“What my true form of compensation has always been as a coach is seeing a student make a breakthough after the initial struggle”, This Week in #StaffSpotlight Ryan Segelke, Co-Founder & Director, HAT

Ryan Segelke is the the CO-Founder & Director of High Altitude Tennis Academy in Colorado.

Here is a little insight into coach Segelke:

Ryan Segelke, Co-Founder & Director, High Altitude Tennis, Colorado, USA
Ryan Segelke, Co-Founder & Director, High Altitude Tennis, Colorado, USA

Q: You clearly love the game of tennis… What is it that attracted you to the game?

A: The self-accountability of it… If I lost, it was up to me to get back to the practice courts as soon as possible and improve; and if I won, I received all of the accolades. Because of this I really thrived, as frustrating as it was at times!

Q: What drew you to coaching?

A: I suppose I always knew that my late start in tennis would make it extremely difficult to become a successful professional player, so I began coaching early on. I loved, and still love, helping people get better on and off the court. There is something so intriguing about understanding each student’s personality and the nuances of what will get through to them effectively. What my true form of compensation has always been as a coach is seeing a student make a breakthough after the initial struggle; and most of all, when a student comes back after a number of years and lets you know that you made a difference for them.

Q: What is the mission of High Altitude Tennis Academy and how has it evolved since its inception?

A: The mission of the Academy is to put our students ahead of everything else. Our goal for each of our students is to utilize our “micro dynamic” tennis environment to teach each individual the life lessons that, when applied, will propel them to be tomorrows’ leaders and prolific contributors to society. Our staff is also expected to follow the standards set for our students. Otherwise, we become hypocrites.

In the beginning, we knew we wanted the Academy to be focused on elite junior training but we were giving lessons to everyone… adults, kids, teams, professionals- completely unfocused. Looking back, we made a lot of mistakes, however, it has been fun to learn and improve. We narrowed our focus, and today we have only programs serving aspiring junior players.

Q: You train coaches. You are taking steps to improve the level of training and education required for coaching, beginning with coaches employed by High Altitude Tennis.   Many coaches are not looking to do more than receive the standard certifications. Do you think there will be a noticeable difference in junior athletes’ development and results?

A: Yes. I love training young coaches, in particular those who are ready to make an impactful difference and are really a blank canvas. What is rewarding for me is to teach tennis myself, however what is most rewarding is to develop a proven success system, like we have at the Academy, and teach coaches who will then influence many more students.

Q: You oversee player development. Is there a secret to developing successful players?

A: (smiling) – Yes. Character development, hard work, straightforward and loving honesty (with students and parents), and consistent repetition are the “secrets”, if you can call it that. There is no place for frustration and anger. It takes a focused, substantive plan to develop a great player. Our coaches develop a minimum of 2 game plans per day, typed up and sent to the entire staff, for the last 4 years! Not ONE singe practice has been “winged” or planned on the “fly”. This process actually allows us to have the flexibility to adjust game plans to match the individual needs of our students.

Q: High Altitude Tennis’ focus is more than winning trophies. Can you tell us more about why you would choose to partner with a non-profit?

A: In many ways, what we envisioned the Academy to be has come to fruition. We are lucky to have learned so much and been open to the many valuable lessons presented to us so that we could adapt and make the appropriate changes for High Altitude Tennis to be successful.

We know that we can make a much bigger difference partnered with a non-profit like The HAT FUND. First, we can accept students who do not currently have the means to afford an elite program like ours. It is extremely important to make this great game available to all young athletes who wish to play. Second, The HAT FUND has a network of incredible organizations providing not only industry leading athletic training like High Altitude Tennis Academy, but also educational resources like Growing Champions for Life, The Princeton Review, and Laurel Springs School allowing our students access to resources that will help them become great athletes, great students and most importantly great people.

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“I believe that HAT is on the right track to becoming one of the best tennis academies”,This week #StaffSpotlight, Kat Hutchinson

This week addition to our weekly #StaffSpotlight- Kat Hutchinson, Lead Tennis Professional, HAT,Denver, Colorado.

HAT's Lead Tennis Professional- Kat Hutchinson
HAT’s Lead Tennis Professional- Kat Hutchinson

Kat Biography

Kat, a Michigan native, was a full scholarship student-athlete at Lake Superior State University. During her time at LSSU, Kat was a 2 year team captain and MVP and achieved the most career singles in in school history (96). Kat began as an intern the Summer of 2014 and has powerfully graduated through the ranks where she is now a HAT certified tennis professional.

Experience Summary

NCAA Full Scholarship Student-Athlete

PTR Certified

HAT Method Certified

Bachelor of Science in Exercise Health Science

Minor in Coaching

Associates in Health and Fitness Specialist

Kat’s view on HAT

I believe that HAT is on the right track to becoming one of the best tennis academies found across the nation and with the help of the HAT Fund I think we can really help a lot of kids out there who aren’t receiving the type of help and aid that they should be getting. With that help we can give them a different look at the world around them. We’re not just talking about coaching tennis but also mentoring and giving kids life skills that you don’t get by just being an athlete on the court. I was a late bloomer. I didn’t pick up my first tennis racket until I was 15 but I had three coaches who saw potential and drive in me. They were always around to hit with me, teach me, or help me in any way that I needed at the drop of a hat, no matter what time it was, and that’s why I’ve become the person that I am today and why I like being here, at HAT and the HAT Fund. I feel like I can give back and make a difference by being a great coach and mentor for the kids out there in need just like my coaches were for me.

She is an athlete, an entrepreneur, wife & proud mother of 3 beautiful children.

Native of Boston, Massachusetts, Leslie was a gifted student-athlete ranking top 10 nationally as a sprinter.

Leslie Segelke
Leslie Segelke

Leslie studied Liberal Arts at the University of Maryland then followed her passion for nutrition and hospitality attending Newbury College and graduating from Johnson and Whales University in Rhode Island.

 

Leslie taught private cooking classes, ran a home-based catering company and worked as a baker in a gourmet food shop in order to pay her way through school. After graduation she accepted a job as the head pastry chef for a Boston based catering company.

 

Returning to her love of athletics, Leslie spent several years coaching the girl’s high school track and field team in Cambridge, Massachusetts as well as developing into an enthusiastic player and avid fan of tennis.

 

Now a devoted wife and proud mother of 3 beautiful children, Leslie’s love of sport and commitment to improving the life experiences and expanding opportunities for children has contributed to the vision of High Altitude Tennis Academy.

Today #StaffSpotlight: Brent Mazza, Director of Tennis , HAT

Brent Mazza, Director of Tennis, HAT
Brent Mazza, Director of Tennis, HAT

Brent, a California native, has been a student of the HAT methodology for nearly a decade and was HAT’s very first intern and has since earned his way to become HAT’s Director of Tennis. Brent previously worked for the International Tennis Hall of Fame, the Boston Lobsters World Team Tennis Franchise, and the Champions Tour.  He is a graduate of Boston University with a Bachelors Degree in Business Administration. Brent has a tremendous passion to provide every one of his students life lessons through powerful teaching in tennis fundamentals, tactics and match strategies that will last a lifetime.

EXPERIENCE SUMMARY

17 Years of high level sports experience
14 Years of tennis experience
8 Years of coaching experience
Selected as USTA Intermountain Zone Team Coach (2014)
HAT Teaching Method Certified
USPTA Certified
PTR Certified
Brent has coached/Consulted with numerous ITF & professional players including:

– Karen Barbat (Denmark – *WTA #474)
– Zoe Scandalis (USA – *WTA #711)
– Ao Gia (China – #497 ITF)
– Hao Zhang (China – *ITF #613)
– Pengyu Zhang (China – *ITF #614)

I believe HAT is definitely a hidden gem on a national scale

Starting this week, every Monday we will be giving the spotlight to one of our Staff members who, inch by inch gives their full support to our organization. They will also be sharing their experience among the younger generations. This week we are highlighting the profile of Brian Lindberg – HAT Tennis Teaching Professional.

Brian Lindberg- HAT Tennis Teaching Professional
Brian Lindberg- HAT Tennis Teaching Professional

Brian Lindberg is originally from Colorado and started playing tennis at the age of 5 years old. Brian developed into an elite junior player in Minnesota eventually achieving a college scholarship to the College of St. Scholastica where he was selected to the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference All-Conference team for both athletics and academics.

Brian completed his internship at High Altitude Tennis in 2013 and soon after was awarded the Men’s and Women’s coaching job at Ripon College in the fall of 2013. Realizing his passion was in helping top junior scholars learn the life lessons required to be successful at the collegiate level and beyond, he returned to High Altitude Tennis in 2015. Brian loves photography and climbing 14ers. He also has earned the nickname “storm” for his very accurate weather reports.

Brian’s View on HAT:

“I believe HAT is definitely a hidden gem on a national scale.  The system that is taught here, the strength training and conditioning, and the individualized attention given to every student combines to offer a level of improvement unparalleled by other programs in the nation.  I’ve not only seen our system work here but also in my time teaching in Wisconsin.  The HAT method is capable of holding its own at every level of the game.  The HAT Fund is a great compliment to HAT as well allowing juniors access to a program like ours that they might not have otherwise had.