Sitting on the far end of Fess Parker’s DoubleTree Resort in Santa Barbara is the aptly named Oceanside School of Tennis. While the school does offer lessons to hotel guests, it doubles as one of the more unique tennis academies that one will encounter.
“A program like this has never been in Santa Barbara,” said owner and director Dimitar Yazadzhiev. “We combine not only the tennis, but the fitness and mental aspects of the game, which I’m providing here for the kids. I think it’s a great combination of tennis, fitness, and monitoring their improvement on a daily basis.”
Yazadzhiev is a former Bulgarian Junior Davis Cup winner and the national title holder in singles, doubles, and mixed doubles, and has more than 20 years of coaching at the top professional level. “Financially, I wasn’t able to continue at the pro level, so I decided to dedicate myself to become a coach,” Yazadzhiev said.
At the Oceanside School of Tennis, Yazadzhiev works with other coaches to help students of all ages and skill levels improve their all-around tennis ability. The school aims to develop and enhance all aspects of successful tennis, including technique, footwork, fitness, nutrition, and strategy.
“We try to get the best of their skills,” Yazadzhiev said. “Some of the kids need to work on footwork. Others need technical improvements. All of the coaches know the issues for each kid, and we attack those issues as a team.”
The Oceanside School of Tennis opened just over a year ago, and Yazadzhiev said that its location is perfect for what he wanted in his school. “I wanted to have the opportunity to be in charge of my program,” said Yazadzhiev. “This came up as a great opportunity with Fess Parker to be able to run the courts and to develop this program. It’s really compact and designed to develop players. I think that being smaller and more compact makes a more flexible environment.”
Yazadzhiev also said that he tries to instill a certain mindset in his students to make them better competitors. “I have the desire to help kids and to develop kids. I just wanted to dedicate myself and my time to players that want to learn,” Yazadzhiev said. “The players have to be willing to improve and to get better and to work to win. I want to develop more aggressive players. “
Seeing his students improve and succeed, Yazadzhiev said, is his greatest joy of being a coach. “I love to see the kids’ improvement and to see that they’re confident in their skills and their abilities,” Yazadzhiev said. “I’m highly motivated and really dedicated to what I’m doing. My goal is to develop good players. I’ve been a coach of a higher level of tennis and I want to get them there.”
To learn more about the Oceanside School of Tennis, visit sbschooloftennis.com.