League_banner tennis_link_logo BBTAO_FIRSTDATA_color_Horizontal play_it_forward_apply_1024x512 facebook     twitter     youtube
 

A Vision for Albany - Meet Wes Sadler

By: Rick Limpert, Special for USTA Georgia

Wes_Sadler__1

 

Don't call Wes Sadler a "tennis nut!"

"I just want a tennis racquet in every kid's hand," exclaims Sadler, as he just walked off the tennis court.

Sadler is the leader of the growing tennis community in Albany.  He's a native of the area, as a graduate of Westover High School, studied at Darton College while playing tennis on scholarship, and completed his Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Accounting at Georgia Southwestern University. He's been a Certified Financial planner for 18 years and runs a busy practice. In his downtime at the office, Sadler admits he loves to watch online tennis instruction videos.

"The focus on the tennis ball helps everything else dissipate," said Sadler when talking about the stresses at work.

He's hoping he can pass that same philosophy on through tennis to the Greater Albany area.

Sadler said with Albany being such a diverse city, that can be used as an advantage when plotting the course for tennis in the region.

"It's like being a tennis player," offered Sadler. "You have to know your strengths and weaknesses."

Three years ago, Sadler received an invitation to join the board of the Albany Tennis Association. He then became President of ATA and saw there were SPLOST funds available for a tennis center. He immediately started thinking.

"The funds were sitting there for almost 18 years. I thought a tennis center would be a drawing card to the area."

After years of planning, Sadler says all signs point to approval for the tennis center by the end of the summer, with construction to begin in 2020.

Sadler is hoping to pass along what he learned playing tennis at a young age, to others. A baseball left-handed pitcher, Sadler, felt the sting of striking out 14 batters in one game, but his team ultimately lost the game 1-0.

A best friend then introduced a discouraged Sadler to tennis at the age of 12, and he hasn't stopped playing since. He went on to play high school tennis, become a student-athlete at Darton, and even taught tennis in Panama City Beach.

"Tennis has been so good to me," admits a grateful Sadler. "I met my wife through tennis, my best friend came through tennis and now my nine-year old son, Logan, is playing."

With 140,000 people in the area, Sadler feels the demand will be there immediately.

"We want to roll out Net Generation to the public and private schools in the area. I think tennis in school PE classes would be huge!"

Sadler remains close to the sport by competing, getting his son to lessons and tournaments, as well as giving his time to the sport. He recently won an 8.0 mixed championship in Augusta, and his son has been playing in events as far away as Macon.

"Making tennis fun," confesses Sadler is in his opinion, a recipe for success.

That includes making tennis "pressure-free" for kids, while keeping structure and consistency in local programs that are offered to juniors.

"Winning, losing, sportsmanship and determination are all part of tennis. Tennis helps develop life skills and helps reveal things about your personality."

Long range plans call for possible ITF events and bringing a men's or women's Challenger level event to Albany. The tennis center should provide a full-time tennis community organizer. This would be a leader that would be responsible for cultivating tennis programming and tournaments. That could also include education and tutoring services along with after-school activities.

There will also be leagues and special nights for adults, so nobody gets left out.

"It's important not to just build facilities, but also programs," says Sadler. "Tennis is something to enjoy, a way to stay fit and an opportunity to learn."

 

georgia_district_header

 

Poll of the Week

Who is your favorite for the US Open Women's Singles Championship?

Ashleigh Barty
Simona Halep
Naomi Osaka
Serena Williams
"The Field"

USTA_League_Gear__3
 
 
 
 
Close