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.
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.
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.
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.
• For $21, you get one ticket for a seat in sections 401–406 and 439–444 (a $25.50 value before fees, or up to a $42.15 value online, including all Ticketmaster fees). • For $31, you get one ticket for a seat in sections 431–438 and 407–414 (a $45.50 value before fees, or up to a $62.60 value online, including all Ticketmaster fees).
On 12 sunny courts at Arcadia Tennis Center, certified instructors help students learn the fundamentals of tennis and hone their playing skills. Under new management as of June 2012, the staff is dedicated to new beginnings, organizing group lessons for both juniors and adults, each with a low student-to-teacher ratio to ensure individual improvement. In addition to the beginners' lessons, Arcadia Tennis Center hosts youth summer camps and regular leagues, which merge healthy competition with the sport's social aspects, much like a football game's halftime debutante ball.