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.
"HAVE AN ENTREPRENEURIAL MINDSET"
USPTA Tennis Professional
Manifestennis.com & Rick Macci Tennis Academy
QUESTIONS FOR NIKKI ROTH
TCB: Nikki, where were you born (city, country)?
NR: I was born in Cleveland, Ohio.
TCB: How old were you when you started to play tennis and who introduced you?
NR: I was 4 years old. My parents introduced me.
TCB: Did you play tennis in high school, college?
NR: Yes, I played number 1 singles in both high school and college.
TCB: Was tennis your first choice of work after school? If not, please explain.
NR: I loved tennis. But I also played softball, football, basketball.
TCB: When did you start teaching, tennis and why?
NR: That was 1997. I met John Evert and he offered me a job at their academy. I got my degree in elementary education and I decided my talents really lied in teaching on the court. I was inspired because I had great mentors and coaches as a kid.
TCB: Did you get certified as a tennis professional?
NR: Yes, USPTA, 25 years ago.
TCB: Where and in what position did you work as a tennis professional?
NR: At the Chris Evert Academy, the Hamptons, Mar- a- Lago ( teaching the first family) Palm Beach and Rick Macci Academy.
TCB: Where do you work now, and what is your position?
NR: I work at the Rick Macci Tennis Academy. I am head of Parks and Rec.
TCB: Do you like your current position, and why?
NR: Yes, I do. I like it at Mar-a-Lago because it's a unique time to be there. I was working there before Mr. Trump became president. At Rick Macci I love the idea of a great facility and it brings in people of all walks of life.
TCB: What are the challenges you are facing today? NR: Covid-19
TCB: How difficult was it for you as a woman to have a career in male-dominated tennis? (Please elaborate, if you like) NR: It has been very difficult in one way. Because of every director position I have known has gone to a man. People are not ready for a woman. When people think of someone in a position of authority they think of a man.
TCB: How did your past income, and how does your current income compare to similarly experienced male tennis professionals?
NR: I don’t compare myself to anyone. But what I do is hustle. My energy goes to my clients. Do the best you can within your own abilities and that’s what I tell my clients on and off the court.
TCB: What would you say to young women interested in tennis and undecided whether they want to make a career out of it?
NR: Hmmm. Be ready for the challenges. But do what I do. Have an entrepreneurial mindset. Which means when one door closes another door of opportunity will open. Stay positive and never give up!!!
TCB: If you had a chance to do it all over again, would you choose the same career again?
NR: Hmmm. I am fortunate that I have this talent, but it's important for young girls to understand it's physically hard. It's weather dependent and there will be discrimination. So would I choose this career path again? That’s a tough question.
TCB: Do you play or teach Pickleball? How do you like the sport?
NR: I love pickleball, and play it often. I do many exhibitions but I am not a certified pickle pro yet. It's a fantastic sport that can help enhance hand and eye coordination. The other advantage is a variety of all levels can play together at the same time. It's a family sport, more than tennis!!!
TCB: What is your tennis racquet of choice?
NR: DIADEM. Great product!!! Fairly new! Great for club level players too!!!!
TCB: Thank you, Nikki.