The Podcast

Spec Tennis Revolutionizing How Game Of Tennis Is Taught (ft. Nate Gross)

Welcome to Season 10, Episode 32, of the ParentingAces Podcast, a proud member of the Tennis Channel Podcast Network. In this week’s episode, we take another look at Spec Tennis, a relatively new racquet sport being used to help new and existing players learn new skills that easily translate to a full-size tennis court and racquet. You can listen to last year’s podcast with Nate here.

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Intrigued by the size of a pickleball court and recalling the paddle tennis he played as a youth in Southern California, tennis teaching professional Nate Gross had an idea.

Spec Tennis was originally created by Gross as a fun social experience and an alternative use of pickleball courts. Since then, it has evolved into a bridge into tennis, giving players success, confidence, and fun a lot sooner than they would have with regular tennis.

“Spec Tennis can dramatically improve your tennis game,” said Gross, currently the Director of Racquet Sports at Clear Creek Tahoe. “The paddle is less powerful than a tennis racquet, yet a similar weight. This promotes better biomechanics, forcing players to turn their shoulders and use their legs in order to generate power. Spec Tennis helps players develop control. Any new shot or tactic you want to learn in tennis can be learned first in the more favorable environment that Spec creates, and then directly translated to tennis.”

“When I was first starting out learning how to hit a topspin backhand I learned on a Spec court, and it dramatically improved my game,” said former Twitter COO Adam Bain. “I honed that technique on the Spec court, then brought that over to the tennis court. It immediately translated for me. In fact, it allowed me to advance faster because of the work I did on the Spec court. No matter what skill level you are, starting with Spec should dramatically improve your tennis game.”

Longtime retired men’s tennis coach at Harvard University Dave Fish likes all aspects of Spec Tennis and thinks that tennis needs something like this especially at the entry level.

“I haven’t liked how the ROGY (Red, Orange, Green, Yellow) pathway has played out—because the racquets are too lively and kids just poke at the ball,” Fish said. “With Spec Tennis, you use a paddle which teaches kids to hit through the ball, and you use the pickleball court, so real estate has already been created and is growing exponentially.”

Gross has created the United States Spec Tennis Association ( and a unique ambassador program where tennis and racquet directors, as well as Spec Tennis enthusiasts, can grow the sport while receiving commission on paddle sales, and a discount on additional paddles. (

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As always, a big thank you to Morgan Stone, aka STØNE, for our intro and outro music this season. You can find more of his music at If you’re interested in House Music, please be sure to check out his social media channels on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

If you’re so inclined, please share this – and all our episodes! – with your fellow tennis players, parents, and coaches. You can subscribe to the podcast on Apple Podcasts or via your favorite podcast app. Please be sure to check out our logo’d merch as well as our a la carte personal consultations in our online shop.


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