UPDATE, AUGUST 2020
After 16 years of successfully running TennisBuddys,LLC small business at Oakview Park we are forced to shutdown our business due to the 4th open and close by the city of Austin, PARD and mayor Adler! Since March 16th to August 8th we have been told by the city to close, then open, close, then open then close. Even though tennis was named number 2 safest sport to play during the Coronavirus Pandemic by the Texas Medical board, we had zero control over what the city did to us. Our small business could no longer survive even though our contract is still with the city until September 2020.
We have decided to pick up and start from scratch and have been adopted by our amazing tennis parents and students at various tennis locations in the NW Austin area since July 2020 and we will continue to fight to keep our business alive. We are very good at what we do and love what we do with a passion and our goal has always been to spread health/fitness and wellness for a fit mind and body through tennis. We want our neighborhood communities to keep going outdoors and enjoy a healthy sport like tennis where social distancing is very easy on such a big tennis court. Children need to be outdoors, playing/interacting/socializing and having fun and tennis allows adults, children and seniors to do just that in a safe, social distanced environment.
At a time when families are hurting, jobs are lost, people are facing mental and physical anguish, children feeling isolated, everything is shutdown, all sports and camps and programs are closed, the very least we can do to help is to ease their pain by taking them outdoors in fresh air and sun and providing a beneficial game like tennis in a safe environment. Giving all an outlet to socialize, interact and enjoy and learn tennis while getting a full body and mind workout in the sun is exactly what we plan to continue to do.
How it all started!
Simple, I became a mom!
I resigned from my full time, very rewarding job as a Web Graphics Designer from National Instruments (A very good company where I still have great connections & am invited to participate at their annual NI Health Fair), to become a full time stay home mom. At the same time my love for multimedia design and tennis was still intact and I wanted to create a job I loved, but would allow me to continue spending enough quality time with my 3 1/2 year old son and I wanted the job right next door. I wanted to create my dream job and starting working towards this goal with my heart and soul and belief in myself.
After having had a successful career both, in tennis and multimedia design combined for over a span of 14 years and then becoming a mom, my priorities and perspective on life totally took a turn for the better.
My husband encouraged me and supported me to follow my instincts and I went with it full force.
The idea came to me to create a business proposal and knock on as many doors of as many tennis facilities, to find out how I could create that tennis job in my neighborhood park tennis courts. Nobody responded, until I met the right individual, Mr. Bill Wells who recommended Jerilyn Rainosek of Pickfair Community Center, part of Austin Parks and Recreation. The connection was made. Jerilyn Rainosek (an outstanding individual) gave me the opportunity to launch my own tennis program.
Fall of 2004, I ran with the opportunity, launched tennisbuddys, LLC tennis program at 10800 Oakview Park. tennisbuddys, LLC became a member of Pickfair Community Center, Austin Parks and Recreation Dept. I started running tennis lessons with 2 students a week at 10800 Oakview Park. It has two tennis courts that aren’t in the best of shape but I still prefer them since they are my neighborhood tennis courts. I see great potential for improvement with the help of my neighborhood community and the help of the Parks and Recreation department and any sponsorships in the future.
Time and again, I have been called upon multimedia and other tennis opportunities but this is where my heart is. I have a job I created for myself and I love every minute of it. I can now wholeheartedly say, it is the best job I have ever had in my whole life. By 2007 I had 80 students a week. I run all the classes myself, sometimes I hire an assistant on a need to basis.
tennisbuddys,LLC contributes to the park and it’s courts through it’s income and also holds FREE Tennis clinics each year. Our income supports the court maintanence, new nets, picnic tables, trimming of the trees, backboard upkeep, and more, as well as keeping vandalism to a minimum with the continuous presence of the public. tennisbuddys, LLC, only takes up a few hours everyday of one court to bring in a lot of new beginners/intermediate & advanced, adults and juniors students.
Being a small program we have parents and kid’s involved and they go out and play on their own and this builds a close knit community presence that keeps vandals away from our parks. Also get’s the kid’s out doors.
Today, the NW neighborhood community and surrounding area’s have adopted tennisbuddys as their neighborhood tennis program. It has been a blessing.
tennisbuddys is designed to cater to working and stay home parents, preschoolers and after schoolers, young, adults, and seniors, any level, competitive or for recreational, and flexible times.
The best part is that the courts are right next to the play scape which allows for parents to bring their kids along or have them babysat at bird’s eye view.
- First of all, thanks to my son. My son’s birth has been the most precious gift in my life! Being able to stay home with him has been by far the most enjoyable and rewarding experience. I can truly say the idea of tennisbuddys was inspired by my son as mom wanted to also have a job that she could say ” is the most enjoyable and rewarding job of all” and this idea came about after I became a stay home mom after resigning from National Instruments as a web designer (which was an amazing place to work).tennisbuddys has allowed me to have my cake and eat it too. I get to teach a few hours everyday and I love every minute of it and the rest of the time I get to spend with my family, get more creative with tennisbuddys, be a home maker, exercise, run errands……at my own time.The balance of running a tennis business and being a home maker has really been a blessing which has allowed me to really “smell the roses” and truly enjoy life at a slower pace.At times, it can be hard work and challenging but at the same time it is exciting, fun & very rewarding.The difference between tennisbuddys,LLC and all my other job’s in the past, is that, I can truly and sincerely say: “I love every minute of it and every minute of it is a ton of fun!”My son has championed his mom into becoming an even better tennis teacher to children his age and younger.
I never imagined taking my child to my classes would be an easy task, especially at the age of 3 & 4 years when they are so young & full of energy, but, it became easy over time and we both benefited a lot, as history shows.
At 3 yrs. he started coming to the court about 15 min. at a time. He always started learning in a group setting and started in Mini Star 1, then Mini Star 2, Future Stars and All Star. When children are young they enjoy the group lessons and they have a lot of fun and learn a lot about sharing and comraderie and proper court etiquette. This is waht made it so easy to teach my son, my group lessons. He developed deal of respect for me as a mom and a coach and also a great deal of respect for all the students.
At age 4 yrs. he was in News 8 Austin’s segment for Cardio Tennis hitting volley’s fearlessly with the adults. I had to take him as I was a stay home mom and News 8 wanted to do a segment and they said, just bring him with you, he will be fine:) The crew loved him and he loved the 4 am TV segment we did.
Every time I left to teach my higher level junior & adult classes, he would cry and say ” mom, I want to go teach too” of course he meant play too.
2010, at 9 years, he played his very first USTA 10 under’s ZAT tournament & reached the finals.
2011 12 under ZAT’s he won the prestigious “Sportsmanship Award” In the “Little Mo’s” Sectional tournament in Dallas where he got to the consolation finals.
He went on to get to the quarter finals of the Regionals “Little Mo’s” with an injury, & was devastated he did not make the Nationals by 1 match.
August, 12th, 2012 Nikhil won the Zat 12 Berry Creek tennis tournament,Georgetown, TX and moved to Champ division.
September, 2013 he was consolation Finalist – Clear Lake Championship Major Zone tournament.
January 11-12, 2014 – He Super Champed after winning the “BCS New Year Champ Major Zone(CMZ), College Station, Boy’s 12’s white main draw and also won the prestigious John Newcombe’s Tennis Ranch Sportsmanship scholarship award for the whole tournament in all age groups.
I am very proud of my son and all my tennis students as tennisbuddys, LLC has fostered commitment to good work ethic, great sportsmanship, 100% commitment in working hard and having fun. When you have the right positive attitude and good work ethic and you are committed to having fun and giving a 100% every time, win’s and losses both make you proud because you feel good in the end! His love for tennis just keeps growing each year & we enjoy our weekend tournament family trips together even today. Its a journey of education and learning and having fun and working hard that we continue to love and embrace. He taught me about the nature and attention span and the needs of younger children and how patience, understanding, creativity with my program and also well organized, well structured, well planned out classes are the key to success with any age group and any class. No certification or qualification can teach one, what my son has taught me, about how to understand very young children and cater to their needs in a fun and positive manner. My son taught me that being a mom and a coach of younger kid’s is a blessing as my learning and understanding of creative, fun and motivating games became better, as he invented a lot of them. I take these games to class and they became very popular and kid’s love it. Today, I still coach him but I also send him to other programs to get the opportunity to compete with other players and form great friendships and he comes and assists my tennis classes and is learning to be a great tennis assistant. Kids love him and he loves teaching and playing tennis.
He learns a lot from other kid’s in the classes and the other’s learn a lot from him. In the process, children have become my teachers as well. Good Court etiquette and sportsmanship has always been the most important character building trait we focus on & has been a great success on and off the court. The learning for mom and son is always never ending and we understand that we all have more room for improvement all the time. It is important to expose your children to different sports & let them draw towards the one they love.
- Thanks to my parents, for first of all introducing me to tennis and fine arts, the combination of design and tennis has made this possible. Born and raised in Nepal, I was very very fortunate to have parents who really encouraged me in tennis and financially supported me and also accompanied me to International tournaments worldwide, at the same time making sure my education was top priority. Their love and support and raising me with the right balance of structure and discipline and fun combined has really taught me well, and they are still my biggest role models.
- Thanks to my husband, without whose continuous support at home and raising our son, while still working a full time job, this would not be possible. I do my best to try to create my tennis program so it works around my family’s timetable. The fact that we have never had to use a babysitter, with dad’s schedule, which worked out at the time and was a blessing. It helps tremendously that he is a computer tech guru and having tech support at home is fabulous as well when I am running tennisbuddys, LLC business and have to hit the panic button when the computer goes down or something drastic happens. His experience in Social Media networking has also helped me with my business. I design, code, update and maintain tennisbuddys website, and create all the business cards, logos, brochures, flyers, illustrations and more, which I love doing. Dad & son also help out with my clinics, help with digital photos & videography whenever they can. Dad is always there with us on weekend tennis tournament events, driving us to the venue & watching both mom & son compete in tournaments, being there for us and whatever we need and its family tournament trips are great as we do something fun no matter what the result and our family dynamic makes everything worthwhile.
- Thanks to my coaches: Hem uncle, who introduced me to tennis in Nepal & got me to the ITF junior tennis circuit within 3 months of picking a tennis racquet, Akagi San for giving me a full scholarship in Japan. For coach Su Oertel in Luther college for supporting me & teaching me through the ups & downs of daily rigors of college life & welcoming me to the Luther women’s varsity team. What a wonderful experience it was & great memories. Thanks to Dennis & Pat Van der Meer. My experience at the Van der Meer tennis academy was one of the highlights of coaching. I learned a great deal from Dennis & his PTR graduated length/progressions coaching methodology & so much more. His professionalism on the tennis court, use of humor & amazing presentation has taught me a lot. Getting my coaching certification from Van der Meer tennis university, & teaching under Dennis’s guidance for 3 years as an onsite tennis pro was a great experience.
- Thanks to my neighborhood, my friends and my very first few students and they know who they are, all their support has made tennisbuddys possible. Word of mouth spreads when you love your job with a passion.
- Thanks to all my tennis pro friends and well wishers worldwide, for all their continuous support and professional advice on how to run a tennis business. They know who they are and how much I appreciate their continuous help and sound advice.
- Thanks to Bill Wells and Jerilyn Rainosek of Pickfair Community Center, of Austin Parks and Recreation for believing in my program and allowing me the opportunity to create a program like tennisbuddys right here in my neighborhood tennis courts at Oakview Park. Serving my community and being close to home has been very rewarding. The neighborhood community has really come to embrace this tennis program right at their doorstep.
The name tennisbuddys
No matter what age group, when you come and play and have fun at the court you end up making buddies, thus I wanted the name tennisbuddys. However all different combination of the names were taken by someone else, so my husband found tennisbuddys spelt with a “ys” and registered the domain name for me. I made the best of the name tennisbuddys, thanks to my husband, and color coded the letters so it is easy to remember the incorrect spelling. Then I created illustrations and designed the business cards and brochures at home and printed them myself. Immediately, I started the front end design on my website.
Being able to do both, multimedia design and tennis is very rewarding, so is being able to spend time with my family and also being able to bring a program like tennisbuddys to my neighborhood community. There is never a dull moment, it’s all exciting, every aspect of life for me & I am loving it.
My goal To build my own 2 court tennis center
I hope to some day be able to build my own tennis center here in the NW Austin area. The park has a lot of restrictions for me to be able to run tennis camps & number of hours I can teach is restricted. Courts are in dire need & we have no restrooms or water fountains, no shed to store ball machine or training equipment, but I make do with what I have. Nothing stops me from doing what I love. For now, I still love my park courts. But someday in the near future, I would like to own my own tennis center & run a full day tennis lessons.The dream lives on & I strive towards it each day!
There maybe some angel investors looking to invest, you never know!