We had the good fortune of connecting with Nicole Robbins and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Nicole, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
Starting my own business was very natural for me. I was working the Racquet Centre Universal City and when it shut down in 1998. Because of my organizational and people skills it was easy for me to go out on my own. There were some learning curves, but I quickly learned from my mistakes and made improvements. I was lucky my brother was a web developer, so I was one of the first tennis coaches to have my own website which was a huge help getting clients to know about me and my program. I had some great mentors whose guidance I still treasure. Good mentors are invaluable. They really made a difference for the success of my business.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I love my career. I love coaching people tennis and watching them progress. There is a satisfaction about seeing your student learn a sport that they can play their lifetime. I am now coaching many second-generation students. It is such a privilege to know that the parents learned from me and they enjoyed so much, they want their children to have the same experience. I think what sets me about from others is that it isn’t just about tennis with me. We obviously focus on tennis but there are many discussions about life and life lessons along with the tennis skills. I recently became a licensed minister for Centers for Spiritual Living, so I have a strong spiritual background that I bring to the courts. Positive attitudes on the court and being kind to yourself when you are learning something new is so important to me. Sometimes adults can be so hard on themselves when they don’t do it perfect the first lesson. My students learn they have opportunities instead of challenges. I would like to say Nikki’s Tennis Crew is about positivity, enjoyment, connection, and family. It is a sport that I want the whole family to enjoy. I do my best to make sure everyone who wants to play tennis gets an opportunity to play. Nikki’s Tennis Crew is my “village family.”
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I love our local places. Some of the restaurants I go to are Stanley’s, Rocco’s, Carney’s, Katsuya, Miya Sushi, Rice Wok, Quickies, Southwest Café (at Weddington Golf), Tequila’s (on Victory). There is nothing better than an afternoon stroll on the beach and a sunset walk along the board walk. A walk around Lake Balboa is always a good outing. There are so many other places I love but because of Covid I really am missing them like plays and the theater. My dear friend Jose Maldonado is the lead singer of the amazing cover band Sweet and Tender Hooligans and I am so looking forward when we can all go see them in concert again.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I have many mentors for my business who I need to give recognition to. My tennis coach Rich Kinuya, Bill Rombeau, Naomi Bradford and many people from Southern California Tennis Association. I was so lucky to grow up at one of the premier tennis clubs where the Who is Who of tennis came in our doors. Bill Rombeau taught me how to run tennis tournaments, Rich Kinuya taught me my teaching skills and Naomi taught me out to get two guys arguing over a line call, shaking hands and drinking beer laughing together.
I feel very blessed growing up in the San Fernando Valley as there are so many great businesses around here that make my everyday life that much more enjoyable. Carney’s is a childhood favorite that I still frequent. Keeping me looking great are Zully at Howard Kurtz, Veronica at Treats for the Face and Kim at Face it with Kim Smith. Keeping me in shape are Taoist Institute, Pilates Studio City, Tom Jermain Yoga and Fryman Canyon. Keeping my spiritual connection is Center’s for Spiritual Living Granada Hills. I love the kid’s programs run by John and Pam Moser at Village Arts Theater. We have many of the same kids in our program. I love watching their plays as they always have great humor in them, and the kids are so talented. Speaking of talent, local artist Kathryn Pitt does amazing paintings of pets and people. Anyone needing a photographer, Christine Bjerke with Photos by Christine is amazing. BMW Service on Woodman are honest mechanics. One might thing those two words don’t go together but for years they have kept my cars running and I have never felt over charged. I am very thankful for Weddington Golf and Tennis as I have had the privilege of coaching there for the past 22 years. It has been my home base and I have been able to do what I love most on the courts which is make the world a better place by teaching people a sport that they can play with family and friends for the rest of their lives. Tennis courts are my happy place.
Facebook: Nikki’s Tennis Crew both group and page
Yelp: Nikki’s Tennis Crew