Courtside Sessions Podcast - The First Season at a Glance

The first season of Courtside Sessions Podcast has served an ace, volleying into the hearts and minds of the tennis community. We spent the first season meeting with some of the great thought leaders, coaches and players in the tennis community. We expected to learn so much about the physical and mental challenges involved in the sport of a lifetime, we were blown away by what we learned about, its social aspects, and its ability to teach important life skills such as discipline, sportsmanship, and teamwork. 

We heard from seasoned players, insightful coaches, tennis parents, and industry professionals who've navigated their own thrilling journey or played a role in developing the sport, and been a resource for young athletes through their pathway to the pros. As we rewind the tape and bring you the highlights of this smashing season, get ready to ace your understanding of the game and life. We think you’ll unlock winning strategies, and tap into the playbook of success.

Take the next few weeks and catch up with Season 1 as we gear up for an even bigger and better second season of Courtside Sessions! We have some amazing guests planned and think the journey will take us to new heights - while having some fun and learning some things - along the way. 

Watch all the episodes here:


Trailer Episode - Evan Specht: Diadem Sports Cofounder, Former Player, and Coach

In this short episode, we sat down with Evan to discuss the Dynasty Team junior sponsorship program, Diadem's commitment to junior tennis, Evan's thoughts on college tennis recruiting, parents, and performance coaching. Listeners can learn from Evan's unique journey through tennis, which began as a junior playing in the intermountain region and led to his rise to the college and pro ranks. Evan also shares his experience coaching college players and high-performance juniors, the story of how he co-founded Diadem Sports, and his ultimate goal to give back to junior tennis players from coast to coast.

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S1 E1 - Hugo Armando: Venus Williams Coach, Former Pro Player, and Top Junior

We wasted no time in bringing the heat, bringing to you an extremely accomplished coach - who has spent time and worked with some of the greatest players. He joined us from the US Open and shared great anecdotes with incredible insight only someone of his stature could bring. If you learn one thing from this episode it will be about how having a growth mindset can help you get the most of every game, set and match throughout life. 

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S1 E2 - Kieda Ferrari: University of Illinois ITA Scholar Athlete, Former Blue Chip Junior

We were joined by Kieda before her fall season started, and she shared some insight on how she was able to accomplish her D1 dreams. Kieda's story, coming from rural Alabama and defying the odds, highlights resilience, allowing yourself to enjoy the process. This episode has nuggets of wisdom that anyone can learn from - but is especially beneficial for young junior and college players.

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S1 E3 - Mark Gellard: Magda Linettes Coach, Former Professional, and College Player

Speaking with Mark during the pro tour season was an incredible experience. It was evident from the outset that Mark is a consummate professional who has meticulously refined his coaching process over the years. He shared numerous valuable points that players, parents, and coaches alike can learn from, making the conversation incredibly enriching.His insights into his unique coaching philosophy were truly enlightening.

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S1 E4 - Mark Knowles: Former World #1, Grand Slam Champion, UCLA Bruin, and Top Junior

Meeting and speaking with a Grand Slam Champion like Mark Knowles created a unique opportunity to gain valuable insights and perspectives from a tennis legend. Having grown up though his junior years set the stage for his successful professional career - and learning from that journey is fascinating and inspiring. As a parent of high-performance athletes, Mark was also able to add additional depth and layers to the journey - having lived in personally and now as a parent.  This episode was undoubtedly a rare deep dive into our great game, for any tennis enthusiast, player or parent.

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S1 E5 - JM Ryerson: Professional Mindset and Leadership Coach and Top Junior Dad

JM Ryerson is many things: an athlete, a husband, a parent, an entrepreneur, and most relevant to this discussion, a leadership and mindset coach. In this conversation JM shares invaluable wisdom, tips, and tricks  about how players can maximize their performance on the court by first mastering their mind off of it. His unique position at the crossroads of working with pro athletes and executives as well as his own sons through their athletic journey provides rare insight that can benefit parents, players, and coaches alike. 

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S1 E6 - Jose Ayala: High Performance Development Specialist, Former Pro Player, and Dad

Having the chance to catch up with Jose was a great opportunity to gain some further insight on how a former ATP pro and junior development specialist mastered his personal philosophy of the game we all love. More importantly, it was interesting to hear how he was able to implement that with his own son during his tennis career. One thing that will certainly stick out is Jose’s relationship with “competition.” This is a fantastic episode that has something for parents, coaches, and certainly junior players! 

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S1 E7 - Greg Patton: College Tennis Coaching Legend and USTA National Collegiate 

Despite facing challenges with the video connection, the conversation with Greg Patton was fascinating. Greg graciously took time from his mountain vacation to speak, showcasing his commitment to sharing the knowledge he's collected during his lifelong tennis playing and coaching career. There are almost too many impactful gems he mentioned, but his notes on what makes a great college recruit certainly stood out. That piece along with many other topics will provide strong direction for the junior tennis families and community at large.

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S1 E8 - Brian Rosenthal: RDU Tennis Owner, Former NC State Player, and Top Junior

During the conversation with Brian, his passion for the tennis community and his commitment to giving back and growing the game stood out. Brian shared how lessons learned as a junior and college player have impacted his career. This highlights Brian's dedication to not only his own development but also to the broader tennis community, making him a valuable asset to the sport.

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S1 E9 - Trey Morris: Jacksonville State Head Men's Coach, Former Pro and Junior Player

Trey's ability to articulate his vision for the Gamecocks and the sport as a whole is why he is such a trailblazer. Trey's unique journey through juniors, college, and playing pro tennis overseas provided valuable lessons that he was able to share. This highlights Trey's depth of experience and his ability to translate that into a coherent and impactful coaching philosophy.

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S1 E10 - Tosin Awomewe: Racquet Arcade CEO, High Performance and High School Coach

Listening to Tosin Awomewe and all he has accomplished with Racquet Arcade and the philosophy behind the mission that inspired him to pursue that path is awe-inspiring. Tosin's ability to communicate his coaching philosophy with captivating narratives is very interesting and worth a listen. Tosin's innovative approach to coaching and his skill in storytelling making him a compelling figure in the tennis community.

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S1 E11 - Sachia Vickery: Current WTA Tour Player, Career High #73, Former Top Junior Player

Diadem had the opportunity to catch up with Sachia Vickery on her season and the success she’s been building upon. Even better was learning more about her life off the court and getting an inside glimpse into the life of a  professional athlete. Other pros, coaches, parents and juniors will learn from her unique perspective and insights such interactions can provide.

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