Diego Snyder-Zuasnabar, Houston
Carlos Mendez, Las Vegas
Juan Oscar Rios, Miami
Let us know if you want to get in touch with one of them and we'll pass your request on to them.
Meet Houston Tennis Pro Diego Snyder-Zuasnabar from Peru
Teaching now in Houston, Texas
We were curious finding out why a person with criminal justice degrees who is currently studying to get his law degree, is teaching tennis.
Hi, my name is Diego Snyder-Zuasnabar. I'm from Lima, Peru and I live in Houston, Texas, USA. I am teaching at the River Oaks Country Club in Houston.
I am USPTA, USPTR, PPR (Pickleball) certified and I've been teaching tennis full time for 4 years now.
What I enjoy most about my work? That I don’t see what I do as work.
Tennis has been my life for the last 20 years. I’ve represented my country in numerous events, played collegiately, and played a few professional tournaments as well. I felt I owed so much to the game for everything that it has given, so before I moved on to the next chapter in my life, I turned to coaching tennis to give back. Law and politics have always been a passion of mine and I feel like the opportunities that tennis has given me have served as a gateway into the legal field.
Meet Coach Carlos Mendez from Mexico
Working now in Las Vegas, Nevada
Hi, my name is Carlos Mendez. I’m a US-born Native Hispanic. I have Native Mexican and Spanish bloodlines. In other words, I’m an American with Mexican cultural heritage. I live in Las Vegas, Nevada, and Chicago, Illinois.
TCB: When were you introduced to tennis, and who introduced you?
CM: As a youngster, I did not take tennis lessons. I grew up in East Los Angeles, CA in a community where tennis courts and lessons were not accessible. I was introduced to the sport by watching Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi on TV. I played high school basketball in
the 90’s and that’s also when I first picked up a racket. I recall attempting to learn to play on weekends as my weekdays were consumed with basketball practice. I remember the first time I played tennis, the next day my forearm was extremely sore so much that I had doubts of ever getting back on the tennis court. It certainly didn’t help my basketball 3-point shot!
Carlos Mendez, his wife and their two children, Bella and Amadeo
TCB: Did you ever teach tennis? Are you a certified tennis pro?
CM: I introduce the sport in under-resourced communities and coach the kids, including my own, Bella, 14 and Amadeo, 8. I am the founder of Multicutural Tennis Association Inc. and have USTA youth tennis and Safe Play certifications.
TCB: You are the founder of the Multicultural Tennis Association, MTA, a National Junior Tennis and Learning (NJTL) chapter of the USTA Foundation in Las Vegas and Chicago. What made you start this organization in 2014?
CM: When my daughter was born, I had envisioned her playing basketball like I did. When she was 6 years old, at my wife Michelle’s suggestion, we enrolled Bella for tennis lessons at a local country club. It was then that my interest for the sport was reignited. The memories of my youth and the lack of accessible tennis opportunities all came back and gave birth to my life-long passion for tennis. I soon became an advocate of tennis and after realizing the lack of affordable and accessible tennis programs in under-resourced communities, I
decided to make a difference. I wanted to introduce the sport to kids who were like me as a kid. So, my family embarked on a life-long tennis journey and established Multicultural Tennis Association Inc. a tax-exempt non-profit youth tennis organization with a mission to make tennis accessible to all.
TCB: What is your role at MTA? Are there other tennis professionals involved?
CM: I am the Founder and do just about everything related to day to day operations on and off the courts. I’m fortunate to have a team of dedicated and passionate volunteers, supportive community leaders, and coaches. Our main goal is to introduce tennis at an early age and support kids in this highly demanding sport.
TCB: How is MTA doing? Have you been growing it over the last 6 years?
CM: MTA’s programs are based in schools and parks. We have a long-standing partnership with city recreational departments and schools. Our partnerships have enabled us to give free lessons to hundreds of kids in the past 6 years and counting. We are proud to contribute to the growth of tennis.
TCB: How is MTA funded?
CM: Thanks to the funding from our family, private donors, and the USTA Foundation we are able to support and activate our programming.
TCB: What are your biggest challenges running MTA?
CM: The current pandemic has certainly disrupted millions of lives. Kids, now more than ever, need sports. I will continue to champion our youth tennis programs and encourage family activity as we all overcome this pandemic. In addition, one of the lingering challenges nonprofit tennis organizations face is attracting PTR/USPTA certified high-performance coaches to further develop driven youth that are not typically from the academy or country club circuit. Our budgets do not allow for high-cost coaches. It would be beneficial for the sport to have more high-performance coaches contribute to the growth of tennis in under-resourced community programs.
TCB: If money were no object, what would you do with MTA?
CM: Our goals are to have more diversity in all levels of tennis, equitable representation of USA 🇺🇸 juniors receiving US college tennis scholarships, and certainly more BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People Of Color) US Hispanic professional tennis players. This requires much financial support and a long term prospectus. As a reminder, our sport’s USA 🇺🇸 legends include Richard Pancho González, Arthur Ashe, Rosie Casal, and Charlie Pasarell, amongst many others who long ago contributed to the growth of tennis in their own communities such as the American Tennis Association, Mexican Tennis Association, Hispano Tennis Association, and La Raza Tennis Association.
TCB: What are your future plans with MTA?
CM: MTA will continue to introduce the sport to kids, identify and support those who love the sport, develop those that aspire to earn college scholarships and/or become pro. But above all, MTA will continue to champion the growth of tennis in under-resourced communities and instill a pay it forward ethos in kids. Remember, it takes a village to raise a tennis player!
TCB: Thank you, Carlos.
Meet Puerto Rican Tennis Pro Juan Oscar Rios
Now teaching in Miami, Florida
Hi, my name is Juan Oscar Rios. I was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico. My grandmother came to Puerto Rico from Spain, therefore I have a Spanish heritage.
TCB: Where do you live and work now, Juan?
JOR: I live in Miami, Florida. I work for Tennis Revolution, a company that manages private and public sports facilities.
TCB: When were you introduced to tennis, and who introduced you?
JOR: I started playing tennis at the age of 4. I was taught by my father (PR Hall of Famer) who has been a coach to hundreds of world-ranked players. Some of those players include Gigi Fernandez, Francisco Gonzalez, and Brian Gottfried.
TCB: You played tennis in college, had an exciting career playing Davis Cup, and worked at many nice tennis clubs and organizations. In 2009 you became President of
Tennis Concierge Global. Can you tell us what this is and what you do at that organization?
JOR: My career highlight is representing my country at the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona. TCG is a management, events, and court construction company that I founded in 2009. As President, I oversee all aspects of management, celebrity events, and Camps. Some of my past celebrity events have been with famous stars like Mats Wilander, Chris Evert, Anna Kournikova, and Billie Jean King.
TCB: In March of 2020 you became President of IJN Sports. How did this come about and what is that company doing?
JOR: This company was formed in 2020, and my sole purpose is to start developing my ultimate dream of a Kid's sports & education foundation here in Florida.
TCB: A few months later, in June of 2020, you took on the General Manager position at Tennis Revolution, a company founded by Eric Rebhuhn. What is that company's mission statement and what are you trying to accomplish there?
JOR: So Tennis Revolution- founded by my long time friend and partner Eric Rebhuhn. T R's mission and vision is to manage tennis facilities, run ATP & WTA events, as well as manage resorts all over the Caribbean and the world. We also have a department that shades tennis facilities - a new concept in which we have a partnership with a company called Fabritecture- an Australian architectural & design company.
TCB: What is your biggest challenge working three jobs in three different areas?
JOR: The challenges are tremendous, but when one has a genuine passion for the game of tennis then it's easier!
TCB: What are your long-term plans for the future in regards to managing tennis?
JOR: My long term plans are to develop a foundation that helps underprivileged youth have an opportunity to excel in life through the great game of Tennis.
TCB: Have you played pickleball? Do you like it?
JOR: I have tried pickleball and I think it's a great game that complements the sport of tennis.
TCB: What is your tennis racquet of choice?
JOR: I'm sponsored by Volkl for the last 10 years. I think Volkl has great racquets and I highly recommend them.
TCB: Thank you, Juan.
Meet A from Mexico
Hi, my name is Arturo Navarro Guzman. I was born in Mexico City and currently live in Los Cabos, Baja California Sur (Mexico). I was 3 years old when I started to play tennis. My brother coached me, and I played at the Club Casablanca satellite with friends. Then I started training more often, played junior tournaments, then I got a scholarship to play Division l NCAA at The University of Nebraska Lincoln, played some pro events, and after college, I started coaching.
After graduating from college with a Marketing degree, I was receiving some offers to work in industries that I had no interest in. My brother Ignacio teaches in Los Angeles and I always enjoyed helping him and seeing how others improve. During my last summer in college, my friend Felipe joined Peter Burwash International and he recommended me to join. I gave it a try and worked 11 years with them in 7 different countries, like in India.
In Bangalore, India I was the Technical Director of Tennis at the Padukone-Dravid Centre for Sports Excellence. Some of my responsibilities included: organizing the program for all levels/stages, creating and implementing a holistic approach to the program, preparing yearly budgets, marketing for the program, develop a calendar of events, hiring coaches and train the whole coaching team as well as coaching performance juniors and pros.
Currently, In Cabo, I am teaching at the Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal and I am also a Licensed Real Estate Agent.
Do I prefer teaching kids or adults? I love teaching anyone who wants to learn. If I had to choose one, that would be professional players. Tennis is my passion and if I can help someone get a bit better and motivate them, then I am happy.
Is it easy to become a tennis coach in Mexico? I became a coach in the U.S., but I know that coaches can get training and have options to develop in Mexico too. It is great to see some former Mexican players trying hard to improve the level of our players and Davis Cup and Fed Cup teams. Whether tennis pros can get support from the Mexican Tennis Federation, I do not know enough about support policies from the FMT. But I know that most players are looking for sponsors to be able to compete. Some players have to play leagues to earn some money, teach on the side, or retire way too early due to lack of resources. Would be great to see more sponsors.
My biggest challenge right now is COVID like the rest of the World. Cabo is a tourist destination and travel restrictions are high at the moment.
Of all the countries I've been to for tennis, which one did I like best? This is a tough question, but I will choose Austria as it is the place where I met my wife Ulrike and because it is so beautiful. I had to learn to speak German to be able to work in Austria and to talk to my wife’s family. It was tough at the beginning; my wife was super patient with me and I also went to a German school for 6 months in Innsbruck. The train ride was 1.5 hours away from Kitzbuhel. My wife and I still use German to communicate.
What is the brand and model of tennis racquet I work with? It's a Wilson Pro Staff 97L and I love it.
Meet Ffrom Venezuela
Hi, my name is Franklin José Guevara Masterful. I was born in Caracas, Venezuela.
I started to play at 11 years old, motivated by watching the opening of courts in the Military Circle of Caracas. There it began. My father was the head of the area.
While studying at night high school, I worked during the day in that area. There I observed the classes of the coaches and practicing in the Fronton, on my own account I learned. Without receiving any training.
Why I went into teaching? I've always been looking for my role in this life. I discovered that it was helping others by teaching. At 16 I began to train with a tennis coach. Today I have my own academy in Margarita, Nueva Esparta state of Venezuela.
Do I prefer teaching kids or adults? I focus on everything. Although now I work more with Tennis 10’s, I relate very well with all kinds of people. He used personal growth to bring tennis to the students and in my relationships.
What I like most about my work is feeling the connection with the students by assimilating what they really need to learn.
Is it easy to become a tennis coach in Venezuela? A little bit. With this pandemic, we have been very detained.
Right now, tennis pros can get support from the Venezuela Tennis Federation. There is enough training.
I have managed to specialize in applying self-help in tennis training. I go towards the mental issues from an early age.
The brand of tennis racquet is work with is Babolat.
Meet from Costa Rica
Hi, my name is Harry Hamilton. I was born in Staunton, Virginia but moved to nearby Roanoke, Virginia when I was 2 years old.
When I was just2-3 years old, I was getting tossed balls by my dad. He spent some years coaching tennis and was the one that introduced me to the game at an early age.
I trained and played competitive tournaments until I was 12-13 years of age. At that point, I shifted my focus to club and eventually high school soccer. It wasn’t until I was 21 years old that I rediscovered tennis.
I started working at the Wild Dunes Tennis Center on the Isle of Palms, South Carolina in 2003. I was originally hired to help take care of the 17 clay court facility. After a short period of time, I was drawn back into the game and began practicing and studying to become a teaching professional. I enjoyed the atmosphere at the resort, meeting new people and sharing passion for the game.
You went from South Carolina to Florida, New York, Hawaii, back to South Carolina, California, and now Costa Rica. All in the name of tennis. Where did you like working the best?
Tough question! I've enjoyed each place for different reasons. I’d say Florida and Costa Rica. Florida was an incredible opportunity to work under some of the best coaches in the world and Costa Rica is a dream location to set up a program and home base.
What was my recent trip to Africa all about? In 2018, I had the chance to meet some amazing kids at both a high school and elementary school. I ran a few clinics while I was there and made some amazing memories. I hope to go back again one day.
I enjoy teaching all ages. Anyone that enjoys playing and learning about the game.
What I like best about my work? I like that I get to meet and work with so many unique and amazing students and that I am able to watch them develop new skills and confidence while having fun.
What is the Harry Hamilton Tennis Experience in Costa Rica? And why Costa Rica?
The tennis experience here is in the jungle of Costa Rica with sounds of the howler monkeys nearby, coconuts, and clay courts. I chose Costa Rica for the nature and the opportunity to incorporate mediation, nutrition, and other well-being options.
Being so much involved in tennis, do I have time for a hobby? I enjoy surfing when I can find the time and learning more about growing food.
If I had unlimited resources, I would create tennis schools for lots and lots of communities that would support both the kids and parents to grow in their fitness, connection to one another, and overall well being.
My racquet? I just ordered a Wison Blade 98 that I’m excited to start playing with
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