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