Dean Stavri: Pro Transplant - Jersey to San Diego

April 21, 2022
Written By: Jack Broudy
Dean Stavri: Pro Transplant - Jersey to San Diego

Broudy:  Hello and welcome to living at the 45. I'm your host Jack Broudy And I'm happy to be with my good friend Dean staff every today. He's a certified pro and a hell of a pro down in SAN Diego. Uh, the way way and he's had a great club there. I'll let him introduce himself to him, you know, to him and his club and what he's doing and who he's working with and then we'll, we'll start the show. Hey Dean.

Dean:  Well Jack, Hey, thanks for having man, a long time coming man.

Broudy:  Yeah, I'm happy to be doing it.

Dean:  Yeah, I got to know a lot of it to you of course. And uh, I'm out in SAN Diego now moved from the east coast. Um, it was, it was a bold move and it was a great move and I'm loving it man. That's

Broudy:  great. That's great. What's the name of your club?

Dean:  Rancho, Penske toes?

Broudy:  Well, that's a pretty well known tennis club. I was in San Diego for 40 plus years. It's, It's, it's well known for tennis, you

Dean:  know, a little better, you know, a little better than me. But yeah, it's great, great fit, great staff, um, good working environment and Just happy to be there man. I'm working outside every day and 70 plus degrees. How could you beat it?

Broudy:  Yeah, you're right, how many courts you guys got there?

Dean:  I think we got about 16 quarts.

Broudy:  That's what I thought it's a nice sized facility for

Dean:  The pros and you know, the other 12 for the members to keep them happy.

Broudy:  That's great, that's great. Well you work with a lot of members I'm sure though.

Dean:  Uh well I prefer to work with the with the kids, you know they're a little bit more.

Broudy:  I was always that way myself, I had only a few adults still have still have a few adults but I don't know, it's fun working with the grassroots isn't it? That's that's the kind of pro we are,

Dean:  they're they're the best man because they soak it all in.

Broudy:  Well yeah we had we had a few good years, that's for sure. But are all your courts lit by the way for the summertime?

Dean:  We got were up until 10 p.m.

Broudy:  Oh wow.

Dean:  So you know me right now I'm doing a nice late schedule so I got like 3 32 to 10, 3 30 to 9 30. I don't work mornings, you know, so

Broudy:  I'm kind of a

Dean:  night owl of the of the tennis coach and it's quite

Broudy:  a bit you are you running the junior program?

Dean:  I'm working together with a couple others and we work closely especially with the red ball and orange ball players. Um and they have a great program there man, it's it's really working well

Broudy:  how many how many kids altogether?

Dean:  It would be hard to say. Um I would probably guess about 70 - 80 kids a week probably.

Broudy:  That's great. Just

Dean:  in the red and orange. Yeah

Broudy:  yeah that's great. So you're you're you're building it from the ground up over there right now you're working with a lot of young kids.

Dean:  Absolutely love.

Broudy:  How about how about any of the older junior you got any tournament players? Anyone? Yeah you

Dean:  know I was able to get a few in and you know I got some sixes and some fives right now. Nothing too crazy but my my prodigy if you will um he's in florida and I worked with him for about eight years out in Jersey and so now I'm actually going to florida in a couple of weeks because I got all that Broudy method. Good stuff.

Broudy:  Oh you're gonna you're gonna hit him up again and work with them.

Dean:  Yeah. Yeah we've been working together like I said 78 years. Close contact. He's actually playing Puerto rico I. T. F. This this no next weekend.

Broudy:  How old's the kid? About 18, 19,

Dean:  15,

Broudy:  15? This kid's pretty good player. What is he like a U. tr 12? no

Dean:  not at all man. I think he's like He's like a 10 maybe.

Broudy:  That's still good tennis. That's good.

Dean:  But you know he's he's playing good he's playing well he's a lefty so

Broudy:  He's 15 years old. Houses size.

Dean:  Yeah you're good small guy. Filipino kid. Really really just crafty. Think of like um marcelo Rios.

Broudy:  Okay well you picked one of my all time favorites so that's great. Oh that's great. What else in your club, have you guys sponsoring tournaments right now. Do you have any U. S. T. A. R. U. T. I

Dean:  think these guys are like closely associated with the USDA and so we do a lot of little like little tournaments. Um There's actually some really good players there that I haven't had the chance to work with but I've heard there's like I think the number one girl in the four teams in the country, I think she plays out of their yeah and there's some some good players out there. We do some U. Tr events, things like that. So it's good man.

Broudy:  Well you know your your unique cat in one way and in another way you're you're pretty typical in my certified pros and that is your unique in the whole tennis world because most tennis pros you know they're doing a lot of feeding right now, they're eventually dropping the ball even and you know and especially the older guys, you know I can speak from experience and I'm a freak because I'm actually still trying to get better at my old old age here but I can't help myself. You know I just that's just the way it is right?

Dean:  Yeah

Broudy:  that's that's what I wanted to talk about when I when I say that you're you're like a lot of the guys certified pros. You're you're youngish right? You're 30 - 35.

Dean:  Well I thank you for that but I'm 37

Broudy:  O. c. and I thought you were one because I've got a lot of guys between 30 and 35 years old and always tell me this and you're one of the first ones I remember and that was hey you know I'm teaching great, everyone thinks I'm a God you know, I'm improving people right and left so fast. But the big thing Jack is I'm really into my own game right now, I'm really I'm banging the ball, I'm roping it and I'm feeling I'm feeling like hey my best tennis is in front of me, not behind me. So that's a little bit of what I wanted to talk about with you because you really told me that after you and I had a couple of lessons and then you started coaching in SAn Diego and you built up your thing but every time we talked you kept telling me oh man you should see the way I'm hitting the ball.

Dean:  It's funny you say that because you know everybody, everybody talks about the coaching aspect of it and I love the coaching aspect of it and I'm sure that's probably your sales point you know in a way but I

Broudy:  do I love the coach but I do love to play man, let the players, more

Dean:  players play bro you know and I just love to play man and I'm getting better every day every week and I feel like for me that's how I want to sell it,

Broudy:  that's how I felt and that's how I felt as well and still feel and

Dean:  and and more so it's like I'm just addicted to to hitting that ball better and and now that I started to figure it out finally, it's so weird. I played division one college tennis.

Broudy:  Yeah, me too. Me too.

Dean:  There you go. And I had no clue how to hit a tennis ball.

Broudy:  Me too. We were out there with our heart and soul, put it on the line every day and we were in great shape and and you know, doing, we had some days it felt pretty good and other days you had to just chip and charge, you know what I

Dean:  mean?

Broudy:  And ugly so to speak.

Dean:  I feel better than ever. I mean by 100 plus, you know, and that's just the truth of it all. And so I love to coach, I really love to coach but I love to play even more. And so the coking is just, it's just like it's just the icing on the cake for me. You know, the playing is really where I get it and and I'm getting better every week and I can't wait to play tournaments this summer. My body feels good for the first time.

Broudy:  That's great. 37, you can still play open.

Dean:  Yeah, yeah, yeah. So it's gonna be fun man.

Broudy:  Yeah,

Dean:  yeah, I'm loving it man. I'm loving plants.

Broudy:  Oh that's great. No, no. What what is it you would say that that like, let's say if you could play college tennis all over again with what you're doing now, what is it that so much bigger or better or both? What is it? That's changed so much from your college playing days? Why? Why? Why would you say if if there's two deans, what's today's Dean versus College Dean?

Dean:  I'd say just I understand the game in a way that I feel like if I could say that it's more correct, um, I'm not muscling the ball, I'm seeing everything earlier and I'm moving slower and the game feels as they would say effortless.

Broudy:  So it feels as big. It doesn't feel even bigger. I mean, to me, my game feels bigger.

Dean:  six hitting the ball much bigger. It's not even comparable. I think I was a good athlete. I probably was a better athlete obviously then because I was moving and training and stuff like that. But I mean, I'll be honest with you man, if I if I was really training athletic me right now, I think I would Crruption My, you know, my 19 year old self.

Broudy:  Yeah,

Dean:  so that's just a fact of matter, I didn't know how to hit a tennis ball and I'm okay saying that it's kind of like a compliment to myself because I was able to get away with it back then.

Broudy:  Yeah, yeah, we did what we had to do? You know I mean there were days that my forehand or backhand felt okay and I was ripping and then there was days where you'd start the day off. I better start, better start well I better start chipping. Is what I was thinking, you know just go to the chip because for some reason I wasn't feeling the topspin and that was the problem growing up. Like we did, you know with tips, you know all these tips that we had to put all those tips together and make a game out of it instead of you know, instead of taking music theory and going, oh now I can play an instrument. I stand music

Dean:  foundation, strong foundation. I wish I had it earlier but I think it it tastes even that much more sweet now that you know we're older and we can appreciate it, you know.

Broudy:  Yeah it's true. You know when I look back there were times that I was roping the ball in college when you like christmas break when billy and I, my doubles partner and I would go, he had a court and his band and his parents had a court in the backyard with four speakers right? Typical 80 typical eighties right? Parents just living way high. Just unbelievable living in in in the valley in the valley in L. A. And so we played on this court and they had music on the court, big speakers right? So we would just play like a led Zeppelin album and then we would just go, let's just do beforehand beforehand and crush four hands to the whole album. You

Dean:  kind of got in the zone.

Broudy:  Yeah. You got in the zone. And that's kind of how I feel today. But I can do it today at will. It's not it's not it's not where I have to play 20 hours a week in a day, you know? Yeah, that's

Dean:  exactly how I feel. And uh I'm addicted again like I was then, but but much, much more because the progress is immense, you know? So now I'm like, okay, well damn, like tomorrow I know I'm going to be even better. And I don't want to it's like, I don't want to let go of that high. So I just I'm just making sure that I get it every single day, you know? That's that's my thing. And so, you know, hoping in three months or so I'll be playing out of my mind and just having a good time and making everybody better around me and and this is what we do. We're tennis pros, right?

Broudy:  Yeah. Yeah. It's it's it's fun to feel good and it's fun to be watched.

Dean:  Yeah,

Broudy:  it's fun when you when you know, when you're being watched, you know, I look pretty good. Yeah, that's okay. You can watch me.

Dean:  Yeah, Yeah, exactly. Instead of like, oh, shoot, I'm getting tight. I don't know, I don't want anybody to see me play right now, you know,

Broudy:  I want to harp back on that word, addicted addicted to tennis because I know how you feel, uh I even now out here where I'm living in the mountains, I I have to get over to the indoor court a couple of times a week just and I play with a guy, He's a little bit like you and nick, he's a solid 12. I mean the guy was, he was number champion in Belarus, he was number one in his country. And

Dean:  is this the guy in your new videos?

Broudy:  Yeah, and he played, he played with the likes of song and Rafa, he beat dog love. Oh, oh no,

Dean:  insane

Broudy:  In the 14th, but still he is a good player and I just have to get out there. I got out yesterday and I'm addicted to, it's my, it's my shot of the week. I have to have it just to actually feel better just to feel better. Actually,

Dean:  it's our fix, you know, this is what we do and I feel like I just need it now now now I'm really chasing that perfection, which I'm never gonna have, but I'm getting closer every day and wherever that ends up, I know that I'll be okay with it

Broudy:  now. How does it affect your coaching? Like you coach back in New Jersey and now you're coaching here with the method right with the system and and and you love to play? Do you do more live number one? Do you do more live ball than you used to number two. Um Do you see yourself in the student, do you see your student in yourself, you know what I mean? How has it changed your coaching?

Dean:  Ah you know, it's live ball all day, let's start with that. It's live ball all day. Like I play live ball pretty much,

Broudy:  yeah, I'm not much of a feeder unless we're giving someone a slice back, you know, something in particular.

Dean:  You really got to break it down for 2, 2-5 minutes and then

Broudy:  Yeah, yeah.

Dean:  And I love it and you know, the confidence in your own game and there's just like we're just keeping it going and we're in such a rhythm. Um but back to Jersey, you know, I had way more success in Jersey obviously because I was there the last

Broudy:  longer, yeah,

Dean:  15 years and a bigger

Broudy:  fish in a smaller pond.

Dean:  Right. Right. Yeah. So I mean I had a solid, a solid academy there that I built, you know, for the last 8.5 years prior to coming here, I've been here now a year and a half. Um but I can already see the progress in terms of the quality, it's, it's not comparable and I was teaching Broudy before I left.

Broudy:  Oh, you were,

Dean:  I was, but I just, I wasn't as seasoned as I am now.

Broudy:  Right, Well we got together a few times. We got together when you were still in Jersey. I remember before you moved,

Dean:  came through a couple of times. Yeah, that's

Broudy:  right, that's right.

Dean:  So I had a little bit of skin in the game, but now it's, you know, it's really, really solid and so the kids are progressing insanely and that's why I can rally with everybody because they can do it

Broudy:  And you can do it. I remember when I had my, my boys back in the early 2000s, I was not as good a player and I didn't have my own system. I was so busy coaching and teaching, you know, just making cash that I was feeding more back then. I would do to, I would do two hands short cord and then I'd go warm up. But then especially with guys like foreman and the big hitters and sam, I would either have like Sam, I'd have him hit with someone else and then I would coach from the sideline because I wasn't as good a player 20 years ago as I am today. Um Today, I would definitely do it myself. But there was something to be said. I have to say for having him hit with a really steady player and then having me coach next to him, there were other benefits, but it wasn't as much fun for me. It's much more fun when you're actually playing the game

Dean:  and and uh, I feel like I'm, you know, in somewhat of a prime still, you know, so I really want to get the most out of that while I have it. And it's that's, that's really the live ball as well, like you said, it's just, it's fun and I don't feel bad about doing it because I know that it's top quality for them as well.

Broudy:  Well, yeah, they get a great, it's, it's, I think half the reason they pay us to get a great hit

Dean:  and

Broudy:  then of course you give them a couple of jewels to take home with. So, I mean, it's all good, you know, it's not just a badgering, like some lessons are,

Dean:  yeah, I mean, I want to mention this real quick, I don't know if you're, you're probably already doing that. You've been in this double the time I've been in this game or more

Broudy:  doubles was big for me in college too. I was a better doubles player in the juniors in college,

Dean:  you know, I'm sorry. What I mean is what I mean is you've you've been doing this double the amount of time I have.

Broudy:  Oh yeah, my mistake,

Dean:  you know, better than you better than me, but I'm at the point now where, you know, um I don't have enough time for the, for them anymore, I'm full. Um But I'm still able to see players and say, Okay, look, I'm going to see you for 45 minutes Maybe one Sunday a month if I can. And, and this is going to take you through the next three months, two months?

Broudy:  Oh yeah, Hey, I had the same thing when I went out to, uh, when I go to some of these clubs, I'll only spend 5, 10 minutes with a player, Right? I mean literally five or 10 minutes and then we put in like 30 or 40 people a day and literally 30 or 40 a day. But I give them a single private lessons. But yeah, about 5, 10 minutes. I go, look, you know, I saw you play this and this,

Dean:  you can see it now and the quality is so much better that you feel good about doing that. It's not a problem because they come back to you like, hey, that really, really worked, you know, let's do the next one. And I just, I wasn't that good before, you know, so that's your

Broudy:  eye, Your eye is getting better.

Dean:  Yeah, it's getting better. I'm sure it's going to get a lot better to overtime, but it's, I'm definitely starting to see it.

Broudy:  Yeah. Yeah. I think the big thing is this is having a system. I mean, I never get to talk about the system with anyone, but I know you're so into it that this seems to be our topic today. But it seems to me when I was, even now when I coach, I can at least go, okay, one of those three things, right? Are they, are they lined up? No, no, they're not lying. They're open. They're facing the net there too close there to this are their hips continuous. No, they're hitching somewhere in the stroke. And and then is there are more there is their arm relaxed enough to play off the hips and yeah. And you just plug it into that system. You go, I see something here here and here instead of, well, let's just see what this, you know, when I was in my twenties, it was like this kid looks like, oh, well you're finishing like this. Why don't you touch your chin to your shoulder? You know, I would just come up with a tip. I could figure

Dean:  so miniscule in terms of the benefit.

Broudy:  Yeah. And so, so mechanical.

Dean:  Yeah. Quick question. So for you, I just want to hear your thoughts on it when you see these players and you've seen thousands of players. Right,

Broudy:  mm hmm.

Dean:  Is there one that you say, okay, this one is most of the time. This is the issue versus the other two. You know, you said it's one of these three because I can tell you what it is for me. But

Broudy:  yeah, I want to hear from you. I want to hear from you. And then I'll weigh in.

Dean:  I mean to me it's really They all they all are they all have their peace and you need to have all of them. There's no doubt about it. Um but the 45 to me, is is the one that's it's always what it is. I mean,

Broudy:  Yeah, yeah, Okay. I would say the lineup is big, but when it comes to club players or anyone that's not a nice athlete of a junior, okay, junior athlete. So, everybody else I find muscles the ball arms, the ball. So, so yes, the 45 lineup is big, but but but learning how to connect in a fluid way, learning to in an analogous way, right? How to connect your lower body to your upper body and and and let your arms act as a rope rather than, you know, steering the ball or or or, you know, pushing the ball in the court for

Dean:  Yeah, that really takes you to another level.

Broudy:  That brings you to another level. So, I would say, you know, both of those. So, you could really put number three and four, you know, two and three together, You could put the figure eight and the Sine wave, you really put those two together, You know? And then the lineup is the lineup, because look at McEeroe, I mean, right, he used to just go to the 45 and then just go up like that. And it works. It

Dean:  works very, very small, very small.

Broudy:  Yeah, very small bump. And in a way like Nadal in a way where, you know, you have Federer with the with more horizontal And Andy Murray and Djokovic, they have more of a horizontal in there, figure eight. So it's a little more, little more beautiful than max was, you know? Right,

Dean:  right, right, right. But yeah, that's

Broudy:  yeah, so, well, that's interesting. How about the tools? The tools help much or just mostly,

Dean:  I think that I think the visuals are number one for me.

Broudy:  Yeah, I I have to agree. I used to think it was Broudy board. I used to think it was the cobra and the more I think about it, it's really you give the guy a blueprint, you give them a light at the end of the tunnel. Hey, if you can make your arm do this right, then you're gonna be okay.

Dean:  Just get it there and if you get it there, you're really in it now. And um, yeah, I mean after they do about 50 or 60 of them, they're just lined up and once they're lined up, everything kind of works itself out in a way, you know? So for me, they are the visuals, but I personally, for me, I use the board obviously a ton. Um, and the cobra and uh, yeah, I mean those are the ones and then I do a little, my own stuff, like some medicine ball work with on, on that to really feel for me that medicine ball makes me feel more of that laying back into the hit

Broudy:  right, right, right, right, where your coiled and your head's forward in the beginning and then as you uncoil go into the hit your head like kind of like a golf swing, you know?

Dean:  Yeah, exactly, or baseball or

Broudy:  baseball. Yeah. Right.

Dean:  So I really feel that with the weight. Um, yeah, I just, I'm just trying new stuff out and seeing what sticks. But yeah, that's it.

Broudy:  Yeah, yeah. For me, I guess these days since they're the new, it's the newest, I guess I really like and plus my hips after a lifetime of doing the figure eight is for me it's more the cobra now and and the red arrow honestly, because if I keep that cobra behind the red arrow as long as I possibly can I make nice contact if I go towards the ball, I'm dead man. So, so, so the, the combination for me right now of the cobra and the red and the line, the 45°, which I don't always need the arrow because I know where it is, but trying to focus both sides forehand and back in on staying behind the 45 as long as humanly possible. I always get a great hit and then I have an unbelievably beautiful follow through because you know, the deeper you go out into it, right the more it snaps back at you. So

Dean:  it's just, it's just done, it's just done and you get that that whip. Um, but yeah, I warm up with the, I warm up with the board and then the arrow and I dropped feed myself Whatever like two baskets, You know, to 75 ball baskets of

Broudy:  it

Dean:  and then you know, I'll get on the wall and the machine and you know, then I'll hit with my players and and it

Broudy:  sounds like a nice, sounds like a nice day,

Dean:  amazing day man, I'm in it, I'm in it to win it now man, You know, I'm all in, if if we're playing poker right now, all my chips would be

Broudy:  nice. Nice. Yeah, I mean you get up, you stretch a little right, you have whatever you have for breakfast, you go there by yourself, you take your cobra in the sunshine and then they come and then you play live ball all day and you toss it. I love coaching. I mean you just toss out a couple of things, oh, you know, maybe you talked for two or three or four minutes and then let them take it over the rest of the lesson.

Dean:  Yeah, exactly, exactly. It's like it's like we're having a casual conversation in the lesson and they're just soaking it in because we got it, you know, and that's why I feel like being a coach is great, but if you can be a player and coach at the same time, I think that would be, you know, the best of both worlds. So that's what I'm striving to do man,

Broudy:  you're doing a great job. Listen, I'm proud to call you a Bt certified Pro. I have to tell you.

Dean:  So

Broudy:  I really am. I know you're doing a great job out there. I hear from the people that I send you right. This is one of the only people that I, I would send my students to in SAN Diego and uh, and everyone's giving me glowing reports that he's just doing a great job and they're sticking with him and he knows the system inside and out. So if you make it down SAN Diego way, you're lucky. Number one. Number two visit my man, Dean stavros because you'll have a ball. He's a great coach, great hitter and just a great guy all around. So Dean, I want to thank you so much.

Dean:  Thanks a lot. Jack appreciate it.

Broudy:  I really appreciate it. Take it easy. Yeah, mm hmm.

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