Jorge Capestany, manager of the DeWitt Tennis Center at Hope College, is the featured instructor in three episodes premiering on the Tennis Channel through “On Court with USPTA,” the cable television show produced by the United States Professional Tennis Association.
Capestany, who is a USPTA Master Professional, teaches how to counter opponents’ strategies in “How to Beat the Moonballer,” scheduled for Saturday, May 12, at noon, and “How to Beat the Aggressive Baseliner,” scheduled for Saturday, May 19, at noon. The third episode, “Secrets to Better Doubles,” will be shown in November.
The three episodes are among the eight featuring professionals selected from across USPTA’s membership that the association is producing for the Tennis Channel for 2012, four total in the spring and four in the fall. The USPTA has more than 15,000 members worldwide.
The content will share with a national audience instruction that young area players receive at the Hope College Tennis Academy every day during the summer. The episodes are based on Capestany’s book “Strategy—How to beat every style of player.” He noted that the same emphasis on how to apply skill effectively is a hallmark of the college’s annual nine-week Tennis Academy, which Capestany leads.
“We’re coaching pretty high-level players and pretty high-level content,” Capestany said. “A lot of what they’ll see in the shows is what we’ll be doing with the kids on the court this summer.”
All three programs were filmed in March at the Houston, Texas, headquarters of the USPTA. In addition to Capestany, they include two of his former student players: Adam Ford, who is now the head pro at the DeWitt Tennis Center, and Tony Tran, who works as a teaching pro in Grand Rapids.
The May 12 episode, “How to Beat the Moonballer,” focuses on countering opponents who deliver high-arcing balls, presenting a variety of tactics that players can employ to disrupt the technique and covering topics including “serve and volley,” “chip and charge,” “drop shot,” “hold your ground,” “using slice” and “sneak attack.” The May 19 episode, “How to Beat the Aggressive Baseliner,” explores how to handle an opponent that attacks with power and pace, demonstrating tactics to stall and frustrate the aggression, covering topics including “moonballing,” “increasing footwork,” “isolating the weakness,” “coming to the net more,” “mixing up the pace,” “serving to the body” and “using more slice.” The November episode is still in production and will feature secrets to better doubles play ranging from high-percentage shot selection to court positioning for better doubles results.
Manager of the six-court DeWitt Tennis Center since the fall of 2003, Capestany is a 30-year veteran of the tennis industry. He is one of only 10 people world-wide that is a Master Professional with both the USPTA and the Professional Tennis Registry (PTR).
In August, he will be inducted into the 2012 Hall of Fame for the Midwest Division of the USPTA, and in February he was named the PTR Member of the Year by “Racquet Sports Industry” magazine. The Midwest Division of the USPTA has honored him multiple other times through the years, including twice as “Midwest Professional of the Year,” twice as “Facility Manager of the Year” and with its “Outstanding Education of the Year” award. He has also been named the “Michigan Pro of the Year” six times by either USPTA or PTR.
He has been published in several industry publications and has been a frequent speaker at professional conferences, and among other activities serves as a master trainer on the TIA’s Cardio Tennis speakers’ team, as a USTA Recreational Coaches Workshop national trainer and as a member of the Wilson speakers’ team. He is also the founder of www.tennisdrills.tv, a video-based site with more than 900 tennis drills and tips that has more than 700 subscribers from around the world.
Capestany has coached hundreds of ranked juniors, including three national champions. In his career, at Hope and previously, his programs have developed more than 180 high school state champions in Michigan.
The college’s Tennis Academy provides instruction according to skill level for players from kindergarten through college-age, and this year will run from Monday, June 11, through Friday, Aug. 10. The younger players, those in kindergarten through sixth grade, participate in a “Quickstart Tennis Academy” at the college’s DeWitt Tennis Center, which in 2010 was named “Public Facility of the Year” by the PTR. The seventh-grade through college-age students this year will be instructed, during daytime and/or evening programs, at the college’s new Vande Poel-Heeringa Stadium Courts, a 12-court facility east of Holland Municipal Stadium scheduled for completion this summer. Additional information about the Tennis Academy is available online at www.hope.edu/resources/tennis/tennisacademy/
Founded in 1927, USPTA strives to raise the standards of the tennis profession while promoting greater awareness of the sport. USPTA offers 70 professional benefits to its members, including certification and professional development.
The USPTA became the first tennis-teaching organization ever to produce and air an educational television series on playing and teaching tennis on the Tennis Channel in 2003. Since then, more than 80 shows have been produced that provide instruction about technique, strategy and other facets of the game. Additional information about “On Court with USPTA,” including show times and how to purchase DVDs of any of the episodes, is available online at www.oncourtwithuspta.com.