The area of Torrance in Southern California is home to quite a few large, well known private tennis clubs — West End Racquet and Health Club, South End Racquet Club, to name only two. Just a short drive to Rancho Palos Verdes is the Peninsula Racquet Club, and nearby Rolling Hills Estates is home of the famous Jack Kramer Club. And then there is a tennis club that needs special recognition amongst all those high profile clubs, the South Bay Tennis Center. Ken and Courtney Hance turned this public tennis facility into a one-of-a-kind High Performance Tennis Center where high level training and fun go hand in hand.
Ken Hance is the High Performance Coach in the family. Certified by the United States Professional Tennis Association (USPTA) Ken has been involved in tennis in the South Bay since 1976 and has been teaching in the area for over 20 years. He and his wife Courtney began South Bay Tennis Center (SBTC) 14 years ago out of the now closed Rolling Hill Plaza Racquet Club in Torrance.
The SBTC web site states: Courtney Hance (USPTA) has been teaching tennis for over 18 years. Courtney’s ability to coach players of all abilities and make it fun time after time has made her one of the most popular coaches in Southern California. She played her college tennis for UC Irvine where she played number 1 all four years. She still loves to compete but rarely has time to practice now that she has four children.
Courtney Hance is the organizer who handles kids and parents and makes sure there is always that fun component for all those kids going through their program every year.
Lyndee Conley is a Volunteer Mom helping out behind the counter of the club house for the last 5 years. Originally from Santa Monica, Lyndee now lives in San Pedro and loves helping the Hance family with her business. “Courtney moved from recreational to competitive tennis programs,” says Conley. “There is no such program in other public facilities. We are preparing kids for tournaments; take care of High School teams, and coach USTA junior players.”
Conley remembers that Wayne Bryan was her first coach in Junior High School in Hawthorne. “Wayne was at UC Santa Barbara and worked at Hawthorne Parks & Rec courts during the summer. He went on to Loyola Law School, but not before helping me become #1 player on my High School team.” She then played for UC Santa Barbara and UCLA, and graduate school in Stanford. Years later, while working in Annapolis, Maryland, Conley noticed the lack of good tennis programs on public facilities. As a result she founded the Annapolis Optimist Tennis Program, a recreational tennis program on public courts.
The South Bay Tennis Center has 8 fully lighted courts and a club house. Summer Camps are now in full swing and kids are excited about the arrival of a water slide, frozen yoghurt treats, and trips to the pool of the Jack Kramer Club. Andras Cruz-Aedo is in his second year as full time coach for the club. He loves his job. “This is such a versatile program and the kids have so much fun. Especially when we go to the Kramer Club and they let us use their pool for a day. We are taking care of 170 kids in our summer program and there is no greater job for a tennis coach than working with kids.”
Conley adds that comparable programs can only be found in private clubs or at the USTA Training Centers, “but those USTA programs are hard to get into.” She points out that Ken and Courtney Hance’s kids are rather successful in youth tennis. Kenadi and Connor Hance were enrolled in the USTA High Performance Program in Carson and are now under Ken Hance’s personal care. Both kids won Sectionals at Los Caballeros a few weeks ago. Kenadi in the Girls 14’s, Connor in the Boys 12’s. Connor Hance, incidentally played Steffi Graf and Andre Agassi’s son in the promotions that ran on TV a few years ago. The Hance’s youngest, Kim, is 7 years old and recently won a USTA Satellite tournament in the 8’s division at the Jack Kramer Club.
Those Hance kids now have USTA national and / or Southern California Tennis Association ranking. Many kids coming out of the South Bay Tennis Center High Performance Program have national rankings and went on to play College tennis at UC Irvine, UCSD, Loyola, and USC. There is no better advertising for Ken and Courtney Hance’s program.
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