Usta News

Getting to know USTA Professional members Brenda Minnich and Tina Allman( Thu, Aug 15 00:08:AM)

Getting to know USTA Professional members Brenda Minnich and Tina Allman

“Getting to know you………getting to know all about you.”
A new feature of INSIDE LOOP is an up close and personal interview with YOU, our professionals. We want to know YOU, what makes you tick, what you do outside of baton, and little known facts about YOU. Let’s meet Brenda Minnich, from Indiana, and Tina Allman, from California.
1.  Did you have a mentor in our sport that inspired you?  If so, who and how did he/she do that?
Brenda: I have had several mentors over the years in the sport of baton twirling who inspired me to pursue my career in teaching. Kyle Keiser has been such an inspiration and great mentor to me over the years. There are so many ways that she has inspired me I can’t even begin to list them all so here are a few…. Kyle encouraged me to take jobs at Nationals, PreTrials and the World Championships, getting me more involved with USTA. She has provided my students and myself with countless life lessons and opportunities over the years. The relationships she develops with her students and their families are so inspirational. I am so grateful for our working relationship and our friendship. Judy Leap has also been a great mentor to me. Judy and I have worked together for many years with the Mideast Regional Council and the Indiana Council. Judy was always right there encouraging, helping and sharing her expertise as I pursued serving on both councils. Both of these wonderful women have been incredible mentors to me in our sport and I can’t thank them enough.

Tina: I had two mentors: Sharon Campbell and Patsy Hamilton. I didn’t get involved with USTA until I was a teenager and only competed for a few years before becoming a coach and judge. But I was lucky enough to learn about coaching and judging from two of the very best. Sharon was always available to give advice about teaching and growing my program. She gave me so many wonderful tips and ideas for making beginner classes fun and exciting. She was always so positive and helpful! I remember just sitting and listening to her talk about her passion for the sport and for the athletes and always thinking that I wanted that same kind of passion! As the years went on and I joined the California Baton Council board, I got to know Sharon even better.  She was such a genuine person and you could always count on her to know just what to say in any situation. Working with her on the board was such an honor and privilege for me. Patsy was my inspiration for becoming a judge. As a coach, I would listen to her team tape critiques and read her comments on my solo athletes' score sheets and I was just amazed at what she would say and how she would say it! She was always so positive and encouraging to athletes and it made me want to become a judge. After I took the Level I and II workshops, I would clerk for her whenever possible. She was so great about answering questions I would ask her throughout the day. She really believed in helping our young judges grow and learn.

Looking back all these years later, I feel so blessed that I was able to learn so much from both of these twirling legends. I miss them both terribly!

2.  What do feel is USTA’s greatest contribution to its athletes?
Brenda: I think USTA’s greatest contribution to its athletes is providing assistance and guidance to coaches for all levels of twirling, from the recreational programs to the elite world competitor.  
Tina: I feel that training is the biggest contribution, training for not only the athletes, but for coaches and judges. All of the information, workshops and classes benefit the athletes in so many ways. I know for me, taking the judges workshops made me a better coach as I finally understood exactly what it was the judges were looking for and at!  Clinics like itwirl are great for the athletes as they can learn from people from all over the world!
3.  Tell us three things about you that the baton twirling world would never know.
Brenda: Three things that the twirling world probably doesn’t know about me…  Besides my love for baton twirling I love being involved with my kids in 4-H showing pigs. I have been a child support caseworker for 18 years. I started teaching for a local school when I was 16 and started my own recreational parade group, the Rising Stars, when I was 18. I continue to teach the Rising Stars and they perform in six to eight parades each summer.
Tina: I played the xylophone and did color guard for many years as a teen.  I am a big fan of home improvement shows on HGTV. My dad opened one of the very first video stores in California back in the 80’s.
Thank you, Tina and Brenda. It’s great to get to know you better!