While some would consider this a small award, it’s a big honor for me and I’m going to talk about it! This sport, my teams, and my players are my absolute passion. To be acknowledged by my peers in the Tri-Valley League as Coach of the Year is validation of that passion and what it can do.
I know that tennis is just a small part of most of my players’ young lives. That said, I also believe that a tennis court is the perfect place to develop the competitive drive, ethics, and self-awareness it takes to be successful on the many playing fields of life. Continue reading
In the last 20 years, how many top singles tennis players can you name that serve-and-volley? How many of the stars of the game utilize the slice for anything except as an occasional point-reset from the wings of the court? How many of these top players are playing doubles with any regularity?
The answer, unless you’re delusional, is nearly zero. The likes of Pete Sampras and Patrick Rafter were the last of the true serve-and-volleyers. Gone are the days when players such as John McEnroe managed to hold the #1 spot in singles for 170 weeks and 270 weeks in doubles, often concurrently. Continue reading
This has been, undoubtedly, a banner year for Thorpe Tennis and the schools and individuals with whom I get to share this great game. Every day I am thankful for the opportunity to share my passion for tennis with a great group of people in this paradise called Santa Barbara. As I plan for my next big adventure (read about it here), I’m already looking forward to all the exciting things that lie ahead in 2015, but before we turn the page…
A few highlights from the year at Thorpe Tennis:
- Worked with 49 different players from age 8 to 56
- Spent over 1,000 hours on-court teaching lessons and coaching high school matches
- Saw three years of planning, campaigning, and finger-crossing come to fruition with the completion of the Furukawa Tennis Courts at Laguna Blanca
- Launched the Laguna Blanca Summer Tennis Camp to rave reviews
- Coached Laguna Blanca Boys’ Tennis to an 11-5 record, a second-consecutive CIF playoff appearance, the #7-seed in CIF Division 4, and a second-round showing in CIF playoffs
- Started a Laguna tennis tradition with a weekend trip to the desert for the BNP Paribas Open, where we got to see Nadal, Wawrinka, the Bryans and many other pros play
- Led Cate School Girls’ Tennis to an 8-5 record and another CIF playoff appearance, despite moving up two divisions and facing much stiffer competition. Cate battled through a wildcard round victory and made a strong 6-12 showing against future CIF finalists, Murrieta Valley
- Coached Julia Gan to several singles wins against nationally-ranked juniors and brought Gan and McKenna Madden together for a Tri-Valley League finalist showing in doubles, followed by a second-round appearance in CIF Individuals
- Enjoyed another successful year from Daniel Newton, who qualified for the Central Coast Grand Prix Masters and currently holds a ranking of #107 in California, plus more hardware for Alex Furukawa, despite an apparent blinking problem!
- Helped Ben Furukawa achieve a personal best #112 in California ranking. Fellow Laguna senior Tristan Prinz also notched victories over Jason Xiao (f0rmerly undefeated in Condor League play), Kevin Ha (currently #308 in the country), and scored the biggest victory of his career against Dimitri Colffer (recently ranked as high as #190 in the country) in his last high school match
- Had the pleasure of watching seniors from Laguna and Cate tennis programs go on to college at UCLA, University of Washington, Colorado School of Mines, Ole Miss, UPenn, Yale, and USC
Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and here’s to another year of phenomenal tennis in 2015!
Each summer, SB Tennis Patrons encourages clubs to host one-weekend junior tournaments for Santa Barbara area tennis players. These events are not sanctioned by the USTA, meaning they won’t count for ranking. These events are a great opportunity for those just getting into tournament play, or those who can’t commit to traveling to tournaments multiple weekends in a row.
Here’s the list of Santa Barbara Tennis Patrons tournaments for Summer 2014!
Over the weekend I had the rare opportunity to play a USTA men’s open tournament for only the second time in the last five years. I got a good draw and built on each win, stepping up my game as the opponents got more challenging, and by the end of the weekend I had won three matches and booked a ticket to the finals. Here’s the recap, including a play-by-play of the finals match, with photos courtesy of Les Morales Photography: Continue reading
Last weekend I had the opportunity to make the annual trip back to Redlands for our alumni match. It was great to catch up with old teammates and friends, and we had a great turnout as usual. Continue reading
I have been working with Tristan Prinz for almost three years now and he’s getting to a really nice level at this point. He’s been on a roll in practice of late, and looks ready to make a big jump this year in high school play.
Here is some baseline rallying we’ve been doing to get him in rhythm and improve his court fitness. This video is also a great way to compare righty and lefty strokes, as I will be in the foreground a bit in the beginning before Tristan moves to that position.
This last year was perhaps the most rewarding, and certainly the most successful year so far for Thorpe Tennis. I feel fortunate to continue working with players and teams across the Santa Barbara area and particularly to impact the lives of our young students.
A few highlights from the year at Thorpe Tennis: Continue reading
It was a summer of much activity for Thorpe Tennis. There has been a lot of enthusiasm and the results have followed. Here’s what happened: Continue reading
Today, the Owls clinched our first Condor League tennis title with a 10-8 victory against the Cate School. The match was full of surprises, upsets, comebacks, and excellent play all around, so it was a fitting way for us to win the title. Continue reading