top of page
Balls
DrumBeat-Logo.png

A Tennis Blog for Fans and Members of

CONGALAND

Welcome, everyone. This Blog is giving you everything that's new with Conga Sports. If you have questions, suggestions, or recommendations, please email Billy Shears  and he'll get back to you as soon as possible. If it's really urgent, please text me but don't forget to state your name and that you are a Conga Sports member. You can also schedule a meeting through Calendly which is connected to my calendar. Just scroll up to the first page where it says "Book a Discovery Call with Rich" and select day and time.


Thank you!

Rich Neher

April 13, 2024

HOLD THE DATE SUNDAY JUNE 8TH

Call for Teams! New Southern California City Slams® Team Tennis Tournaments Season 3

NEW FORMAT, No Captains needed, just SIGN UP! Represent your city! 


We are excited to announce the third season of our popular City Slams® Team Tennis Tournaments series starting in June. We are expecting 4 teams from the San Fernando Valley, 4 teams from the Los Angeles area, and 4 teams from San Diego. If there is interest from Orange County, we'll also have teams there participating.

City Slams® Basics

 

  • Every team has a min. of 4 players, subs are optional. The 4 players, 2 men and 2 women will compete in short sets of men's, women’s, and mixed doubles.

  • Player levels can be anywhere from 3.0 to 4.0 since we handicap each player/team for a level playing field.

  • For the 8 SFV/Los Angeles teams, we are recruiting 32 people to compete on ONE DAY at Warner Tennis Center in Woodland Hills.

  • Should we have more than 8 teams (e.g. if teams from San Diego and Orange County join), those teams from  OC/SD will compete at a different location and play the winners off for the SoCal Championship at a later date.

  • If you don’t have a Captain, you don’t necessarily need one. Just register and if you have friends you want on your 4-person team, sign up together and name your city. If you are a Captain, sign up your team as usual to secure your city. 

  • If a player is late for any reason, we don’t default that team, but we’ll have so-called ‘Floaters’ available to jump in. Floaters will be subject to the same handicapping rules as every other player. 

  • The winning teams will be awarded prizes and the new SoCal Champion will get a free entry into the following season of City Slams where we'll add teams from Northern California. 

  • Prizes will also be awarded for best funky team apparel and best team song.

  • More changes and interesting additions are coming your way. Details shortly. 

  • For more information and registration, please contact our City Slams Manager Nikki Carlin.

March 1, 2024

Meet our new Brand Ambassador  -
Bonnie Clark

Bonnie Clark grew up in Houston, Texas. A tomboy from the start, not only did she play pick-up football with the boys in the neighborhood, she was a fan of the hometown NFL team, the Houston Oilers, and now the Houston Texans. She also played recreational soccer off and on for 10 years and was a high school cheerleader for 4 years.

Bonnie-Clark-Headshot.webp

In 2000, Bonnie moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career in television casting, where she has been fortunate enough to cast hit shows like CBS’s Big Brother and FOX’s MasterChef. In 2021, she made a New Year's resolution to learn how to play tennis. She joined a tennis Meetup group and learned along the way, playing weekly for the past three years. Now, a passion of hers, she’s proud and thrilled to join Conga Sports as their new Ambassador, and hopes that everyone will give a follow on all social media platforms, and like and share all posts with the goal of growing this already thriving tennis community that is fun and inclusive for tennis enthusiasts all over southern California.

We are so fortunate to have Bonnie join us as Brand Ambassador. No one has more fun on a tennis court than Bonnie. And you can see it every time she picks up a racquet. Watch her posting super fun photos and videos on our social media channels. You will hear and read a lot more about and from Bonnie soon.

If you haven't done it yet, please click on the links below and follow us on social media. Thank you!

Facebook Page

Conga-FB.webp
Facebook-Logo.png

Instagram Page

Conga-IG.webp
Instagram-Logo.webp

Coming soon

Conga-TikTok.webp

Twitter Page

Conga-Twitter.webp
Twitter-Logo.webp

February 17, 2024

Very interesting article found in PRIMER (Australia):
The Unexpected Joy Of Entering My Tennis Era

How this writer embraced mediocrity and fell in love with tennis

By Laura Brading

If we’ve been at the same barbeque over the summer holidays, you will likely have had the unfortunate experience of being cornered by me to talk about my latest obsession… tennis.

I will not have waited for the topic to come up in conversation or first asked what you’ve been up to. My approach is rather uncordial and has all the subtlety of a five year old in the playground: “I like tennis. Do you?”

If the answer is yes, I see it as a green light to unabashedly discuss—at length—anything from Coco Gauff’s shoes to Sabalenka’s forehand to Rublev’s tongue (IYKYK).

If the response, however, is no, I see it as an opportunity to convince you of the merits of playing, watching, living and breathing tennis.

LauraBrading.webp

I am obsessed with the sport, you see. What began as an innocent hobby during lockdown has evolved into nothing short of a life passion. Would I go so far as to say that tennis is part of my personality? Thirteen days into the Australian Open, sleep-deprived from late-night matches and writing this article with mellifluous summer commentary in the background, why yes I would.

It’s a personal evolution I didn’t anticipate but one I have enthusiastically embraced. And that’s half the fun: the enthusiasm. I see my kids declare their passions from the mountaintops all the time. “Oh my god, mum, a horse!” My daughter will scream each of the 25 times we pass an equine friend on a road trip. “Obi-Wan Kenobi is my favourite,” my son randomly announces to strangers.

Meanwhile, we adults are supposed to keep these passions quietly to ourselves. Further, there’s an expectation that our passions will have been more or less decided on in early adulthood. It was exhilarating for me to discover otherwise. If I can fall in love with tennis in my late thirties, what else might the future hold? What other passions will I discover? Life is full of wondrous possibilities.

"Would I go so far as to say that tennis
is part of my personality?"

This is the point where I explain that despite feeling the most about tennis, I am not actually any good at the sport. But embracing mediocrity on the court is all part of my tennis journey. When else in my life can I perform poorly without feeling tormented by self-loathing? Certainly not in mothering. And I don’t think my boss would appreciate it if there was any correlation between my backhand performance and my editing skills. And yet, I can consistently hit balls to the neighbouring court and, apart from the unlucky players on said court serving me looks, no one cares.

The thing about hitting balls to neighbouring courts is that you then must go and retrieve them. Add to that the actual playing of tennis—darting across the court and belting balls etc—and you’ve got yourself quite the workout. For a woman who can no longer go on runs thanks to a lengthy posterior labour, and who attends reformer classes because she thinks she should but constantly zones out and has to have the instructions repeated, I am thrilled to have found a form of exercise that doesn’t feel like a mild form of punishment.

Beyond the physical benefits, the sport has fostered new relationships in my life—namely with my brother-in-law, who patiently texts with me throughout matches to explain obscure rules and indulges me by sending links to tennis podcasts and cute merch (bless his cushioned socks). I’ve created solid friendships with the women who endure my attempts at the sport each week at our training sessions. And let’s not forget the parasocial relationships I have with my role models Coco, Ash and Naomi, and the slightly disconcerting (to my husband) one I have with injured Italian Berretini.

"I am thrilled to have found a form of exercise that doesn’t feel like a mild form of punishment"

If you’re currently rolling your eyes thinking, ‘Oh look, another person having their tennis awakening,’ then you’re spot on. While it may seem like I single-handedly discovered the sport, more than 1.4 million Australians participated in tennis over the past year. During the pandemic, data from 173 venues that used Tennis Australia’s online court booking system showed that bookings more than doubled between May 2019 and 2020.

The Australian Open, now the “biggest” event in the Asia Pacific region, has contributed significantly to the sport’s rising popularity. Speak to any local court and they’ll tell you that their bookings surge in January when the event is held.

Add to the mix the launch of the Australian Open into the metaverse, the Netflix docuseries Break Point, the emergence of the preppy ‘tenniscore’ trend, and the fevered water cooler discussions about Alcaraz’s biceps, and you might say that my passion is something of a cliché. 

Which is fine by me. I am a mediocre, clichéd tennis tragic and I want the world to know it.

January 18, 2023

Update on the latest developments for Conga Sports

So much is going on right now. Here is a summary for our friends and members.

1. CITY SLAMS 2nd SoCal California Season

We started out with 6 teams: Los Angeles (the Season 1 Champions), Studio City (the Season 1 Finalists), Woodland Hills, Santa Monica, North Hollywood, and Sherman Oaks. All teams played on December 10 at Weddington. After 3 hours of spirited competition, the teams of Los Angeles, Studio City, Woodland Hills, and North Hollywood qualified for the semifinals. Unfortunately, the teams of Santa Monica and Sherman Oaks did not qualify. The two teams met on January 13 for a back-draw match in which Santa Monica came out victorious.

We had originally the semifinals to be played on January 21st at CSUN but needed to reschedule because of severe rain predictions. The new date will be announced shortly.

2. Conga Sports planted 436 trees in 2023

For all of 2023, we used 436 cans of tennis balls. In line with our environmental sustainability strategy, that meant we happily planted 436 trees with ONE TREE PLANTED. Our prediction for 2024: We'll probably plant close to a thousand trees. Woohoo!

Additionally, we sent out about 1,600 old tennis balls to Recycle Balls for recycling. Another woohoo!

November 10, 2023

 

Part-time Job Available: Conga Sports Promotions Ambassador

 

Task: Promoting Conga Sports programs to local businesses in select areas of Los Angeles County

Specifics for Los Angeles Area in Q4, 2023: Seeking out local businesses in specific areas to

 

  • introduce Conga Sports

  • drop off the City Slams postcard

  • identify the decision-makers

  • talk about sponsorship for a local City Slams team

  • sign up for sponsorship and/or

  • take down contact information

Target areas: Specific to where City Slams teams are playing, such as...

  • Some areas in the San Fernando Valley

  • Santa Monica/Culver City

  • Glendale/Los Feliz

  • Los Angeles West Side

Time Frame: Starting November 13 until December 31, 2023
The same positions will be available in more SoCal areas in 2024

 

Pay: Conga Sports pays $20 per hour plus a $100 commission for signing up a local sponsor.

 

Contact: Rich Neher 818-738-8025 or richneher@congasports.com

October 6, 2023

Help Wanted in SoCal

Represent the latest luxury tennis apparel from our sponsor Cruise Control Gear. The company is based in New Jersey. They need a reliable rep in SoCal (also in NorCal.)

If you have sales experience and are connected in the tennis world, fabulous. That would make your job much easier.

CruiseControlGear-Help Wanted-Model.png

Cruise Control Gear is known for luxury ladies' apparel. They also have a nice men's collection. I love my blue tennis shirt, a "short sleeve collored Polo." To be honest, I wear it on the court and off the court. Love it so much, I just bought another one with their 10% discount for Conga members.

(Code "CCGConga")

If you are interested in representing the most fashionable apparel in the tennis industry, please contact the owner, Candice Kolins via email.

Coaching Friends of Conga Sports

Susan Nardi and Manny Fortune are the first two teaching pros who are COACHING FRIENDS OF CONGA SPORTS. I’ve known both for years and can highly recommend their work if you live in the Culver City area (Susan) or on the Westside/Santa Monica (Manny).

Btw, Susan is the 2021 Positive Coaching Alliance National Double-Goal Coach. See the short video here.

 

Below is their schedule for your information.

SUSAN NARDI
All adult Classes at Westchester Tennis Ctr,
7000 W Manchester Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90045 (Just north of LAX airport)

Adult Beginners
Sundays 9am-10am, Wednesdays 6pm-7pm

Adult Advanced Beginners

Mondays 7pm-8pm, Wednesdays 7pm-8pm

LiveBall 3.0&3.5

Sundays 10-11:30am, Tuesdays 7-8:30pm

==> All Classes $30
==> Call Susan at 310-529-4834

MANNY FORTUNE

Lots of classes and Game Play at various courts like Stoner Park, Marine Park, Culver City Tennis Courts, and a Ladera Heights private court. On Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays.

Classes are Game Play, Skills+Drills, and LiveBall. All various levels.

Many sell out quickly.

Check the detailed class schedule here.

Classes are from $40 to $55.

City Slams News

Second SoCal Season Kick-Off Event with teams and captains. Q+A, match play, prizes, discussing the new season schedule.

When: Sunday, October 22nd from 3-5 pm

Where: Weddington Golf + Tennis, Studio City

 

Come join us. It'll be fun. Afterward, wel'll go out for drinks/food.

RSVP to Billy.

City Slams teams are forming. The following teams need players: 

9e96d5_d9cfc81abde64ff4adb90aba301f8fac~mv2.jpg

Tennis 101

Samora's Tennis 101 package of 4 clinics is taking off.

Clinic 1 - (1 hr Ground Strokes + 1 hr practice hitting)

Clinic 2 - (1 hr Serves + 1 hr hitting/serving)

Clinic 3 - (1 hr Volleys/Overheads + 1 hr practice)

Clinic 4 - (2 hrs Supervised Match Play, Dbls Strategy)

 

Starts Saturday, Oct.7, 4-6 pm at Weddington in Studio City with Clinic 1. Next clinic: 2 weeks later. And so forth every two weeks (except for holidays)

The good news, you can jump in any time. You don't have to take it all in one package. You can also take 1 clinic twice or three, four times as part of your package. Or you mix and match. Go here to book it.

Here's the schedule for the coming months:

October 7: Clinic 1

October 21: Clinic 2

November 4: Clinic 3

November 18: Clinic 4

December 2: Clinic 1

December 16: Clinic 2
January 6: Clinic 3

January 13: Clinic 4

CUSTOM PACKAGE

If you are interested in a custom accelerated schedule and want to take the entire course faster, please email Rich for a quote.

August 6, 2023

From Today's Press Release

Conga Sports Welcomes Cruise Control Gear as Official Apparel Partner of its Flagship Tennis Tournament Program ‘CITY SLAMS’

Los Angeles, August 6, 2023  – Conga Sports Inc, a new provider of innovative racquet sports programs for everyone, is excited to welcome Cruise Control Gear of Ocean City, New Jersey, as National Apparel Partner of its second Southern California season of CITY SLAMS, the highly anticipated tournament series that sees teams of recreational tennis players compete for their city and community. The partnership aims to support and promote grassroots tennis development while promoting luxury tennis apparel for the whole family.

Conga Sports, renowned for its commitment to the sport and dedication to providing new and exciting tennis programs, has introduced the CITY SLAMS tennis program as a platform to engage and inspire tennis enthusiasts of all ages and skill levels with a strong sense of community. The program combines organized tournaments and community engagement initiatives to create a vibrant tennis ecosystem within the city, a region, and the entire state.

As the National Apparel Partner of the CITY SLAMS series of tennis tournaments, Cruise Control Gear will play a crucial role in inspiring athletes and encouraging them to reach their full potential, on Cruise Control!

Cruise Control Gear is a luxury tennis apparel & activewear brand distributed to prestigious resorts worldwide. The founders are best friends and sisters who played Division 1 collegiate tennis. The apparel is made of premium materials that are comfortable and give off a high-end vibe on and off the court.

"We are delighted to welcome Cruise Control Gear as an Official Partner of the CITY SLAMS series of tennis tournaments," said Rich Neher, President and CEO of Conga Sports. "Their commitment to making athletes look better on and off the court aligns perfectly with our vision of nurturing well-rounded athletes who are very comfortable playing leisure tennis as well as highly competitive matches. This partnership will undoubtedly enhance the program and provide very chic  apparel choices to our participants."

“We are thrilled to partner with Conga Sports and support the CITY SLAMS tennis program," said Candice Kolins, co-owner of Cruise Control Gear. “Our gear goes beyond tennis and can be worn as athleisure or pickleball apparel. We are committed to providing the highest quality fabrics with ultra-soft comfortable fits and fashion-forward styles. Our goal is for every player to perform at their highest potential on Cruise Control!”

The partnership agreement between Conga Sports and Cruise Control Gear marks an exciting chapter in the CITY SLAMS tennis program's growth and development. The shared commitment to empowering athletes and encouraging them to reach their full potential ensures a mutually beneficial partnership that will positively impact the lives of aspiring tennis players and their families.

August 4, 2023

Meet our First Brand Ambassador and Tennis Coach - Samora Lawson

Hi, I’m Samora Lawson. Born and raised in Brooklyn, NY I’ve been playing tennis since I was 4 years old. I grew up playing with my dad and sisters and started competing in juniors at the age of 12.

Brand Ambassador Samora-904x444.jpg

I didn’t play in college, but I competed in leagues. The last league team I competed with made it to nationals! As some of you know or will see, I enjoy playing tennis and having fun. I hope to see you on the court!

Brand Ambassador Samora1.jpg
Brand Ambassador Samora3.jpg
Brand Ambassador Samora2.jpg

8-4-2023: Announcement in the August 2023 issue of TENNIS CLUB BUSINESS

TOGETHER WITH

CONGA SPORTS

We are welcoming all our sponsors and strategic partners who trust in us and our abilities to create better tennis for everyone.

Cruise Control Gear

National Apparel Partner

Luxury tennis apparel & activewear

brand distributed to prestigious
resorts worldwide.

cruisecontrolgear.com

Conga-PartnerCCG150x162.png

Head Penn Racquet Sports

Conga Member Benefits Partner

High-performance tennis equipment

head.com

Conga-Partners-HEAD-150x50.png

CourtReserve

Official Club Management App

Court reservation & club management platform

courtreserve.com

Courtreserve-logo-150x50.png

Elite Tennis Travel

Official Travel Partner

Discover the world through tennis!

elitetennistravel.com

Elite-Tennis-Travel-Logo-150x50.png

SportsEdTV

Official Sports Training Partner

World-class online sports training videos

sportsedtv.com

SportsEdTV-logo-150x50.png

Full Court Tennis

Official Coaching App

World-class tennis coaches

fullcourttennis.com

FCT-logo-150x50.png

Cognitive Wealth Management

City Slams 2nd Season SoCal Sponsor

"Your retirement is our business"

cognitivewealthmanagement.com

Conga-PartnerCWM-logo-150x50.png

August 1, 2023

Message from our SoCal City Slams Tournament Sponsor Cognitive Wealth Management

COGNITIVE WEALTH MANAGEMENT ENGAGES WITH THE COMMUNITY


Tori Samuel and Kurt Mac Millan of Cognitive Wealth Management (CWM) are proud to partner with Conga Sports to sponsor this year’s City Slam Tennis Tournament. “We think the City Slam Tournament has a lot of potential, we’re honored to be part of the process that will make this tournament great!” says Tori Samuel, President of CWM.


Cognitive Wealth Management engages with the community in a variety of ways. This year they were the main sponsor of the Nancy R. Brandt auxiliary league’s non-profit luncheon. The league is a nonprofit organization dedicated to at-risk children of Ventura County and the betterment of their lives. The luncheon was the main fundraising event of the year and broke many previous fund-raising records.


On June 25th, CWM coordinated and sponsored a fundraiser for Rover’s Retreat Dog Rescue. Rover’s Retreat is a volunteer non-profit organization that helps rescue, rehabilitate, and find forever homes for homeless dogs. Together they raised $10,000 for the non-profit Rescue’s efforts.


Cognitive Wealth Management is a full-service financial services company, specializing in financial and retirement planning. “Helping clients make educated financial decisions by emphasizing strategies over products”. CWM is affiliated with LPL Financial, and located in Sherman Oaks, CA.

bottom of page