In this episode
On the 148th episode of the GreatBase Tennis podcast, Steve Smith talks with Stuart Van Horn. They talk about the playing and teaching career of Stuart’s father, Welby Van Horn. His record as a player and teacher is nothing short of elite.
In his era, Welby played against the best and beat the best. In 1939 at the age of 19, he was the youngest US Open finalist until Pete Sampras broke the record. His playing career was cut short by World War II and an asthmatic condition, yet he played professionally for a decade and was in the top ten in the world numerous times.
Following his playing career, he taught tennis on four courts in San Juan, Puerto Rico and only taught the members’ children. In the 1960s, he developed more US junior national champions than the state of Florida. He created his own systematic approach which was primarily based on balance.
Tennis leaders around the world should embrace Welby’s approach to starting beginning players. If so, more entry levels players would stay with tennis, and, the game of tennis would enjoy increased participation.