Tennis Club Business HEAD Radical


Dear Reader

Southern California USTA CEO Messing Out

NeuroTennis - Worked Like a Charm for me!

The Most Incredible Story we Ever Published: Coach Paula


Questions and suggestions for USTA CEO Mike Dowse

First 'Tennis Boom Radio' Clubhouse Meeting Very Encouraging

Jack Broudy is Disrupting Tennis - and Growing the Sport!

SoCal's Weddington Golf & Tennis Saga with a New Twist. Is a happy ending in sight?

Most Useless USTA Survey Ever
Games: Three Headlines and a Lie

Brought to my Attention



Happy National Tennis Month (for our U.S. readers)!


We hope that everyone has been doing well.

Before we get to the news this week, we would like to invite you to support the continuation of this newsletter as well as our new Mid-Month content, interviews, reviews, and other features on TENNIS CLUB BUSINESS via joining our Patreon Community. For as little as $5 a month, you can help ensure the long-term future of TCB.

Thank you!!!

Rich Neher


No, I'm not rejoicing about Marla Messing's departure. We held her feet to the fire but in the end, she probably did herself in. Beginning of April she lost two more staffers, Tiffany Mai and Sophia Geha. I mean, who's still left in this office? Kudos to the Board for finally doing the right thing.


The SCTA was managed really badly for a couple of years now and needs some time to rebuild. I hear that Trevor Kronemann is the interim CEO. Good choice. He may actually be a suitable candidate to run for this office.

Here are some suggestions I have for the SCTA Board and President Bob Hochstadter.

  • Don't pick someone who doesn't play tennis and uses the job to park for a few years.

  • Pick someone people respect, someone who can build a team and make smart choices. Someone who can regain the trust of the community.

  • Immediately reinstate Jim and Christine Wong as league coordinators in San Gabriel Valley. Don't forget to apologize to them first. The way they were treated was very unprofessional. Maybe offering them some back pay would be a good way to smoke a peace pipe with them. There are no better league coordinators in all of the USTA than them.

  • If they still want the job, ask Ali Ordonez and Melanie Bishop to return to their posts. The rookies working there now pale in comparison to those two experienced stalwarts of SoCal tennis. 

We will continue to hold people's feet to the fire. If we hear about people who make outrageous decisions that don't grow tennis anywhere in the U.S., we'll call them out on it. That's a promise.


"The game is well enough for lazy or weak men, but men who have rowed or taken part in a nobler sport should blush to be seen playing lawn tennis."

Harper's Weekly (September 1878) 


Yep, I took the plunge and used my NeuroTennis wristband on the court.

Boy, I was more nervous than a qualifier playing RF in the first round at Wimbledon. Why? Not sure. I was hitting with a very good player and didn't want to look like a total nerd, I guess. But I made it through and, most importantly, I got something valuable out of it. What did I get out of it? REMINDERS WORK!


It took me a while to get used to all the buttons on that wristband. Most of them have dual functionality. There is a button for device-to-device pairing (you can synchronize NT wristbands for two players), ON/Off button, frequency of instruction generation, play/pause, volume/return instruction, and sensitivity/serve instruction.

The team at NeuroTennis (Mats Wilander and Cameron Lickle, of WOW Tour fame) grouped instructions into "drills." Those groups of instructions can be used for an actual practice drill or during a game. 


The concept behind NeuroTennis is that the player selects what they want to get coached on. It gives you reminders corresponding to what you decide you want to be coached on. It does it either right after your opponent hits the ball (in two-player mode) or right after you do. 

While I used my NeuroTennis wristband in Solo mode, it is most typically used in a two-player mode, meaning that the sensors in each device communicate across the court with your partner’s device. For me, some of these reminders include instructions coaches have given me all my tennis playing life but I usually forget in the heat of a match, like 'loosen your grip' and 'keep your feet moving.' But other reminders were also quite helpful, such as 'turn shoulders now' or 'watch the ball until contact' after your opponent hits it.


Watch the above 42-second video about using a ball machine as your two-player mode partner. In case your coach is not available, this has got to be one of the best drill setups I have seen in a long time. You tape the NT wristband to the ball machine and hit play. By setting the sensitivity to “Max”, the wristband naturally detects that your ball machine is sending a ball.  The second wristband, which you are wearing, receives signals when balls are sent to you by the machine. It's quite amazing that those guys come up with new ideas all the time.

As for my match, I lost but not without a fight. It was a good experience and showed me that reminders do work. The app has tons of drills and lessons you can download to your NT wristband. Check out their website and see for yourself.


"No matter how many mistakes you make or how slow your progress, you are still way ahead of everyone who isn't trying."
Tony Robbins


When I connected with Paula Umaña on LinkedIn I had no idea about her history until I read "Former WTA tour player who became a quadriplegic due to a nervous system disorder."And then I realized that she is still teaching in Atlanta and I knew I had to interview her. The result is the most incredible TCB story ever. A story of never giving up and survival. After writing it, I said to myself,


Read the story of the miracle called Coach Paula here.




Mr. Dowse, you've been at the helm of the USTA for a while now. How are things going for you? You're happy because tennis is growing? Good for you, sir. However, may I remind you that the USTA is the beneficiary and not the cause of this tennis boom?


Although, I think the growth of tennis is the least of your problems right now. Let me tell you what's going on as we see the USTA right now from out in the trenches of grassroots tennis. I am fully aware, of course, that the opinions of outsiders such as myself are not necessarily valued much at the USTA. But, you can use my ideas 100% if you like. I have no problem with that. 

Growth during a Pandemic may be a treacherous promise

I'm sure you have read the New York Times article titled "The Pandemic Drove People to Tennis and golf. Will they keep playing?" dated March 11. The writers' central question is: "How to retain newly hooked participants when other recreational options are available again?"


Craig Morris said there was no silver bullet to retention in the article. I beg to differ and you as an avid reader of TENNIS CLUB BUSINESS, have probably read my position on that subject. It's really not that difficult but executives like Morris who are used to throwing money at ideas without properly researching them, don't have a creative enough mind to see that. 

Create some excitement

Wow. The "e" word. Excitement. Not something you regularly associate the USTA with. But can you think of the last US Open pre-pandemic? Did you hear all those little voices during the 2019 Arthur Ashe Kid's Day? Yep, that was big-time excitement. Or, have you ever seen Emma Doyle conduct a clinic with a large group of kids? Yes, that's excitement, too. I'll give you one more example. When Roger Federer faces a crowd and won't leave unless the last person got his autograph or a selfie with him despite his handlers trying to pull him away, that's exciting.

I know I'm repeating myself but you have to create excitement out there in the vast land of the free and home of the brave. You want to hear people of all ages, 5-95, say "I WANT TO TRY THAT TENNIS THING. LOOKS SO COOL AND IS HEALTHY EXERCISE." Craig Morris may be a nice guy but he is not exciting. You need other people to do this for you. Ambassadors. Hire Emma Doyle and a bunch of others and let them create the excitement. It's really not that difficult. It appears that Emma has more ideas and fun in her little pinkie than all the executives at Lake Nona together!

I can see your question: How on earth can I fund that effort and pay Emma? I'm glad you asked, Mr. Dowse. That's really easy. You know what's coming, right?


Shut down that darn Player Development circus. (And while you're at it, defund Net Generation)

There you go, $23Mio+ right off the bat. Don't worry about all those pros losing their jobs. If they are good, they'll find new ones. Some of them could also become USTA Ambassadors. And if Martin Blackman is as good as everybody says, make him CEO Community Tennis. No? And don't listen to your executives who will lose face and maybe more when you shut down PD. Repeat after me, "I couldn't care less!"

You owe it to the American taxpayer and to your members and to a million kids that would love to play tennis but can't afford it that you put that money into areas that actually grow tennis. Is that so hard to understand? And I bet you if you do that, you'll discover a few Grand Slam winners over time. That only works if you don't look for them like a deer in a headlight.

I could come to Lake Nona and help you. I would line up every non-essential staff member and test their excitability level from 1-10. Everyone under 5 or 6 needs to go.

I have to once more talk about your CEO Community Tennis, Mr. Dowse. I am told that he tends to listen to people on the inside rather than us out there in the field. And you know what? I'm also told he's only getting lip service from these people. When he asks people on the inside what they think of Net Generation, they respond by telling Mr. Morris what he wants to hear, not what they really think.  My contact at Lake Nona says, "He then uses that information to justify keeping it going.  People love it is what he is able to say, when in fact people ignore it and do their own thing."  

Our survey of a few months ago has clearly shown what most tennis professionals in this country think about Net Generation. And what do you have when you don't get the buy-in of our readers? Nothing. Nada. Zilch. Boondoggle.




That's all, Mr. Dowse. I hope y'all have a good May there at Lake Nona.*


*I often think about how many inner-city kids can't have a tennis court available to them because you guys needed a showcase of 100 beautiful courts in paradise and wasted hundreds of millions on Player Development with no end in sight. I suggest reading Gary Horvath's article this month for clarification.


The topic was "Tennis Boom 2021 - Getting Ready For the Summer" and Bill Patton and I had a blast. We heard from tennis directors and teaching pros as well as dignitaries like David Fish and Nancy Ehrola. Michael Eden chimed in and so were UJ Neri and Henry Gallagher. Adrian Boubalos from Toronto explained how tennis in Ontario is still at an almost complete standstill (I'm feeling for you, Adrian!). UJ mentioned the problem they have in Pasadena, California, with pickleball courts coming up everywhere now. (We will talk about that subject on May 10.)


Nancy's current challenge is finding teaching pros willing to work with beginners in New Jersey. And she was getting some pointers from people in the room. Dave Fish explained how the Covid interruption gave us a marvelous opportunity to examine the game and our business. Bill Patton talked about a pro in Oakland with the unusual habit of asking every kid coming by his court to come in and try out tennis. I think the game needs "Ambassadors" like this in every zip code of the U.S.

Some amazing numbers came up, like Bill's "if you can get people to come twice a week to your club, you'll have a 99% retention rate." KOURTS CEO Walid Fattah shared stats that their bookings for lessons, courts, clinics increased 138% last year. Interestingly, 32% of that growth came from new players, 68% came from players playing more. I'm glad to hear about the success story that is KOURTS. They are now in 29 states and count over 300,000 players and 3,500 pros using their technology. Nice.

As you know, we'll be holding our 1-hour TENNIS BOOM RADIO show every Monday at the same time from now on. That time is 9:00 am Pacific and you have to figure out what time that is in your state or country. We'll be able to form a private club soon within Clubhouse. Their rule is someone has to host a room three times before they can do that. We'll be there in the second half of May and have to go through their approval process. No problem!

Next TENNIS BOOM RADIO show: Monday, May 3 at 9:00 am PST

Topic: 'USTA Serve Tennis Mess - Suggestions for Coaches and Parents.'


Hope to see many of you there.


"How to play on clay? You go over to Europe and play for six weeks until you have clay up to your knees. You play and learn to fight for every point in every match. You learn to develop alternative game plans.

Tony Trabert (Tennis Week, June 26, 2001)


I've looked at the videos and read the book. And I'm baffled how someone, as experienced as Jack, can come out and proclaim how easy teaching tennis can be - and prove it! I swear to God, if I have to watch another video where some celebrity teaching pro (I won't mention his name but there is the German word for a household spice in it) is telling me that teaching the serve is a NINE STEP PROCESS, I'm going to go bananas. Are you guys nuts? Why are so many of you complicating the game of tennis? Many of you laughed about Oscar Wegner because he taught how to teach tennis in 2 hours. But I watched him and he is right. Teaching tennis is way too complicated today.

Jack has influenced the development of several pros on tour today, as well as countless top-ranked USTA Juniors and college national champion players and coaches. Jack is a mentor to thousands of tennis coaches, players, and professionals around the globe.


Jack's methodology is called 'Non-Linear Tennis' and it's based on irrefutable science. The 3 elements '45° angle', 'Figure 8", and 'the wave' make so much sense, it's unreal. I have watched him teach a student and I was quite amazed at the results.


Jack says, "On the court, as in life, your body is intended to move symmetrically in balanced motion. The combination of those three fundamentals, applied to every stroke, strategy, and drill, enables a player to move and hit in a very harmonic, balanced way."

Jack's book "Non-linear Tennis" is available to download for free. Use this link to download it and learn what non-linear tennis is all about and how you can, with Jack's active help, incorporate that teaching methodology in your daily work.

Download the book here.


"The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling,

but in rising every time we fall."

Nelson Mandela


Is a happy ending in sight?

We reported about this several times in the past. Why? Because it's an example of how tennis players (in this case also golf players) and neighbors of a beloved sports property have been fighting for decades to keep their facility as is. And yes, the said property is in my hometown of Studio City, just north of Los Angeles.

After the original owner of Weddington Golf & Tennis had guaranteed the property being accessible to the public for 99 years, his heirs thought turning it into condos with an underground garage gave them a better ROI. But it needed a zoning change and after years of protests, the City of Los Angeles felt the pressure and denied it.

Next came another game plan when the owners thought building a senior living home would get the neighbors on their side but that failed as well. It meant another 5-6 years of fighting for golf and tennis players, of course. But if you thought all's well now and there was no need for further activism, you were wrong.

A couple of years ago, the owners sold the property for $45 Mio to a private school for the very rich, Harvard Westlake (HW). Their plans of taking down 16 tennis courts and all of golf for two years while constructing an athletic facility with 2 large football fields, a swimming pool, a 3-basketball court gym, 8 tennis courts, and no golf were met with heavy criticism, by both tennis and golf players and neighbors. Tennis and golf activists started the same fight again.

After a round of public hearings where the school spiked the audience with parents of their students who for the most part didn't even live in the city but in Bel Air and Beverly Hills, and after lots of smooth talk by HW representative who claimed their facility was open to the public and provided more open space than currently available, things didn't look too good for the community. After decades of fighting, we knew when someone is trying to pull the wool over our eyes.


So a group of neighbors came up with the idea that the property should really be declared a culturally valuable Historic Monument. They prepared the case and submitted it to the Cultural Heritage Commission. The commission accepted and researched the case.

In the meantime, HW and other private schools had some really bad coverage on the Bill Maher show.

The Cultural Heritage Commission invited to a public meeting via Zoom on April 15. As expected, it became another "wool over eyes" showcase where HW representatives were trying to explain that all they cared for was "open space" and public access. In fact, the images they presented showed nothing but open space because they conveniently left out 2 football fields, a swimming pool, and a very large gym building.

Bottom line, the Cultural Heritage Commission not only approved our application and recommended to declare the property a Historic-Cultural Monument, but they also recommended the name to be changed to Studio City Golf & Tennis. A lot of people including over 10,000 signatures collected are very happy with this outcome.

But the fight is not over yet. The recommendation now has to go to the Planning Commission and then on to the City Council. Keep your fingers crossed.



When a reader sent me details about a 3-question survey the USTA had commissioned from an outfit called U30 Group, I had a good laugh. My first thought was "They paid for that? Despite a pandemic with less revenue, they are still acting as if money grew on trees."


He also sent me the confidentiality clause on the next page which made me cringe. You have useless questions in a quick survey and don't want anyone to find out how moronic they are. He read them to me:

1. Name the main reasons you are a USTA Member.

The answer choices were:
a. I am a member of the USTA
b. I am a parent of a member

Hu? Mr. Dowse, are you reading this? Have you seen the survey? I hope you didn't pay more than $50 for that!

Next question:

2. What section do you live in?
There was a map of the USTA with the section and a list of all sections.

3. What do you do in the tennis community?
Different choices.

That was it. Wow. What an experience. They are sending 3 meaningless questions and calling it a 4-question survey?


I said to my friend that I thought this was really a pretty meaningless survey. His answer, "It matches what they think of your opinion." Well said!



Three Headlines and a Lie

We’re down to trick you with some weird headlines. Three of these are real, one is not. Can you guess which is the fake?

  1. Roger Federer remembers life-changing kiss.

  2. USTA says adding more than 32 pickleball courts to the National Campus just doesn't make sense.

  3. Nick Kyrgios calls Boris Becker a 'doughnut' after being labeled a 'rat' by tennis great

  4. Bubble Life Affects Players Performances, Warns Simona Halep.

Scroll down to the end for the correct answer.


BROUGHT TO MY ATTENTION (scroll down for info on how to reach us)

What's going on at Lake Nona? Questions for Mike Dowse

Is Mike Dowse really still at the helm of the USTA? If you looked at our LETTERS TO THE EDITOR column you would begin to have doubts about that. You guys have to deal with three messes where youn thought you provided a solution but I think there wasn't  problem that needed a solution: Net Generation, Junior Tournaments & Rankings, and WTN.


I'm asking you in all sincerity why are you keeping the culprit in at least two of those boondoggles, Craig Morris on the executive team? Scroll back up for more on this.


NGI Branding and Website

Our advertiser NGI announced that they have recently updated their company branding. All of the NGI products and systems now fall under their “Overlay Renovation Technology®” banner to help better describe what they do! Here's the new website.

Anyone interested in their 2021 webinars and 2022 in-person seminars, here is that information.

Simon Walsh is available!

International renowned tour coach Simon Walsh, who worked with Sam Stosur, Johanna Konta, and many more WTA and ATP tour players, send me a note that he's available for hire. He wrote, "Because of the covid I was forced to return back home here to Australia last year. As things are now starting slowly to get back to a bit more normal again and with our tennis world, I am looking out now for my next new opportunity and project. I am reaching out now to some of my contacts, also on the WTA coaches' platform and a few Federations. Please feel free to also pass on my CV and details if you do hear something."

Well, here is his CV as PDF. Good luck, Simon.


Top Court Partnering with EleVen by Venus Williams

TopCourt announced they are partnering with lifestyle and activewear brand, EleVen by Venus Williams. "Together, we will aim to empower confidence and drive elite performance on court. EleVen customers will get the unique opportunity to learn directly from Venus Williams like never before."

Read more here.

USTA Partnering with Reforestation Non-Profit One Tree Planted

The USTA announced a partnership with reforestation non-profit One Tree Planted, that will see a tree planted in honor of each participant in the 2021 NTRP National Championships. "The partnership with One Tree Planted surrounding this year’s NTRP National Championships is the beginning of the USTA’s efforts to identify new ways to incorporate sustainability programs at its events throughout the year following 12 successful years of the US Open’s sustainability initiative."

My five cents: That's nice. We all like to preserve trees and plant new ones. Bravo. However, my question for Mike Dowse: "How is this going to help grow tennis at the grassroots level?"


Oncourt Offcourt All Over Racquet Sports & More

Our favorite Blogger Kalindi Dinoffer, who happens to also be VP of Marketing for Oncourt Offcourt, always sends us interesting items for our readers. Here is a small list of new products and articles.

- Product: TenniScore with Brackets (see photo on left)
- Product: Airzone with Flags

- Product: Red Slogan Balls

- Product: Rebounder Net

- Your Mind and Body will Thank You…The Healing Power of Restorative Yoga

Understanding Tennis Ball Pressure

Serve the Kids, Serve the Parents

Unblock Your Potential - Free Tennis Video Training Series

How to Take Care of Yourself in the Spring

- Product: The WearBands Training System

- Product: Announcing the MultiRoller!

- Product: Get More Out of the Pickleball Drills You Already Know

New Emma Doyle Online Course: Pickleball Hacks for Tennis Players

There is a famous saying down under that goes, "same, same, but different", when you want to buy the same shirt but in a different color. That is what this online course is all about. What are the similarities between pickleball and tennis as well as what are the differences? Together with OnCourt OffCourt, Emma has created this online course to help you "FEEL" the difference, thanks to some of the unique training aids shown in the videos.

Go here for more info and use code TENOFF2021 for a $10 discount.


New Book A Pro Feature Coming to CourtReserve

CourtReserve's Director of Sales and Marketing Ashley Ownes tells us, "CourtReserve Book A Pro will allow coaches and instructors to publish open times for lessons and have an approval process for players to request time! The mobile app capability will also allow for payment integration and on-the-go scheduling! No more evenings of returning text messages, emails, and phone calls! 

Click to Schedule a LIVE demo with our Founder

Read our Educational Blog


The creator of Parenting Aces has summed up the recent USTA junior structure changes like this: "It is an absolute mess!" And to back up her statement, she describes the situation on her website This page is titled "Recent USTA Info All in One Place" and gives a good overview of the entire mess created by people at Lake Nona who probably meant well but didn't expect a pandemic to hit the tennis courts last year. 

Well, Lisa has this amazing ability to look at a situation, listen to all parties concerned, and make a razor-sharp analysis. Just look at the videos on this page


I particularly liked this video where she discussed Dan Holman, USTA's National Manager for Youth Tournaments. For obvious reasons, the USTA gave her only 30 minutes to ask him questions about the disastrous 2021 tournaments and ranking platform. After about 10 minutes of listening to him, you knew it: he didn't have any real answers and started the same old "pulling the wool over your eyes" routine that was invented by Gordon Smith and Kurt Kamperman and is being perfected by Dave Haggart and Craig Morris. He also appeared quite limited in what he was allowed to say so he didn't give ONE satisfactory answer. 

(A Lake Nona insider told me: "That seems to be the norm now in any department under Craig Morris. No one knows what's going on, there is no direction coming from the top.")

I am admiring Lisa's patience. Not sure if I could have gone through with this so cheerfully, haha.


For all of you who don't know Lisa Stone, here is a short bio: 

Lisa Stone is the creator of ParentingAces, a website and podcast for junior and college tennis parents and coaches. A graduate of UCLA, Lisa Stone is a Mom who also happens to be a Tennis Mom. As the former Chair of the Georgia Governor’s Commission on Physical Fitness & Sports and President of Fit For 2, Inc., Stone been involved in the fitness and sports arena for over 25 years and is the recipient of the 2019 USTA Georgia Marc Kaplan Media Excellence Award. Stone has played tennis her entire life though never at the level her youngest child reached. Through and the ParentingAces Podcast, Stone shares what she’s learned about navigating the Junior Tennis Journey and College Recruiting with other parents and coaches who are hungry for her insights and knowledge. She has given Tennis Parents a true voice. Lisa Stone is available for speaking engagements, tournament consulting, and college recruiting guidance. You can reach her via email at


“Take my game to the next level:” Top 10 Russian Player Andrey Rublev joins HEAD

HEAD, the global sporting brand with a focus on delivering high-performance products across a variety of athletic disciplines, will add another Top 10 tennis professional to its exceptional roster of athletes: The current ATP Number 8 Andrey Rublev. The 23-year old Russian signed a multi-year contract with HEAD. “Andrey is an extremely exciting player,” says HEAD CEO and Chairman Johan Eliasch. “His speed is exceptional and his aggressive game is a pleasure to watch. But we are also impressed with his work ethic and devotion to detail. He is intensely focused on getting better and we are confident that our racquets will help him climb even higher in the rankings.”

Download Bill Patton's New Book for Only 99 cents!

Here is an opportunity to get Visual Training for Tennis which has a 5-star review from Dick Gould, and is endorsed by Ken DeHart.  It has 75% more content than the third edition, including much more about how to learn and teach tennis visually, how to perform better in matches, more on the physical training of your eyes, and great nutrition to feed developing, performing, and aging eyesight.  Did you know that 60% of your brain's activity centers around processing your vision?  

Download here


Support Multicultural Tennis Association by shopping at

Get 25% off tennis products at!

Use code: Bella-23 at check out. 


Multicultural Tennis Association has activated a free youth tennis program in three Chicago city parks, Garfield Park, Douglass Park, and Harrison Park.  Their mission is to grow the sport in underserved communities. You can help them sustain their free tennis programs by shopping at for your tennis needs. 

If you have information worth mentioning in this BROUGHT TO MY ATTENTION forum, please contact Pat via email. Leave your name and phone number if you want us to get back to you for further clarification. Anonymity is guaranteed if you prefer. Thank you!

Tennis Club Business Stones Net


To Racquet Sports Industry magazine - who, after months of us writing about their disconnected New York office phone, started advertising a live phone number that seems to work. Bravo.

To Austin, Texas tennis professional Aruna Bernier - because Tennis Channel had selected coach Aruna as America's top 50 tennis coaches and entered for top 10 spots! 

To the Board of the Southern California Tennis Association and its President Bob Hochstadter - for doing the right thing in terminating Marla Messing and giving the section a chance to get back to normalcy.

To our contributing writer Susan Nardi - who won the Positive Coaches Alliance 2021 National Double-Goal Coach Award. And they made a video of her and her work. One of the parents on the video says, "Susan is a life coach who also teaches tennis." Nice. Congratulations!

To Lisa Stone - for going public with her thoughts about another USTA boondoggle: The 2021 Tournaments & Rankings Platform.

Have a great May, friends!

Rich Neher



Sorry, folks, we made up the USTA 32 Pickleball courts headline.

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