16 episodes

Racquet Fuel provides insights into the best practices and innovations of racquets industry business leaders.

Co-hosts Kim Bastable, Director of Professional Tennis Management at the University of Florida, and Simon Gale, Director of Racquet Sports at the USTA National Campus, help racquets leaders in your ability to grow the game and to improve the experiences you offer to both your staff and players by talking to industry leaders, including USTA executives, authors and innovators. If you are on a career path in racquet sports or already a racquets business leader and you want to stay up to date on ideas and innovations in racquets industry business and leadership, this podcast is for you.

Presented by the Athlete+ Podcast Network at the University of Florida Institute for Coaching Excellence.

Racquet Fuel Athlete+

    • Sports
    • 5.0 • 18 Ratings

Racquet Fuel provides insights into the best practices and innovations of racquets industry business leaders.

Co-hosts Kim Bastable, Director of Professional Tennis Management at the University of Florida, and Simon Gale, Director of Racquet Sports at the USTA National Campus, help racquets leaders in your ability to grow the game and to improve the experiences you offer to both your staff and players by talking to industry leaders, including USTA executives, authors and innovators. If you are on a career path in racquet sports or already a racquets business leader and you want to stay up to date on ideas and innovations in racquets industry business and leadership, this podcast is for you.

Presented by the Athlete+ Podcast Network at the University of Florida Institute for Coaching Excellence.

    Gender Roles in Coaching - with Rita Gladstone

    Gender Roles in Coaching - with Rita Gladstone

    In this episode of Racquet Fuel, hosts Kim Bastable and Simon Gale have a conversation with respected USTA Head Pro, Rita Gladstone, who shares about the challenges and joys of working in the racquets industry as a female AND a mom. Since only 20% of the professionals in racquet sports are female, the questions are WHY and WHAT can be done about it? Rita helps us highlight how females can balance a successful career and being a mother, and we discuss how leaders can positively inspire and manage females. 
    If you're wanting to know how you can better empower females in the industry, or if you're struggling to balance work and life as a mother, you're going to want to tune in to this episode.
    Highlights:

    1:58- Gender balance in tennis coaching with a successful female coach
    9:03 - Effective leadership and utilizing employees' strengths
    10:55 - Leadership and identifying strengths in a tennis program
    12:05 - Developing coaches 
    14:32- Gender roles in coaching and industry growth20:26 - Balancing work and family life as a tennis coach21:57 - Career development for female professionals in the industry23:47 - Gender disparity in tennis coaching and solutions to increase female representation
    Looking to become a more confident, competent, and clear business leader with a lifelong career in the industry? Become a PTR- or USPTA-Certified Director of Racquet Sports. Visit our website to learn more!

    • 29 min
    Marketing Racquet Sports - with Padel expert Marcos del Pilar

    Marketing Racquet Sports - with Padel expert Marcos del Pilar

    In this episode of Racquet Fuel, hosts Kim Bastable and Simon Gale have a conversation about the energy behind padel with expert Marcos del Pilar. They discuss how this new racquet sport differs in the United States and Europe and his path for bringing it from Spain to the USTA National Campus where it's become immensely popular. 
    If you're wanting to know how your racquets facility can build and monetize a new racquet sport, you're going to want to tune in to this episode.
    Highlights:

    1:44 - The impact of Padel in the US
    7:28 - Challenges in growing pickleball 
    12:09- Launching a new racquet sport program and business model 
    17:06 - Customer experience and monetization strategies for racquet sports facilities
    22:53- Crossover between tennis and pickleball21:18- Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro24:55 - Leadership, personal growth, and overcoming challenges27:40 - Attracting new customers and optimizing existing programs at a tennis facility
    Looking to become a more confident, competent, and clear business leader with a lifelong career in the industry? Become a PTR- or USPTA-Certified Director of Racquet Sports. Visit our website to learn more!

    • 39 min
    The Science of Human Performance with Dr. Jack Groppel

    The Science of Human Performance with Dr. Jack Groppel

    In this episode of Racquet Fuel, hosts Kim Bastable and Simon Gale have a conversation with Dr. Jack Groppel, a researcher, professor, and authority on the science of human performance. They address a number of topics around how we all need to manage our energy for top performance at work within the demanding industry of racquet sports. Jack is an expert on this challenge.
    Jack, Kim, and Simon will also touch on the topics of how we, as leaders in racquet sports, can become better than we currently are, and how networking has the possibility to change your life and your career. 

    1:46 - Becoming literate in life and personal growth
    7:28 - Career path from tennis coach to corporate athlete
    11:26 - Work demands and expectation in the tennis industry
    15:22 - Leadership, funding, and growth in the fitness industry
    17:20- Work-life balance, leadership, and personal growth21:18- Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro24:55 - Leadership, personal growth, and overcoming challenges
    Looking to become a more confident, competent, and clear business leader with a lifelong career in the industry? Become a PTR- or USPTA-Certified Director of Racquet Sports. Visit our website to learn more!

    • 36 min
    Evolution of Clubs, Mentorship, and Leadership feat. Len Simard, Part 2

    Evolution of Clubs, Mentorship, and Leadership feat. Len Simard, Part 2

    In this episode of Racquet Fuel, hosts Kim Bastable and Simon Gale continue their conversation with Len Simard, Search and Consulting Executive with Kopplin, Kuebler, & Wallace. Len annually manages the searches for hundreds of leadership positions and clubs around the US, specializing in Directors of Racquet Sports searches, so he knows what it takes to succeed in the role. 
    Len, Kim, and Simon discuss the evolution of the role of Director of Racquet Sports, how you can engage members in racquet sports at country clubs, and the impact tennis professionals have on the lives of the people they interact with every day. The episode ends in conversation about the impact of tennis pros on young people and the industry.

    1:11 - Evolving role of Director of Racquet Sports
    5:25 - Engaging members in racquet sports at Country Clubs
    11:00 - Attracting Next Gen to tennis industry despite potential loss of veteran pros
    15:51 - The impact of tennis professionals on members' lives and the importance of a work-life balance.
    21:49 The impact of tennis pros on young people in the industry
    Looking to become a more confident, competent, and clear business leader with a lifelong career in the industry? Become a PTR- or USPTA-Certified Director of Racquet Sports. Visit our website to learn more!

    • 25 min
    Search and Consulting at Clubs with Len Simard, Part 1

    Search and Consulting at Clubs with Len Simard, Part 1

    In this 2 part episode of Racquet Fuel, hosts Kim Bastable and Simon Gale speak with Len Simard, Search and Consulting Executive with Kopplin, Kuebler, and Wallace. Len annually manages the searches for hundreds of leadership positions and clubs around the US, specializing in Directors of Racquet Sports searches, so he knows what it takes to succeed in the role. 
    He shares information about the evolution of search firms in the country club industry, some secrets to hiring and consulting for racquet sports departments, and leadership and staffing, and more.

    00:16 - The evolution of search firms in the country club industry
    2:42 - Hiring and consulting for racquet sports departments
    5:18 - Racquet sports club director roles and responsibilities
    10:02- Becoming a Director of Racquets at a private member equity club
    12:41 - Leadership development and staffing for country clubs
    14:44 - Transitioning to a Director of Racquets role
    20:48: Leadership and skills for club managers
    Looking to become a more confident, competent, and clear business leader with a lifelong career in the industry? Become a PTR- or USPTA-Certified Director of Racquet Sports. Visit our website to learn more!

    • 34 min
    Pay and Benefits Compensation feat. Doug Cash

    Pay and Benefits Compensation feat. Doug Cash

    In this episode of Racquet Fuel, hosts Kim Bastable and Simon Gale speak with respected industry consultant and UF-DORS adjunct professor Doug Cash about compensation. This is a vital topic for employees and employers, as Compensation packages dictate employee behavior, and payroll is the largest cost on most club budgets. This includes discussion around Pro pay, pricing strategies, health insurance, and what it means to be a full-time professional. 

    00:19 - Tennis industry compensation with expert insights
    13:35 - Instructor compensation and pricing strategies
    18:11 - Tennis Pro Pay and experience requirements
    19:35 - Tennis industry compensation and benefits
    27:08 - Health insurance options for small businesses in the tennis industry
    28:48 - Tennis teaching hours, pickleball growth, and club needs
    32:39: Tennis industry trends and pro pay
    36:43 - Tennis interest and participation the US
    Looking to become a more confident, competent, and clear business leader with a lifelong career in the industry? Become a PTR- or USPTA-Certified Director of Racquet Sports. Visit our website to learn more!

    • 38 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
18 Ratings

18 Ratings

bradstsr ,

Highly Informative and Enjoyable!

Kim and Simon share their vast expertise across the racquets industry, including great ideas that are improving career paths and work-life balance for coaches.

Sc11668 ,

Learn the behind the scenes details

Great listening. Simon and Kim do an amazing job of sharing behind the scenes knowledge and learning. I’ve loved hearing about theirs and others backgrounds. Must listen

Rach Capstack ,

Educational as current tennis player/ member at a tennis club

Great information about world of coaching tennis and what it may need for the future. If we can share this with our tennis coaches we know to help make a lasting future for our kids.

Top Podcasts In Sports

Wave Sports + Entertainment
Barstool Sports
iHeartPodcasts and The Volume
Dan Le Batard, Stugotz
Playmaker HQ + The Big Podcast Network
Tenderfoot TV and Audacy