Kurt Desautels is the Director of Publications and Communications at the United States Tennis Association (Colorado District). He is the editor ofColorado Tennis, the quarterly newspaper of USTA Colorado and the annual Big Book of Colorado Tennis.
A former collegiate soccer player at Trinity University, Kurt spent nearly a decade doing “post graduate” work in Vail, CO, first as a Ski Instructor for Vail Resorts, then as a Coach for Battle Mountain High School. In just three years after beginning his instructing career, he completed his level 3/full certification (Professional Ski Instructors of America) before signing on as a coach. In his five-year coaching stint, his Battle Mountain Skiers won five state team titles and numerous individual honors.
During the summer months in Vail, Kurt competed in the Vail Town Mountain Bike Series, one of the most competitive local race series in the country. In 1996, Kurt won his first race. He would collect two more victories before moving to Denver in 1999 and entering semi-retirement.
He began working at USTA Colorado in January 2000, and in June of that year, Kurt got a voice mail from Scott Ford, who invited him to join him on the tennis court. “If you have some time,” Scott’s message said, “I want to show you how to play tennis in the zone.”
As any competitor knows, the Zone is perhaps the greatest phenomena in all of sports. It is all at once mystical, ethereal and immensely frustrating because of its unpredictability. Like a match being struck in a dark room, the zone opens our eyes and reveals to us what is possible at the height of human performance, yet just as quickly fades and we are again left in blackness, struggling to get out of the same rut that we fall into each and every match.
Kurt recalls, “When Scott showed me how to play tennis in the zone, it opened my eyes to the world of peak performance that I have been able to glimpse only rarely at during my athletic career.”
Kurt has since been able to utilize Scott’s techniques in a wide variety of other sports, including cycling, running and skiing. He has also managed to incorporate them into his daily routine, which has improved his writing and speaking skills. Sadly, they’ve done nothing to improve his cooking ability.
Today, Kurt teaches Scott’s methods to his son, Luke, who at the tender age of 4 has already shown he has vastly better eye-hand coordination than his father.