Coach's Corner Podcast - Ep. 1 Jeff Tarango

11/30/2022 12:13pm 5 minute read

Coach's Corner Podcast Episode 1- Jeff Tarango

Brian Teacher chats with Coach Jeff Tarango - who was as high as 42 in the world in singles and 10 in doubles. Jeff shares interesting insights growing up as a junior in Southern California with Pete Sampras and Michael Chang, along with coaching Maria Sharapova. 

He also shares a story about reaching the French Doubles finals with Goran Ivanišević.

Listen on all platforms HERE:

PODCAST TRANSCRIPTION: Hi. Welcome to Full Court Tennis Coaches Corner.

I'm Brian Teacher, and our guest today is Jeff

Taurango, ATP Tour coach and former great player.

Jeff played on the Tour for 13 years, and each one

of those 13 years was ranked in the top 100.

He reached the highest ranking of

number 42 in the world.

And Jeff was also quite a great doubles player.

He reached number ten in the world

with the finals, reaching the finals of

the French Open with Goran Ivanisovich.

And he's got a very interesting

story to tell about that.

He also grew up in Southern Cal playing tennis

with the likes of Pete Sampras and Michael Chang.

So he's got some interesting junior insights with that.

He's coached on the tour.

Some of the players that he coached were

Andrei Medvedev, who was a French Open finalist,

reached number four in the world.

He's also coached the Moroccan number one, Eunice Elyanawi,

who was 14 in the world, and he's worked

with the current CEO of the ATP, Andrea Gaudenzi,

along with Southern Cal's, Maria Sharapova.

And let's get into it with Jeff right now.

Hi there. Welcome.


Full Court Tennis Coaches Corner, Brian Teacher and I'm so happy

to have Jeff Tarango here, who has been a great coach

on the ATP Tour and a former great player.

But first, Jeff, I want to get into you growing up

as a junior in SoCal, we both played tennis, grew up

here in SoCal, and it's so different today, trying to teach

these kids how to play from what you and I experienced.

And of course, I grew up in the 70s,

you grew up more in the 80s playing.

And so I want to get into your experiences.

So, so happy to have you here today.

So just please, what was it like

you growing up from Manhattan Beach?

Yeah, well, that's the thing, is there weren't really

ever any great tennis players from Manhattan Beach.

We had a lot of very good social players.

We got very lucky to get a guy named Jeff

Abbey, who was number four amateur out of Kentucky.

And he came in as a coach.

And you can imagine back then, since everything

was amateur, if you're number four in the

country as an amateur, you're ranked pretty high

in the world relatively back then.

So we got really lucky in having him.

He got me, like, a basis.

My mom worked very hard with me.

But then we all have to give

credit to Robert Landsdorp, don't we?

I mean, he facilitated a system where I could go in

and hit with players all day long that don't miss right.

And he had a very strict attitude,

and we can't do that stuff anymore.

We can't be as tough as Robert Lansdorp

was in the it just doesn't float anymore.

He worked you into the ground.

Yeah, that doesn't work so well today.

But in general so was Robert

your first main coach of tennis.

Porter, Howard.

Ken Porter worked under him.

Well, Jeff Abbey?

Abbey was my first coach.

And then Ken Porter worked under Robert.

I wasn't good enough to even get

into the Robert Academy back then.

I mean, you had to be, like, top five

in the country to just get on the courts. Right.

So it was a very different environment

where you had to really push hard.

I had some really cool friends, like Mr.

Blackmore, who sponsored me, to be able to

even go walk into Jack Kramer Club because

it was very exclusive back then.

And I would just literally work you my way up.

Like, I can remember Derek Cristano calling me

and saying, hey, will you come up Kramer

club and play a set with me?

That was like the biggest honor of all

time because that was such a great player.

Come in and say, hey, I'll sponsor you as

a guest if you'll play sets with me. Yeah.

So you were doing a lot of drilling with the clinics.

Were you playing sets? Mostly.

How did you kind of hone your style

of play and develop as a top junior?

Yeah, it's interesting you bring that up

because it's a lot different than now.

Everybody's drilling now.

Everybody's doing cross courts, everybody's doing down lines,

everybody's doing ball machine on the feed.

And we would play a set right when you walked in the

door without warm up and then drill for an hour and a

half and then go back out and play another set.

So we're playing two sets a day, five days

a week, and then going and playing tournaments on

the weekend, where back then it was 256 draws.

Sorry, were you home schooled?

Were you homeschooled?

Two doubles matches on the Saturday, then we'd come back

to the Sunday play, two singles matches, two doubles matches,

and that's just to get to the quarters.

The fields were I remember they were quite large.

So were you at school or were you home schooled?

Because I know today so many kids are home schooled

and I'm not a big fan of being home schooled

with these kids were really all the schools where I

grew up were so close to my house.

My elementary school was one block for me.... watch video for more.


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FullCourtTennis was founded by former '81 Australian Open Singles Champion Brian Teacher, currently an ATP coach. With today's widespread access to technology, Brian wanted to make tennis coaching available and affordable to all. And so the FullCourtTennis app was born. Now tennis players of all levels, from all around the globe can connect directly with world-class tennis coaches to improve their game.



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