June 1st, 2016

Miami JTT Parent-Captain Melissa Garcia Named Florida Tennis Volunteer of the Month

Volunteer Of The Month Adult Tennis News Diversity Junior Team Tennis

Melissa Garcia-headParents who coach USTA Junior Team Tennis squads are, especially in the younger age groups, often a child’s early introduction to fair play, camaraderie, teamwork and sportsmanship.

They teach not only the rules and etiquette of tennis, but also a love of the game.

“I don’t really see this as work, but it is something I enjoy and love being a part of,” says Miami Junior Team Tennis parent and captain Melissa Garcia. “As a busy working parent and a known procrastinator, one of the things I am proud to say I have accomplished is being able to stay on top of everything I need to do as a parent-captain to my tennis team.”

USTA Florida Tennis Program Coordinator for the Miami area Cathy Nordlund says Garcia is modest, and “staying on top of everything” has included mentoring parents and other team captains along the way.

“Melissa has been involved with JTT for several years and goes way beyond the call of duty,” Nordlund said. “She has designed parent guide sheets and other helpful documents. Melissa is now serving on the commission for the South Miami-Dade JTT league. Her son has gone through the system starting with red ball [beginner level], and now has graduated to green dot.”

Her junior tennis voyage over the years has taken her from the Hank Kline Boys & Girls Club in Miami to Top Spin Services at Goodlet Tennis Center, and now the Friends of Miami Tennis at the Tamiami Tennis Center. Like many JTT parent-captains, the team tennis experience has provided for extra family bonding.

“It is a connection my son and I share,” Garcia says. “Something we both enjoy doing together. I love that we both share this same love for tennis.”

Tennis also came into play for one of her health-based New Year’s resolutions.

“It may seem cliche, but this year I made a promise to myself and to my family to start looking after my health,” she says. “I’ve honored my own needs, creating more balance in my life. So far so good!”

USTA Florida thanks Melissa Garcia as the May Tennis Volunteer of the Month for giving of her time in sharing the lifetime sport of tennis with children, and looking to lead by healthy example.


Birthplace: Queens, New York
Family: “My Big Fat Greek Wedding; have you seen it?…You name it, I have one. But not all of them are named Nico!”
Favorite Movie: “Star Wars! ‘Do or do not…there is no try.’ — Yoda”
Favorite Food: “Anything with pasta in it…yummy!”
Favorite Travel: “Planet Naboo, third planet of the Naboo System. Located in the Chommel Sector in a galaxy far, far away. (Can you tell I’m a Star Wars Fan?)”
Favorite Shot: “Dropshot, when used correctly, it’s in the bag.”

My earliest tennis memory was…”in middle school, I was in 7th grade and I had just moved to Miami from Queens. Our PE teacher decided to introduce us to the fundamentals of tennis. I already had a love for racquetball. So I naturally gravitated towards it.”

einsteinIf I could play tennis with three people, they would be…”Han Solo, Albert Einstein and Maria Sharapova.”

When I am not playing tennis I am…”reading sci-fi/fantasy books, watching movies with my family or playing video games with my son.”

My best tennis memory is…”seeing my son playing his first tennis game at the ripe old age of 5 years old.”