We keep reading how the tennis industry is 'aging out' and for the most part is dominated by a bunch of older male professionals.
So we set out to find young female tennis professionals who are really flourishing in our male-dominated industry. And we found them on the U.S. East Coast, West Coast, in England, and in Australia. We asked them a bunch of questions in order to learn how they got into teaching tennis, why they did it, and if they would do it again. We wanted to know their story.
"I WOULD DO IT ALL OVER AGAIN"
Los Angeles, California
QUESTIONS FOR BREANNA BACHINI
TCB: Breanna, where were you born (city, country)?
BB: I was born in Roseville, California, United States
TCB: How old were you when you started to play tennis and who introduced you?
BB: I was 5 years old and my dad introduced me to the sport.
TCB: Did you play tennis in high school, college?
BB: I was homeschooled. I received a full ride to Syracuse University. Played 2 years in the Big East and two in the ACC.
TCB: Was tennis your first choice of work after school? If not, please explain.
BB: I was going to accept an internship for men’s health magazine in New York but decided to stay in Syracuse and start coaching tennis.
TCB: When did you start teaching, tennis and why?
BB: I started after I graduated. I always knew I wanted to help others and give back. My coaches in juniors had such an impact on me especially my coach Rich Andrews and Milun Doskovic, that I wanted to give back the same way. I also wanted to coach college to challenge myself to be the type of coach players felt like really had their back, genuinely cared for their well being, and overall success in life not just on the court.
TCB: Did you get certified as a tennis professional?
BB: I have not been certified yet and am working on doing that through the USTA.
TCB: Where and in what position did you work as a tennis professional?
BB: I have worked at Colgate University as the men’s and women’s assistant tennis coach for 3 years, the assistant at Gonzaga, and the volunteer assistant at USC. I am currently a tennis pro at the Griffin Club in Los Angeles.
TCB: Do you like your current position, and why?
BB: I do because I get to teach a variety of levels and the job offers a lot of flexibility with scheduling.
TCB: What are the challenges you are facing today?
BB: I think some of the challenges for me as a coach and I think any coach is finding a really passionate junior player who is driven and does not need to be pushed by the parent or coach. Coaches and parents can only do so much. The passion and drive have to come from the player.
TCB: How difficult was it for you as a woman to have a career in male-dominated tennis?
BB: Haha. I get asked this question a lot. I probably saw this challenge as a female coach, coaching division 1 men’s tennis. The players on the men’s team respected me rather quickly actually. They saw my passion and drive right away. When we played opposing teams however I was met with some remarks from other male players that were rather egregious. I wasn’t fazed by it at all.
TCB: How did your past income, and how does your current income compare to similarly experienced male tennis professionals?
BB: To be honest with you I think there is some discrimination in college coaching salaries... my current job I would say it’s fair.
TCB: What would you say to young women interested in tennis and undecided whether they want to make a career out of it?
BB: It’s a 24/7 job. More so college coaching is. They look to you as their extended family. I really enjoyed doing it for the time I did it. Now I have a little more freedom as a teaching professional and I get the chance to develop players. I don’t care what anyone says. You can’t take a player at the college level and claim you developed them. It’s utter nonsense. You can help reshape them physically and mentally and change a couple of things technically here or there.. but at that level, you better be ready to compete.
TCB: If you had a chance to do it all over again, would you choose the same career again?
BB: I would. Tennis has given me so many incredible opportunities in my life and taught me important life skills as well. I’ve met many inspirational people, became a better team player, and have been looked at as a role model and placed in a leadership role at a young age. My experiences are irreplaceable. I would say, my first boss, Bobby Pennington was someone who taught me a lot. It was my first real job and through the ups and downs, I have the best memories.
TCB: Do you play or teach Pickleball? How do you like the sport?
BB: I do not but I would love to learn!
TCB: What is your tennis racquet of choice?
BB: I love Yonex. I have always used a heavy stick. I play with Stans...but Babolat is a great racquet as well.
TCB: Thank you, Breanna.