The Genesis of TennisTIP and My NYC Experience.

This is an excerpt from the Introduction to Chapter 3 in Red Ball Tennis Lessons. Online Tennis Lesson for $7 a month

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

I’ve taught 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 basketball courts and a great 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, sort of.

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 PA so I guess you can say I know my shit. Horse shit, cow shit all used in the fields of Lancaster County, PA for fertilizer. But dog fecal matter. You know the smell there is nothing worse.

Well the good news 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 pain hatched the idea that I didn’t need a tennis court to give novice and recreational tennis players tennis lessons all I need was clean space and a roof with NO DOGS. They were everywhere I started renting out school gymnasiums.

It’s here I really fine tuned my craft of teaching adults how to play this great sport of tennis. Chapter 3 is kind of a tribute to my NYC experience with some Miami clips thrown in as well from my early years here in the previous decade.

It’s all nostalgia but fun to look back at the genesis of TennisTIP and how I really learned to play tennis through the eyes of my students.

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

Brian “Big Apple” Lutz

LiveBall @ Stadium Court in Crandon Park

Key Biscayne, FL- I first visited Key Biscayne in the early 1990s when the tournament at Crandon Park was called The Lipton. From time to time you will hear natives refer to the event with this affectionate name.

Coming over the bridge in Virginia Key is still the same. Thankfully, the jaw dropping view of the island hasn’t changed in 25 years. On clear sun filled days when the ocean’s bottom reflects the sky above its not to be taken for granted.

This stadium court was built on top of a land fill is now a gem on County land in the City of Miami donated by a wealthy family land owner contingent it stay affordable and open to the public. This is Latin American’s Wimbledon and we don’t take the valuable and donated land for granted.

Since the Center Court doesn’t have lights (only for the Miami Open) I decided it might be fun to hire a pro and rent out the court on my off night during the longest day of the year. Or at least the 2nd longest as Summer Solstice is the next day this year.

Join us for $20 and come celebrate biblical recognition of light, Summertime recreation, friendship and naturally tennis. We will play from 7pm until dusk then head over to Novocento for drink after class in downtown Key Biscayne.

We will meet rain or shine so you can hit me up my whatsapp after you register to figure out where we are in the evening activities. See you at 7pm at The Stadium to start.

Regardless, it will be memorable day for your Facebook or Instagram page. : )

Sign up here to Reserve Your Spot


Brian Lutz
Backhand City

Cleavage and Contentment Found In A Foul Ball

Miami, FL

I decided to go to a Marlins baseball game the other night since my team, The Phillies, was in town. I invited a few baseball friends but none could go so I drove over and parked in a local driveway from a nice Cuban couple for $10 and strolled into the stadium. I’m feeling pretty good. No tennis class. No thoughts. Enjoying the a walk in the moment and the forward lurking enthusiasm for some entertainment.

As I ascend up the elevator and it opens up into right field I feel free. The grass is manicured and magnificent an indoor field of dreams. The stadium is empty and check out my seat int right field. I grab a gluten free hotdog and pass on the soda. As I notice the stadium is starkly empty I go for a walk looking for ice cream and get distracted by the pork bbq sandwich stand.

I grab a bunch of napkins and I’m determined to enjoy this sandwich without the benefit of a table or plastic ware and want to eat this sandwich without getting any BBQ sauce on me. I discover after I discard my napkins into the top of the 3rd inning that I have drip of BBQ sauce on my right pant leg. Damn. I rub it into the fabric.

Shortly there after, as I do some people watching and consider why baseball may be boring to watch and more fun to play, I notice three large breasted Latin women near the front row down the left field line. They are flirting with the Marlins left fielder for a baseball. Naturally, he gets a lot of requests. These ladies have D cups were making their case. I must investigate this further after all I wouldn’t mind a baseball myself so I take the long walk down the stairs to the expensive seats.

As I approach there not as hot as their cleavage suggested from 100 yards away but it doesn’t make the story any less interesting. The a/c is cold in the stadium and these gals were wearing white. Lets just say they were bring their A game in a D cup kinda way.

I position myself strategically not to see cleavage but to get into optimal position for a foul ball. As the 3rd base sideline up the outfield is a prime area for baseballs hit foul. Screaming shots that come sizzling off the bat so you have to be ready. This isn’t a soft yellow fuzzy tennis ball that I play with during tennis class. It’s a major league hard ball.

I found an aisle seat and decided if any small children were near I would concede the ball to them. If any elderly or women with our without cleavage were near I would protect them. If any man, came into my zone. Screw them! It’s dog eat dog. I want the baseball.

A few innings later sure enough here comes a screamer. It’s a line drive and its bending right into my area. Literally, I have about 1.98 to 2.03 seconds to react. I quickly stand to my feet. I brace myself and have my phone in my pocket already. I have a wide stance to account of pushing and shoving. But it’s a Marlins game. No one is here. As I gaze at the UFO as it nears I notice its going to miss me by about 20 feet to the left of me. I know its a mistake to over pursue and run to the area it strikes, because well, its a hard ball and its moving about 90 miles an hour.

I savvily hold my position and the ball explodes into the teal and empty row of seats. I’m ready to pounce as the ball may ricochet in any direction. Surprisingly, like someone rolling a small ball towards a baby this ball trickles right in between my feet into my waiting hands. I grab it and pick it up and take a bow.

Congratulations come from wide and far. People wanna know how did I do it. How lucky am I. One kid comes up and shows me his glove like “throw it to me” I’m a kid. Nice try. This ball is mine and I didn’t really have to do any work for it. I just followed some cleavage.

I left during the 7th inning stretch. Passed on the ice cream and contemplated the significance of my good fortune. The baseball felt so good in my hand. It was brand new barely a scratch on it except from the scuff from the bat. I bounced it. I wanted to throw it. I wanted to play catch but alas it wasn’t to be.

On my way to my car I passed a young female police officer who asked me how my night was. I showed her the ball. We laughed. I felt oddly content for the first time in a long time. It was an amazing feeling. Finally, I experienced something that went my way and I didn’t have to work for it. It felt amazing. It felt good to be a human being and not a human doing. Does that make sense?

I got to my car and the opened the door. The nice Cuban woman who helped me park peaked out her blinds to say hi and let me know she was watching my blue gem with the new tires and to come back for the next game. All in a smile on the other side of the window.

Maybe baseball isn’t so boring after all. Tennis is where my self discovery originated but Baseball has it’s merits too.

Brian Lutz

Miami Tennis Lessons

Red Ball Tennis Lessons

Social Tennis This Monday Night.

Coconut Grove, FL- Join us for our Intermediate level tennis clinic this coming Monday, June 5th for a fun night of tennis and a few beers after class. First round of drinks is on me. Sign up here to reserve your spot in our:

Monday Night Tennis Lesson Series

Questions: Ask@Backhand

Drinks after tennis with the Lokal girls in Coconut Grove

Hint: If you are busy this summer and can’t make all of the dates don’t sweat it we are flexible for missed classes. Go ahead and sign up.

Commit to 100% Laziness

Miami, FL- My favorite day of the week is Sunday and one of my favorite past times is “dragging my feet” around town. This requires pure one-hundred percent laziness. In fact, I choose not to even tie my shoes on Sundays. One reason is they always come untied and since I’m lazy it really goes hand in hand, hold on, I mean step by step with dragging your feet.

Now if you have read this far you must be wondering where this story is going. I had a tennis student recently tell me after he missed one of his famous sizzling forehands: “Is it because I’m a lazy mover? I don’t move my feet”. I thought about it for a few seconds and I said: “It’s not that your feet are lazy. It’s that your footwork lacks discipline.”

Almost instantly, he had an “aha moment”. After all, he realized he was capable of moving his feet into the proper sequence, balance and spacing it was just at times he was lazy. Like me on Sundays where I’m not really putting much care into lifting my souls off the pavement on my way to the ice cream shop for a berry smoothie.

This is one reason we do a lot of agility work and footwork exercises in our classes. These workouts make students aware of their feet and how they move in coordination with the rest of the body as you strike a tennis ball. It can be frustrating to know you need to “move your feet” but they still don’t respond.

No worries. I have a solution and I know how you feel. Just don’t ask me to demonstrate on Sunday.





Brian “Foot Dragging On Sunday” Lutz

P.s. Do you know which is the correct foot to hit off of when you hit your forehand ground stroke?