It All Started With a Tennis Ball, Big Wall and some Putrid Smell.




tennis wall practice drills for beginners
Brian Lutz / May 15, 2018

This is an excerpt from Chapter 3 from my reincarnated brand: online guide of how to play tennis for Beginners entitled: Red Ball Tennis Lessons.   Many of the teaching methods I utilize today had their genesis from my time in the urban tennis jungle of  New York City teaching tennis to beginners in indoor gyms.   It’s the city that never sleeps, has a finite about of open space for tennis and is made of a city of doers and dreamers.

NYC-In the Big Apple the song rings true. “if you can make it there you can make it anywhere”.


I’ve taught tennis lessons in Manhattan where you bring your own net. You heard me right! The net kept getting stolen at a small park right on East 93rd Street and 3rd avenue. It was a cute park with a basketball court and a great tennis wall to warm up on. It was right behind a bakery so you could smell the fresh baked goods and coffee amongst the omni present sirens and gas fumes. If you had a vision like I did it was an tennis oasis in the urban jungle.  All of that pounding a tennis ball on a wall was leading to something.



I used to haul my net and basket of balls to the unfinished asphalt tennis court where locals used the court with two silver rusting net posts to run their dogs. Inevitably, on hot days the place smelled like urine and negligent dog owners didn’t clean up after their dogs.

There is nothing worse than dog crap. I’m from Lancaster, PA so I guess you can say I know my shit. Horse shit, cow shit some of it used in the fields of Lancaster County for fertilizer. But dog fecal matter. You know the smell. There is nothing worse.

The good news was the court was free. But every time I played there I felt like a paid the price in so many ways. It’s no longer a park as a condo is now in it’s place but this on court pain and challenging environment hatched the idea that I didn’t need a tennis court to give beginner and recreational tennis players tennis lessons. All I needed was clean space and a roof to keep out the elements.

I discovered these spaces were everywhere so I started renting out school gymnasiums in strategic neighborhoods throughout the city. It’s here I really fine tuned my craft of teaching adults how to play this great sport of tennis on wood and concrete basketball surfaces.

Chapter 3 of Red Ball Tennis Lessons is a tribute to my NYC experience with some Miami clips thrown in as well from my early years here when I first arrived in the Sunshine State.  I learned on the fly how to teach large groups of beginner tennis players with little or no tennis experience how to play the game.


Always innovating!

Today I’ve reduced the space needed to teach someone tennis even further by designing an online course for beginners where you can self discover your tennis game with the right system.  All you need is a tennis racket, red tennis ball and a wall.

Just when you think you know it all is when you fall into the trap as an instructor.  I learned this years ago.  My model today hasn’t changed. Ask lots of questions and be open to new ideas  ways to relate to people so they can take ownership of their tennis game.  Teaching tennis changed for me when I learned to play tennis through the eyes of my novice tennis students.

Red Ball Tennis Lessons has four chapters in all.  The course includes over 30 concepts, practice drills and pop quizzes to guide you along the way.   Each video is two to four minutes in length and releases videos twice a week over a 100 day period.  You will get reminder emails when you are ready to move to the next progression.

The entire teaching system is $39.  It’s a comprehensive guide on how to start playing tennis with realistic expectations for adults who are looking for a great workout.

The best ideas come from nothing or at least dog shit.



Let’s Play Tennis.

Brian “Big Apple” Lutz

Backhand City / Find Your Aha Moment