Dial Jones Tennis Academy Testimonials

Ken Norton
Current Defensive Coach of the Oakland Raiders, Former Defensive Coach of the Seattle Seahawks:
“My two children, Sabrina and Kenny, take tennis lessons with Dial Jones a few times a week. My wife and I had been searching for a coach for several months but were dissatisfied with our first attempts for a variety of reasons. However, Dial clicked with the kids and seemed to have a more athletic view and a more complete coaching technique than the others. Dial also understood the subtle differences between my daughter and son and adjusted his teaching style accordingly.

The Kids have been taking lessons with Dial for more than a year and they have commented on his lessons to my wife and I. Sabrina likes that Dial pushes her to try harder and her tennis has improved as a result. My son Kenny loves competition and enjoys the fact that Dial keeps him involved even while he is waiting for Sabrina to finish her lesson. (Each child plays for one hour with Dial while the other waits at the court.) When I come to pick up the kids, I often see Dial using both playfulness and humor to engage them and keep them motivated. He also gives my kids tennis homework which demonstrates Dial’s strength as a coach – he’s very clear, concise and extremely knowledgeable about the game. Plus, the kids like the assignments and they feel a sense of accomplishment as they progress through Dial’s lessons.

Finding the right fit for your kids and their coach is extremely important to me which is why we took so long to find the right tennis instructor for Sabrina and Kenny. Now that we have been with Dial, I can’t imagine a different coach for them. this is the only sport my kids play for the entire year – all the others are only seasonal.  The fact that the kids look forward to their lessons with Dial and have committed his assignments demonstrated to me that he has earned their respect and, mot importantly their trust.  As a professional athlete myself, with 13 years in the NFL and three Superbowl championships under my belt, and coach for the USC Trojans, I understand and appreciate what it takes to be a great coach.

I should mention that my children are ages 12 (Sabrina) and 10 (Kenny). We highly recommend Dial and hope that this opportunity works out for him with your organization.”

Nicole Marois
5 International Juniors Single Championship Titles ( Belgium, Canada, Germany, and USA):

"I wish I had met Dial when I was 10 years old, my tennis career would have taken a complete different dimension. I played international level and quit tennis out of frustration for 10 years before I met Dial.
He put the fun back into my game, and inspired me to make the technical changes I needed to make my game playful again. Aside from his deep knowledge of the game, Dial has an elegant and caring approach with each student he comes to contact with. Dial’s presence on the court, as a person and as an instructor, is an asset for the community.

Thank you Dial, I’m still hitting tennis balls and smiling most of the time."

Clay Babcock
Tennis Director, Olympic Resort:
“I have personally known Dial Jones for 20 years. I enjoyed working for Dial as an Assistant Tennis Professional for six years, three years at the University Club of Palo Alto, and three years at Club Sports/ Hilton in Pleasanton. Dial is a true professional, highly respected by both club members and his colleagues. He is friendly, outgoing and very reliable. Whether it’s junior or adult programs, social mixers or round robins, he always keeps the members happy and excited to participate. Dial has competed with some of the best players in the world including Jimmy Connors, Kevin Curren and Steve Denton to name a few. Dial has been a mentor to me and I truly respect him.”

Laura Gideon M.S.
Exercise Physiologist/Trainer:
“After several years of being away from playing Tennis I wanted to get started again and felt that taking lessons was the best way to begin the process.  Dial was highly recommended to me by a client of mine who is an avid tennis player for 30 years and has been getting instruction from Dial.  Being athletic, in addition to a Pilates/Fitness Trainer for many years, my body has suffered some injury and needed to work within that boundary. I am also of a competitive mindset and like to push myself sometimes beyond my physical boundaries. What I LOVE about Dial, is his ability to assess a players level, take in consideration of physical boundaries and a players strengths and weaknesses. He educates his clients on proper form and builds a strong foundation for which to build on.  He instructs in a very clear concise way to get improvement from his students while making the lesson time a lot of fun.  His knowledge and passion of tennis is obvious and he cares about each student as if they were his only student that day (even if you are his last lesson).  Dial has given me excitement about playing tennis and the confidence to play the best I can play every time I am out of the court. Thanks so much Dial!!!”

“Tennis is always made fun with Dial Jones. His incredible accomplishments as a nationally ranked player combined with enthusiasm for the sport make it a joy for any student under his instruction. He can fine-tune your game whether you’re just a beginner or aspire to play in tournaments competitively. Try a lesson with this veteran coach and you’ll be amazed and how you can catch Dial’s passion for tennis and turn it into a game you just can’t live without.”

Nicolas Ravon
“I have been a very long time student of Dial. He is the best tennis teacher I ever had. He will be able to give you all the tools that you need to take your game to another level. His 30 years of teaching and knowledge of the latest technique will make your lesson one of the greatest experience with a a tennis professional you ever had.”

Del Hunter-White
“I’m originally from Oklahoma.  Tennis didn’t exist in my world until I moved to Los Angeles in 1991.  I became addicted to watching The Williams’ Sisters do their thing on the international tennis circuit.  After several years of being a “couch potato tennis player” I decided to explore the possibility of actually playing.  Being a true Virgo, I believe in excelling in everything I pursue.  In that regard, I needed to find the perfect tennis coach.  I decided to do some personal research.  I visited several tennis courts and observed a few coaches working with their clients.  I took a few lessons, no one clicked.  Then one day after yet another disappointing lesson.  I walked by a court and saw this guy working with a 5 year old boy.  He was patient, present, encouraging and knowledgeable.  I decided if he could work with this kid, perhaps he can see if this middle-aged woman has “game.”

That guy was Dial Jones.  We clicked from day one.  I had never held a racquet in my life.  I found out that I had excellent hand/eye coordination.  He taught me everything I know about tennis and helped me uncover my “inner Serena”.  I’m no longer a “couch potato tennis player”, I’m on the court and having the time of my life.  I’m very grateful to Dial for helping me discover a sport I can play well into my golden years. “

Scott Flora
“I’ve been working with Dial on my game for the last few years.  He’s an amazing teacher with an infectious excitement for tennis.  He’s addressed every aspect of my game, physical and mental, improved each part that needed help and has taken me from a tentative, average player to a confident, solid competitor.

Dial knows my game and swing and his eye for what may be off in my technique always impresses me, no other instructor I’ve worked with comes close.

I can’t recommend him enough for all player levels and always look forward to my Friday sessions with “coach” Dial!”

Andrei Marmor
USC Professor:
“Dial is a superb tennis coach. I have become addicted to our twice-weekly lessons a couple of years ago and it is an addiction I am more than happy to maintain for decades to come. Every lesson with Dial is a wonderful learning experience. I use the word “wonderful” purposefully: what you learn with Dial is that a tiny little change here, a small adjustment there, really creates wonders.  And it’s all great fun. Dial has a charming personality, and he is one of the most friendly and  attentive persons I know; Dial never pretends to listen, he really does.”

Jeff G.
“Dial Jones has taken my game from an average 4.0 to a solid 4.5. Dial teaches master class techniques to average club players which raises their games to new heights. Dial’s lessons combine physical, technical, and tactical elements which helped me refine all aspects of my game. I travel the world and take lessons from pros, but none can match Dial’s insights into the game. He is also a great motivator, and fun to hang with.”– David Robinson
“I first met Dial when he was giving lessons to my daughter. I liked his easy-going nature and patience, not to mention his approach to teaching. As I was looking to get back to playing again, I decided to contact Dial and he told me about his Saturday clinics. The drills and instruction that Dial offers are challenging, fun and based on real-match situations.

Dial’s experience and professionalism make his clinics and lessons a cut above other teaching pros and keep me coming back week after week.”

Courtney Spikes
UCLA Professor:
“I have been taking private lessons with Dial for over a year now, at least one or two times a week, and he has vastly improved my tennis game.

Dial has a unique combination of being very meticulous in his teaching and assessment but also being flexible enough to adjust his plans as the day (and my abilities) dictate. He articulates a clear and consistent game plan before every lesson and explains how each part of the lesson fits into the larger picture so that I can remain focused on my lesson while understanding how it will impact and advance my overall abilities on the court.

I have taken private tennis lessons over the past decade with USTA pros in Maryland, Florida and California and Dial is the best coach I have ever had.  This is due in part to the fact that he is committed to my personal tennis experience, no just his lessons with me. Dial has gone out of his way to match me with other tennis players, other students of his, so that I can continue to improve my game and enjoy the sport to its fullest. Through Dial, I feel as though I am now a part of a larger tennis community – something that is sorely lacking in Santa Monica.

Having met several of Dial’s other students, we have all commented on Dial’s commitment to our development as tennis players, his consummate professionalism as well as his consistent good humor and positive outlook during our lessons. We are all pleased to have found Dial and agree that we all recommend him without reservation to our friends and family. Dial also has a high level of integrity and has earned our trust both as our coach and as a colleague.”

Judy Israel
“There are many tennis pros around the Santa Monica, West Los Angeles area. Over the years I have taken from several of them. The one pro who I can unhesitatingly refer children and friends to is DIAL JONES. Dial’s genuine love and knowledge of the game and his ability to share that with his students is unique and inspiring. His understanding of each movement required in tennis is remarkable and the manner in which he delivers his teaching information is always positive and with clarity. Oh what I’d give to have learned tennis from Dial before I had bad habits. When my grandchildren are in town, I make sure they have lessons with Dial.  His dedication to teaching tennis is obvious. I’ll always go back for more lessons from him!”

Jonathan Weiner
“I really enjoy Dial’s weekly clinics…not only are they a lot of fun, but I’m really learning a lot as well. His teaching style is very personalized and he really helps you target the areas of your game you need to improve and helps you get there.”

Nick Frontiere
“Dial Jones has been my tennis instructor for over 5 years. I had previously been playing tennis for far longer then that, but it was not until I moved to California a few years ago that I began to take weekly lessons from Dial. I am currently a student at UCLA, and my skills has a tennis player can easily be measured with my performance against the great tennis athletes that go there. As a result of Dials superb teaching, my skills have increased tremendously over the years, and I play with many students who I previously could not stand a chance at beating.
Prior to Dials teaching, I really had only one classical looking fore-hand, and my serve was a mess (actually, I served worse then a waiter on his first day on the job!). What made Dial such a great teacher was his ability to quickly recognize a weakness in my game, and to easily convey what it was and how to fix it. He also did so with a great deal of kindness; an attribute of his that one discovers immediately after meeting him.
Dial always seemed to perfectly grasp how much I could handle each lesson, and I always left feeling accomplished and excited to practice the new skills I had learned from the day. I was most impressed with his ability to fix my serve; a task which many of my previous instructors failed miserably. He methodically broke down each element of the serve, and we attacked each one individually until I could easily combine them. He also added a variety of shots to my ground stroke, all of which greatly improved my game.

I now have multiple different fore and back-hand shots that allow me to perform my best in any returning situation, and my serve has never been better. I owe all that and much more to Dial Jones, and highly recommend him as a teacher.”

Stan Holm
“I’m the type of guy that needs to feel like I’m getting better at what ever athletic activity I’m pursuing or I lose interest.  Take tennis, for example.  When I’m not playing well and getting pounded in a match, I need to have the feeling that I can correct my mistakes, play better the next time and turn the table on the opponents.  This is where Dial Jones comes into the picture.  I’ve been taking lessons from Dial for years.  My love for tennis and the enjoyment I get out of it today are, to a large measure, due to Dial Jones and his teaching skills. As a man in my 60s, Dial once told me that I will need to improve my stroke making skills to offset the natural decline in athletic ability that comes with age.  Man, is he right!.  With Dial’s weekly instructions, coaching and encouragement, my game has continued to improve in spite of my age and I have the feeling that I can continue to improve. Many people dread Monday’s as “return to work day”, but I love Mondays because that is my lesson day with Dial.”

Michael Cheung
“This may be my first testimonial. I think it’s totally unnecessary. Half an hour with Dial will tell you all you need to know. His passion for helping people learn real tennis is self-evident. He loves the sport and wants to share that. It was important for me that my kids develop proper technique. I have seen Dial work with my elementary school-age children and students of all ages. He has a remarkable ability to analyze and convey stroke nuances in an age-appropriate manner.”

“Dial is one of the best tennis instructors in LA.  Over the last 15 years he’s coached me, one of my daughters and my girlfriend.  He’s helped me reconstruct my back hand after two shoulder surgeries, taught me the finer points of game management and increased the speed of my serve.  I love every minute on the court with him!”

Remy and Cathy
“Hands down Dial is the single best coach with whom we have ever had the pleasure of working. We were stronger players under his guidance. The things we appreciated most about Dial were his technical knowledge, motivating spirit and positive attitude. He worked wonderfully with both us and our two kids. We can’t work with Dial anymore since we moved away, but we always try to get in with him when visiting the LA area.”

Michael Haber
(2012: 4 years before becoming the Academy Manager):
“I have been taking classes with Dial for 7 years now, since I was 13. I started off in a 4 person group lesson, having taken only a few classes when I was 5. Dial took me from merely pushing the ball back to actually taking deliberate, aimed strokes in no time at all. It was at that point that I decided to start taking private lessons with him, and as far as my tennis game is concerned, that is the best choice I have ever made. Dial teaches both through excellent example and through explanations of the theory behind the motions. If my muscle memory for a certain shot eludes me, I can take a moment to remember the reasoning behind why the stroke works the way it does and practice a drill Dial showed me to specifically deal with the issue I’m having. Dial focuses on teaching aspects of the game which will lead to the greatest overall development of the player rather than lead to the largest short-term improvement. Dial is also very able to tailor a player’s game to maximize their strengths without leaving any glaring weaknesses. I’m so happy that he encouraged me to stick with proper serve form through the first few months where none of my serves would go in because now on a good day I can serve near 100 mph and alternate between flat, slice, and kick serves. So many teachers buckle under their students’ frustrations and don’t give them proper support to make it through the phase of just tapping the serve in. Beyond working on correct stroke technique, Dial also taught me the how to get ready for my opponent’s shots, position myself on the court, and think multiple moves ahead to develop a plan for winning each point.

Dial introduced me to the Santa Monica tennis community by helping me set up matches outside of class time. He made me comfortable about conversing with other players so that I could set up matches on my own with talented players in the area. He also encouraged me to play people better than me to challenge myself so that I could improve. With Dial’s help, I was able to make my competitive high school tennis team for multiple years and performed well in USTA satellite and open tournaments. I have developed into a capable, confident player who still understands how much more there is to learn about the game and who is excited, rather than intimidated, by the prospect of tackling whatever challenges lie ahead in my development as a player, in large part because I know I have a great coach helping me succeed. Over the years, I’ve come to regard Dial as an excellent instructor of unmatched capability and, to a degree I never could have imagined when I first started taking lessons, I have also come to regard Dial as a close personal friend.”