Teaching Pro Spotlight – Kevin Jackson and Mitch Bridge
Longtime friends Kevin Jackson and Mitch Bridge recently had the opportunity to become business partners and both realizing their dream of operating a full-time boarding tennis academy at a first-rate facility in Southern California.
Just two months ago Jackson-Bridge Tennis Academy debuted at the Los Caballeros Sports Village, and the pair of veteran Southern California teaching pros currently have 15 full-time students attending the academy at the Fountain Valley facility.
“We are looking to grow and would like to have 30 students enrolled by January,” said Bridge, who will still operate the SC Tennis Academy with USC men’s coach Peter Smith as an after-school program at El Dorado Park in Long Beach. “That’s still going gang-busters after school. We just took the full-time component out of it. Parents want a one-stop shop and a facility that offers it all, including boarding, school and workout facility. And that’s exactly what Los Cab offers us.”
Jackson and Bridge first met 15 years ago when both were coaching in Colorado, and later met up in Irvine at the Racquet Club of Irvine, where Jackson spent 15 years before most recently leading the tennis programming out of Nellie Gail Tennis Ranch in Laguna Hills.
The Los Caballeros opportunity came open after the Dent Academy moved to Texas.
“Once I got here I realized it was a bigger project that I wanted to take on alone,” Jackson said. “I knew Mitch from my teaching pro days in Irvine and asked him to come over to form a full-time academy.”
The academy currently has a staff of five and the academy will be hiring a top-level head coach over the next four to six weeks. “We are looking for some international kids to add some diversity,” said Jackson, adding that several Chinese players has just toured the facility a day before.
Bridge said young tennis players are going to about 20 full-time boarding academies around the world. “So it’s a very small number. But parents want it all on-site. So every kid we are talking to they are looking at us and the other 20 academies.”
Bridge added: “The parents expect great tennis, but they want it all and they want the other amenities for safety and simplicity reasons.”
Jackson said gone are the days when parents would send their children to academies and expect a professional tennis player in return. “The majority of the kids get ready for college,” he said. “We have the capacity to develop kids and have two paths to college and to the pros.”
Jackson also added that the academy will be looking for corporations to sponsor the young un-and-coming players at the academy to help defray the costs for players who may need the financial help.
For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (949) 287-2878.