drive for participation. The recruitment of local ambassadors and leveraging technology to network players made finding a game easy. Plus the sport is fun! Pickleball is like tennis “used to be” in tennis boom 1970s; drop-in style, players rotate in/out of doubles, so more fun and less commitment


4. What does All Racquet Sports do in terms of promoting and encouraging the growth of these sports?

We support athletes, events and work with facilities, clubs, universities, and private owners to provide information on the best practices and most innovative programming recommendations. Our certification for Padel professionals in partnership with the USPTA also helps ensure the growth of Padel, as new and existing players develop and improve. Play more and play better!


5. What should clubs/ academies know about these sports, and how can they implement them into the programming at their facilities?

Cross training in racquet sports develops athletes and prevents burnout/boredom of over play in one discipline. People love choices and to have a menu of racquet sports available increases visits, time spent at facilities leading to bottom line profits and member satisfaction. Multiplex facilities help allow players to migrate to the best sports with the highest retention potential, along with more play incidences, particularly if active on multiple racket/paddle sports.


To learn more about these sports and how All Racquet Sports is at the forefront of this trend, visit AllRacquetSports.com.