Our very first Member Spotlight is…
For donating his time & for sharing his story with us, Brad will receive a FREE racquet!!!
Brad Short grew up in Terre Haute, Indiana. When he was eleven, his parents divorced, and his mother relocated to another city. With lots of time on his hands that summer, he gravitated toward a free tennis clinic that was put on by the local school system. Being part of something constructive really helped him during those years, and at age 14, the instructor asked him to help run the clinic.
From there, he began playing on his junior high team—until a year later—when he moved to Dayton, Ohio, with his father and brother. At that point, he was going into a new, large high school, which was a difficult transition. There at Centerville High School, he integrated into the area and made friends by joining the tennis team. He played doubles there, and his team made it to the state finals their senior year. Although they didn’t win, it was an awesome experience for Brad.
Brad’s next move was to the east coast to attend the University of Pennsylvania, where his tennis play became more recreational. After graduation, he moved to Poughkeepsie to begin work. There, he found an informal league to play in, and again tennis helped him to make connections with people in a new area. He met a friend there who invited him to play periodically at a local tennis club with a non-member special on Sunday evenings. On his visits to the club, he met the woman who is now his wife, Melissa. She was picking up extra part-time hours at the club’s front desk, as a second job outside of her bank officer role during the week.
When I asked Brad how tennis has impacted his life, he told me that tennis gave him a goal and an opportunity to be a part of something. The social interaction and opportunities to forge life-long relationships have considerably influenced the course of his life. Today, Brad & Melissa have three wonderful kids—Kayla, Thomas and Jake—who were all introduced to the sport at a young age.
Tennis is big in their family. Part of the reason they purchased their home fifteen years ago was because it was within walking distance of a neighborhood court. Even in 2010—when they all relocated to Shanghai, China for a few years for Brad’s job assignment—they picked a home that was near tennis courts. Tennis is a global language, and Brad said they were able to make friends and spend time with new people they met in China by playing tennis on their neighborhood courts.
Brad has just been playing informally with their children for the last 11-12 years. He and his wife brought them here to TSR for instruction, and then they decided to join the club themselves. Last year, Brad got back into playing competitively in a few USTA leagues. He first started trying specialty clinics like the Aussie Open, playing programs such as the Friday Night Mixer, and then was invited by Mark Gosniowski to play on a Season Court. Of course, he still does court time with his wife and kids regularly.
When I asked him why they are members here at TSR, Brad told me the inviting family environment and the great group of people we have here (both staff and members) are what drew them in. He is very happy to be able to play year-round, to have a way to bond with his family, and to have such an enjoyable way to stay in shape!
Their family is truly involved in everything we have to offer here at Taconic Sport & Racquet. The kids are all in varying stages of our junior pathway here, including both clinics and play days. They have also played in the USTA Junior Tournaments. Their son Jake has been in the finals of several Green Ball Tournaments, winning 2 in a row recently. All three of them are involved in Camp TSR during the summer, and they do private lessons with our teaching professionals here at the club. Melissa participates in our TSR Clinic, which is one of our instructional programs for adults. We are so glad to have them here at our club and to hear such a great story about how tennis brings people together.