Tennis Is Not Just A Sport, It's A Career Too: Teal and Ryan Howard’s Story
Teal and Ryan Howard are brothers who came up in the New HYTEs program together. The support of their coaches, community and parents helped them develop a love for and a commitment to the sport that has now turned into a career path. Currently, they are both on track to receive business degrees from Methodist University with a concentration in Professional Tennis Management. This degree qualifies them to run tournaments and clinics, oversee the business side of tennis operations, maintain equipment, and coach adults and children. “It basically teaches us how to do everything involved in the tennis industry”, says Ryan. Ryan and Teal credit New HYTEs with helping them boost their GPAs, an important factor in getting accepted to a school like Methodist University. They noted that they also became better listeners, communicators and team players as a result of their participation in New HYTEs. “Giving back to the sport that has done so much for us is what motivates us.” At New HYTEs, Ryan and Teal had the opportunity to train with some outstanding coaches and they still play tennis every day. Teal currently plays on the varsity team at Methodist. Taught by their dad that “when you have your hands closed, you cannot give and you cannot receive”, Teal and Ryan both give back by volunteering to coach tennis and tutor inner city youth in Waterbury, Connecticut. Ryan, who had a tendency to be shy and reserved when younger, can now easily identify those types of students when coaching. He makes a point to connect with them, nurture them and help them build confidence out on the court. Ryan and Teal both share the same goal for their future: to run a family tennis business with their father. They thank New HYTEs for the important role the organization played in getting them to where they are today… on the precipice of a life and career built around a sport they love.
When J.C came home from school in June 2018 with an offer to attend New HYTEs Summer Academy on full scholarship, his mother called his school wondering if there had been a mistake. Since kindergarten, J.C. had struggled in school, telling his mom that his mind felt "like a roller coaster out of control." "I never would've thought of tennis as a sport for him, primarily because of the focus needed," his mom said. Mrs. C. was reassured that there was no error; J.C. was nominated because he had shown an aptitude for tennis through HYPED,* and the school had "seen such improvement and potential in him" after his diagnosis and treatment for ADHD. Mrs. C. said, "The attention and time given to each student [by New HYTEs] has been the most impressive thing for me. I have seen for myself how much he has improved! Not only in tennis, but in school and at home... I'm more confident in J.C. being able to be medication-free in the near future as a result of continuing with New HYTEs. We plan to stay with our new-found tennis family for as long as they'll have us!" *HYPED is a partnership with Columbus Family Academy in which New HYTEs provides tennis instruction to more than 200 students each year through the public school's physical education program.