Teaching Pro Spotlight: Julio Rivera
When Julio Rivera came to Los Angeles over 21 years ago, he left a job on Wall Street to propose to his then girlfriend who lived in Orange County. Rivera didn’t realize he’d have to go “underground” to be successful in Southern California.
But that’s exactly what happened for the 47-year old teaching pro who has carved out a unique niche and successful business in an active section of L.A.’s tennis scene.
Rivera started the Underground Tennis Movement in 2012, and it has grown slowly over time. His client list is now over 100 players.
“It started out of a need,” said Rivera. “There are only two private clubs in our general vicinity and they are very exclusive. I have a couple friends who have courts above Sunset and they asked me if I would teach them. It grew from there. We’ve essentially started a community without the confines of a country club.”
Rivera’s website, undergroundtennismovement.com states: “The momentum of tennis has grown beyond club walls; We’re a community that enjoys all aspects of it. Join us on the flip side, in the underground.”
Another aspect of the Underground Tennis Movement is breaking down the stigma that tennis is an elitist sport. Said Rivera: “I played junior college tennis. I’m from Long Island. I didn’t go to Stanford. But I do have a great knowledge of the game and I know how to put people into fun yet educational groups.”
The price for UTM clinics and Live Ball games is not cheap, but it’s not exclusive either. “It’s very expensive to join a club,” Rivera said. “I’m catering to the people who typically have enjoyed tennis all their lives but want to play without the restrictions of a stodgy country club. I’ve been able to build a solid clientele, and they continue to come back.”
Rivera said he would like to expand his business and teach other pros the fast-paced game of Live Ball. “Live Ball is a dynamic and fun way to bring people together.
It’s also a great workout. I want my people to feel a sense of community and also feel like they’re a kid on the playground.”
If you would like more information about Rivera’s Underground Tennis Movement, email him at: firstname.lastname@example.org.