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Alpena welcomes Denny Green

October 28, 2015 10:52 AM

Alpena welcomes Denny Green.

As of a few weeks ago, the Alpena tennis community has a new resident pro, Mr. Denny Green.   Denny comes to us from the Birchwood Farms Golf and Country Club in Harbor Springs, Michigan.

My first impression of Denny is that he is a class act.  Not surprisingly, but important to mention, is that he adores of the game of tennis.  In fact, when I asked him how he first started playing tennis, he smiled and looked back in time, to when he was riding his bike to play “pick up” tennis at some county courts, over two miles away from his house in Brighton, Mi.  For a youngster, a four-mile bike ride to play some tennis is no small venture.  Fast forwarding a few years Denny comments that he began his post college-working career by managing a sports retail store and is quick to point out, with a chuckle that reaches his eyes, “guess I haven’t gotten too far away from selling a quality product after all”.

Being a cardio tennis fanatic, I went to one of Denny’s hour-long cardio sessions.  I was very pleasantly surprised when, instead of just starting to hit the tennis ball at the baseline, we spent 5 minutes warming up with some calisthenics to stretch the muscles and tendons that, now and again, seem to chirp back at me after tennis.  And wanting to vary the skill development of those attending the cardio session, Denny proceeded to introduce us to two brand new, at least to the group attending, tennis drills that got everyone excited about practicing these new skills and the eye-hand coordination required to complete them.  Intrigued?  Give one of Denny’s cardio sessions a try.

A few days later, I asked Denny out to lunch to get to know him a little better.  During our lunch Denny shared his vision for the Alpena tennis community’s future, and its no small vision. Denny is hoping to start a mentoring program where a more experienced tennis players will team up with and mentor younger or less experienced players.  One big advantage of this mentoring program would be that new friendships, across age groups, would be formed and hopefully, might last for several years.  Denny also mentioned starting an ACC club tennis program that could travel around northern Michigan and play against other similarly ranked clubs.  He thoroughly enjoys playing mixed doubles and hopes to start a drop in mixed double session in the near future.  New men’s, women’s and mixed leagues are also on Denny’s near term agenda. 

And finally, an idea that brings another smile to Denny’s face is youth tennis.  He hopes to expand the “ready set serve” program for our third graders into some kind of weekly program for upper elementary students, which would then be a feeder system to the Junior High School tennis program.  What a wonderful idea.  When asked how is he going to get all of this done as quickly as he hopes, Denny responds, “I’ll get some folks, maybe three or four of them, with the time and energy and as a team we will build Alpena’s tennis program into first class organization.”  What can be better than that?  You go, Denny.