Turning My Journey into Helping Others…
Tennis is in my blood. My Dad got me started playing at age six, but I didn’t get the ‘bug’ until I was 12. That’s very late to start dreaming of playing professional tennis, but, nevertheless, I dug in wholeheartedly as an ardent student of the game – for my own goals.
Like most junior players, I had my tennis idols, chief among them being Ivan Lendl, who was number one in the world and taking the game of tennis to a new level of pace and fitness. It was his game that I first started to study, and this was then followed by every other ‘great’ since.
I played #1 for my high school in one of the top tennis cities in the world, but my game still wasn’t developed enough to pursue my dream of playing professional tennis. Stroke inefficiencies hampered my game, and, despite all the lessons I had taken, these things had not yet been properly identified and fixed. I headed to Michigan State University and was asked to try out for the team by the coach when he saw me training with a private coach at their facility, but, instead, I dropped out of college and headed out with this coach to play what was then called the Satellites of Pro Tennis.
The wins didn’t come and the money ran out.
In 1993, now in my early twenties and having regrouped, I moved to Iowa for six months, where a good friend and long-time coaching adviser was living. He had invited a friend of his who was coaching players on the Satellite tour to rest with him for the summer from the daily grind. Instead, he spent the summer with me doing two-a-day practices and a written video analysis of each session. He followed the ‘doctrine’ of stroke efficiency based on the work two coaching legends. My game changed.
The money resources again ran low, but I had learned so much. The problem now was that my game was so efficient that it was neither adaptable or explosive. On the journey went, working with a coach who believed in a Zen approach. Then, in 1996, at age 25, I moved to Sarasota, FL sleeping in my car, to meet a coach who promised he could help me. He could not.
My frustration was that I couldn’t seem to get the complete coaching knowledge that I needed to generate world-class strokes. It seemed like everyone had bits and pieces but not a comprehensive understanding of high-level strokes let alone movement, tactics and mental toughness.
Perseverance paid off; mind-numbing, absurd, obsessive, getting back up from wanting to give up time and again kind of persistence. I kept experimenting over the years, kept studying the greats (Sampras, Agassi, Federer and a host of others). Bottom line, when you study something like I did for so many years, you develop an unusual knowledge base.
In 2006, I started coaching at a private court. Today, people contact me from around the world for help with their games. I combine my love of personal development principles with my tennis knowledge to help them improve faster.
My results with countless players speak for themselves.