Long Island Tennis Magazine and New York Tennis Magazine have assembled an incredible slate of speakers for the Second Annual New York Tennis Expo, set for Sunday, June 1 at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows, N.Y. Both Speaker Sessions will be headlined by world-renowned Tennis Coach Nick Bollettieri. Space will be limited for these Sessions, and bracelets will be given out for those looking to attend the panels on a first-come, first-serve basis on the day of the Expo. Attendees will be able to sign up and get their bracelets at the registration table. Please arrive early at the event to secure your spot for the Speaker Sessions, as space will be sure to fill up quickly. Doors will open and the Expo begins at 10:30 a.m.
Please register online for the New York Tennis Expo at www.2014nytennisexpo.eventbrite.com.
The following is the program of events for the Sunday, June 1 event (program is subject to change):
11:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m. Speaker Session #1: The Road to College Scholarships
►Headline Speaker: Nick Bollettieri
►Panel Speakers: Jay Harris, Lonnie Mitchel, Eric Rebhuhn & Chris Tasso
1:30 p.m.-3:00 p.m. Speaker Session #2: Taking Your Game to the Next Level With Special Q&A With Nick Bollettieri
►Headline Speaker: Nick Bollettieri
►Panel Speakers: Steve Kaplan, Lawrence Kleger, Whitney Kraft, Xavier Luna & Sam Miller
Speaker Bios ...
Nick Bollettieri is one of the most influential people in the world of tennis, and a legend who has transcended the sport. In 1978, he founded the Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy, now known as the IMG Academy Bollettieri Tennis Program, in Bradenton, Fla. IMG Academy was the first full-time tennis boarding school to combine intense training on the court, with a custom-designed academic curriculum. What was once a program of primarily on-court training, has evolved into a multi-faceted approach which includes blending technical and strategic on-court training with specialized performance physical training and mental conditioning. The Bollettieri approach is designed not only to build athletes on the court, but more importantly, prepare them for a successful life off the court as well. It was this proven method that Nick used to coach 10 number one players in the world, including Andre Agassi, Boris Becker, Jim Courier, Martina Hingis, Jelena Jankovic, Marcelo Rios, Monica Seles, Maria Sharapova, and Venus and Serena Williams, as well as a multitude of other world-class players, including Tommy Haas, Anna Kournikova, Jimmy Arias and Nicole Vaidisova, to name a few. IMG Academy quickly became synonymous with tennis excellence, and its coaches and students continue to reflect Nick’s passion for excellence and the game.
Jay Harris is general manager of Sportime Roslyn and works as a consultant in the college search process. Jay was the head men’s tennis coach at Brown University for eight years prior to moving to New York. He left Brown in 2010 as the most successful coach in the 100-plus year history of the school’s program, having led the team to its highest national ranking ever (33), to two consecutive Ivy League Titles, and to seven consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances. In 2005, Harris was named the Northeast Region Coach of the Year and was a finalist for the National Coach of the Year Award. Jay coached five singles players and 15 different doubles teams to the national rankings, including one All-American team. One of his players recently advanced to his second consecutive Wimbledon quarterfinal appearance, having been ranked in the top 50 on the ATP Tour. Before Brown, Harris coached at Bowling Green State University, where one of his players was Sportime’s own regional director of tennis, Mike Kossoff. At Bowling Green, Harris was named the 2002 Mid-American Conference Coach of the Year after leading his squad to MAC Titles in 2000 and 2002. A former successful collegiate player at the University of Cincinnati, Jay moved to Miami University where he was an assistant women’s tennis coach, while earning his master’s degree in 1996 with a concentration in sports psychology. In addition to coaching many of the nation’s top tennis players, Jay has also worked with many athletes as a Peak Performance Consultant to enhance psychological skills, such as expectation control, visual imagery, anxiety regulation, constructive self-talk and goal-setting.
Steven Kaplan is the owner of Bethpage Park Tennis Center, as well as the director of Reebok Academy for New York City Parks Foundation. Over the last 35 years, Steve has been the long-time coach of more than 500 nationally-ranked junior players, 14 state high school champions, two NCAA Division 1 Singles Champions, and numerous touring professionals and prominent coaches. Steve's students have been awarded in excess of $7 million in college scholarships.
A native New Yorker, Lawrence Kleger is director of the John McEnroe Tennis Academy, and is recognized as one of the top developmental coaches in the U.S. He is a past recipient of the Tennis Professional of the Year Award in the USTA/Eastern Section/Long Island Region. Lawrence is also the personal coach of Noah Rubin, who trains at the John McEnroe Tennis Academy and who has been Lawrence's student since the age of seven. Noah is a highly-ranked American tennis prospect and reached a career-best number six ITF junior world ranking at the age of 16. Lawrence’s students have won countless national and regional championships and 18 USTA Eastern Year-End Sportsmanship Awards.
Since 2007, Whitney Kraft has been the director of tennis at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center and director of player operations for the U.S. Open. Previously, he was director of tennis for the City of Fort Lauderdale Park & Recreation Department (1998-2007). He was a 1983 Singles All-American for Florida Atlantic University, and inducted into their inaugural Athletic Hall of Fame class in 2006. Whitney has been the tournament director for many prestigious events, including the National Public Parks Tennis Championships (2007), ITF World Championships (2002), the inaugural U.S. Open National Sectional Playoffs (2010), USTA Boys 14 National Clay Court Championships (2000-2007) and the USTA National Open Clay Court, and Indoor Championships (1998-present).
Xavier Luna is the director of junior tennis for the Advantage All-City Junior Tennis Programs. He has more than 30 years of experience in tennis, commencing as a ranked junior. Xavier was the director of junior programs at Stadium Racquet Club, the owner and founder of Metro Tennis Academy, and has held many other positions in the tennis industry. He inspires players with his love of tennis and possesses the professional skills to keep campers returning year after year to the All-City Junior Tennis Programs. Xavier is a USPTR- and P1 USPTA-Certified Teaching Professional.
Born and raised in Queens, N.Y., there were not many outlets to express Sam Miller’s drive for his evolution and progression as a person. However, he was able to find his outlet through the hard-nosed basketball courts that were filled with raw talent and potential. Sam’s ambition and positive mentality led to numerous recruitments from prep schools recruiting him for multiple sports and his academics. Sam made many honor rolls despite feeling under-stimulated in school. Prep school in Virginia was where he learned how to truly find meaning and understanding in difficult situations and to create a positive and progressive spirit, no matter what he faced. This early implementation of discipline, positive action, and new realizations and awareness about life truly helped him form ideas about self-betterment, self-development and growth of not only the "self," but the "collective effort" of others with the same mindset and passion towards overall wellness. Sam started a business based upon his beliefs, passions, and overall lifestyle, and ProgressiveWellnessLLC came into existence. ProgressiveWellnessLLC provides mental guidance, both individually and in group settings, via daily/weekly discussions, physical training to all age groups and physical levels, and meal preparation to athletes of all levels.
Lonnie Mitchel is head men’s and women’s tennis coach at SUNY Oneonta. Lonnie was named an assistant coach to Team USA for the 2013 Maccabiah Games in Israel for the Grand Master Tennis Division. Mitchel worked privately as a coach and teaching professional on Long Island for 25 years and is certified by the USPTA as a Level 1 Coach and instructor, this is the highest level that can be attained by the USPTA. He also ran tennis facilities on Long Island and owned his own Summer Adult Tennis Camp in the 1990s. He coordinated many youth and adult tennis programs and teams, as well as coached adult travel teams in the Long Island Region. Mitchel continues to write for Long Island Tennis Magazine and New York Tennis Magazine as a featured and contributing columnist where his article(s) have been distributed at the U.S. Open Tennis Championships every summer.
With more than 100 career wins and the 2011 Big East Coach of the Year Award under his belt, head men's tennis coach Eric Rebhuhn has solidified himself as one of the most successful coaches in St. John's tennis history, winning the Big East Championship during the 2014 campaign. Prior to arriving at St. John's, Rebhuhn spent four seasons as the head coach of both the men's and women's tennis programs at the University of Northern Iowa. During his last season, the women's team was ranked as high as 68th nationally. Eric played tennis for four years at Concordia College in New York, winning more than 150 matches. Rebhuhn continues to compete at a high level, as he has been consistently ranked number one or two in the East in the 25-and-Over and 30-and-Over Divisions over the last five years. A Great Neck, N.Y., native, Eric earned his BS in psychology from Concordia in 1993 while on a tennis scholarship. He earned his master's degree in physical education with a specialization in sports psychology at the University of Northern Iowa.
Chris Tasso coached four seasons at Queens College as assistant coach from 2008-2012 and was in charge of recruiting top student-athletes. He helped the Queens College Knights to four consecutive NCAA Division II Championships Round-of-16 appearances, and was bestowed with the 2011 Intercollegiate Tennis Association Division II East Region Assistant Coach of the Year Award. Additionally, Chris has coached nationally-ranked junior players and was a four-year starter (1999-2003) at Queens College. He won MVP and Most Improved praise from his team at various points in his career. The Astoria, Queens native came to Flushing after a standout career at St. John’s Prep in Astoria, N.Y. While there, he won a Catholic High School Athletic Association (CHSAA) title during his four years as a starter for head coach David Flood on the men’s tennis team.