3 min read
Universal Tennis Flex Leagues have taken off all over the country. Players are competing in Verified matches on their own schedule from New York to Los Angeles and everywhere in between. In San Diego, one family has truly embraced all that Flex Leagues has to offer.
Oliver Thieler (UTR Rating 5.87) has played in 10 Flex Leagues, while his children Leonard Thieler (UTR Rating 4.58) and Livia Thieler (UTR Rating 2.03) have played 11. They joined in early 2020.
“Playing Universal Tennis Flex league with two of my kids has been an absolute blast and a lifesaver when COVID hit,” Oliver Thieler told Universal Tennis. “While no tournaments were allowed, UTR Flex Leagues was the only way for the kids to continue playing competitively.”
Each Flex League spans four weeks with four guaranteed Verified UTR matches (one per week). Players schedule where and when the match takes place, and each league costs $25 for Power Subscribers and $35 for non-Power Subscribers. There are Junior Leagues for players ages 12-18 and Adult Leagues for anyone 16 and over.
Family Fun and Competition
Tennis is both a family sport and a sport for a lifetime, and the Thielers embody that. For young players like Leonard and Livia, Flex Leagues help get increase their match confidence and boosts motivation to compete since every game counts toward UTR Rating.
“It gives them the idea of how it feels in a tournament, without the pressure of a traditional tournament, but with enough pressure to improve their mental game and prepare themselves,” Thieler said. “I can say 100 percent that I saw a big improvement in both of my kids.”
For adults, it’s a great way to connect with new players at your skill level and to improve your game on your own schedule within your community. For everyone, it’s a lot of competitive fun, especially when you make it a family affair like the Thielers have.
“My son’s goal is to beat my UTR Rating, and my daughter tries to get to the level my son plays,” Thieler said. “I can’t wait for the moment when my son finally surpasses me. I used to play sports with my dad, and to this day, I remember when I surpassed him.”
•UTR Ratings and Rankings as of 9 a.m. EST, Nov. 11, 2021.