In support of National #CoachesWeek, the OTA reached out to the tennis community to ask which coaches out there you like to give thanks and recognition to – and you did not hold back! Keep coming back to this page. During the week, we will be updating this page with your submissions detailing all the ways that the coaches you know have made an incredible impact on tennis in Ontario. Also check out the #ThanksCoach hashtag to join the conversation on social media. 

 

#CoachesWeek – Spotlight On….


TYLER PRESCOTT, North York Tennis Association (NYTA)

(Submitted by Michael, Eva & Kristen Borland)

Tyler is a one-of-a-kind tennis professional who possesses great energy fueled by his passion for the game and the advancement of his students. The athlete’s development is his first priority. To Tyler, tennis is not just a game, but a lifestyle, an attitude, a belief, which inspires him to create a tremendous learning environment and motivation for his students day after day. Under his leadership, a small group of highly-talented athletes come together every afternoon at the NYTA tennis club in an extremely competitive -- yet fun and personally fulfilling -- environment to learn the game from this tennis master.

Tyler’s coaching philosophy challenges students to strive to do their best. His uncompromisingly high expectations and his unique, varied and challenging tennis drills help to instill discipline and a strong work ethic in his students.

His teaching techniques and communication skills are highly conducive to not only improving his students’ tennis proficiency, but also their love of the game and desire to succeed. His cooperative approach results in the students “buying in” to his suggestions on technique and game strategy. He continually challenges his students so they don’t get complacent and strive to improve not only their game, but as importantly, their physical and mental strength, confidence and self-esteem.

Another Tyler hallmark is his outgoing personality and good nature. Although he expects a lot from his students, he doesn’t take himself too seriously. His lessons are interspersed with humorous antidotes of his own personal tennis exploits and the accomplishments of well-known tennis professionals. He uses this trait effectively to reinforce the essential point of a drill or technique in a meaningful and practical way.

But Tyler’s passion for the game is not limited to the tennis court. He is an avid learner as well as a teacher and he researches the latest developments, techniques and trends internationally in the tennis world to not only improve his teaching credentials but to share his knowledge and keep his students “ahead of the curve”.

Tyler’s high expectations of his students instils in them not only a desire, but also a belief that their dreams can become a reality, and they can go on to attain successful tennis careers.

In summary, Tyler is a true tennis professional in character and as a teacher. He doesn’t compromise, he’s selfless, and the development of highly proficient tennis athletes who love the game of tennis is this man’s primary motivation. 

Tyler is the Head Pro/Director of Coaching for the NYTA. Learn more about him here: http://www.nyta.org/headPro.html 


KYRYLO TABUNSHCHYK, ACE Tennis - Burlington

(Submitted by Yuen, E)

We would like to give a big heartfelt thank you to Kyrylo for what he has given to our kids - not just for his exceptional tennis instruction, but also for his continuous encouragement and perseverance. Kyrylo is a phenomenal coach. He is able to connect with kids and instil discipline with an amazing sense of humor and excitement. Under Kyrylo's tutelage, our kids not only have become better tennis players, but also have learned that dedication pays off - an invaluable and versatile life lesson. His unfaltering commitment to the tennis programs and kids is clearly evident. Thank you, Coach Kyrylo!

More about Ace Tennis programming here: http:www.acetennis.ca/


PIERRE LAMARCHE & DOUG BURKE, ACE Tennis

(Submitted by Malik B)

I wanted to thank ACE Tennis Academy and specifically Pierre Lamarche and Doug Burke for doing so much for me and so many other tennis players every day. Although not always easy, probably thousands of tennis players have great memories of tournaments and training at ACE. I was a group of players that are connected by training together and living at the ACE house. For me it was my home away from home. I have trained there for 4 years now and have made friends for life. Together, we got my game to a level that will hopefully allow me to play both college and pro tennis for many years. From their example, I hope to contribute and give back to the sport we all love in a similar way one day. 

More about Ace Tennis here: http://www.acetennis.ca/


ANDREA RABZAK, Ontario Racquet Club

(Submitted by David Ogilvy & Family)

I have known Andrea for 12 years.  I have 3 kids in competitive tennis, starting with my eldest son Eli (who is attending the University of Minnesota on a tennis scholarship), and followed by my son Isaac (who is most likely on the same path as his older brother) and my daughter Orly (who is 10 years old and beginning her competitive tennis journey).  Andrea has been a critical part of my children’s success.  As an active parent on the tennis scene, I have had the opportunity to see many coaches at work.  It is rare to come across another coach that has Andrea’s level of technical expertise, international contacts, and understanding of what it takes to be a competitive tennis player.

 

Andrea has proven time and again her ability to quickly deconstruct the technical aspects of the game of either her own player or of an opponent.  This translates into being able to make technical changes that go to the core issue instead of simply making changes that will not, in the end, allow the player to get to the next level.  Although having a “good eye” and a sound technical base is important, I think one of the attributes that makes Andrea a truly outstanding coach is her overall perspective on what it takes to be a great tennis player.  I believe she gets this from an unrelenting passion for the game.  She stays current by researching all of the latest trends and developments, communicating with coach friends and experts from around the world, and watching other players and coaches when she is at tournaments abroad.  The superior level of insight that Andrea provides to her junior players and their parents distinguishes her among her peers. Often what she has to say is eye opening though it may not be what the player or parents want to hear.  It is, however, always in the best interest of her player. 

 

Finally, what Andrea brings to the game does not start and end on the court.  She truly cares about her players and sees them as lifelong friends, often following them and communicating with them throughout their careers (whether tennis related or not).  For Andrea, coaching is not just a job but a vocation.  In the tennis world, she is true rare find, and that is the reason why I think she should be recognized.

More about Andrea and the Ontario Racquet Club here: http://www.ontarioracquetclub.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=156


ALLAN CARE, Oshawa Tennis

(Submitted by Nick de Guzman)

I would like to thank Allan Care for all the help he has done for me not only on the court but also off the court. He wasn’t the typical coach, he made it his business to “care” and he would always go the extra distance for his players. Everything we did on the court always reflected something life. From giving it 110% to finding the positive things in everything that happens, I wouldn’t be the person I am today. What he did for me changed who I am for the better. He made me realize my potential and because of this, I probably wouldn’t be playing collage tennis today. Again, Allan, thanks for everything that you have done for me. He is not just my coach but also one of my best friends.

 


MIRAN CEHAJIC, Headwaters Racquet Club

(Submitted by Jayden Templeman & siblings)

Coach Miran is an amazing coach.  He's funny, dedicated, and really motivating.  We are always laughing at some point during his lessons.  He makes learning new tennis techniques so fun that you don't realize you are working hard.  And he's always willing to spend extra time to help us reach our goals or get ready for a tournament.  Thanks, Coach Miran!

Learn more about Headwaters Racquet Club programming here: http://www.headwatersracquetclub.com/Tennis/programs.html


BRIAN DRAXL, Newmarket Community Tennis Club

(Submitted by Dr. Georg Zoidl)

Brian is running a very successful junior program which year after year turns out excellent juniors competing at all levels, in the province and nationally. Regularly his juniors progress to college tennis afterwards.


As a coach Brian makes a difference teaching what tennis is about on and off court. Having witnessed his coaching style for years I have seen how comfortable kids are with his training style are and how he helps them to gain the competitive edge needed in this exciting sport. While tennis is a competitive sport leaning towards individuals he has fostered an atmosphere in which the very junior players mix with the more senior juniors.


I think Brian would be an outstanding person representing the vision of professional coaching.

Learn more about lessons, leagues, and programs offered at the Newmarket Community Tennis Club here: http://www.newmarkettennis.ca/


BEN ETHEVE-MEEK, Ottawa Athletic Club

(Submitted by Valentina Gaca)

Ben is the Assistant Tennis Director at the Ottawa Athletic Club, and my daughter has been with him since the age of six. She is now top ten in Canada in her age group. Ben is a very dedicated individual who takes his job to a different level – he connects with kids and parents on a very personal level and is very much respected and loved at the club. At this point, he feels more like a family member to us. I can always count on him to help in any way he can, whether it is with tennis advice, or even picking Corina up from school and driving her to the practice. 

To learn more about tennis programming at the Ottawa Athletic Club, click here: http://ottawaathleticclub.com/tennis/junior-tennis/


CASEY CURTIS

(Submitted by Clarky)

My son has trained with some Toronto's (Canada's) Best Tennis Coaches. He played OTA Junior Tennis from 12 yrs old to 18.

He really didn't start taking it seriously until he turned 17 and decided he wanted to play NCAA tennis in the States.

So, we decided to step up the Training and took him to Casey Curtis. He worked with Casey for 4-5 months and the impact that Casey had my son's game was Mind Blowing. My son went from a top 100 OTA Junior to beating top 10 players in a matter of months.

Not only is Casey the Best Tennis Coach I've ever seen he is also an incredible, caring Human Being who takes real interest in his Students beyond the Court.

My son has been playing Division II tennis and has taken this semester off to Train with Casey so that he can transfer to a Division I school in January....he has been training with Casey for only 3 weeks and already the impact on his game is Incredible!

Casey is an Artist of a Coach!

Learn more about programs offered by Casey Curtis, here: http://www.curtistennis.com/


ROD MARTIN, CHRIS LITTLE, MICHAEL EMMET, & SCOTT MAIER, Mayfair Lakeshore

(Submitted by Azel Mulagulova)

I’ve had the privilege of working with Rod Martin, Chris Little, Michael Emmet and Scott Maier at Mayfair Lakeshore. In my 15 years of experience, working at Mayfair Lakeshore with these pros has been the best experience thus far. They are exemplary in their high standard of professionalism and organization, the positive work environment they foster and the strong relationships they build within the community. Mayfair Lakeshore has been a fantastic place to work in! 

To read more about tennis at Mayfair Clubs, click here: http://www.mayfairclubs.com/tennis/


NIGEL GRIFFITHS, Bracebridge Tennis Club

(Submitted by Jan Veitch; President, Bracebridge Tennis Club)

Our Club member and coach Nigel Griffiths did a wonderful job this year organizing and running a youth tennis program. With support from the OTA Nigel did a lot of work to get it all together. It was a great success, as we had 16 kids participate and learn the game.

Thanks, Nigel, for your great contributions to coaching in Ontario!  For more info about Bracebridge Tennis Club and programs offered, click here: http://bracebridgetennisclub.com/


KYRYLO TABUNSHCHYK, Ace Tennis - Burlington

(Submitted by Stan Filippin)

I'd love to recognize Kyrylo Tabunshchyk for his devotion to tennis and kids.

He doesn't come to club just to work, he spends most of his time at ACE to teach and grow future Ontario and Canadian champions. His ability to influence kids and their parents, having charisma and energy to go the extra step with his 'tennis' kids is outstanding.

Really cheering for him.

More about Ace Tennis programming here: http://www.acetennis.ca/


KANE EASTER & JOHN EASTER, Oshawa Tennis Club

(Submitted by Wendy Mitchell-Gill; President, Oshawa Tennis Club)

We at Oshawa Tennis Club have a unique tandem of coaches; our head pro is Kane Easter- and his assistant is his Dad, John Easter!

Kane has been our head coach for several years and we are very lucky to have him. Apart from being an accomplished player (he played Davis Cup for St. Lucia) he is very personable and shares his love of the sport with all his students, young and old. His Dad John knows many of the "champions" level of international players, and has developed a devoted following for his clinics and lessons. Together the dynamic duo run amazing Caribbean tennis vacations twice a year.

Although Oshawa Tennis Club is currently "homeless" we continue to function as a club with winter programming available through Kane at Oshawa Civic Auditorium, thanks to the City of Oshawa developing an extra court for us, and are still planning to build our new indoor clay court facility as soon as the hurdles of planning are cleared. Kane and John will, of course, come with us.

Thanks Kane & John for fostering the growth of tennis in Durham Region! To learn more about Oshawa Tennis Club, click here: http://www.oshawatennisclub.com/


WALKER LAMARCHE, Ace Tennis - Burlington

(Submitted by Sana & Adnan)

On behalf of our son and daughter, we would like to say #ThanksCoach to Walker Lamarche:

Walker is an extremely caring and thoughtful coach. In the past year, we have seen tremendous growth in both our kids, not just as athletes but also as individuals.

Walker makes Tennis fun while still instilling discipline.  As a coach, he has a very sound understanding of the fundamentals of the game and makes playing tennis a joy for all the Little Aces and upcoming juniors at Ace Tennis in Burlington. His dedication and approach inspires loyalty and a passion for the game amongst his students. We look forward to seeing both our kids grow and progress under his care. #ThanksCoach Walker.

More on the ACE coaching staff here: http://www.acetennis.ca/about-us/ace-tennis-coaches-and-staff/


HARRY GREENAN, Courtside Tennis Academy

(Submitted by Roberto Sant'Angelo)

Harry has dedicated his life to playing and teaching tennis.  Inspiring athletes to reach their full potential at all levels.  His experience, knowledge, passion and dedication to the sport inspires his students to believe in all their dreams.  He has developed many national and international athletes over the years.  Thank you Harry for continuing to inspire your athletes young and old to play tennis at any level.

To learn more about Courtside Tennis Academy in Guelph, visit: http://www.rctc.ca/lessons


GARRY IRVING

(Submitted by Ruth McNulty; President, Renfrew Tennis Club)

Our Renfrew Tennis Club has a tireless VOLUNTEER coach, Garry Irving. He has provided lessons, two days per week throughout the summer, for junior (under 14) members. Garry also organizes tournaments for these students in mid-August and awards winners with trophies and ensures that all participants receive ribbons. He has done all of this for approximately 40 years!

Thank you, Garry, for your contrubutions to tennis in Ontario! Learn more about Renfrew Tennis Club here: http://renfrewtennis.com/


GRANT GIBSON, Tennis Centre West Ottawa

(Submitted by Bill Fletcher)

It is a pleasure for me to recommend Grant Gibson of West Ottawa for recognition.  I have witnessed how good he is with young players, giving encouragement, being enthusiastic and using extreme patience with youngsters of every level.  I have heard first-hand from adult players how good he is at analyzing a weakness then using clear instructions to improve a stroke or serve.  I know he works long hours of teaching but on top of that he will often jump on my court and hit with me and my partner, giving us a real test and chance to hit with one of the best players in the city.  He does this as a courtesy and never expects any money for it.  I have seen young students of his go to his matches at big city tournaments to cheer him on because they admire him.  He is very highly thought of at West Ottawa Tennis Club and truly deserves some wider recognition.  

Thanks, Grant, for your hard work and dedication! Learn more about West Ottawa Tennis here: http://tcwo.ca/


THOMAS POCIECHA

(Submitted by Amar Gandhi)

[Thomas] is my son's coach and I would like to recognize him for all the efforts he puts behind each kid in the class and during 1:1 training. He is also a mentor to my son and overtime they have become buddies. He trains him from mental and physical aspects of the game and overall makes it enjoyable for him. 

We couldn't say enough thanks to him for improving my son's game and teaching him to be a role model and to pursue his dream.

Thomas coaches at ACE Tennis in Burlington and Rosedale Tennis Club in Hamilton. Find out more about their programs here:

http://www.acetennis.ca/player-services/cedar-springs-health-racquet-and-sportsclub/

http://www.rosedaletennisclub.ca/toms-page


MIKE MITCHELL, Halton Hills Tennis Club

(Submitted by Halton Hills Tennis Club Members)

For over 30 years Mike Mitchell has continued to support the Halton Hills community club where he developed, despite the pull of his role coaching/teaching Canada’s University age players.  Each summer he returns to stay involved with the Tennis operations of the club, offering direction and a lending hand.  In addition, his commitment to grow grass roots participation and enjoyment in the game for his community is evidenced by the dedication and effort he places to support the town sponsored local lessons and junior camps.  With people like Mike ensuring our small community clubs thrive, we can expect tennis to continue to grow in popularity everywhere across the province.

Read more about Mike and the Halton Hills Tennis Club here: http://haltonhillstennis.com/TennisPro


ALEX RIEDL, The Boulevard Club

(Submitted by Alex Pope)

I would like to highlight the great work done by our tennis coach, Alex Riedl.  Alex is both a talented coach and an exceedingly kind person.  Because he has competed succesfully at a very high level, he knows which skills to develop in his students.  Alex is also very intelligent and well-educated.  Consequently, in addition to determination, he brings both wisdom and equanimity to the table.  His guided post-match analyses are testament of this.  Players leave his practices feeling both supported and capable of reaching higher levels of play.
 
Alex Riedl has made a tremendous contribution to the life of our tennis club, The Boulevard.

More about Tennis at The Boulevard Club here: http://www.boulevardclub.com/tennis


STEVE THEODOROPOULOS

(Submitted by Greg, Agnes & Maxim Mieczkowski)

I reside in Mississauga, ON and I wish to bring attention to a spectacular tennis coach named: Steve Theodoropoulos.

He has coached in a variety of places both at private club locations and through the City of Mississauga.  He will be coaching this winter season at Joshua Creek Tennis School.

Steve, has been my son's (Maxim) coach for about 5 years now.  Coach Steve has a unique charismatic approach when coaching his students and one like I have never seen before.  His love of the game shines through in his dedication to help his students achieve their highest potential no matter what age they start playing tennis.  All students adore him, and if you ever have a chance to watch him in action during his coaching, you too would want to join in and play.  Steve has an incredible skill in keeping his students engaged throughout the entire drill without the use of any games needed.  When Steve coaches, students are learning and advancing their skills while having fun - an attribute that not too many coaches posses.  His skills are not only limited to young students, as he is in high demand by many adults who continue to enhance their tennis skills.  Most of Steve's students have been with him for years, because he is a coach that puts the interests of his students above his own.  He is always there for his students - on and off court, as a mentor and a friend.  Thank you Coach Steve for shaping Maxim to the excellent player he is today.  It has been an honour working with you and we look forward to many more years!

Read more about Steve HERE


BRANDON ALGUIRE, Ace Tennis - Burlington

(Submitted by Kevin Liu)

Brandon is in charge of the high performance program for the kids in U12 to U14 age groups at ACE Burlington. He setups and maintains high standards in the training. His training is well organized not only to improve kids techniques and mental toughness but also to keep kids' interest and motivation in tennis and to help them reach the next level.

My daughter joined Brandon's group two years ago when she was 10. With Brandon's great efforts in coaching her during the last two years, my daughter improved significantly from an entry level competitive player to a national  top player in U12 group.

Many thanks to Brandon for his dedication, contribution, hard work and great effort to all the kids and my daughter. 

More about Ace Tennis programs here: http://www.acetennis.ca/player-services/cedar-springs-health-racquet-and-sportsclub/


MICHAEL PADUCH, Carleton Tennis Centre

(Submitted by Nick Arnone)

I am a parent of an 11 yr old boy in Ottawa, Ont. And along with several other kids parents who decided to give the sport of Tennis a try over a year ago on a more competitive format in the TDC program at Carleton University under the guidance of one man...Michael Paduch.

This Polish born mid 40s man with his love for tennis as we came to realize with his witty speeches to the kids and a non stopping 7 days a week regiment in which he himself participates with the students his life lessons and technical repetitive and sometimes tough love attitude along with constant movement and ball hitting and corrections made my child an overnight rec player to a very competitive and now admirer of the sport of Tennis. 

Michael has devoted his energy time and even with a family of his own has managed to find more than 24 hrs in a day give tremendous guidance and training to young boys and girls year round so as they become better players better people and to us parents who have watched from the sidelines a greater Love of Tennis...

Thanks, Michael, for your hard work promoting the sport of tennis for juniors in Ottawa! For more info on the TDC program at Carleton, click here: http://www.capitalkidstennis.com/competitive-tennis-program-at-carleton  


PAUL ROBERT, Sudbury Indoor Tennis Centre
(Submitted by Miro Ejem; President, Sudbury Indoor Tennis Centre)

I would like to recognize SITC instructor  Paul Robert for his contribution to tennis in the north region.
 
Paul Robert is a Tennis Instructor at the Sudbury Indoor Tennis Centre coaching the Junior and Adult Programs since 2003.  He has worked at the 
Indoor Tennis Centre since 1992. Certified in 1996, He continues to attend Conferences and develop his skills to help grow the game in the Greater Sudbury Area.
 
Currently has two players on scholarship at William Woods University and one with the University of Montreal Tennis Team. Many of his players have won NOSSA titles and finished 8th, 7th and silver medalist in the High School Category at OFSSA. Previously coached a player to finish as high as number three in the U14 category at the provincial level in 2006.
 
Learn more about tennis at Sudbury Indoor, here: http://www.sudburytennis.ca/

KATE ZAULICHINI

(Submitted by Jelena & Marko Vico)

We would like to thank to Jelena's coach named Kate Zaulichni for helping Jelena to improve her game so she can compete at U10 Future Stars OTA tournaments. Looking forward working with Kate in future.

Thanks, Kate! Read Kate's biography here: http://wilmingtontennis.netfirms.com/slider-page/


KEVIN HERRINGTON, Alliston Tennis Club

(Submitted by Denise)

Kevin from the Alliston Tennis Club is an outstanding coach!!  Not only does he teach the kids how to play tennis but he teaches them life lessons they will use for life. 

More about Alliston Tennis Club here: http://allistontennisclub.blogspot.ca/


IRFAN SHAMASDIN, ZACH JOHNSON & RYAN ZEMAN, ACE Tennis - Toronto 

(Submitted by Balbinder Singh)

I would like to say #ThanksCoach to team of ACE Toronto Tennis City coaches Irfan Shamasdin, Zachary & Ryan.
 
My son Angad played in ACE Toronto for a year and I have seen big improvement in his game. They are exemplary in their high standard of professionalism and organization. They instilling discipline in the kids. I have seen all kids in the team improving.  As a coach, they have a very sound understanding of the fundamentals of the game. I couldn't say enough thanks to them for improving my son's game. All the best to the team.

More on ACE Tennis - Toronto programming, here: http://www.acetennis.ca/player-services/toronto-tennis-city/ 


CATALIN CODITA

Catalin Codita is currently a club Pro 1 and for the past 5 years has been running the largest grass roots tennis program servicing Durham region, primarily Pickering & Ajax.

Through his program, littleace-kids tennis, he has introduced over 150 kids to tennis. The program started with only one class a week at one location and has grown to a full season program offered year-round at three indoor facilities/schools and one outdoor.

In addition to regular lessons, the program offers:

> a mini- league-Snoopy tennis- for U10&U8, complementing group and private lessons and offering kids the opportunity to learn to compete,

> in-school introductory program during lunch hours- LunchTime TNNIS, successfully attracting new participants to the game. In 2015&2016, LunchTime TNNIS was offered at Father Fenelon CS and we will expand this Fall by adding another school,

> for one week only, for the past 3 years, we host our special Tyke-Swing&Swim Summer camp where in addition to extensive tennis instruction, kids are introduced to golf and also take on swimming lessons 

 

littleace-kids tennis at a glance:

* classes for all levels for kids Under 12

* innovative teaching through a combination of music, visual elements and age appropriate equipment

* free equipment for use during classes

* affordability (only $10/hour)

* no requirements for long term commitment

* multiple enrolment options and payment plans

* exposure to other racquet sports such as badminton and soon, paddle tennis. Also, launched in 2016 as part of our Summer camp, intro to golf. It is my belief that exposure to other sports with a skill set related to tennis, will help kids develop their athletic skills and also help them progress with their tennis game.

* multiple locations, conveniently located 

 

Thanks, Catalin for your great contributions to coaching in Ontario!  Learn more about his program here: www.littleace.ca


NATALIE GRECO

Natalie Greco is a certified Tennis Canada coach and a member of the Ontario Tennis Association specializing in Progressive Tennis. Originally from the Ukraine, Natalie is a tennis enthusiast with many years of playing and coaching experience in Canada and Ukraine.   Natalie holds a Bachelor Degree with Honors in Physical Education and Kinesiology. Natalie is a  full time elementary school Physical Education and Health Teacher.  Part-time, especially more in the summer, Natalie provides quality tennis sessions to children and adults. She also runs private and small group competitive sessions.

During the school year, Natalie acquires school permits to coach tennis in the gym.  Her coaching services are available in the Woodbridge and Kleingburg areas (City of Vaughan). Natalie's goal is to build a strong 'Tennis Community' in the Vaughan area.  In the last couple of years, she has introduced a 'Progressive Tennis' System into many elementary schools in the Woodbridge area such as: St. Veronica, St. Emily, St. Clare, St.Mary of the Angels, and St. Michael the Archangel.

Natalie loves to play tennis competitively herself!!! "I truly believe that children will benefit a great deal from playing such  a great game as Tennis.  Tennis will help children to enhance their self-esteem, improve overall fitness level abilities, eye-hand co-ordination, social skills, and much more!"

For more info about Natalie and her programs at Vellore Woods Tennis Club, please visit: http://www.vellorewoodstennis.com/home.html