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I didn’t just wake up one day thinking, Wow, I want to be a tennis player,It all came gradually

Karen reached out to HAT, hoping for an opportunity to train and travel on the WTA circuit with the expert coaching team.  You see Karen does not come from a family of professional athletes or parents who are well to do.  They are an every day family, with an extraordinary daughter; fighting her way to the top of the game, often facing what seem to be insurmountable obstacles.

Karen Barritza, WTA Player from Denmark

Traveling the world every week playing tournaments in not so glamorous locations, often alone, with enormous pressures from home and from self, can be overwhelming.  Breaking through as a professional tennis player is extremely difficult.  It certainly demands skill, talent and dedication; however, it also requires a tremendous amount of emotional and financial support.

Becoming a top-ranked tennis player does not happen automatically.  “I didn’t just wake up one day thinking, ‘Wow, I want to be a tennis player!’ says Karen, “It all came gradually.  I started playing when I was six on a vacation in Romania, and got really into it and practiced a lot. When I came home (to Denmark), I was playing quite well, started winning a lot and kept practicing – people and coaches started noticing me.

Karen credits her involvement with HAT for much of her success both on and off the court.  “Those involved with HAT are ambitious and talented.  The organization provides a nurturing environment so that you can take your tennis to the next level.  I have learned a lot and have had a lot of experiences that I feel I can take with me ‘till later in life.”  Karen’s goal is to be in the Top 100 WTA singles and to play Grand Slam events.

Today #StaffSpotlight: Brent Mazza, Director of Tennis , HAT

Brent Mazza, Director of Tennis, HAT
Brent Mazza, Director of Tennis, HAT

Brent, a California native, has been a student of the HAT methodology for nearly a decade and was HAT’s very first intern and has since earned his way to become HAT’s Director of Tennis. Brent previously worked for the International Tennis Hall of Fame, the Boston Lobsters World Team Tennis Franchise, and the Champions Tour.  He is a graduate of Boston University with a Bachelors Degree in Business Administration. Brent has a tremendous passion to provide every one of his students life lessons through powerful teaching in tennis fundamentals, tactics and match strategies that will last a lifetime.

EXPERIENCE SUMMARY

17 Years of high level sports experience
14 Years of tennis experience
8 Years of coaching experience
Selected as USTA Intermountain Zone Team Coach (2014)
HAT Teaching Method Certified
USPTA Certified
PTR Certified
Brent has coached/Consulted with numerous ITF & professional players including:

– Karen Barbat (Denmark – *WTA #474)
– Zoe Scandalis (USA – *WTA #711)
– Ao Gia (China – #497 ITF)
– Hao Zhang (China – *ITF #613)
– Pengyu Zhang (China – *ITF #614)

I believe HAT is definitely a hidden gem on a national scale

Starting this week, every Monday we will be giving the spotlight to one of our Staff members who, inch by inch gives their full support to our organization. They will also be sharing their experience among the younger generations. This week we are highlighting the profile of Brian Lindberg – HAT Tennis Teaching Professional.

Brian Lindberg- HAT Tennis Teaching Professional
Brian Lindberg- HAT Tennis Teaching Professional

Brian Lindberg is originally from Colorado and started playing tennis at the age of 5 years old. Brian developed into an elite junior player in Minnesota eventually achieving a college scholarship to the College of St. Scholastica where he was selected to the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference All-Conference team for both athletics and academics.

Brian completed his internship at High Altitude Tennis in 2013 and soon after was awarded the Men’s and Women’s coaching job at Ripon College in the fall of 2013. Realizing his passion was in helping top junior scholars learn the life lessons required to be successful at the collegiate level and beyond, he returned to High Altitude Tennis in 2015. Brian loves photography and climbing 14ers. He also has earned the nickname “storm” for his very accurate weather reports.

Brian’s View on HAT:

“I believe HAT is definitely a hidden gem on a national scale.  The system that is taught here, the strength training and conditioning, and the individualized attention given to every student combines to offer a level of improvement unparalleled by other programs in the nation.  I’ve not only seen our system work here but also in my time teaching in Wisconsin.  The HAT method is capable of holding its own at every level of the game.  The HAT Fund is a great compliment to HAT as well allowing juniors access to a program like ours that they might not have otherwise had.

HAT Fund Event Series HF Community Development BOSTON

The Hat Fund, Inc
The Hat Fund, Inc

Boston, Massachusetts: The HAT Fund will be hosting a series of Meet-and-Greet Fundraisers in major cities throughout the U.S. in 2015 and have scheduled one for Tuesday, July 21, 5:30 – 7:30 pm at Stella Restaurant, 1525 Washington Street in Boston’s South End.

The HAT Fund is dedicated to creating pathways to success through sports and education by assisting underserved aspiring young scholar athletes to ensure that they have the opportunities, guidance and tools to flourish on and off the court. Leslie Segelke, co-owner with her husband Ryan of High Altitude Tennis in Parker, Colorado, founded the HAT Fund.

“I’ve recognized the students we work with in addition to being passionate, driven athletes are burgeoning young leaders eager to learn what is necessary to take full advantage of life’s opportunities”, states Leslie. “I’ve also felt the frustration of being unable to help so many kids with that glimmer in their eye…wanting so desperately to be given the best chance to succeed…and willing to make the sacrifices that great success requires. That frustration, or the unwillingness to give in to obstacles, gave life to the HAT Fund.”

To help make this fundraiser available to everyone interested, the cost of admission is $20, which includes one complimentary beverage, hors d’oeuvres and great company. Raffle tickets will also be sold at the door for $5 each for the chance to win 2 box seat tickets to the 2016 ATP Tour at the Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport, Rhode Island. There will also be a silent auction where attendees can bid on sports memorabilia, restaurant gift certificates and exciting other gift items. A short presentation about the HAT Fund will be included, but the evening is more about meeting other tennis and sports minded people in the Boston area.

To date, HAT has donated more than $75,000 to provide scholarships and educational resources for up-and-coming junior tennis players from around the world.

For additional information about the Boston Meet- and-Greet, please contact:

Ryan Segelke at ryan@highaltitudetennis.com or Gary Briggs at gbriggs@auntsadiesinc.com.

For information about the HAT FUND, please contact Leslie Segelke at leslies@thehatfund.org.

The HAT FUND, INC is a recognized 501(c)(3) organization. All donations are tax-deductible.

Event Date: JULY 21, 2015 5:30pm-7:30pm

Venue: STELLA RESTAURANT

For Tickets, Click here http://www.eventbee.com/v/hfeventboston

The HAT Academy Hosted its Tennis Year-End Event in Denver, Colorado

May 31st , 2015 – Denver, Colorado, USA – 

Each year the HAT Academy present students with awards for academic achievement named for a “trailblazer” in the field of education.  Last year we were honored to have our own advisory council member Marilyn M Gordanier founder of Laurel Springs School and this year were extremely proud to be presenting the Rachel Davis Academic Achievement Award to scholar athletes who have completed the year with a GPA of 3.75 and above.

 Award Recipients:

James Chrisman,

Samantha Moore -Thomson,

Ryan Lahr,

Sauray Behara,

Ryan Neale,

Andrew Seehausen,

Megan Lantz

Dr Rachel Davis, PHD
Dr Rachel Davis, PHD

What a moving speech Dr. Davis shared with us. The HF Community is thrilled to have such a passionate, thoughtful person leading us as the Chair of the HAT FUND Board.

The second student honor, The DaVarryl J Williamson Leadership Award was presented to Trace Collins.  Throughout the years Trace has shown the proclivity to serve as a role model with energy, enthusiasm and perseverance.  He has courageously overcome daunting neurological issues.  The courage shown by this young man is inspired.  Mr. DaVarryl Williamson in fact inspired us all with his talk about overcoming obstacles, choosing your path, and focusing on what the future has to offer if we are willing to put in the effort and accept help from others rather than falling prey to the hardships of the past.

DaVarryl J Williamson with Trance Collins
DaVarryl J Williamson and  Trace Collins (with his Leadership Award).

Other Speakers included Mr. and Mrs. Collins, parents of HAT graduate and award recipient Trace Collins, Michael Farrington, HAT Site Director and Lead Fitness Instructor along with Ryan Segelke, Founder of High Altitude Tennis.

Rachel Davis, PHD distributing awards among our young athlete for their performances
Rachel Davis, PHD distributing awards among our young athlete for their performances

“I want to say thank you to the HAT Community for coming out to support this event as well as supporting the HAT programs each year.   Thank you to everyone who has contributed to the HAT FUND… there are many… and a very special thank you to Ryan Segelke and the extremely dedicated and loyal HAT staff.  I am extremely proud to be a part of such a hardworking, devoted team.”

“I look forward to seeing everyone at the next HF Event.” – Leslie Segelke, Co-Founder | Director of The HAT Fund

June 24th  HF Enrichment Event: Unique Lives and Experiences/Malala Yousafzai is being held at the Bellco Theatre, Denver.  We will send detailed information soon.

Share your inspirational stories at #hatfundstories on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, google plus.

Hurray! The Summer Camp Season is here

As we all know that summer has come and its the month of June when most of the kids are looking out for a place to cool off. This is the only time when there is a need to learn extra curriculum activities. Here, where High Altitude Tennis LLC in collaboration with The Hat Fund, Inc comes into limelight.

We as an expertise in the world of tennis have professional coaches and the best infrastructure where your kids not only learn tennis but basic ethics, education as well as how to be the best in the world of competition. Every year we hold events form awards ceremony for the scholar athlete to the training camps.

DaVarryl Williamson with the Leadership Awardee Trace Collins at HAT Community Celebrations
DaVarryl Williamson with the Leadership Awardee Trace Collins.
Rachel Davis, PHD distributing awards among our young athlete for their performances at HAT Community Celebration
Rachel Davis, PHD distributing awards among our young athlete for their performances.

This year we kick started from the HAT Community Celebrations held on Sunday, 31st May 2015, following the Summer Camp started on June 1st 2015 at SUMMER ACADEMY at METRO STATE UNIVERSITY, Denver, Colorado.

High Altitude Tennis is excited to announce that we are proud to have partnered with Metro State University and we will be running our elite summer camps at the brand new, state of the art Recency Sports Complex.

The Campus

The Regency Sports Complex will provide an ideal setting for this years summer camps. With 8 tennis courts located on a sprawling 12-acres including a brand new lounge where we will have our daily lunches, this will certainly be the elite tennis camp to attend in 2015.

The High Altitude Tennis Summer Academy is one of a kind combining a specialized coaching methodology; stroke mechanics, player tactics and match strategies, with a conditioning and injury prevention program in the most rigorous training environment available. In short our development method works and we can prove it! However, what we are most proud if is our ability to build trust with each individual student which allows tennis to be our vehicle to teach the life lessons required to be tomorrows leaders and powerful contributors to society.

For Registration, Kindly click on the link : http://www.highaltitudetennis.com/summer-registration/ 

Share your inspirational stories at #hatfundstories on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, google plus.

For Media Contacts:

Raghav Kohli, Email-id: raghav.kohli18@gmail.com.

Making a Difference is not a Numbers Game

How making a difference for one child in a community can positively affect the entire community.

Leslie Segelke, Executive Director, The HAT FUND, INC.
Leslie Segelke,

At The HAT FUND we focus very strongly on making a meaningful lasting difference for each child.  This is very expensive and very time consuming but extremely worthwhile.  It is a focused effort to ensure no one falls through the cracks.  There are tremendously successful programs that are quite large and do wonderful things for huge numbers of people but at The HAT FUND we are an organization that puts a great deal of time and energy, and love into each and every child, family, community.   It grows from the seed.  We have to nourish our seedlings far better in this country… in this world. – L.S.

Where would the human civilization be today if all those from our earliest ancestors to today’s leaders were to resign themselves to never being able to make a difference in the World? Honestly we cannot reach an answer to that question because we are subconsciously living in a zone of comfort that was actually created by those, before us, who thought of us and made a difference to the lives we lead today.

Unfortunately making a difference is lots and lots of hard work. Giving away money in charity is easy but the responsibility that comes with judiciously using those charitable funds that have been received is not at all easy.  Though it may not seem so to a person outside, the task of the person entrusted with dispensing those charitable funds is extremely heart-breaking.  To an outsider, it may seem that handing over money or material is easy because they are so many who are so needy in our society that one can’t go wrong. Instant or one-off gratification is indeed easy to achieve.

From my personal experience, I can state that making a difference that lasts a life-time, not merely for that moment, to just one person from a broken home or much worse without a home, is a huge task. But, thankfully it is the most satisfying one too.

As a non-profit organization, we have two choices – do we thinly spread our efforts and resources over several or do we make a life-changing impact on a few. When we do the former, the results from that thinly-spread effort often wear off very quickly. Whereas when we do the latter, the impact often triggers several positives of much longer-lasting value. We can compare the former to air-dropping food to a disaster-struck community (it most likely only reaches the young and healthy males) and the latter to setting-up a base kitchen which has the capability of catering equally to all.

At Hat Fund, we focus on and practice more of the latter – providing impactful life-changing support to the needy child, which empowers the child’s ability to sustain independently and in the long-term rise above threshold of the needy and finally attain the status of a giver!

However, the pursuit of our goal of delivering a focused impactful difference to each child invites criticism that we ignore the larger good of the community’s needs. Such criticism is certainly not true because it is our sincere intention to leave no needy behind. Every person in need is a person of interest to us. However making a difference is not a numbers game.

At The HAT Fund, we do not claim to take on a universal burden; we take on those needy who are within sight of our community. There are ways and ways to uplift the needy; we have taken on to uplift the needy through an eco-system of imparting skills to play tennis at the highest levels with equal parts of academic achievements.

Even though we run outreach programs, we have no magic tool that brings into our line-of-sight every needy person.
Therefore we do learn, albeit belatedly, that some very needy may have missed our attention. Such a loss of the opportunity to make a difference saddens us at The HAT Fund immensely. Any student of social sciences will tell you that the most vulnerable are also often socially the most invisible; thus are frequently bypassed by conventional development efforts.

At the heart of our efforts is enriching the personality, nourishing the dreams and improving the latent skills of every needy youngster that comes our way, so that they can soon rise above the class of the needy and graduate to a class of self-sustaining individuals. No effort, time or resources are spared by us on this account. The results we have achieved are immensely encouraging and speak for themselves. A.A.