Archive for Author Bob Welch

About the Author: Bob Welch
Retired high tech sales executive. Native son of Boston, MA Graduated MBA from NYU and BSME from UMass/ Amherst

LPA Interview on Litchfield CCTV

Bob Welch was interviewed on 1/8/16 by John Latsha for the community broadcast station. This is broadcast during the evenings on Comcast Channel 20. It may also be found on the Litchfield Facebook page.

The interview also included an informative video on the original development of pickleball in 1965.

The entire interview can be seen Here

New LPA Board Page

We’ve published a new LPA Board page, showing the new Board and support staff. Check it out!

To navigate, hover the cursor over the ‘About Us’ page and you’ll see the BOD page appear- click on it to enter.

Let us know if you have any helpful revisions.

1H Performance for 2015

This is my final report as treasurer; Dee Breton has assumed the role as of July 1st

Revenues in the first half were $3742: this was 17% less than budget. The major shortfall was Session Fees, which ran around $850 less than budgeted. This is the first instance in five years where the actual session fees were less than the budgeted amount. Despite having 104 members- something we couldn’t even comprehend two years ago- we found that 1 of every 3 sessions goes unused. Thanks to SUG, overcrowding is not a serious issue.

Expenses in the first half were $2352, almost $1650 less than budgeted. The major shortfalls in expenses were in Social Activities and Tournament Expenses- we just didn’t do anything in these areas. Another large shortfall was in Merchandise: we did plan to purchase duffel bags for members, but this expense will not occur until the beginning of the second half.

Click 1st Half Performance_2015 to get a detailed look.

My opinion is that the membership is fragmented and has access to multiple playing venues. Manchester and Hooksett have been popular playing venues for a few years, but are now joined by Merrimack, Nashua, Hudson and others. Pickleball is a more popular sport and Talent Hall is not the only game in town. Also, the club has evolved into a collection of ‘tribes’ who often play only with each other and have an aversion to mixing with other tribes.

Coaching, Skills Development, and Tournaments are issues that the club membership has previously voted on as highly desirable but that have not yet been addressed.

We can probably accept more members- as one third of our capacity is unused- but there is likely to be some pressure as popular slots fill up a week in advance while often requested slots go unused. Some creative thinking is needed to fill up the unused capacity.

Finances are in good shape, despite the less than budgeted performance- expenses are less than revenues.

Finally, again in my view, we need to identify club leaders in teaching and coaching, merchandising and promotion. Out of a hundred members, only a handful are willing to expend personal effort to support and lead the club. We need to identify and nurture that small group!

It’s been a rewarding five years as treasurer and a board member- it’s time for some new blood. I welcome Dee Breton in her new role and I sincerely hope that a few more members will put themselves forward to lead the group in future years.

LPA Duffel Bag

The Board is pleased to announce a new promotional item as a one-time purchase option- a well-made duffel bag embroidered with our team logo and your name.

The bag can be ordered in any one of six colors: Black, Gray, Burgundy, Olive, Royal Blue, or Navy. The bag may be viewed on the following link

Embroidered Duffel Bag

The LPA logo and the member’s name will be embroidered in the imprint area on the side of the bag- embroidered, not merely silk screened! The logo and name color will be White, which will match any bag color.

As we did with the vests we ordered last year, we will ask a member contribution of $5 and the club will donate the remainder of the funds. For qty=50 bags, the per unit cost is approximately $15.25, including the member’s name.

So, you’re being asked to pay 1/3 the cost and the club pays 2/3: is this a good deal or what!

You will have up to June 30th to order your bag. Payment is due when you place your order and delivery will be about July 10th. We will leave blank payment envelopes in the clip board at Talent Hall. Put in your payment, seal it, and put your name on the outside of the envelope. Place the envelope in the money box at each session. As before, we’ll assume you haven’t paid unless we have an envelope with your name upon it.

You can place your order by using the link below. Please make sure you input all required fields. You can put either one name per bag or a couple’s name if you only want to order one bag per couple. Email Bob Welch if there are any questions.

Here is the Order Form link

We will order 4-5 additional bags for new members, but we probably won’t repeat this order in the future: if we do, the per unit member contribution will be much higher, since we won’t get a big discount for a small quantity.

If you want to take advantage of this great offer, order now.

Only one bag per member, unless you are willing to pay full price for additional bags (approximately $15.25/ bag).

How Often Do We Play?

LPA recently analyzed how often sessions actually get used.

While some sessions have a full complement of 12 players and other sessions have less-

1 in 3 sessions go totally unused.

There’s lots of reasons:
• Schedules change and might not be convenient to most players
• Sessions might be dedicated to the wrong target groups
Recreational sessions are oriented towards players who do not want to play aggressively or competitively
Competitive sessions are oriented towards those who do want to play competitively
Open sessions are where Competitive and Recreational players have a chance to play together to improve their skill levels
So, some sessions might be better subscribed if their designation changes- the people who actually schedule sessions (Ric French and Janette Parker) need to hear feedback if things need changing
• Players are used to playing with other players as a group and don’t see the need to change around so much. For example, the M-W-F Competitive session at 9 AM is normally filled up 7 days in advance, mostly by the same players. The following Open session at 11 AM has had difficulty getting filled at all- although this is changing slowly. The much requested M-W-F Recreational slot at 1 PM often goes unused
• While we have 102 active members, only a subset of these play regularly at LPA- many others play occasionally and have other venues they also frequent
• It takes some time for members to learn of additional sessions offered. For example, there were lots of requests for additional slots at night and more on weekends: when these slots were added a few weeks ago, most went unused

We have an obligation to make sessions available to meet the needs of the membership- but it is up to individual members to take advantage of the slots offered. SUG controls the problem of over-subscribing. Even with 102 active members, Talent Hall is sufficient to handle this level of membership.

A weekly analysis may be viewed at Weekly Data Summary. We will update this at the end of each quarter and post it in the For Members Only section of our website.

LPA Adds New Sessions

As the calendar opens up at Talent Hall, many new sessions have been added to meet member requests. There are new sessions for:

• Nights – Tues, Thurs, Fri from 5-8 PM
• Tournament Sat from 4-8 PM—restricted to players who are self-assessed as
USAPA Level 4.0 – 5.0
• Saturday & Sunday – new sessions and times offered

Members are urged to check out the SUG Signup page on our web site to view new sessions and revised times.

Although many sessions are newly added, there are still many sessions that are scheduled but have no signups and thus go unused. We’ll keep these slots open to see if demand increases- otherwise, we’ll designate the slot to a different group.

For the week ending 5/17/15, there were 21 sessions scheduled- and 10 sessions went unused due to no signups. We think this will change as the new schedules become generally known by all members.

Beginner sessions have been eliminated- no demand for this type of session.

Any questions on schedule enhancements should be directed to Janette Parker and/ or Ric French

Should We Expand Coaching?

Some members have requested that we expand coaching sessions and opportunities within LPA. The Beginner sessions have offered an available ‘coach’ since they began last August. These have proved so popular that many players sign up for the Beginner sessions just for the coaching.

The Board wants to assess the member interest in expanding coaching, perhaps by increasing the number of sessions offered, perhaps by focusing on specific skills, etc. There really isn’t any point in trying to map specific skills to the players in the Recreational, Competitive, and Open sessions- these sessions are for playing preferences, not a measure of skills.

The Board has sent this questionnaire to all members to gauge interest. Please complete on-line by Feb. 9th. Please submit one survey per member (for couples, that means two individual questionnaires). The results will be published on this web page next Tuesday, Feb. 10th.

Printed copies are also available at Talent Hall (in the clip box).

Complete the survey by clicking here

2014 Yearend Financial Results

The 2014 Yearend Results are shown in the For Members Only tab- this is password protected. These will be emailed to you on January 8th, along with the password in case you’ve forgotten.

Click on the link to the Results. Email me if you have questions.

Remember to Pay Your Recurring Fee!

As of today, 34 members have not paid their $10 Recurring Fee for 2015. We will email the paid member status around January 8th- that will be the final notice.

On January 15th, we will remove all delinquent members from the Roster, email distribution, and SUG database. Delinquent members may still play as guests, but will not be able to signup for sessions using SUG.

If a removed member requests reinstatement after having been removed, there will be a $5 Admin Fee in addition to the $10 Recurring Fee in order to add the delinquent member back onto the Roster. This is because the member had to be removed and then readmitted, which takes the manual efforts of two people.

Please don’t let your membership lapse- get your payment in by January 15th.

After the 15th, the Board will most likely admit new members into LPA. If the membership exceeds 90 total members, the Board may limit additional members. Former members who are Litchfield residents will be given priority, but their readmission is not guaranteed.

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