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Captain's Corner: Joe Felice

September 19, 2012 05:53 PM
CaptainCorner_WebCAPTAIN'S CORNER - JOE FELICE (Albuquerque, N.M.) 
Joe Felice of Albuquerque has been captaining USTA League teams of all levels for more than 25 years, and teaching and coaching for almost 45 years. In that time, Felice has been a terrific supporter of the program, and even served as the head verifier for USTA Southwest prior to the self-rating system being implemented.
Joe's has left an indelible stamp on league tennis in the Southwest, and is probably best known for his heavy involvement with 2.5 women's teams.
That level is the entry point for many begginger league players, and definitely takes a lot of hand holding and organizing to help get them acclimated to league play, learn the nuances of scheduling and the rating system, as well as just getting the hang of being a new league tennis player.
Almost annually, Joe has helped qualify a 2.5 league team from his area at our Adult Section Championships.
Not that Joe is just a captain, he still plays regularly. This year he's captaining yet another 2.5 ladies team as well as a 3.0 men's team, a 3.5 men's team, a 4.0 men's team, 6.0, 7.0, 8.0 Adult Mixed and 7.0 Senior and 8.0 Senior Mixed teams, as well as a Super Senior 9.0 men's team.
He's also been a captain of his 2012 Corporate League team in Albuquerque, not to mention an Early Start 40 +  3.5 Senior and 4.0 men's team. Whew, that's an incredible 13 league teams in one year!   

We really appreciate Joe's incredible level of involvement with the USTA League program and would like to recognize the impact he has made on league tennis here in the Section, especially in Albuquerque!  We recently caught up with him for our ongoing spotlight of USTA Southwest league captains, entitled the "Captain's Corner."   






Name: Joe Felice      
District: Northern New Mexico

NTRP Level: 4.0

Teams Captained: 13

2012 Adult League – 2.5 Ladies, 3.0 Men, 3.5 Men, 4.0 Men

2012 Mixed League – 6.0 Adult, 7.0 Adult. 8.0 Adult, 7.0 Senior, 8.0 Senior

2012 Super Senior – 9.0 Men

2012 Corporate League Champions

2013 Early Start 40+ Senior – 3.5 Men, 4.0 Men 


- What do you enjoy about captaining a USTA League team?

JF: I organize and captain multiple teams, many of which would not be playing if they didn’t have someone to pull them all together.  It gives me great satisfaction seeing these players having fun participating in a team situation.



- How long have you been captaining USTA League teams?

JF: Since around 1987 when USTA League play started to get active in Albuquerque.




- What’s been your favorite or most unique "captain" moment so far?                              

JF: Developing a beginning women’s team at the 2.5 level and going all the way to the National League Championships in Indian Wells, CA



Joe_Felice2- What do you think your players or other players should know about what it’s like to captain?

JF: There is a lot of time and effort that goes on behind the scenes.  Emails about practice and lineups, getting subs for players who can’t play at the last minute, making sure your players know where they are playing and how to get there, trying to put together doubles teams that are compatible, keeping players up to date with the rules and regulations.  There is lots of responsibility being a captain, but the rewards outweigh the hard work.



- What is your strategy on recruiting new players? How do you find and fill your team with new players each year?   

JF: I get many players from word of mouth and my lesson groups that are very active at Sierra Vista Tennis Center.  I then try to put together competitive teams, but my main emphasis is having fun and being part of a team.



- Why do you like to give back to the sport of tennis so much? 

JF: I have been teaching and coaching tennis since 1969 and I feel I have changed the lives of many people by introducing them to this great sport.  The satisfaction I get from seeing people’s lives change both physically and mentally because of tennis is priceless.



- If you could have any professional player (current or retired) on your league team, who would it be? Why?

JF: Probably Roger Federer because of his attitude, sportsmanship, ease of movement on the court, the range of skills he can execute and how he gives back to the game in many ways.