Re: Stephen Peterson - International Tennis Coach of Extraordinary Ability
Dear Sir or Madam,
I met Stephen when he first came to the United Kingdom in 2004.
I extensively witnessed him training his coaching staff of around 13 coaches in all areas of tennis performing skills, targeting some of the top juniors on the European continent for the summer period.
Tennis First Ltd was formed with the goal of bringing foreign expertise to the United Kingdom with the aim of helping to produce tennis players capable of successfully competing at the London 2012 Olympic Games.
In the summer of 2004, I visited the world famous Tennis Academy Sanchez Casal in Barcelona, Spain, where they are known for producing many world ranked tennis players. These include household names (in the tennis world) such as Daniela Hantchova of Slovakia, ranked 15 in the world, Svetlana Kuznetsova, ranked 5 in the world, and former number 1 in the world, Arantxa Sanchez Vicario. My aim was to find a capable Head Coach to employ back to England that could lead our team of coaches both by conducting workshops so as to educate local coaches on a proven international system, and at the same time develop an Elite Coaching Program for our Top National Juniors.
While in Spain I was not able to find a suitable coach to lead our company. However, after witnessing Stephen Peterson in action for several days in England, and then a few months later at Hamel Hempstead Indoor Centre, it was very clear that Stephen was at a level far superior even to any of those top coaches at the Spanish Academy.
There were actually some very good standard coaches in Spain, but Stephen was the overall package. His on court advanced coaching skills were in a class of their own, and his management and organisational skills were immaculate.
I then returned back to the United Kingdom, brought Stephen on board, and he proceeded with implementing a very successful coaching section. As a result, our coaches benefited greatly, with the junior development program seeing amazing improvements from our National Junior Players. Not only is Stephen a great player’s coach, as I discuss more below, but he is truly a coach’s coach as well.
Players as a whole were much more aggressive but were still managing to play high-level percentage tennis. Improvisation of their racket preparation and feet adjustment were so well drilled that this became almost automation against higher ranked players.
The improvements were immaculate and what were so astonishing were the players’ intensity levels and concentration spans while in pressure situations. The players’ mobility during challenging situations for tournament play also played a major role in some of the outstanding results that were achieved.
Stephen also played a major role in developing my son Matthew’s tennis skills to an exceptional level, whereas before he had been struggling at a lower level. Matthew’s most notable improvement was his ability to focus and concentrate while competing against opponents of higher skill levels. He was able to concentrate better during points and maintain positive rituals that enabled him to beat players of higher rankings and ratings. After 3 months of this intense, fully structured private training under Stephen Peterson, Matthew was offered a full tennis scholarship by Gosling High Performance Academy, which is presently a National Training Centre for Great Britain.
World Class Attributes:
Stephen is a phenomenal and gifted tennis coach with an exceptional eye for pointing out errors in player’s games and making the necessary technical corrections almost instantly.
I very often travel to Europe with my son Matthew while he is competing in various European junior tennis events in Spain, Italy and France. This gives me the opportunity to be around some of the top coaches and to this date I have not come across a more complete coach than Stephen.
He is truly a world-class tennis coach of the highest calibre, a view that is shared by many other parents of players.
His in-depth knowledge of the game in all its advance areas and on court intensity mixed in with his passion, drive and positive aggressive attitude places him on a level way above any of the National Coaches at present in Great Britain and is definitely one of the handful of top coaches in all of Europe.
It is a privilege to offer this high praise to Stephen, as it has been a wonderful and educational experience meeting him and having his help with the company, as well as for the remarkable way that he turned Matthew’s tennis game around.
I truly believe that any country that Stephen is afforded the opportunity to settle in will find him an asset and I know and believe that he will one day coach a Grand Slam Singles Champion.
Re: Stephen Peterson
International Tennis Coach
Dear Sir or Madam,
To whom it may concern
I have known Stephen Peterson for the past 12 months as I have been retaining his coaching services from April 2006 for the purpose of coaching my son Alexander.
My son Alex, who is now 19 years of age, was selected to attend the Loughborough National Tennis Academy at the age of 13 years for 2 years (1999 – 2001). During this time the Top National Coaches in the country had coached him.
National Training Centre with International Recognition:
The Loughborough National Tennis Academy has been the Top Coaching and Excellence Centre in Great Britain and has developed some of the best national players who have since gone on to be world ranked. Players who have passed through the National Academy at Loughborough include Jamie Baker (currently ranked in the top 5 in Britain, a member of the British Davis Cup team, and ranked 442 in the world on the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) Tour),
Hannah Grady (ranked 548 in the world on the WTA at the age of 17, and as a junior ranked inside the top 10 in the junior world rankings).
However, after having my son pass through the top coaches in Great Britain at the Loughborough National Training Centre from the age of 13 years, I realized that Alex was not moving in the direction that would allow him to be successfully competing on the senior circuit.
A quality of coach far superior to any of the National Coaches at Loughborough:
I then engaged Stephen, who came highly recommended, to further develop my son’s abilities and talents to Higher National and International standards. From the first on-court work out session with Alex, it was evident that Stephen was in a league and class way above any of the National Coaches based at Loughborough.
Stephen possesses a unique ability to bring about outstanding results in players in a very short space of time. This was very evident with the transformation of my son Alex, as well as a few of the players that we knew of who he was also coaching while in the United Kingdom. Stephen transformed Alex from a top 15 national juniors to successfully competing on the British Tour International Events.
Advance court awareness and periodisation:
Stephen was able to train Alex to an exceptionally high intensity level on the practice court with numerous drilling structures and patterns where, periodisation was the main focus, allowing Alex to peak at the right time just prior to competition.
Specific ways in which Alex was transformed: Advance Training Methodology
Stephen employed a system that he invented called the “3 PILLAR SYSTEM” which is based on P.Z.T. - Progressional Zonal Training. This provides a fundamentally sound foundation that makes the overall development of advanced players to attain world-ranking status rapid and successful.
Stephen developed and implemented an on-court and off-court training program that targeted the main areas that Alex needed to make the switch from a junior style of play to the senior game.
Basically, Alex’s groundstrokes have always had a lot of spin, so Stephen worked on having him execute flatter strokes, hence giving his opponents less time to prepare.
The program paid specific attention to the addition of advanced stroking production from the baseline and inside the baseline, which enabled Alex to take the ball extremely early and cut down the preparation time of his opponents.
Perfecting the basics: Error Reduction (through dead & live ball drilling situations)
Error detection and correction for strokes and movement formed the basis for the first step of improving and enhancing Alex’s stroking skills. This step covered the baseline, midcourt and net position (first and second volley positions) mixing in with all the various footwork patterns, which ensured the correct muscle memory developed.
Most importantly during this stage Alex continually experienced the different variations of ball feeds so that one-dimensional hitting is not developed or reinforced.
Technique and repetition for all tennis strokes and movements was the main focus of this stage allowing proper muscle memory to be developed and enhanced.
Drills were very high paced and high intensive and played an important part of developing and enhancing Alex’s mental state and cardiovascular fitness level.
Rallying skills: (turning it into effective and constructive hitting)
During this stage Alex continually focused on understanding his court and how the dimensions changed as he moved into various directions and positions on the court.
Understanding the comfort zone and the challenge zone of the court was continually drilled during rallying situations so that offensive hitting was achieved.
85% of Alex’s coaching and development during this stage focused on simulating actual match play situations utilising live ball rallying formats along with commanding the court with his own game style. Alex was encouraged continually on understanding his game style and focused on it during match play situations so as to develop and build his muscle memory that successfully stood up under high-pressure match play situations.
The main objective was for Alex to maintain a solid practice court regime so that transition to more high-pressure situations was easier to manage; developing and mastering mental match play rituals with the aim of building a stronger state of mind during high-pressure levels was smoother.
Periodising prior to competition: (reaching his peak at the right time)
During this competition base stage Alex’s performances were continually evaluated so that confidence was gained as proper shot selection based on the score was improved.
He had a tremendous turn around playing high percentage tennis utilising the dimensions of the court so that analysing when to attack an opponent’s stroke or movement became automatic.
Points, sets and matches was then the focus with the aim of focusing on strategy, tactics and incorporating them in an effective manner and at the same time the construction of points from the serve and return of serve.
During this stage Alex was continually encouraged to focus on improving and developing his game together with setting and achieving his short term and long-term goals.
Tennis specific movements and explosive steps: (developing fast twitch muscles)
Extensive overall body conditioning / fitness and tennis specific movement programme along with plyometric training & dynamic stretching techniques was incorporated and conducted after all his daily tennis sessions.
Stephen implemented the latest in training equipment and concepts that were presently used at the top academies worldwide.
Alex’s physical build was a fraction off what it should be in order for him to withstand the force of the balls from senior players, so a complete high performance diet was provided along with a 3 day gym work program. This in the space of 3 months enabled Alex to perform at higher intensity levels for longer period of times on the practice court, and resulted in Alex being able to make a smoother transition from the junior game to the senior game.
Mental transformation and enhancement:
Confidence was always a weakness of Alex, especially as he was now preparing for competition on the senior circuit. The mental toughness on-court program proved to be a great success as Alex started to identify more positively with his emotions during actual competition as well as on the practice court.
Again at the National Academy this was a main weakness of Alex’s game that the National Coaches could not improve but in the space of 2 months Stephen was able to provide the insight and understanding that provided Alex with a solid foundation that dramatically improved his positive mental attitude and state of mind for successful tournament play.
What made Stephen stand out over the top coaches at the National Tennis Academy as well as Great Britain is his ability to target the finest of details in players overall game style make-up whether it be the technical, tactical, mental toughness or strategic. He almost immediately can spot flaws and make instant corrections to players’ games that the coaches at the National Academy could not make.
Selected to represent Great Britain:
Prior to start of the coaching program with Stephen, Alex was ranked outside of the top 25 in Great Britain. It was a goal to get Alex’s ranking within the top 15 in Great Britain so that he could be selected to represent Great Britain in France.
Stephen brought about immaculate results in getting Alex to make a massive jump in his ranking by 10 spots, to where he was given the distinguished honor of being one of the top 5 male players selected to represent Great Britain at the IC Great Britain team v IC France match that took place in France at the Racing Club de France, Paris August 2006 (this would be the equivalent of a Junior Davis Cup match).
Achieving this great privilege was something Alex had never been able to achieve under the supervision and coaching program of the country’s top national coaches.
Shropshire County Close summer championships August 2006:
Alex then recorded a historic singles title win against Ben White who was the top seed and a 2.2 rated player. Ben White was previously a National player with a ranking of top 5 in Great Britain.
Prior to this outstanding performance, Alex had never beaten Ben White in competition since he was the age of 13.
Alex finished his junior career off with his highest ever-junior ranking - inside the top 15.
British Tour Success:
Alex had a great start to 2007, as he won 3 rounds of qualifying and advanced to the second round in Billesley, Birmingham (British Tour January 2007). His second tournament was in Bolton (British Tour January 2007), where he reached the second round main draw, eventually losing to a player ranked in the top 600 in the world. The third tournament was at Sutton Tennis Academy (UK Men’s Super Series) London where he won through all 4 rounds, eventually winning the tournament.
During the last 6 months Alex has recorded wins over players as high as 2.2 and for his outstanding results was promoted to a rating of 3.1 and is now ranked nationally in the top 70 men’s.
At present: “Stephen is in a class way above Britain’s Top National Coaches”
Alex presently trains full time at Wrexham, a Top National High Performance Centre, which again consist of some of the best National Coaches in the country with world ranked players such as
Jane O’ Donohue (ranked 6 in Great Britain 370 in the world on the WTA), Jordan McCulloch (Under 16 number 1 in Great Britain), Maniel Bains (Under 18 number 9 in Great Britain), John McGowan (world ranked men’s 1100 ATP, top 75 Great Britain and Davis cup player for Ireland).
However, whenever Stephen is in the United Kingdom I employ his coaching services for Alex, as the current National Coaches based at Wrexham are not of the same world-class caliber standard as Stephen.
Truly a world class coach and person of the highest standard:
Stephen’s understanding of the advanced game of tennis goes way beyond the obvious and anything that I as a parent have ever been exposed to in Great Britain. He is a technical genius when it comes to error detection and correction as I witnessed him make changes in my son’s game and within a few weeks made his strokes that much more effective was truly amazing. His technical understanding of implementing advanced stroking techniques is superior to any coach I have ever come across in Great Britain.
The awareness factor that he instilled in Alex on how to break down opponents of varying styles is truly a gift, along with his positive attitude and the way he motivates, makes him one of the best coaches I have ever seen both in England and on the European continent.
Stephen is a perfectionist and in all the time that he coached Alex has never given less than 110% effort, energy, intensity and commitment. He is a perfect role model for children and teenagers.
I truly believe that any country, tennis governing body or tennis academy will be extremely fortunate to have such an individual that is dedicated to absolute excellence and impeccability in his profession, and who has the ability to powerfully influence the people he interacts with in a positive uplifting way.
Alex has been extremely fortunate to have had the opportunity to be under the direction of Stephen’s systematic and progressive advance coaching program and we wish Stephen every success in the future as we truly believe that he will reach any goal he puts his mind to.
Geoff P. & Family
Re: Stephen Peterson
Dear Sir / madam,
The purpose of this letter is to recommend Stephen Peterson as a world-class tennis coach. I have known Stephen for the past 6 months while witnessing him coach his 8-year-old daughter and since then we have grown to develop a solid relationship.
I have also had the opportunity of extensively witnessing him coach juniors of every level and truly believe that he is one of the best coaches I have ever seen on a tennis court.
I have also had the opportunity to hit with his 8-year-old daughter Tameka who is a tremendous talent and could be a future tennis star. Only a coach with in depth and extensive coaching ability such as Stephen can train an 8 year old to hit the way his daughter does.
Stephen is a rare talent and my company Advance Tennis Management Inc. that offers tennis coaching and management services hopes to avail of Stephen’s coaching and management services in the future.
I believe that he will be an invaluable asset in making us play a solid role in developing tennis at every level in the Southern California area.
Having been around some of the top coaches both as a player and as a coach in Australia and around various parts of the world Stephen’s talent is rare and truly a gift.
Stephen has aspirations of settling long term here in the United States and I truly believe that he will be an asset for further developing world-class tennis players here in the United States.
Dear Sir / Madam,
I have known Stephen for the past 2 years when he first came to the Connecticut area. During this time I have had the opportunity to both witness and conduct tennis clinics together with Stephen.
Stephen created a huge impact among all the Advanced ladies USTA – United States Tennis Association Teams as well as many of the Top Nationally Ranked Juniors in the Connecticut and New York area.
Being the Head Tennis Professional at one of the top clubs in the country it allows me the opportunity to interview, hire and access some of the best coaches in the country and Stephen is probably one of the best I have ever seen on a tennis court. As a person he is extremely honest, sincere, very hard working and sets a standard that I wish more coaches in this country would follow.
Stephen’s daughter Tameka Samantha is also probably one of the most talented 10 year olds in the world at the moment and is a fantastic prospect for young upcoming future tour players.
I would like to see Stephen continue to work here in the United States, as I believe that he is an asset to any employer or Junior Tennis Program and I consider him definitely one of the top coaches in the country.
To whom it may concern:
The purpose of this letter is to recommend Mr. Stephen Peterson as a world-class tennis instructor and manager.
The Yacht Club is considered one of the best in Asia and one of the finest in the world, retained Stephen Peterson to conduct an extensive and comprehensive junior tennis program that would cater for players of all ages and abilities.
During this period, he also conducted a very successful adult instructional program that again catered to all ability levels. The adult programs were very much in demand and Stephen implemented the N.T.R.P. (National Tennis Rating Program) to more effectively rate and grade all adults that came into the programs. This system proved to be highly effective and accurate when adults were placed in their respective daily singles and doubles strategy and drill clinics.
Our ladies and men’s league teams had the best results ever during competition after having gone through the adult development model that Stephen had implemented.
Stephen possesses great abilities both on and off the court. On the court, he is a talented coach and since he travelled extensively, he was adept at meeting the myriad needs of our international clientele. Stephen is honest, well mannered and disciplined and displays a high level of integrity. Though a young man, Stephen displays the maturity of a much more senior coach.
Our members, as well as myself, consider Stephen an excellent coach and a world-class tennis teacher.
His ability to budget, market and manage the entire program along with total supervision of the other coaches was exceptional which in turn increased our tennis memberships by 50%. He easily got along with yacht club members and our employees outside of the tennis program. Stephen and his academy exceeded our expectations. It was a pleasure working with him.
It is my privilege to recommend Stephen Peterson to any world-class facility for the development and implementation of a complete tennis program. We wish him every success in any future endeavor.
Milton C. F.