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Getting to know USTA Professional member Berta Lane ( Thu, Nov 14 00:11:AM)

Getting to know USTA Professional member Berta Lane

“Getting to know you………getting to know all about you.”

In continuing our popular “Getting to Know You” feature, we are excited to share with you an interview with USTA Professional member Berta Lane of California. We asked Berta to share her expertise about recruiting and retaining entry level athletes.

1. What is your strategy to entice beginners to keep coming back to baton class?

Berta: My main strategy is to praise each student, no matter how clutzy or clumsy they might be, for every small accomplishment they have. I also like to allow playtime, doing baton games, so my students get to know each other and become friends. At times, I’ll bring in an advanced twirler, to show them what they can accomplish if they practice at home. This seems to get them pretty excited.

2. What is your philosophy about introducing young beginner athletes to the competition scene?
Berta: To introduce my students to the competition scene, I have little mini contests in class doing Foundation Events. I do this to teach them that what matters is they did the best they could and that winning isn’t the most important thing but being happy with how they performed is. I will also take them to a local contest and have them do a team routine and enter foundation events. (Thank you, Irene Mazzini!). There they can also be introduced to individual Championship Events.
     My biggest successes, using this strategy, are Veronica Sputlock-Harmon, who went on to twirl with Sandi Rios and Syndication, and Jaida Jobe, who is currently twirling with Kellie Perelman and Revolution.
3. What are three things that the baton world doesn’t know about you?
Berta: I’m the very proud grandmother of Catreena Hale-Johnson and great-grandmother of Corey Steven Walsh, age 6, and Karsin Andrew Baker, age 5. All three are the light of my life.
   Things about me that may not be known is I’m an avid golfer. Not a good one, but an avid one. I played clarinet and bassoon from 6th grade through high school and loved it. I also got to play bassoon in the local thespian groups musicals. I love playing games. My current favorite is Phase 10 and Words With Friends.
   I want to thank Barbara Docktor, Bonnie Webber, Kathy Forsythe, and Kellie Perelman for all their guidance and encouragement throughout my teaching career. I could not have been successful without their mentorship.

Thank you, Berta, for your insights. USTA is proud of your wonderful accomplishments and wishes you the best in all that you do!