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Steve Ginsburg is a tennis professional at Miller Tennis Center. His passion for tennis is well recognized at the club. He has a great following and is well liked and respected for his dedication and expertise to the teaching of tennis.
Nick Marcezin is a good friend of Ginsburg's and has taken lessons from him for the past three years. "Steve started teaching me three years ago when I was a 3.0 player and is a great teacher," Marcezin said. "Recently, I was evaluated by the USTA and my present rating is a 4.0. I owe all of my improved play to Steve. He is not only a great tennis pro. He makes learning to play fun."
Although Ginsburg is a good tennis player and teaching pro, his best sport in high school was baseball. Originally from Syracuse he was All-Central New York at Nottingham High School in baseball, and received a scholarship for the sport to Syracuse University. During his sophomore year he was injured on a play at second base and tore his cartilage. Even though he tried to play through the injury his baseball career was over.
Shortly after, he transferred to the University at Buffalo where he graduated with a teaching degree. After teaching for a few years at Sweet Home High School he realized how much he missed competitive sports. At the age of 33, he took a tennis lesson at the Buffalo Tennis Center from Joe Di Carlo. "I was hooked on the game from that point on," Ginsburg said.
At Sweet Home he became an administrator and varsity baseball and basketball coach and played tennis recreationally. He improved at a rapid rate and started playing in USTA leagues. Russ Crispell, who was the men's tennis coach at UB, greatly helped Ginsburg.
"Russ was a great help to me," Ginsburg said. "He let me work with some of the UB players and was instrumental in helping me learn the game from a technical stand point." Ginsburg got his Professional Tennis Registry from Crispell and became Sweet Home's head tennis coach from 1981-1985 and 1995-2000. He had some great teams and great players during those years.
In 1994, due to his growing reputation as a coach and organizer he formed a high school summer tennis camp in 1994 that continued for many years. The camp would become one of the largest tennis camps ever held in our area. He had over 300 students in the program each summer and would have upwards of 25 tennis pros helping him. "I was fortunate in having a great tennis staff with players from UB and other great area pros," Ginsburg said.
What is the secret to Ginsburg's teaching success? "When I was at Sweet Home, sports was a high priority," Ginsburg said. "I would look for kids who were athletic, big, and strong. "I would teach them the basics and would then team with super tennis players on our team. Fortunately, this strategy worked."
When Ginsburg first took over at Sweet Home, the Panthers had lost 36 straight matches. Three years later his team defeated Williamsville East, handing them their first loss after winning a record 146 consecutive matches in league play. Sweet Home also tied with Williamsville East for the conference title.
A few years ago he was approached by the Buffalo Tennis & Squash club to be an assistant tennis pro; he moved on to teach at the Miller Tennis Center. Since being at the club he has developed one of the largest high school tennis programs in Western New York. "In addition to developing the players' tennis skills we also stress the social part of the game and the camaraderie that the game entails," Ginsburg said.
In addition, Ginsburg also runs a Wednesday and Saturday Adult League for players at the 3.5-5.0 level in both singles, doubles, and mixed doubles. One of the unique aspects of the league play is that players don't have to contact a sub if they can't make it. Ginsburg has set up a mass emailing system that involves getting subs whenever they are needed. Along with teaching, Ginsburg is involved with tennistalkonline.com. The program allows people to try as many demo racquets as they'd like and then order online. Players can demo the racquets at the Miller Tennis Center.
"We are a national company with satellite stores in Buffalo and Tampa," Ginsburg said. In November, we will be opening a store in Dallas, and one in Montreal by New Years."
Tennis Express is the largest mail order tennis company in the United States. "The big difference between us and Tennis Express is that we don't charge to use demos," Ginsburg said.
Ginsburg's expertise, tenacity and enthusiasm is something to behold. He says, "I enjoy everything that I do in tennis, love the people that I work with, seeing my students improve, and feel very fortunate to have the opportunities that are presented to me at Miller Tennis Center."

Correction

In the last column of racket sports it was stated that Russ Tringali was the head pro at Amherst Hills Tennis Club, (Now Miller Tennis Center). Todd Miller was the head pro and Tringali was the assistant pro.

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