Sandy Mittleman has coached tennis players from about thirty different countries at the USTA nationals, as well as the ITF, WTA, & ATP Tours. He has coached at all the Grand Slams and at the WTA Premier and Mandatory Events.
Sandy's coaching of three junior USTA 18 Champions is proof of his coaching, player dev. and management skills.
"I believe attracting more kids to our sport has less to do with expertise and far more to do with personality, community outreach, and creativity. "
I have known Sandy for many years since he was a youngster. Through the years I have seen him give all of himself and more to all that he does and for all who he works with. I would recommend Sandy for any position he seeks as he would be a great asset.
We connected with Sandy following Bianca's win at the Orange Bowl. Since that time he has been a constant resource of network, assistance, development knowledge, and perspective for Bianca. If we had needed anything in terms of information and guidance, Sandy has been there, believing in Bianca from day 1. As parents of a girl striving to be the best and transitioning from top junior to WTA player, we would highly recommend anyone seeking development and guidance to work with Sandy.
Maria and Nicu Andreescu, parents of Bianca Andreescu, 2019 US Open Champion, WTA#5
Questions for Sandy Mittleman
TCB: Sandy, tell us how old were you when you started tennis and who got you into it?
SM: I was roughly 9 years old when I began playing. I was playing golf first but found I really did not have the patience for it so I was given a racquet, started hitting against the wall, and was hooked from the first swing.
TCB: Did you play High School or College Tennis?
SM: I played high school tennis in Rochester, NY at Pittsford Sutherland High School.
TCB: What did you do after college?
SM: After college, I was in somewhat of a search mode, In the winter of 1990 I got the call that changed the course of my future.
A long time family friend knew Murph Klauber the former owner of the Colony so that connection was my link to Nick Bollettieri. Nick called me, I was on the phone with him for no more than 5 minutes. I remember the call like it was yesterday. This December it will be 30 years. Nick gave me three things that have forever been invaluable to me, opportunity, direction, and belief.
TCB: Starting 1991 you traveled around the world for 25 years. How did this come about and what did you do?
SM: On January 12th of 1991 my professional career began when I first met Nick Bollettieri and Chip Brooks. I remember the first day I time I met Nick on court 40 like it was yesterday. I was first training at Nick's. After a freak accident/injury in Europe in March of 1991, my path began to move from player to coach. My coaching career began at Nick's in the fall of 1991.
TCB: Did you "settle down" in 2012? How did you end up in West Palm Beach?
SM: The first question: In a way, I have never really "settled down". I lived in Boston for 7 years which on a personal level was fantastic as my brother and his family live there. Outside of that period, there has been a lot of moving and traveling when good opportunities showed themselves. Second question: I ended up in West Palm Beach as I originally came down here when I was younger when some family lived here and have always liked the area. I have always had the ability to adapt and make anywhere I have lived feel in a capacity like home.
Sandy with WTA player Bojana Jovanovski
TCB: What was your involvement with WTA player Bianca Andreescu's career?
SM: I've had a very good relationship with the Andreescu's over the past 4 years. Bianca has a great team around her who have done a wonderful job with her, I have simply helped in an unofficial capacity when asked and needed.
TCB: Would you want to take more WTA or ATP players "under your wings?"
TCB: What does your day-to-day work look like nowadays?
SM: These days it's obviously a usual period and circumstance. I do a lot of player assessments for players and parents worldwide, consulting work, business development for companies as well as present for coaching conferences.
TCB: What is your opinion about youth tennis in the U.S.A.? What can be done to attract more kids to the sport?
SM: First question, The USA is a country with an enormous pool of kids to get involved in our great sport. I believe we have both the opportunity to develop future generations of world-class players as well as increase the amount of participation. I often hear stats about why people believe participation as a whole is low but I truly believe that if we want increased participation as well as maintaining engagement and participation for the long term that starts with understanding how to hire at clubs, engage kids and families. Second question, I believe attracting more kids to our sport has less to do with expertise and far more to do with personality, community outreach, and creativity.
Sandy with WTA player Bojana Jovanovski
I think we spend too much time thinking about the function of tennis for young kids in comparison to the function of other sports such as soccer, football, baseball, softball, basketball, and volleyball. I have always believed that if a coach can bring personality and show kids the beauty of the sport rather than always trying to focus on "teaching" of the fundamentals then at the grassroots level we would see a big change.
TCB: Have you played Pickleball? Do you like it?
SM: First question, No, I have never played pickleball.
TCB: Do you still play tennis (or Pickleball)?
SM: I have not played in a long time. The last time I really played any competitive tennis was between 2007-09. These days I love hitting the ball for a good workout on the rare occasion as I have always loved hitting the ball since day one. I am very creative and have always loved the creativity in the sport. I love the variation, seeing a shot before you play it and then trying to pull it off.
TCB: What is your tennis racquet of choice?
SM: I would say my three favorite racquets of all time are the Wilson pro staff, the original Head Graphite Edge, and recently the prestige and the Yonex. Cannot really go wrong with any of them.
TCB: Thank you, Sandy.