On August 5th, Tim Troiano joined Five Seasons Family Sports Club in Burr Ridge as its new director of tennis.
In short order, he has demonstrated that he possesses an ample supply of those traits he seeks in players: a passion for the game, a solid work ethic and—yes—remembering to have lots of fun.
This was evident early on when he came up with the idea of wielding a comically oversized tennis racquet during a photo shoot.
The playful Troiano got in a good workout as he struck various poses—and even struck, on occasion, an oversized tennis ball. During a break from the impromptu action, Troiano explained the key elements of his approach to the game.
“I want to help players who are passionate about the game and work hard. You must ‘bust,’” said Troiano. “Tennis is an exciting sport and is for people with all sorts of ability levels, goals and dreams. And it’s a sport of a lifetime—you can play it during every stage of life.”
“It’s one-on-one, players must be able to be self-reliant, independent and confident enough in themselves and their skills to have what it takes to succeed,” he added. “It’s a coach’s job to teach and instill the mental, physical and emotional skills, techniques and training it takes to achieve this.”
He has coached players all along that spectrum, from as young as 4 years old to as senior as a 75-year-old former CEO of a Fortune 100 company.
His 14-year coaching career most recently took him to the Hinsdale Racquet Club, where, as Director of High Performance Tennis, he coached some of the top junior players in the country over the past six years. From tots to blue chips, he has coached a variety of players to sectional, state and national championships.
For the Five Seasons post, he was chosen from among 14 people who advanced to the interview round of applicants, said Bob Diamond, Five Seasons Chief Club Officer.
“Tim brings a dynamic energy and a great reputation that is well established in the area,” Diamond said. “He’s passionate about tennis and working as a team. He’s a perfect fit for what we’re looking for here at Five Seasons.”
Troiano, 36, began playing tennis when he was 6. A standout in both tennis and state select soccer in his earlier years, competing nationally in both sports, he turned his athletic focus to tennis at 13. Throughout the rest of his junior career, he was among the top-rated players nationally.
At Hoffman Estates High School, Troiano was the team’s Number 1 singles player and Most Valuable Player all four years, and he served as captain his final two years.
His talent also extended to the stage, and a lead role in The Pajama Game during high school was followed by a vocal scholarship to Roosevelt University in Chicago. To this day, he isn’t shy about singing a few lyrics—on the theme of not being afraid to fail—to students on the tennis court.
Although Roosevelt did not have a tennis program, Troiano kept sharp and embarked briefly on the pro satellite circuit, in 2000-2001. In 2001, Troiano shifted to coaching. Ever since, he has immersed himself in guiding players. Throughout, one aspect of his philosophy echoes a favorite line of tennis great Roger Federer: “It’s nice to be important, but it’s more important to be nice.”
His career has included a two-year period when he was the tennis director of the Outer Banks Health & Racquet Club in North Carolina.
He was attracted to Five Seasons for the opportunity to take leadership of the tennis programs through a restructuring that will include a new junior director, Matt McClure, and a new adult director, Mike Patrick. Establishing clear lines of communication, and bringing enthusiasm and consistency to the department, are among Troiano’s top priorities.
On Saturday, Sept. 7, Five Seasons is hosting a meet-and-greet with Troiano and other new tennis staff members. The event is open to the public. Five Seasons Burr Ridge is at 6901 S. Madison and online at www.facebook.com/FiveSeasonsBurrRidge.
For more information about the club and its many programs, call 630-570-5200.