We at MyTennisLessons are excited to announce Ned B. from Austin, Texas as our instructor of the month for January. Ned hasn’t let the unusually cold Texas weather deter him over this past month. He has jumped at every opportunity to get back on the court and conduct lessons with his current client base. Ned has been teaching lessons with MTL for almost a year now and has solidified himself as a go to instructor in the Austin area. We were able to find some time between lessons to ask Ned a few questions.
1. You are originally from London, UK. What do you think is the biggest difference between your home country and the United States in terms of tennis culture?
Well, you look at the tennis culture here in the US and historically it’s huge. McEnroe & Connors dominated the eighties. In the nineties, you (USA) had a handful of champions: Sampras, Agassi, Chang, and Courier. There were also solid guys like Malidev Washington and Todd Martin.
On the other hand, historically, British tennis has gone through a very dark period until very recently. It had been 76 years since a Brit had won Wimbledon until Andy Murray won in 2013. We only had two players in the top 100 during the nineties, Henman & Rusedski (who was technically Canadian!)
However, presently there has been an evident shift for American tennis. At Wimbledon last year, no American man made the third round for the first time since 1912. There were no Americans seeded in the top 10 at the US open for the first time ever, and last years US Open marked the 10 year anniversary of Roddicks victory, which was also the last time an American won any grand slam.
We (UK) on the other hand have the current number 3 in the world Andy Murray who won the 2012 US open and 2013 Wimbledon. I think Andy’s success has created a lot of energy and inspiration for the lower ranked Brits. This is reflected in the recent Davis cup win Britain had over the US, which puts us in the Davis Cup quarter final for the first time since 1986.
2. Why did you decide to become a tennis pro?
I decided to become a pro because I love tennis and I’m passionate on the court whether I’m playing or coaching. After all my years of competing I feel like I can really relate to my students and therefore really help them.
3. In your opinion, what is the most important characteristic a tennis instructor should have?
Patience, understanding, and a love for the game.
4. You were a traveling coach for a while. What was your favorite stop along the way and what was your biggest takeaway from this experience?
My favorite stop was a 6 week trip to Romania. Got to hit and work with Ilie Nastase a former world number 1 from Romania. I met him and got to know him at one of the tennis clubs. He was playing backgammon and I always travel with a board. I waited until he finished his game, then trough down some money to bet against him and things went from there. I learnt a lot mentally from him.
If you are interested in taking lessons with Ned visit his Instructor Profile and book directly online. If you are interested in becoming an instructor with MyTennisLessons visit our Instructor Signup Page for more information.