Q&A With Naples Grande Beach Resort’s New Tennis Director

NAPLES, FL—After the effects of Hurricane Irma, Naples Grande Beach Resort looked to resurface all of its 15 championship tennis courts and, in doing so, has appointed a new tennis director, Shawn Hedrick.  Hedrick is hoping to not only revive the courts but enhance them as well. The transformation includes adding new LED lights for enhanced visibility and installing new nets.

Hedrick was most recently the director of tennis at the World Tennis Club in Naples. He was previously the director of tennis at Treviso Bay TPC and The Club at the Strand, as well as district president to the United States Professional Tennis Association (USPTA) Collier County branch.

Naples Grande Beach Resort
Naples Grande Beach Resort

How did you get this job? How were you introduced to tennis?

Unfortunately, this job became open due to Hurricane Irma that hit Naples in September of 2017. The resort had to shut down after the hurricane and was forced to shift tennis professionals to separate locations. Luckily, the Naples Grande Beach Resort made a full recovery and the director of tennis position became available again. My expertise in starting and developing programs is what helped me earn this wonderful job, and I was fortunate enough to be hired here by PBI (Peter Burwash International). I was introduced to tennis at an early age; my older brother started playing tennis and, of course, I had to play every sport he did. Once I realized that tennis was a profession I wished to pursue, I got highly involved in all aspects of teaching, managing, event planning, program development, leading and training of staff, court maintenance and anything else I could learn.

What is your overall philosophy on health and wellness?

I believe that health and wellness starts and ends with the individual. If someone has enough love for themselves, then healthy habits become a lifestyle. Eating well, training well, keeping the mind sharp—all of this is part of being healthy and living an enjoyable life. I choose the term self-love over self-discipline because discipline refers to restricting yourself from certain things, while love is more about embracing yourself and having a vested interest in leading a positive, balanced and healthy life.

Hurricane Irma damaged many businesses in the area. How is the hotel holding up and what state are the courts in right now?

Irma was a destructive hurricane, but in all the chaos, Naples Grande Beach Resort has a well-managed staff and handled the whole situation quite well! The property was able to prioritize and handle the reopening of the resort and its amenities in a timely fashion, with professionalism and dedication to its guests. The tennis courts are in tremendous playing condition and are getting even better each day.

With this new role at Naples Grande, there’s a lot of exciting things happening, such as the renovation of the courts with upgraded features and revitalizing the tennis program. Where will you start first and what are some of your goals to make this all happen?

My first priority will be the membership, keeping the members who went through this difficult hurricane active and excited about tennis here at Naples Grande. I will also be highly involved in growing the tennis membership by creating more events and social opportunities for tennis here at Naples Grande. The tennis courts themselves are also a priority. Having wonderful courts to play on makes everything else easy to handle, and the resort has made strong efforts to make the courts perfect.

What other offerings would you like to bring to the program outside of renovations? How will you re-energize the program?

I am looking to get involved with local USTA and tennis league coordinators to host a few tennis playoffs and outreach programs on property. I believe this will be a fantastic way to create some momentum and attract a variety of tennis players here at Naples Grande. I would also like to collaborate with children’s groups and schools to create a nice summer tennis program.

What else would you like the industry to know about this new offering and future programming? What else should guests be excited to see and do?

I would like the tennis industry to know that Naples Grande Beach Resort is a powerhouse in the tennis community. We offer tennis social events, mixers, round robins and some of the highest-quality instruction from PBI professionals. The unique thing about Naples Grande is that we also offer a variety of tennis memberships open to tennis players across the Naples area. Additionally, the guests will be excited about our match-making and tennis round robins, where all they have to do is sign-up and we take care of the rest for them.