USPTA Professional Stacey Cohen is celebrating 17 years as a tennis-teaching pro in Los Angeles. She is self-employed and teaches out of Weddington Golf and Tennis in Studio City, Calif. She also teaches at private courts in Studio City.
Stacey started playing tennis at age 9 and started competing heavily when she was 10. She played junior tournaments and was a high-ranked player in Southern California between 10 and 16 years of age. She also played high school tennis but then decided to take a break from the game. "I wanted to experience other things in life for a while," Stacey says. She attended the University of Arizona in Tucson, where she earned a bachelor's degree in psychology. She didn't leave tennis completely, however. During college, she worked at the Hilcrest Country Club in Los Angeles as an assistant to the pros.
After college, Stacey picked up tennis again, playing a few satellite tournaments. She now plays USTA league tennis in her free time.
She started teaching again full time after college. "I started teaching because I feel that I have a true knowledge of this game, and I am able to communicate and help my students understand how to play it," she says.
"I think what I enjoy most about this profession is seeing people smile and have success on the tennis court. I feel that it is a challenging, yet fun-filled day, and I wouldn't want to do anything else.
"My greatest accomplishment is when I can communicate to someone how to do a particular stroke and it clicks. I love seeing the outcome of that."
Stacey is proud that she has consistent and loyal students. "I enjoy watching my long-term students continue to get better over time. It's a real joy to see," she says.
Outside of tennis, Stacey is a certified Egoscue Therapist who helps people get out of chronic pain. When she's not teaching or playing tennis, she enjoys painting, watching movies and eating great food.