Kevin Frye is a tennis pro and tournament director at the Bay Club SF Tennis. He recently became a Tennis Coalition SF board member. He grew up playing tennis in SF and the East Bay and graduated from UC Berkeley. On the court you can find him teaching players to focus on their footwork. Off the court, you might find him at the co-op workshop where he does wordworking to relax.
1. How did you first get interested in playing tennis?
I became hooked on tennis playing with friends at parks around San Francisco and the East Bay when I was younger. I was an athlete and played several sports from middle school to high school. Football was my main sport so I did not compete in tennis in high school as it conflicted with the other sports that I played but I did play with friends who were on the tennis team. I was fortunate enough to have a college roommate who was on the tennis team. I got a lot of practice in college hitting and learning from those players.
2. What’s a typical day like in your job as tennis pro and tournament director?
My typical day is four to eight hours on court, six days a week. I try to group my lessons and clinics all within a block so that I am on the court in one straight period of time. A typical day includes one-hour private lessons where I hit and work on technical skills of the players I am teaching; for an hour I might hit with another tennis pro or do conditioning; from 4 to 6:30 pm I work with Juniors High Performance Development; then come adult clinics and private lessons.
As the tournament director I will make the draws for a particular tournament after the entry period closes; seeding the players, and scheduling the matches with number of courts that are allotted for the tournament. Then I will post the draws. After this process then the actual logistics of the tournament need to be worked out. I manage collecting the entry fees, staffing the tournament desk and coordinating monitoring the matches with the tournament referee. Additionally, I manage ordering the tournament trophies and budget. Generally all of our tournaments take about three days to finish Friday to Sunday.
3. What are some of the most common pointers you give to people when you are teaching tennis lessons?
It really depends on the level of the player I am teaching. The technical skills required for beginners will be different for intermediate and experienced players; however, I do give a lot of pointers about preparation and footwork. All of us can get lazy with our footwork which can result in poor preparation for a particular stroke. If I had to say the number one thing that I address, it probably would be footwork because many of us do not understand how important it is to tennis.
4. How do you spend your time when not at the tennis club? What other interests, hobbies, etc. do you have?
If I am not at the tennis club you will probably find me in the co-op wood shop where I can work on building things with my hands. I like planning a design and creating a prototype and building something out of wood. I am not an expert but I do enjoy working with wood as it is therapeutic for me. I enjoy learning basic coding for computers to keep my mind active but nothing too serious. Additionally, I play the guitar and hike/ski/snowboard around California whenever I can.
5. You recently joined the Board of the Tennis Coalition SF. What was your inspiration/goals in joining?
I am all in for anything to do with tennis. When I learned about the Tennis and Learning Center (TLC) and had the chance to work with a program involving kids, education and tennis, I wanted to be a part of that process. I grew up playing all kinds of sports around SF and those were some of the best times in my youth. I believe that some of those coaches, people I met, and life lessons that I learned played a part in getting my degree from UC Berkeley. Those life lessons that you get from tennis and other sports can be very helpful for a young person trying to find their way. If I can help with kids having positive experiences and help their educational development as well, I would be very fortunate to be a part of that process.