Through the Acorn app we’re able to support businesses that make our communities thrive. Everyday we learn more about our activity partners and their inspiring efforts to enrich the wellbeing of children and families. Today, we're featuring Paul Lefiti, Director and Owner of ServesUP Tennis.
1. Please tell us a little about yourself and the business
Name: Coach Paul Lefiti
Speciality: Teaching serving mechanics to all levels
I got my first tennis certification at the age of 18 and started teaching whilst in high school. My first real break came when I got hired as a junior coach at Ivan Lendles Grand Slam Tennis Academy in Bedford New York where I eventually became a head professional and USTA team director.
After 30 years of coaching I landed at the French Junior Tennis Academy in Aliso Viejo and am currently the head coach of player development.
One area I began to notice was under performing in junior tennis that was a player's serve. The serve is the most important shot next to the return of serve but the least practiced on court. I launched ServesUP in January of 2018 in Aliso Viejo, CA and the response has been great!
2. What motivates you to teach this skill to kids?
Due to the complexity of the serve motion, we understand that each player will have unique challenges and that's what gets us excited! The biggest reward teaching kids is when they reach that moment where it all comes together and the smile they make. Serving great is a great confidence builder.
3. Tell us about a favorite teaching moment.
At ServesUP we create a fun environment so there are always a lot of funny moments. One that sticks out is a time where a player hit a serve off-center, and the ball flew over the 12ft screen into the office kitchen and struck a large tray of drinking glasses. One-by-one they fell down, followed by a huge crashing sound! The look on the player's face was priceless.
4. You use video training rooms for players to boost serving performance, how does this work?
It’s a visual environment, with projectors and cameras, and players are displayed on a 10ft x 12ft screen where they can watch their serve in slow motion. When a player first walks in into ServesUP they are immediately absorbed in the environment.
It typically takes a few minutes their first time getting used to serving indoors. But once they see themselves projected up onto the big screen they become more interested in seeing themselves and improving their mechanics.
5. What are the benefits?
Students are not defining their success by hitting the ball over-the-net into the service box; but own the quality of their technique. This creates an opportunity for the player to experience deep practice and begin to reinforce their fundamentals without judgement or pressure.
One of the draw backs to learning how to serve on the court is how a player’s attention is directed. When a player receives a technical instruction and tosses the ball up, their attention gets disrupted by their desire to get the ball in the service box. This disruption reduces a player’s ability reinforce the desired technique.
5. Do you have any new projects or exciting things we should know about?
We're expanding and will be opening additional locations in Orange County, Los Angeles and San Diego. We're very excited!
6. How can we learn more?
Address: 27101 Aliso Creek Road Suite 110, Aliso Viejo, CA, 92656
Discover ServesUP and thousands of other classes, workshops and fun days out on Acorn today via this link. Available for iOS and Android. Plus, it's free, and always will be.