Saturday, November 27, 2021

Welcome: Listen and Learn



Wayne Clark

Welcome to Coach Wayne’s Corner! I would like to introduce myself. My name is Wayne Clark (aka “Coach Wayne”), and I am honored to have the opportunity to write articles related to the sports of tennis, pickleball and racquetball for the Coastal Breeze News.

I am originally from Houston, Texas, and I have been a career professional tennis instructor for over 23 years. I have been the tennis instructor at the Marco Island Racquet Center since 2001, and offer certified, professional tennis instruction to all levels of players.

In addition we also now offer instruction in the very popular and growing sport of pickleball. I established the “City Kids” juniors’ tennis program at the Racquet Center in 2001.

Over the years, through my guidance and instruction, I have seen an entire generation of Marco Island kids acquire the skills of tennis and go on to participate on middle school, high school and college teams. The program is now known as “Island Kids.”

The Marco Island Racquet Center is a USTA sponsored facility, which offers tennis, pickleball and racquetball. The Racquet Center has six Har-Tru clay courts, two hard courts, five pickleball courts and two racquetball courts. We have daily activities for all levels of players, including round robins, clinics and private lessons, which are open to the public. Instruction designed for players of all ages from beginners to tournament players is available daily.

The Island Kids Juniors Tennis program, which now also includes pickleball, runs year round.

The Racquet Center also provides racquet stringing and gripping services. We are open to the public 7 days a week, and we welcome visitors and vacationers to sign up in our game finder book. We have daily court rental time available, as well as yearly memberships.

Listen and learn.

Tennis is one of the few sports where you can learn a lot from listening to the commentators on TV. Tennis commentators, for the most part, are retired top-level world champion players or coaches. The difference with watching and listening to tennis, as opposed to other sports, is that you only have two players competing in the match, whereas in other sports the commentary is geared towards a whole team.

So as a tennis player, good, bad or ugly, on any level of the game (and we have all been there), there is much you can learn from listening to the commentators.

While we might not have the talent or ability to strike the ball with as much power, spin or control as Federer, Djokovic or Serena, we can learn from the strategies and choices these players make during competition. Today’s tennis commentators do a wonderful job of translating the strategical game plans and mental and emotional conquering processes which are utilized on a professional level of the game. This knowledge can be transposed and effectively applied to all levels of the game.

The U. S. Open is on through September 13, and will be televised live daily on ESPN and ESPN 2. This provides a great opportunity to not only see the best players in the world competing and performing at the top of their game, but to maybe pick up a few free pointers and improve your own game. So watch, listen and learn.


Wayne Clark is a certified professional tennis instructor with over 23 years experience coaching players on all levels of the game. Wayne is also qualified in pickleball instruction. He has been the head instructor at The Marco Island Racquet Center since 2001. The Racquet Center offers clinics, private and group lessons for both tennis and pickleball. Coach Wayne’s Island Kids Tennis juniors program runs year round and has classes for players from kindergarten through high school. Contact Coach Wayne by email at, by phone or text at 239-450-6161, or visit his website at




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