Susan Nardi - L.A. Woman in Tennis

February 24, 2022
Written By: Jack Broudy
Susan Nardi - L.A. Woman in Tennis

Jack Broudy:  Hi and welcome to living at living at the 45 I'm your host Jack broudy and today I'm very happy and excited to be talking with Susan Nardi who's a very well known tennis pro in Los Angeles. You know la la land home of the surf home of celebrities, lockdowns, tennis players and kind of an exciting city to be in all the time

Susan Nardi:  but

Jack Broudy:  probably no more than right now. Good morning Susan.

Susan Nardi:  Good morning, how are you Jack?

Jack Broudy:  I'm great and I'm happy to be talking to you and today we're going to address some some things about kids tennis. But before we start I wanted to introduce you a little bit and tell everyone you have a company called Rhino Crash Sports Group and I know you've you've worked at the U. S. T. A. Center up until about a year ago that when we were we met about a year and a half ago became good friends quickly and

Susan Nardi:  and

Jack Broudy:  you've worked with tons of kids who ended up being great players I think even someone on the pro circuit I know now you're working with everybody a little bit adults and everyone. Why don't you just tell us a minute about what's happening in L. A. And you like your new club or wherever you're at. What's going on.

Susan Nardi:  Yeah. I mean it's I'm back working for myself. Um I actually have two companies. Rhino Crash sports group is a lot of the after school programs that I do. I have a site in culver city where I teach on a blacktop and and offer like I would tell you an introduction or survey kind of class to tennis to these kids that some of them because their over scheduled and their schedules too tight or it's a financial situation they might not be exposed to tennis. So it's an opportunity to get some kids that really want to play to play and then um with Rhino crash sports group. Um I also have another business that I've that I've been a part of for years which is called L. A. Tennis, which were the largest concessionaires for the city of L. A. We have eight Parks currently throughout the city.

Jack Broudy:  Oh I didn't even, wow,

Susan Nardi:  I've always been a my you know, minority owner of that um and been a part of that. So a lot of the things go between, you know, L. L. A. Tennis and Rhino and go back and forth. So you know, it's it's always been, it's always been, I just haven't done anything with it. And my partner asked me if I would get more involved. That's why I'm at Westchester and and last night I was up at riverside in Griffith Park and doing all that. I've been consulting for for years for that. I've just finally now involved in the day to day operations of things instead of you know, instead of being the person in the background in the shadows. So

Jack Broudy:  and this is for all kids, you know

Susan Nardi:  kids, adults, you know, we do a lot of um you know, you know the different pros are contractors. We don't set hours for anybody. Don't tell anybody what to do. They come on their contractor. They, you know, you have to do what everybody has to do with the city and pay their percentages. Um I mean we deal directly with the city and they pay their percentages. They collect their money, set their own hours do all that. You know, a lot of them do privates. I I tend to do more groups at the locations that then I do private. I do privates when it's purely, you know, here at my condo complex and and stuff like that.

Jack Broudy:  Uh huh. I know you've worked with some programs with some inner city kids as well up in L. A.

Susan Nardi:  Are

Jack Broudy:  you still doing that or is that something you did mostly at Carson?

Susan Nardi:  Yeah, it's mostly here on the west coast. That's what I did mainly in Carson. That was what my job was as director of tennis for one of the and J. T. L. Chapters back when it was founded Achievable Dream back in Newport News. I was the original head pro slash after the first summer tennis director when it became a year round program And it was named numerous years ago by tennis magazine as the, as the, you know the best, You know, program whatever. I mean my you know, they're still doing some things that I set into place all those years ago. It's now like 20 years 20 years ago. But it's it was a program designed to give kids an opportunity not only to play tennis. It is the only official supports an achievable dream but to help kids that were academically a year behind in math science and then um reading comprehension and after a year those kids that were behind a year were actually ahead a year. And so we were yeah we would do tennis with them on the court and then we would do um uh field trips in the summer. And then the after school program was academic enrichment. And then I would come in and do the tennis and we got to do some really fun trips and go up to D. C. And go to um Langley Air Force Base. And uh we'd go down to little creek the um the marine and navy hub and right on a hovercraft which is really cool you know little motion sickness but it's really cool. It's got to do got to do some really neat things. So it's it's always been interesting to me when you talk about the 45 you talk about the sine wave and all that especially since I come from an engineering family and with what ah my ex husband does who's one of the leading authorities of computational fluid dynamics. Um He's at Boeing uh he's a PhD or a space engineer. And with this program that I did in a Newport News achievable dream where we would have the lessons during the week and they would drive towards that event. So we were always talking about math and uh you know, in english and kind of stuff and like, you know, whether I call it a bell curve like that or if it was, you know, as driving it more towards english and talking about the arc of the story and things like that and and relating relating things that they were learning in the classroom to to reality in life. So, You know, I was I was always very fascinated by what you were talking about in your work about 45 and and the math of things because I'm

Jack Broudy:  trying I'm trying to remember how well I know where we first met. I'm trying was it through Carl Rosenstein?

Susan Nardi:  It was originally through crawl. I mean, I knew your name. You know, it's a small, small world out here and you know, in southern cal is you know,

Jack Broudy:  it was there until a few months ago.

Susan Nardi:  Yeah. You know, everybody gets to know everybody and you know, name stuff and um and so, and I've always known who you were,

Jack Broudy:  I just never had

Susan Nardi:  an opportunity to meet you in person until Carl said all

Jack Broudy:  that's right. And then you came down to Newport beach, We met in New uh Orange County and and that's right. And we went through a lot that day. That was a lot of fun. Um,

Susan Nardi:  Yeah,

Jack Broudy:  it's funny because you're your academy, whatever you wanna call it, I don't even like that word anymore, but you know, it's so opposite because I had a couple of students go play in texas and florida different academies and you know, they were very bright kids and they both left after less than a whole semester. You know, they said the education was so bad. So, I mean that was the one bad thing, you know, that was the one thing I do remember about academies is, yeah, you play a lot of tennis, but they don't really care that much or they don't seem to care that much about the education of the kids. And I know one of one boy ended up graduating pen. So a very bright kid. He's a doctor today and he um, and he was the one who told me, yeah, it's just terrible education. So it's funny that you kind of doing just the opposite of that.

Susan Nardi:  Yeah, I mean, I look at people all the time, it's like, what are you teaching? You know? Um, you know, I think academy is an overused word. I think high performance. I mean sometimes I gag when I hear the word high performance and I was like, oh, so, oh you only are high performance coach. Oh, okay. So you think when people start up to take lessons that they want to be in the low performance group said, I said high performance starts the first moment that they walk on the court. So let's not call it high performance, let's call it giving them a really quality lesson. And that, that they're learning how to play and they understand why.

Jack Broudy:  Yeah, it seems like tennis, maybe it's because it's such a people see it as a conservative and I would say boring sports sometimes, you know, unless they are into it, like we are and it's anything but boring, but a lot of people will think of tennis is boring and I think unfortunately to jazz it up a bit, it's filled with buzzwords, whether whether it's teaching buzzwords or clinic buzzwords or, you know, there's all kinds of every year it's a new program, you know, we're gonna really, we're going to excite the grassroots of tennis, you know? And uh, a lot of it's just a bunch of Bs, you know, done. I remember when I was at Harry Hofmans Academy back in the seventies, late, mid seventies, mid seventies, I went there as a kid for a couple of weeks, you know, they killed you all day long. And then all of a sudden 20 years later, I hear of cardio tennis, I'm like cardio tennis, let me tell you about cardio tennis. You know, go to Harry Hopkins and you'll see cardio tennis.

Susan Nardi:  Yeah, I mean, you know, I mean cardio tennis itself is a great fun workout. It's like Zima. Uh, and it's great and it's fun for certain things, but if you want to learn how to play tennis,

Jack Broudy:  yeah, that's kind of always been my beef, you know, my beef is, you know, it seems like parents drop their kids off and if the kids come home sweating well then the parents are happy and I'm like, well I did that and that's not what makes a player, you know, I mean, uh fundamentals and and really getting the meat and potatoes, the bread and butter of the stroke. You know, you've got to get the strokes first before you can really have fun because if you try to have fun and just compete, you, you end up kind of stagnant. I mean, I had players that wouldn't practice their continental grip, let's say on the server and the 12 and unders because oh, you know, the forehand grip works fine jacket ball goes in and I'm like, well you're not going to get to the next level unless you can switch grips, but everyone is so concerned, unfortunately, too early on about winning and not about playing a good game and it's really, that's really what it's about with tennis, golf, some other sports, it's really form first, you know, you've got to be functional through form, then you go out and compete, you know, but you better have a, you better have something in your arsenal before you head out on that court.

Susan Nardi:  Yeah, I mean, you, you better know how to receive the ball and send the ball and you know, it's funny because I didn't tell you this story, you know, from last night is, you know, I have my adult beginner group and um, I do typically what I'd call a very dave smith thing where I usually teach the strokes that involve the continental grip first. You know, like I'll teach serves first because it's the most important stroke because you can't serve, you can't play, you know, and I'll do valleys and you know, the two handed backhand probably. And then I'll do forehand probably last because I'm trying to get them into something else, you know, and it's because the continental grip is a primary grip and I got to get them comfortable in the primary grip and you know, all these people can serve, they can all serve and they could all do this. So last night was finally for him and um, got them all and ran them through a step of progressions and you know, where they were doing their stuff on, you know, on the 45 the whole nine yards, the last, you know, and I had 12 people myself being the 12th person and we're spread out on the stadium court and so you know, so I've got extra room all the way out and where they're working on, drop hitting the ball, you know, uh, making a sandwich, like a, like a kid and sending and sending it back so that they know how to start it Within the last 10 minutes in that space from the person across from them, They were all able to control rally with full strokes, you know, just, you know, not big backswing, but point of contact followed through on the 45, on the 45, they were all on the 45, rallying the ball with orange balls.

Jack Broudy:  sure,

Susan Nardi:  you know, because they're they're they're adults that haven't really played that Minnie's forth, back and forth, and they, and they were all getting stuff and they're just like going and I was, you know, and it, and it was, it was a sight to see because we're all, you know, along, and they were really rallying and, and playing and it was really fun to see, and, you know, they were learning how to, you know, they they were learning how to switch their grips and work with their hands do and everything like that was really cool.

Jack Broudy:  Yeah, no, it's the first fundamental, you know, we talked about 45 and I have to admit it, and and you know, it's sobering fact for me that I grew up, you know, taking the ball out in front, you know, and that really, and if you want to hit down the line, take it later, and I tell you it really changes someone's career, changes their view of the whole sport, once they lock in that that ideal hitting point and how they're balanced at that point, you know what I mean? It's funny how you don't barely even have to teach the stroke. I mean that's, that's just like, like the icing on the cake, once they, once they can really locate the best point of contact, a lot of them get it right from on their own, I mean

Susan Nardi:  they get, they get it from day one and then, you know, the advanced beginner group who they hadn't had this part of, part of this series of classes, I just went ahead and and moved them because I had so many people, I mean um that I needed to start to split it up because I don't want to have that many adults even on this large stadium court. So these two ladies were out and the ones that she had really struggled with her forehand and how You know her back hands better than her forehand and all this. So I spent some time showed her how to find the ball, showed her, you know how to find the ball on the 45 here it is, set it up and all of a sudden she starts knocking the crud off the ball, the cover off the ball and any beautiful spinning ball, you know, and going like this, she's, you know behind the baseline, teaching her, hey, you know, primarily in tennis when you're behind the baseline, you're gonna go cross court because you have more on the diagonal, you're gonna have more space. Um, and going and rallying and um, having her do. And she was just like, I've never hit a ball like that. Well, she didn't know how to find it, How to find it on the 45. And I mean, you know, she had her figure eight with her with her hips and all that was fine. You know, once I got her on a 45 because she was what I'd call hyper close where her legs weren't like this, her top leg was like that and she was locked out her hips. So she couldn't she, she couldn't have that, that figure eight going with her hips. And once I open that up and the figure eight going and she, she's hitting beautiful balls. She's like, and you know, she's like, what have I done with all these other lessons?

Jack Broudy:  Yeah. You know, 45, the 45 really is gives you gives tennis players the one thing That tennis players desperately need and that's confidence. You can really have confidence at the 45° angle. You know what I mean? It's, it's, it's like, it's almost like your North star.

Susan Nardi:  Yeah, it really is. And I mean, I think you saw the video footage I had of um, the little girl on the red court with the red

Jack Broudy:  on facebook.

Susan Nardi:  Yeah, I did. And I changed the name because that was the agreement with the mom and I can post stuff, I just change your name

Jack Broudy:  Sure, by the way, let me tell our audience uh if you don't have Susan Nardi on your facebook and you're a tennis player, look her up, search her out and become her friend because even more than myself, she really posts some great stuff, not only tennis stuff but nice daily inspirational things that's good for tennis players and just about anybody else. So go ahead.

Susan Nardi:  I post a lot, you know my stories on instagram on facebook and so

Jack Broudy:  it keeps you and a lot of other people going, I think

Susan Nardi:  yeah, it's you know, it's I I like highlighting these kids and what they're doing and so she's been working on, I didn't have her at first so I'm still working on getting her out of a little bit out of a pancake grip of coming under the ball when she serves and coming more

Jack Broudy:  behind she

Susan Nardi:  She just turned seven. So she was just Getting ready to turn seven when I shot that video and so you know, I have her on court and on the red court and she's serving on the diagonal. Okay. And she's learning about the geometry of the court and what's so cool is all the math of it. So she knows that the courts in the shape of a rectangle and longest distance and when you're behind the baseline you should probably go across court if you could step in right now, the easy solution is I just tell her straight ahead from where you're at. You know you're stepping into the street. She's

Jack Broudy:  Learning a lot at seven years old.

Susan Nardi:  Yeah, it's seven years and she understands it and she can explain it. She I've seen her explain it to other people, which is really cool when

Jack Broudy:  She got the 45 pretty quickly. Huh? She she

Susan Nardi:  did. So yeah, so the video is serving, she serves me out wide. She pulls me off the court where my um left foot on my forehand is outside the singles Line and I put it back in play and I put it short, you can see her moving into the court, she's on the 45 and she's moving in and she puts them all down the line And it's you just look at it, it's like this is a kid that just turned seven that's only been playing tennis for now 11 months and she gets and it's like holy cow.

Jack Broudy:  Yeah, it makes the kids feel smart. I remember the first time someone told me and unfortunately it was in my teens to cut off the angle which is pretty nebulous. I mean it's certainly not move at the 45, it's cut off the angle which is probably about the same thing, but when it's about Or probably or close to you're never 100% sure of what it is. But what I like about what I always liked about the 45 is well here, it is you see, this you see that right in the middle there it is and it makes, it doesn't make her feel smart. I mean she's seven years old, but does it, does it sort of empower her to feel like is it fun to feel smart out there? Like I'm telling you when I first heard cut off the angle, I thought, oh that's the greatest thing ever. You know,

Susan Nardi:  she, she does feel very smart and she um I mean her, her dad's an executive and her mom is a doctor. So I mean she's already got a lot going on for and she's such a sweet kid, but um you know, she does feel smart and she does feel like, you know, I understand what's going on there, There's a why behind you hit the ball here, she understands why. So she's learning how to make, you know, smarter decisions based upon her, her knowledge and it's not like I'm just trying to get the ball in play, there's a purpose to everything. And so you know, she's learning, she's learning the 44, you know, getting stronger with the 45 and how technically how to hit the bomb and she's growing tactically because she also understands the geometry of the game, and that, you know, it's really cool when she understands I have to lift the ball up and get spin on it to bring it back down and here's a 45 and you know, she's beginning to understand like how her hips move, you know as I'm rocking here in her 45 you know, she's beginning to get all that and she understood she under you know, she's beginning to you know, understand the wave and how it's how it's going out, you know, she's getting all that and the light bulb when it goes whoa and her eyes get bigger, it's fun, Jack, I mean how can you not be excited?

Jack Broudy:  Yeah. You know it's funny I even um on facebook speaking of which I joined some math groups because I wanted to you know, see if they thought, you know our stuff was interesting and see if I could find some new interesting thoughts through math, but you know everyone whose whose bright will tell you the world revolves around math, math math, I mean anyone who knows anything about anything knows that. And and and I was only taught that, you know the dimensions of the court cut off the angle point your toe at the net post when you serve right? But very very little math. And when you you know when when we found this 20 plus years ago, it was amazing, it was through it was through a math course Rudolf Steiner Rudolf, it was called projective geometry and spatial dynamics has nothing to do with tennis, but when you understood that, that a small figure eight created a larger figure eight or a sine wave in your arm and if you locate and everything sort of met up with what was called pascal's line, Which was the 45° angle, you know when you were talking about it and this was all talking about infinity. The mathematics of infinity, But everything matched up was Tandem two or was right in the heart of the middle of the 45° was always a huge huge thing. And all these math problems we did. And then when you start, you know, a lot of people know this story when I started watching Andre Agassi, that's when you saw this guy smaller than everyone else with a smaller stroke you saw in his movement, how he had that beautiful figure eight in his hips and how he really never moved his racket bunch. It was sort of an optical illusion, right? It was you know, the the hands, I mean, how are you going to return Sampras's 130 mile an hour serve in the corner on the line. You can't take a swing, You basically put your hand on the contact point, you move a little bit in your body and it's this optical illusion out at the hit

Susan Nardi:  that's

Jack Broudy:  produced, you know, totally from the body. So yeah, I I'm really happy that you've taken into the mathematics side of this, not everyone does. You know, some people just do what, you know, they're all dumb it down, I would say, we'll just stand here just kind of like a regular lesson, do this because I said so

Susan Nardi:  yeah,

Jack Broudy:  and I like what you're doing,

Susan Nardi:  Yeah, you have to empower the kids and you know, the beauty of my father who was the most extroverted engineer you'd ever meet, um never met a stranger

Jack Broudy:  was

Susan Nardi:  a little bit, I'm a little, I'm a mixture of both, but my love of tennis definitely came from him and he was electrical and mechanical engineer and so everything was understanding the why and you know, why do you need to know this? Well, here's an example of this here as it is in your daily thing and math was was alive, it was a laugh and how you apply stuff, you know, uh I got very basic physics lessons on on strokes and, and um on everything basketball, it wasn't matter what I did, it was always understanding the math and the physics of it and bringing that to life and his way of explaining what they were trying to teach me in school. So I didn't think it was torture. Here's the application to this. And so I'm teaching the kids a little bit of what they're learning in school. Here's the application, You see why you need to know this on the tennis court, that here, here it is here, so that it's so it means something and I mean I've got a bunch of uh JV high school kids today and Teaching them about the 45 and how it curves like this and they're growing exponentially because they're like we took lessons over there, I'm actually pointing in the direction of where the park is over there and and you know, he never said anything about any of this says, you know, they're like they're like oh it's a big

Jack Broudy:  light bulb, it's a big light bulb. You know you and I, the day I met you were on the court just about two hours. I mean you are soaking it in now. I think I get why because yeah, because I know you had other mentors in the past that sort of danced around the issue of you know, keep your vertical axis, keep your well, they don't use that, keep your head still, right? I know one of your mentors would always say keep your head still and let your body move underneath, which I think is good, great. But yeah, you really, I remember how quickly removed and I couldn't believe I said Wow, she's really grabbing onto why the figure eight creates this and does that because your dad I guess was an engineer and that's the way your mind works.

Susan Nardi:  Yeah, I mean that's that's how I was trained. I mean everything was I hung out with my dad in his workroom and he would build things and do things. So I mean I was the daughter, I was the youngest one is how I got, you know, um got to spend that time with dad and that and tennis because tennis was his sport. My mom comes from one of the biggest basketball families in Kentucky and and my, my dad played tennis and I wasn't going to be but so tall and I mean I was very lucky as a child, I got to spend quite a bit of time with wooden um growing up I'd sit on his lap, he taught me how to tie my shoes and you know about coaching, philosophy and how to engage people and all that and being a wordsmith and everything along that lines when you're just, you know, when you're trying to teach or coach something, how you describe it and you know, so I had that and then I had all this engineering stuff

Jack Broudy:  from,

Susan Nardi:  from my dad. So you know, it's a little bit of an unusual upgrading when, when you talk about sports and education stuff for somebody that's especially has a learning disability, like I do skull on the fourth grade level, I have what they call um, dysgraphia, which is writing and yeah, he taught me things and it was application of everything. I was like, okay, so you know, I have general good, broad based knowledge, but I can take something and I'm immediately looking at, how do I apply this, where do I apply this and how and make it work. And so that's what I was relating to that day when you were seeing me on the court and playing around with stuff. It's like, oh, okay, it's like this, okay, I get that. I mean, you know, that's why, you know, like when you're, when we were playing around with the board and the rocker and then all of a sudden we started playing around with the things on the ground and I was like, oh, okay. And then, and then we started to play around with wand or you know, I affectionately called the spoon, I think you called the wanderer,

Jack Broudy:  I call it the cobra, now we call it the cobra because right, we made it a little lighter and no longer made out of wood, so it's a lot lighter and a little bit,

Susan Nardi:  I love that, I love that thing. That was, that

Jack Broudy:  was fun, it was fun. I always feel like Flintstone, you know?

Susan Nardi:  Yeah, I think it was the second or third ball. I got a hold of that thing and I nearly, I nearly took off your abs if I recall because I mean I had a direct line, you

Jack Broudy:  did, you drilled it, but you have great hand, eye coordination, you know, I was thinking when you were talking, you know, occasionally as you grew up, you hear the word coil occasionally and that would be, you know, and that was another one of those things where oh, I feel smarter because I heard that word coil, but, but once you really get it and you see how it's dynamic and how it goes from concave to convex and, and, and it's dynamic and it's a standing wave, you go, wow, I really know what's going on, but like I said, we just got, but when we were growing up, I'm older than you, but still, when we were growing up, we just got a few buzzwords here and there to hold on to, you know, cut off the angle coil, you know, I've heard big time pros, I won't mention any names, Charge tons of money and really the only thing they'll say and I know the kid feels good about it is use your legs, not how to use just use them. So, I mean, yeah, when you can, the problem is with tennis is like everything else in life, you're dealing with mass people, a lot of people, so

Susan Nardi:  you

Jack Broudy:  know, you want everyone to have a good time, you just don't want the great athlete, you know, that was my problem with academies, you know, you see kids walking around with ice on their shoulder and then you get one andre Agassi emerges, you know, and you're like, oh, must be a great academy, but you didn't look at the other 999 players there,

Susan Nardi:  yeah, that paid full, that paid full fare, and you know, and it's one of those things, I mean, even with the adults last night, you know, because I have a wide range from um, you know, computer programmers to people in the entertainment industry too, all sorts of things. And it was funny, I didn't tell you this. So I had my two um advanced beginners last night and You know, teaching them the 45 and you know, there, I don't know exactly what they do in the entertainment industry, but you know, I don't think they're producers, I don't know. And we were talking about meeting the ball at the 45 I said, I said it's a meet and greet, you know, and I went up and I, you know, did it like, oh yeah, I said it's a meet and greet Here. It is right here at this angle and they all and that's why she was all of a sudden rocketing because she could relate it to something that she knew. She goes, Oh, I said, Yeah, you do that all the time. It's 40

Jack Broudy:  five. Well, yeah, I think you're known for having a really good way with people period. I'm just glad you're using our system now to, to, you know, have the meat behind the, you know, or the cake behind the frosting, you know, because you've always been great with people. I mean when I met you, that's certainly nothing, you learn from me, You learn that just probably from your folks and just growing up, I think that's been your personality, I'm just guessing your whole life.

Susan Nardi:  Yeah, I mean, they were both, they were both very extroverted people and you know, that's just the environment that you actually, it's funny because I was telling someone and they didn't believe me. I said, out of my family because I'm the youngest, I'm the quiet one. And they're like, what? You can't be the quiet one. I said, no, no, no, no, no. I'm really the quiet one. I said, ask, ask those that grew up, asked those that knew my family and they'll tell you, and they go and they're lucky that that's like, no, no, she was the quiet one. You know, I get off and I maybe be in school and my teachers will tell you, gosh, as the class clown. But um, yeah, I mean, in my household, I was definitely the quiet, Well,

Jack Broudy:  you're definitely a fresh breath of fresh air for L. A. I can tell you that. No,

Susan Nardi:  I have fun out there. I mean, it's rock and roll tennis academy, as you know, as somebody that, that plays the guitar, you actually play more than I do. Um you know, it's fun. I do have like one or two magicians, magicians, musicians in, in my um,

Jack Broudy:  and

Susan Nardi:  my and my group and uh it's

Jack Broudy:  our guitarist by any chance,

Susan Nardi:  the one the one guy is,

Jack Broudy:  well then ask him if he knows the fact that the guitar string moves in a figure eight. Does he know that?

Susan Nardi:  I don't know, I'll ask him that. I'll ask him that. He's, that. He's a studio musician. Oh boy. And uh, he's played for a lot of big names people. And it's interesting when, um, you know, you can relate everything to whether it's music or what they're doing to get them to help them understand the concept because they're not all, you know, pure math people, but music is math.

Jack Broudy:  Oh yeah. Oh gosh. You know, I play it. It is, it really is, you know, fits and this and that And songs are all in 1, 4, 5 or your rock and roll songs. Yeah, no, it's total math.

Susan Nardi:  Yeah. So it is that, so

Jack Broudy:  let me ask you back to the kids again. I'm just curious, do you use the junior rackets? Do you like the red dot and orange and you know, what balls do you like to start out the young kids with? And what rackets? Well,

Susan Nardi:  I mean, I had three year olds on the court yesterday. Sure.

Jack Broudy:  That's about the only kid I would say that's the only kid I would start with the junior racket. I'm big on leverage. I don't know a lot of other people that say that,

Susan Nardi:  uh, you know, they're, they're on the road. I mean, yesterday is a lot of red and orange because based on the age group that I have and I'm trying to scale it down to something that they can do that they can control. Um you know, I use them their tools, that's how I use them. I don't do use them as a specific their tools to get something done. Um It's amazing to me when we go back and we talk about math and all that, that people think tennis is hitting the ball as hard as you can and as far as you can out of the park, because they're talking like baseball and I'm trying to teach them well. You know, you gotta, you gotta get the ball to get to that side, it's got to go over the nets over the net, so it has to lift up and then you need to spend to help bring it down. So I'm trying to get them as successful. So I might not, some people may be on like some kids, I don't do it as an age thing. They may, you know, once they get certain skills criteria and this is where I've spent all this time with my european friends and have been trained by european coaches, mainly that I'll use it to get to a certain stage and then once they hit those markers, I go to go to the other stage, I just want them to be progress and get there. So I'm not married to a particular ball, I just use it to help them get what they need and go on. But you know, like the adults, sometimes they just hit the ball so linear and they don't know how to how to do that and

Jack Broudy:  you know, you're up

Susan Nardi:  and come down. So if I have to use something to get it to go there as far as rackets, I have probably the reverse problem of most people for most people. Um like there's like, there's three or four year olds might come on with this big adult racket or something like that. I had, I've had adults come on with 20 23, rockets. I kid you not

Jack Broudy:  sure they're playing, they're playing it safe,

Susan Nardi:  it's playing it safe and and doing and doing that. I mean when a kid is able to handle um a larger racket, I moved them up. I have a, that that girl that you saw in the video, the slow motion of the surf, you know, getting her to get to an adult rocket has been one of the biggest challenges of my life this past year.

Jack Broudy:  Oh really? Because I find the kids love it. They just can't stand no power and they want to get that adultery.

Susan Nardi:  Well, she's she's playing with a 26 cents duck of its speed racquet at the moment, but trying to get her to get the more leverage stuff because you know, I wanted, I mean, I had, I had 11 year old girl last night beginner come up with this 21 in racket and that's what you came to play with because that's what you know, and so I actually have the reverse problem more or less. I mean, you know if you know, I just wanted to play with something that they can handle and manage and so if they can handle a bigger stick by all means yes, if you can't then no. And I mean I usually have a wide range of rackets with me. Anyway, I'm very fortunate neonics has been extraordinarily good to me and big

Jack Broudy:  stick.

Susan Nardi:  Yeah, they make great sticks and they manufacture themselves and the quality, the quality control is exceptional and so they're very generous with me. I have a ride range of rackets for people to demo and to try and get them in the right size.

Jack Broudy:  So uh yeah, you know, I, I guess I've always been in the school of thought because maybe maybe

Susan Nardi:  I

Jack Broudy:  being an old guy, I heard that rumor about Agassi how his dad, you know, duct taped his racket full sized racket to the kids hands and made andre swing and with this big racket and I guess it um it really forced him to have that, you know that big hip rotation using his body to wield that racket around like a big sword for a little guy and you know, and I think that's always left an impression on me that you know what maybe struggles not so bad. I mean two year old with a full sized racket, that's one thing, but certainly by the time the kid gets to six or seven, right in there, 678, depending on the size of the kid, I go full size walking. If they struggle a little, that's okay, because that means they'll use their body more than their arms.

Susan Nardi:  Yeah, and I mean it's it's funny the the problem that I've seen in the and the pandemic, I feel like I'm a little dark here. I apologize. Yeah, behind me, it's doing what it's doing um is besides the mental health issues of being the isolation or whatever,

Jack Broudy:  the physical,

Susan Nardi:  but the physical part that they haven't really done anything. And so I'm telling parents all the time. Get your kids on the ground, have them crawl, have them do that coordination of the gross motor coordination. Build up your your your chest, your your back, your arms, your shoulders, your abs, you know, and build up that strength. You got to get on the ground and crawl and build up that coordination. And I have a couple of groups uh last night that the kids aren't very coordinated per se. And I'm spending a lot of time getting them to coordinate body movements and get them to do things. And last night this this group of older kids, they've never done anything physical activities, uh two of them haven't and to get them to be able to, to be able to find the ball and get them inspired to practice and get them inspired to do something for their bodies. I mean, uh long term wise, um having a big impact on their lives and you know, their confidence is growing because they're beginning to understand something and they're feeling more in tune. I mean there, you know, it's it's really, it's remarkable and how can you not love what we do when you see the light bulb come on and that you're changing somebody's life, Jack, I mean,

Jack Broudy:  is

Susan Nardi:  there anything better in this world? I mean, I had, yes, I had two days ago in my Wednesday group, so I'm at the school and I had this kid come up to me, you know, she's these these third graders, fourth graders on the blacktop fifth grade and they're and they're beginning to serve rally and score and play and you know, they're on the 14 and they're playing and you know, they're getting some hits in and they're playing like a version of king of the court and and this girl comes up to me and she goes, I just have to tell you that you and coach, m are the best coaches ever and I just love tennis

Jack Broudy:  Nice.

Susan Nardi:  And then I go to my, my class in the afternoon at Westchester and these kids and I'll ask them instead of, you know, how was your day? I'll ask them something specific like what made you smile today or what was the best part of your day when I asked them that their answer is tennis, tennis is the best part of my day. You

Jack Broudy:  know, it's such a great feeling to do what we do and when especially, you know, I hear this from all the certified pros, you know, my friend J. C. Out in Birmingham Alabama, I always laugh. He always says it ain't even fair. You know, it ain't even fair. I mean, that was my next question, Do your kids realize the 45 what you're teaching them is not what's being tossed traditionally In conventional 10ant, you know, on the court next to you, let's say. And do they feel like they feel like they have an advantage because of that?

Susan Nardi:  Well they're picking up there, picking up the game faster even if they're not the best athletes, they know that they're picking it up. I mean I have some kids that are or adults that are average athletes and their growth is exponential. Um like, like the adult beginners, I mean the adult advanced beginners last night, they were just like, I was never taught this. I, you know, they're like, I'm a player, you know, they both walked away, I'm a player, It's like, yes, you are, you are a player and there and you know, it's fun to see that empowerment in them and that they realize that they're getting something different and that, you know, I was like, listen, you know, with the adults, you know, you're gonna start here with everybody starts as a beginner on something and I said in in a and once you get this certain level you move up to the advanced beginner and once you get into that, then you'll be able to play with anybody. You'll be able, you'll have all the shots, you'll be able to, you know, if you want to play live ball, if you want to go out and play a match, you know, what's going on technically, you know, how to play tactically, you know, that's that's empowerment and that's giving them a physical activity that they can do for the rest of their lives. And even the younger kids, you know, the high school kids that I work with today, they're always telling me, I was never told this and now I can do now I can do this. Now. I know what's what's going on with my volley and and what's going on now, I know what's going on with, why didn't they fix that? And I said, well, you know, why didn't you tell me that? Because they don't know what they don't know,

Jack Broudy:  that's that's that's that's it right there. I'm sure anyone in my, anyone of the, of the systems teachers right now, they were probably just about to say what you just said, don't know what you don't know.

Susan Nardi:  Yeah, and and you know, instead of teaching how you were taught, you know, the thing that I loved about your book and the thing that I always try to do is to learn more is as I can always learn more to be better. I read a lot of business books, I'm a big follower of jesse cole from the savannah bananas who's just a wild man um and communication and and understanding the math and the physics of of everything so that I can better teach that I have a better understanding so I can, you know, so I can teach it so I can teach it simply but help you understand the concept of it. And so it's always, I mean expanding, expanding the knowledge base and pressing it. I mean I wake up every morning. First thing I do is read for 15 minutes and you know and read something new. Um

Jack Broudy:  I know if you post something new every day. So I'm assuming you're reading, I'm assuming you're reading it somewhere. A lot of the inspirational quotes.

Susan Nardi:  Yeah, I'm reading it somewhere. I actually uh finishing up a book right now called, I think it's called Big potential. It's back there and then the next book I have after that, hold on is next on the docket is

Jack Broudy:  oh yeah, I've seen that one. I read quite a bit myself. I have to admit though it's not self help stuff. It's more fictional stuff I like to read about, you know Wyoming game awards and stuff like

Susan Nardi:  that. I mean a lot of, I read a lot of business, business stuff. Um and business leadership stuff because working, having my own companies, uh I want to make sure that those people that I'm associated with that it has, I build a culture. I mean right now this culture is a huge word for me and that's why I'm a part of your culture and what you're building there with with brody tennis is, you know, a group of of like minded people that are on a mission to to do something and empower them and to to drive the mission. And so even with um Rhino crash sports group or even an L. A. Tennis, it's about moving it forward, getting, you know, and getting more people in L. A. Playing tennis, enjoying tennis. Um I have a couple of college all americans that as you know that I'm really good friends with um

Jack Broudy:  You're friends with 10ant your prose to write, aren't you? Friends with Austin?

Susan Nardi:  Yeah, I know, I know, I know pam really

Jack Broudy:  well

Susan Nardi:  and several and several others, Jeff Tarango is one of my big buddies. Um and you know these college, um particularly the girls, I don't see the guys as much anymore, but they're really good about coming down and volunteering. Nice helping out with the kids. The kids get inspired by them. You know, they get to see this really great tennis. I think I was telling you about one of them and how she coils her hand on her backhand and unleashes, I mean, I mean it's a wep and when you see all this and then pointing things out to the kids and then they're starting to come to the matches now that things are opened up here a little bit in California. Uh and you know, cheering these girls on and how much the girls appreciate the support and how in my view I'm winning because the kids are seeing what I'm teaching them, but really tennis wins. And to me the whole mission is how do we get more people playing this amazing game that we have amazing game that just needs to be marketed a lot better. And I'm trying to build that culture between the kids, the college kids and the game because we don't get an opportunity here unless we go out to indian wells to see pro tennis, unless it's a local you T. R. But when you have some of the top schools and you know, and and U. C. L. A. I have on today LMU, which is, you know, really literally down the street from me,

Jack Broudy:  they have a decent team,

Susan Nardi:  USC, the number one player in the country right now is Aaron katana. Um and she's the number one player at S. C. You know, you have Pepperdine, which came in second nationally team L.

Jack Broudy:  A. Is the place when it comes to tennis. L. A. Has always been the place.

Susan Nardi:  Yeah. And so it's fun, it's fun, you know, to to see these kids out and into talking to them and the inspiration, you know, particularly um you know a lot of my players are following the girls and you know they're all stellar students their own, you know, 3.8 is the lowest one I think G. P. I think they're you know, I know several of them that are that graduated with 4.0. S. And the the human beings that they are and how much they give back. But when the kids come and support, I don't know who's happier that you know, the kids that are watching or are the girls that are you know, the women that

Jack Broudy:  are and

Susan Nardi:  and I'm just sitting back and I'm just beaming because it's it's a culture and it's just like what you're what you're doing and developing and I'm hoping that you know, I know it will spread across the US And you know that we can get more people playing on the 45 understanding, You know, the figure eight infinity and Making tennis what it should be the # one sport.

Jack Broudy:  Yeah, I mean and I mean it's so well put and and you really see it in the top players. I mean when guys like Federer and Nadal play one another. I mean, no matter who wins, it's always an epic battle and they always hug at the end like boy you know you can see the appreciation in the other one and let's face it, you know it's not that way with all the tennis players, that's why so many people have quit the game of tennis because the competition is so um it's so one sided. You know oh you know they just get the ball back or they cheat or you know it's all about them and and when you see the really great players even at the junior level when really good players play, there's an experience there and there's an appreciation of of the duel of the battle and that's and I think if that's the way everyone felt about tennis more people would play but so many people just C. O. On this guy's either just going to annoy me or I'm gonna be humiliated. You know, you know there's not a there's not a give and take really.

Susan Nardi:  Yeah. No I I agree in college tennis. It's it's like a David Davis Cup, Billie jean king cup.

Jack Broudy:  It's wild out there and

Susan Nardi:  it's on the chair and the cheering and it was so it was so much fun.

Jack Broudy:  Where did you play your college ball? I know you're a good player.

Susan Nardi:  Uh Not quite like these girls are that's for sure that that I that I watched it. It

Jack Broudy:  was so different back then anyway. But

Susan Nardi:  yeah I mean I played at Ellen for a year and then I transferred, my mom was real sick and then I went to Radford which was my other school of choice and played for a little bit and didn't have the most positive coaching experience at the time.

Jack Broudy:  That happens a lot.

Susan Nardi:  And and there's a very epic story that that I'll tell you off the record sometime.

Jack Broudy:  Okay. Or our next podcast. Yeah.

Susan Nardi:  Next podcast. The coaches probably

Jack Broudy:  I hear those stories. So I know and I had one myself so

Susan Nardi:  yeah and you know and then they wanted me to transfer to Virginia Tech and I just didn't want to transfer again. And so I stayed where I was because it's academically so happy but I ended up being the assistant coach for 4.5 5 years at Virginia Tech and um did that I've helped out in other schools but when I was a junior and trained I'm from Charlottesville Virginia. So I actually trained at U. V. A. That's where I spent all my time I was

Jack Broudy:  that's some big time tennis that you be a

Susan Nardi:  yeah I mean now it's back then it was it wasn't as big but Phil Rogers had Coach there at one time and Phil was martina Navratilova's coach for for a good while and so I would see martina um

Jack Broudy:  one of

Susan Nardi:  my one of

Jack Broudy:  my favorite women tennis players.

Susan Nardi:  Yeah I mean just you know so nice. I nearly got in a car accident with her and tried to pull into the bank and she's pulling back ag and she saw my, my shirt uh that I was wearing my high school shirt because my friends, they called me and told me she was in and I kept on missing her and so I was, I was driving like a mad mad person and all I could think of is, I'm going to get in a car accident and my mom is going to be so mad at me and and it ends up being

Jack Broudy:  martina

Susan Nardi:  and I'm shaking and then she sees my sweatshirt, she starts talking to me about tennis, it kind of calms me down because I'm just like, my mom's gonna kill me,

Jack Broudy:  wow, I

Susan Nardi:  mean, she's such, such a nice person and you know, it was a beautiful place to grow up. There's, I mean it was back in the day, it was tennis mecca because it had, you know, where everybody talks about Atlanta and how many people Atlanta has playing

Jack Broudy:  tennis,

Susan Nardi:  Charlottesville actually had more people per capita playing tennis than any anywhere. And I mean, we joke into in Charlottesville that you learn how to do three things. Everybody was on the swim team, everybody plays tennis and everybody knows how to handle the tennis ball like a crossbow because we all play lacrosse, you know, we all all used to take, take, you know, catch it and throw it and all that. And so that's how I learned how to deal with the tennis racket is across, I grew up with the court with the Corrigan's and you know the Corrigan families like like the name lacrosse pretty much. So it's what it's you know it's what you do and everybody plays tennis and it was just the hot thing I couldn't understand, you know when I moved to other where else you're not playing tennis, what's wrong with you? Why aren't you playing tennis? Everybody

Jack Broudy:  plays. It sounds like you're bringing that grassroots community. You know, it's kind of slow roll and feel to where you are in L. A. Which is like I said earlier a breath of fresh air because it's nice to have someone like yourself who is so down to earth in a place like L. A. You know, Hollywood, Hollywood, you know.

Susan Nardi:  Yeah I'm you know, I'm trying I'm just keeping it real and I am who I am. I'm not going to hide you know, I love my family, I love my friends and I love and I love tennis and you know I'm hoping to bring some joy to people you know that they like something that I love and maybe that they'll love it too and that they want to play. I mean if tennis is their primary recreational activity, you know or it becomes one of them that's awesome and if it becomes a primary that's great because you know the manufacturers love it because they buy rackets, they buy balls, they buy shoes and it helps our economy spend and you know, I just wanna, I just want to create tennis players and if they want to just, you know, they all get the same high quality instruction and coaching and if they want to, you know, take it to whatever level that they want, I will help guide them there and if it gets to the point, I mean I know you and I were talking to you, you had asked me what levels do I like to teach at, coach at and I like the younger ones and I like, you know the the college girls and all that in this middle area That I really like you and like that 11 year old girl and I have like some boys down in um at Redondo Union High School that that I love, you know that I'll do that, you know like these girls tonight this but that right now is my smallest segment that all these other people, it's like this end, you know this and then this end up here and this end up here is not as much coaching as as it is more management and

Jack Broudy:  starting a true

Susan Nardi:  friend and letting them talk their things out and helping them um kind of a little bit what's going on, what text that I got while we were talking and and then the other end, you know, is more is more help as more teaching teaching and then this end right here. Yeah I mean I've got a girl in Texas I'm not the primary coach anymore but I started her out and she's the number one um I think she's number one right now in the 14, she's number one in the 12 and you know I just want her to Not get you know it always scares me when they're number one in the 12 because you don't want to get burned out or anything like that.

Jack Broudy:  She

Susan Nardi:  loves it and she continues to improve and when she comes out here for you know when they have their player development camps I think she mainly comes out here because she can see me because she wants to get on the court with me and that was what was so interesting. She came and and they asked her you know they saw her grounds drugs they groundstrokes are so huge. Who taught you that my my partner in crime at Next player the owner was was there and the little girl goes well you know he's my coach but um you know Susan you know Coach Susan did it and they said coach Susan they said yeah Susan Artie you know I was told she was down there they go Susan Nardi and she goes yeah and they're just like looking at her and says no I want to spend some time with Susan said that's why he came and they're just like, and they're looking at me like you taught her that. I said, why are you surprised that I taught her that you just think I teach babysitting down here. I'm actually teaching them. I'm actually teaching them stuff. You know, that's

Jack Broudy:  that's Susan, you've definitely impacted a lot of people's lives, a lot of kids, but it sounds like a lot of adults. I can tell you, I I should be taking some leadership courses myself with this company but I don't, I learned from people like you and others, which is, you know, so I'm very thankful. But no, I I really enjoyed it. Um we should do this again.

Susan Nardi:  Yes, we should.

Jack Broudy:  What was I gonna say? Yeah, you're just, you know, you're a great teacher, great tennis coach and you're a great person and and it's a pleasure, it's a pleasure talking with

Susan Nardi:  you. Well, it's a pleasure talking to you and um I'm proud to be a part of the team that will move tennis forward with brody and getting more people to understand the 45 and the concepts that, that you've got out there that you're teaching that are making a huge difference and impact and on creating, you know better players and people that can really enjoy the game because they can, you know, play it. I'm

Jack Broudy:  honored. You see what we're doing and that you're taking it to the streets and and you know, making you know, changing the tennis world one player at a time. That's what we do.

Susan Nardi:  Absolutely.

Jack Broudy:  All right. Hey Susan. I'm sure we'll talk again soon and it's been a lot of fun. Thank you.

Susan Nardi:  Yeah. Thank you jack, have a good one. Okay.

Jack Broudy:  You too. Bye bye

Susan Nardi:  bye bye.



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