About


If you are reading these words, you and I probably have a lot in common. You may be the parent of a young tennis player looking to improve your child's game, and are interested in what could help your child succeed on the tennis court. I put together this web site so as to bring to any interested parent's attention some of the incredibly valuable lessons I've learned over three decades of playing and teaching tennis.

Let me begin by sharing with you a little bit of my personal background, so you get a feel for who I am and where I am coming from. Born and raised in Romania, I started playing tennis at the age of 6. Romania is a country nested in what used to previously be called the iron curtain countries of the Eastern Europe. Because of its proximate location to the vaunted Soviet Union super power, Romania suffered under the overbearing hand of the communist regime until 1989. While my family together with 23 million other Romanian people were struggling to make ends meet, at age 6, I embarked on a rather curious experience that turned out to shape the rest of my life.

For most people, life during communist Romania was to say the least challenging - for me it proved to be something of a blessing. All communist countries shared the common philosophy of placing an oversized importance on excelling in sports as a propagandistic way of showing their superiority to the west. In order to churn out top athletes, year after year, the communist higher-ups devoted generous resources to the development of young athletes in all sports. Tennis was no different. Fate had it such that I lived a mere 10 minutes walking distance from the famed Dinamo Club in Bucharest Romania, where each summer hundreds of kids were groomed by the top tennis coaching minds in the country.

I did not know much about it at the time, but hundreds of kids would go through the system, and at the end of each summer the coaches would basically kick most of them out, only keeping a few kids for winter practices. Each year I would have to endure the 'selection' process and somehow I did stick it out. The upside was that I got instruction from the top pros in the country and I competed against the very best kids in my age group.

In 1989, I was 12 years old when the communist regime collapsed in Easter Europe and the whole tennis system came down with it. That was a period in my life when I was no longer under the careful watch of a high caliber coach to scrutinize and correct my every move. I was then faced with the daunting task of improving and correcting my own strokes. In the next 6 years of my tennis life and for the rest of my playing career, I dedicated myself to figuring out how to best improve my game. I feel that this period when I tried everything out on myself has made a tremendous impact on the way I teach today. Not having someone to show me what to do, forced me to determine on my own the most effective practice techniques to improve my strokes, footwork and strategy. To this day, my philosophy of teaching only the techniques that proved successful for me, has created tremendous dividends for my students.

Because I have tried everything I now teach, on myself first, I was able to break down every stroke to it's bare components. Years of teaching have taught me which stroke elements are most important and in what order they should be taught. I've established a method of teaching any stroke and I would like to share it with you so that you can help your child break down their own strokes and give them the kind of help that a pro can deliver.

As a tennis parent, you may have found out that it takes years to develop a tennis player and this development needs to start at an early age. If your child is a pre-teen this information can still help him make tremendous strides, yet what you have probably figured out by now is that kids do not have the vision or discipline to put in the amount of hours it takes to attain excellence on their own. It is only the lucky child blessed with a parent that cares enough to provide him or her with the right tutelage that has a chance at attaining their tennis potential.

I am not going to imply that at 12 years of age I had even the slightest inkling of how hard or focused a daily practice has to be in order to give myself a chance to be mildly successful. Yet even at age 12, I did notice that players who had technically sound, powerful strokes had a much easier time winning tough matches than those who had rudimentary, unreliable strokes. This realization fueled a unshakable persistence on my part to leave no stone unturned when it came to the quality of my technique. I spent countless hours hitting against the wall, trying out different grips, different stances looking for an extra step in my preparation or an extra ten miles of power on my forehand - anything that would make me an inch better.

My efforts paid off in such a way that from age 12 on I consistently ranked in the top 3 players in my native country and right before I left Romania, I became a doubles national champion at age 18. When I came to the United States, I earned a full scholarship at Division I Bowling Green State University and competed at number one singles and doubles spots in the Mid American Conference to win most matches in school history. After graduating from college with a Computer Science degree, I played on the pro tour for two years ranking as high as 1142 in 2002. When I literally ran out of money to further compete on the tour, I started my teaching career with Arun who is a legend in the Cleveland area running a successful high performance junior academy that boasts professional players and several national champions. I then became Head Tennis Pro and then the Tennis Director at the Wembley Club in Chagrin Falls, Ohio. After six years at Wembley, I moved on to run the junior program at the Cleveland Racquet Club one of the biggest clubs in the country. These days I am a software engineer - putting to good use the education I got at Bowling Green State University.