Wherever Johnny Allen goes, you're likely to find the sounds of tennis players hard at work: shuffling feet, the rhythm of an extended baseline rally, maybe even the occasional grunt. But you'll also hear the melodies of upbeat tunes—a staple of all Johnny Allen Tennis instruction that underscores his program's emphasis on fun and positivity as motivational tools. Although playing music during every lesson may be an unorthodox stroke, it's fueled a program that now helps more than 400 students improve at seven locations. Allen's success is evident in the many top junior players and scholarship college athletes who have graduated from his program.
Whittier Narrows trains and nurtures novice and advanced tennis players with its roster of iTennis lessons, USTA adult league teams, and well-kept courts. Each of Whittier Narrows’ 16 courts are painted U.S. Open shades of blue and green to emulate professional play and increase ball visibility, and are fully lighted for nighttime and solar eclipse play. Tennis center memberships entitle players to complimentary perks such as a one-hour drill clinic, a racket demo program, weekly stroke clinics, and free ball machine rental (during off-peak hours), as well as a 10% discount in the pro shop and discounts on classes. After rinsing away sweat and lingering grunts in the men’s and women’s locker rooms, an airy member lounge invites athletes to relax on a leather couch and enjoy wireless Internet, a flat-screen television, and refreshments.
At Top Tennis at La Habra Tennis Center, shots skip and spring across a dozen pro-grade courts seven days per week. Recognizing that tennis, like competitive puppy petting, is one of the few sports that can be played from childhood through the golden years, the professionally staffed USTA facility makes sure to serve up programs for all ages and skill levels. Programs for advanced players provide competitive and tournament training, whereas youth services, such as 8 and Under programs, teach pintsize racket holders the basics on smaller-scale courts. Yearly memberships, USTA leagues, and pay-to-play options round out the center's arsenal of specialties, and an onsite pro-shop stocks the latest shoes, rackets, and accessories so players won't have to download gear onto their bodies before each match.
Certified tennis guru Rusty Miller leads a team of professional instructors who mold players of all ages into pros. Rusty’s 25 years in the tennis business and several South California–area tennis-club holdings have culminated in this newly revamped club. Players volley back and forth on 11 championship hard courts before taking advantage of numerous amenities. From workouts in the fitness center to nighttime practices held on the eight lighted courts to equipment upgrades at the pro shop, Anaheim Hills Racquet Club is designed to improve all areas of play. Single members can retrieve lobs from the ball machine, engage other members for one-on-one hitting practice, or set up intense matches with court-savvy nonmembers, such as the white line from Pong.
As part of LA Tennis Centers, the Cheviot-Hills branch was founded by people who virtually live and breathe the game. Owner Beth Herr Bellamy was the #1 ranked junior tennis player at the age of 16 before going pro and amassing wins over the likes of Martina Navratilova and Pam Shriver. Co-owner Steve Bellamy was voted as one of the top 10 most influential people in tennis by Sports Business Journal. Together, they combine their expertise to oversee three tennis centers that cater to the beginner and seasoned player alike.
At Cheviot-Hills, youngsters can learn the game in summer camps that keep them active while school's out. Junior players can build up a competitive edge in more rigorous programs, and adults can sign up for lessons. For a cardio gauntlet, players can jump into a game of LiveBall?a doubles competition that lasts for up to two hours and involves continuous movement around the court in doubles formation.
Sunset Padel specializes in the sport of padel, a racquet game popular in Spain. Though very similar to tennis, padel is played on a smaller court and permits hitting off any of the four side walls. The balls in play are the same as tennis balls but the paddle itself is a solid, stringless racquet. Sunset Padel invites both new and longtime lovers of the game to play on its three outdoor courts. Beyond the trio of playing surfaces, the facility also offers a pro shop, locker rooms, and a caf?, as well as an even smaller take on tennis?ping-pong.