Taconic Sport and Racquet with Simon Gale


About Simon Gale

Simon was born in Melbourne, on the East Coast of Australia and grew up in Perth on the West Coast of Australia. From a young age, every weekend, Simon and his family could be found at their local tennis centre. This exposure to tennis grew his passion for the sport. His career coaching tennis began helping his local tennis coach with camps, during the Perth summer. When he was in his early 20’s, he started his own Tennis Coaching business “SG Tennis” and secured a tenure for a highly regarded tennis centre in Perth, where he managed and taught tennis throughout the Australian Spring to Fall. During the Australian winters, he would head to the USA where he was a counselor at camps in the New England region for a number of years. In 1999 Simon relocated from Australia to the USA.

During Simon’s time in the US, he has held many Director of Tennis roles, including Beaver Brook Tennis Club, Redding Country Club, Yonkers Tennis Centre. In 2010 Simon was promoted to General Manager of Yonkers Tennis Centre and his career flourished as a result. The US Tennis Industry has recognised Simon with awards for Youth Provider of the Year, and Facility Manager of the Year and has been invited to participate in prestigious events such as the White House Easter Egg roll.

Simon became a part owner and General Manager of Taconic Sport and Racquet in 2015. When asked why he became part of the TSR Family he said “TSR offers me the opportunity to take a good club with dedicated members and turn it into a great club. The opportunity is huge in this area with the number of families continuing to grow, and I think the sport of tennis is the greatest game. When you combine a great facility with passionate people delivering an amazing sport, only good things can happen.”

When Simon first took over the club, he said that they embraced the concept of “we are more than just tennis.” While the physical facility obviously offers more than just tennis, the saying comes from what the facility does for your life! “We are in the life-changing business and use tennis and other activities as the vehicle for change. I have seen it first hand for over 25 years. The sport impacts people in a unique way that improves their lives. This is important to understand because once you get started and set foot on that tennis court, there is no turning back……you get hooked.”

When asked what is it like to work in a club that seriously embraces community partnership and activism Simon said that is something he learned working at Yonkers Tennis Center. “I saw how much “giving back” can help the local community. We are fortunate to have a facility like Taconic Sport and Racquet here in Dutchess County, it can enhance people’s lives, not just the lesson taker or USTA player, but more importantly the young person who is discovering what they are interested in. When you come to a place that embraces kids and wants to give them the best experience possible, the outcome is normally very positive. We have the ability to change the path a child may be headed down because the sport of tennis requires so many great character traits.”

 

Incorporating Point of Contact Training

“In a short time I have seen how a simple refocusing of what we are teaching can influence our students. We have an Eye Coach on every teaching court and the pro’s are required to use it during their junior clinics in a variety of ways. We have had fun experimenting with how to make the best use of it in our junior and adult lessons. It can be used as a station during a clinic, part of a fed ball drill or cardio tennis exercise in addition to being the perfect tool for a private lesson.

I have found that people really respond to the “feeling” of hitting the ball cleanly but the most successful outcomes have been combining it with video. I have used the ipad to capture the before and after shots and players are shocked to see the difference. Until they see it I believe we are just “telling” them what they are doing wrong, after the use of video the impact is greater and the result is more people wanting to work on their games and that means potential lessons.

-Simon Gale

To learn more about Simon and Taconic Racquet Club, click here.