Jeff Greenwald: It’s Never too Late to Play the Best Tennis of Your Life
Sports continue to be a central theme in Jeff Greenwald’s life. As a child, he was active in baseball, football and ski racing. He watched his dad and brother playing tennis, when he was 11 and he caught the bug. Within a year and a half he told his parents, “I want to be a professional tennis player.” Three weeks later, Jeff said goodbye to his friends and was on a plane to begin training at Nick Bolliettieri’s
He grew up in Westport, Connecticut. By 1983, he earned the No. 2 ranking in New England and No. 59 in the U.S. for Boys’ 16. In 1988, he played No. 1 for U.C. Santa Barbara and was captain of the team. He was also named Athlete of the Year and reached No. 77 in ITA National Rankings.
Jeff did become a professional tennis player and played the Tour from 1991-1993, earning world rankings in both singles and doubles, despite feeling that something crucial was missing in his game—the ability to manage his emotions and expectations.ADVERTISEMENT
After two years of playing some of his best tennis in Hamburg, Germany from 1993-1995, Jeff developed a keen interest in the science behind peak performance, enrolled in graduate school and earned a Master’s Degrees in Clinical and Sport Psychology. He then moved to Florida to spend time with his mentor, James E. Loehr at the Human Performance Institute. After a stint with Dr. Loehr, he came back to Northern California and became licensed as a marriage and family therapist, specializing in sport psychology for athletes and their families and opened the doors to Mental Edge International in 1998.
Jeff felt it was crucial to test his new mindset and began to play numerous Open tournaments in Northern California from 1995 to 2001. In 1997 he was named Men’s Open Player of the Year. In 2001, he became the Men’s 35 National Hardcourt Singles and Doubles Champion as well as Men’s 35 ITF World Champion. He was ranked No. 1 in the world in Men’s 35, No. 1 in Doubles in the U.S. and selected for the USTA Italia Cup Team.
In 2002, Jeff was named USPTA Men’s Senior Player of the Year and published his best-selling audio program, Fearless Tennis. By 2005, he became a member of the Coaches Commission, focusing on ways to improve junior tennis. Jeff served as a sport psychology consultant for USTA from 2005 to 2010, for high performance coaches and players development in Key Biscayne, Florida. In 2007, he published The Best Tennis of Your Life, the third best-selling tennis psychology book.
Jeff felt he became a vastly different player and the wins continued. Jeff became the 40 National Hard Court Singles Champion in 2009, and then again seven years later in 2016 and 2017, now more than a decade past the age division. He’s won two ITF World Championships, six Gold Balls, two Silver Balls, and four Bonze Balls so far. He has also received a 20 Years of Service accommodation from the USPTA.
In addition to his best-selling book, Jeff has recently produced a popular online video course called Fearless Tennis, which grew from his best-selling audio book. For the past two decades, Jeff has influenced thousands of athletes and professionals experience breakthroughs on and off the court. He continues to speak and consult with the USTA and work with highly ranked players worldwide.