For 2021, Mizuno Tennis is excited to introduce our inaugural Advisory Staff – a group of teaching professionals and influencers across the country dedicated to promoting and growing the game of tennis. The 25 “staffers” hail from twelve different states and are connected with some of the top tennis retailers across the country. They wear the brand on and off-court and truly exemplify what it means to “Reach Beyond.” Check out some of their stories below and be on the lookout as we highlight more of our team of experts in the months to come.
Jimmy Royalty (IG: @racquet_sports_royalty)
Jimmy is a USPTA/PTR Tennis Teaching Profesional and an IPTPA/PPR Pickleball Professional player and coach based out of Lakewood Ranch Golf and Country Club in Florida. In addition to his teaching and playing duties, he coordinates pickleball events at the club and has a very active YouTube channel, Racquet Sports NETwork, where he posts numerous tennis and pickleball drill videos for players of all levels. Jimmy believes the secret to success for beginners is “…repetition is key. The more touches the better! Compete against the wall, as the wall never misses.”
Sanja Lemes (IG: @Sanja10s)
Sanja is the Head Tennis Pro at Vancouver Tennis Center in Vancouver, Washington after a distinguished junior career in the Pacific Northwest and then later at the University of Portland. Her favorite drills to run with her students are any kind of volley drill while keeping fun at the forefront of her practice planning. “Live ball classes are the most fun,” says Sanja. “Sometimes, people get too competitive at the recreational level and that can lead to students not having fun. Players should never stop having fun!” A fun fact about Sanja is she is originally from Croatia and grew up in Berlin, Germany.
Lou Welch (IG: @Abilitiestennisnc)
Lou is the Executive Director of Abilities Tennis of North Carolina (ATANC), an organization dedicated to bringing health, friendship, and community to individuals with intellectual disabilities through the sport of tennis. Lou holds a degree in Therapeutic Recreation from East Carolina University and utilizes those learned skills in her work with ATANC. She plays tennis out of North Hills Tennis Club in Raleigh, NC, but finds the most joy in helping her students have fun learning the game. Mizuno is proud to partner with her as she looks to grow ATANC all across the state of North Carolina.
Emily Zabor (IG: @coachemilyzabor)
Emily is the Director of Junior Performance at Agape Tennis Academy in Atlanta, GA. She is a USPTA Certified Professional and a USTA High-Performance Coach who specializes in developing youth and adult players seeking success in tennis. She knows all about success, having won multiple high school team state championships before heading to the University of Alabama, where she helped lead the ladies Crimson Tide team to their first-ever SEC title. Emily says the key to success as a beginner in tennis is to “…find a coach who can teach you basic technique then find a wall where you can go out and hit thousands of balls to work on your control.” She loves the fact tennis builds character and teaches a person how to problem solve under pressure.
Tim Trombley (IG: @True.Tension.Westport)
Tim is the owner of True Tension Racquet Sports, a retail store in Westport, Connecticut – one of the top tennis stores in the New England area. He is a well-respected stringer and has strung racquets for numerous Grand Slam champions at various professional tournaments. One of Tim’s favorite things about the sport of tennis is “…it’s only you out there – no substitutions when things aren’t going your way.” Tim wanted to be on the Advisory Staff because “…Mizuno is making the best tennis shoes in the business right now. We are big supporters of the brand in my store.” If you are in the Westport area, stop in and see Tim and his team. They love to talk about Mizuno!
Daniel Roditi (IG: @danielroditipickleball)
Daniel is the Head Pickleball Professional at the Nellie Gail Ranch Tennis Center in California. After years playing tennis, Daniel has transitioned full-time to the sport of Pickleball and splits his time between playing professionally and teaching the game he loves. “It’s the fastest-growing sport in the country – it is time for people to embrace it!” Mizuno is utilizing Staffers like Daniel to learn more about the game of pickleball and how to design a shoe that works specifically for the game. His favorite pickleball lesson is the “Live Ball Drill” – check out his Instagram feed to see how it works! An interesting fact about Daniel is he used to be a full-time pastor for over 20 years before moving into the racquet sports industry.
Marina Oetiker (IG: @coach_marina)
Marina is a USPTA Tennis Professional and Founder/Owner of the Downtown Tennis Club at East River Park in New York City. Originally from Russia, Marina was an accomplished junior player (ranked as high as #12) before coming to the U.S. for college at SUNY Binghamton. She has over 10 years of experience teaching tennis, specializing in 10 & Under for kids and Cardio Tennis for adults. Marina has been described as a “…patient coach who will help you learn proper tennis technique while having fun on the court.” Marina connects her students to one of the most iconic tennis retail stores in the country, NYC Racquet Sports in Midtown Manhattan, where they proudly sell a full assortment of Mizuno Tennis Footwear.
*Advisory Staff were hand-selected by the Mizuno Tennis Sales and Management Team. They are not sponsored or paid athletes for the brand, but the product they receive is free. The Ad Staff met a strict set of guidelines and have agreed to adhere to those throughout the 2021 calendar year. Mizuno Tennis will be expanding the Ad Staff for 2022, so speak to your local Territory Sales Manager if you are interested in joining our team.
Published: August 2021