Laura Bernstein-Kassirer grew up playing every sport offered as a child. At the age of 12 1/2 she moved to Florida and was introduced to tennis. Laura quickly fell in love with tennis and spent every minute she could on the courts. After one month, she started competing in jr tournaments and became one of the top juniors in the world by age 18. Laura was All-American both years before turning pro after her sophomore year in 1983 where she held a ranking at around 100 in the world. Laura has been happily married since 1989 and has 2 grown daughters.
When her oldest daughter entered Kindergarten, in 1997, Laura began offering after school tennis classes to the children attending Woodland Hills elementary school. She then branched out to other schools in their neighborhood and taught all classes herself. Laura soon realized that tennis grew in popularity wherever she taught classes at schools and that many kids wanted to start playing outside of school. She realized that she needed to hire more coaches in order to offer as many kids as possible the opportunity to play tennis at school and to introduce them to quality coaches in their own neighborhood.
Laura has added Soccer and Basketball enrichment classes at the request of schools in an effort in to help all kids find a sport they can become passionate about playing. Through these classes Laura achieves her goal of helping kids find the sport they enjoy; encourage them to play throughout their lifetime and build their self-esteem through hard work and success in athletics.
Incorporating Point of Contact Training
“I am always striving to provide the highest quality grassroots tennis programs for kids. I believe by incorporating Billie Jean King’s Eye Coach into our curriculum, that we give kids a much better chance to be successful immediately. Both my coaches and players have embraced the Eye Coach. My coaches feel like they have an assistant coach out on the playground now. It incorporates great into many drills as well as acting as a station for the class to utilize when rotating groups during drills. Our coaches are able to work with kids more easily on technique. We have found that students are not focused on anything other than listening to the coach’s instruction. Since the ball does not fly away, kids are only worrying about how they are hitting the ball.
We also don’t have to worry about kids swinging and missing balls anymore. This can be so frustrating for a child. But now they can start making contact with a still ball on the Eye Coach. Once my coaches have taught technique they move onto having kids focus on Point of Contact Training. The Eye Coach really teaches each child when to swing and gives them immediate feedback when they are early or late. We use it now for warming up for all of our classes and this gets kids really concentrating on focusing on the ball. This helps the kids during the live ball drills and makes their experience much more fun.
I personally believe that any coach who works with Billie Jean King’s Eye Coach will want them for themselves and will immediately see the benefit of utilizing the Eye Coach in their classes. I am hoping many parents will purchase one for their child so that they can practice at home and be even more successful in class.
Purchasing 50 Eye Coaches to start was a huge investment for me, but I believe it was worth every penny. Many of the Academies who provide coaches for my classes have started ordering them for their own program, such as the Kim Grant Tennis Academy in Palo Alto. Their coaches were using them in several classes and she just ordered 6 for her Academy. I have had several other coaches inquire already.
I am more motivated than ever to provide After School Tennis Enrichment classes all over the country with the Eye Coach. I am expecting to have close to 10,000 new kids come out of my programs this year. I am also in the process of looking for more world class academies and coacheswho are interested in growing the game in their neighborhood.
I am confident that if we work together at the grassroots level, we can positively affect the future of tennis in America.”
To learn more about Laura Kassirer and Kassirer Sports, click here.