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Founder of Essential Tennis brings players from all over the world to Milwaukee

Ian Westermann often records players to better studying and correct their techniques
Kat Schleicher
Milwaukee Magazine
Ian Westermann often records players to better study and correct their techniques in tennis.

Milwaukee is not the tennis capital of the world. But why are people traveling all the way to Wisconsin for a tennis lesson? It’s because of Ian Westermann.

Westermann is the founder of Essential Tennis. He has a large following online, where most of his content focuses on leveling up your foundational tennis skills like a backhand or a serve. He also coaches people who want to do better on the court by using the hard truth, habit creation and watching back game tape. And many of his students often leave with a breakthrough.

Westermann explains that a majority of the Essential Tennis players come from across the country, or even the world. Players travel to learn from him and his team’s unique perspective on tennis training and coaching. Westermann emphasizes the importance of recording players and showing them the “objective reality” of their game.

“When people come and work with us, we spend the first hour doing a baseline analysis of their game and just gathering baseline footage of their strokes. Then, we’ll spend two or three hours on their first shot, like one swing. And then we’ll work for two or three hours on developing that one thing of that one stroke,” says Westermann. “So the timing and the tempo of what we do is very slow. It’s very mentally intense.”

Despite Tennis Essential’s more rigorous practices, Westermann encourages all people to check out the game of a lifetime that is tennis. He preaches the benefits of competition, camaraderie, and socialization.

“It’s given me so much over the years; personally, physically, mentally, socially, everything. My whole life is better because of it. And so, I hope in the Milwaukee area, there is an upswing for tennis. So I just don’t want people to feel super intimidated by the stuff we’ve talked about,” says Westermann.

You can read more about Ian Westermann and Essential Tennis in this month's issue of Milwaukee Magazine.

READ: YouTube’s Most Sought-After Tennis Coach Is Here in Milwaukee

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Mallory Cheng was a Lake Effect producer from 2021 to 2023.
Cait Flynn was an assistant producer for Lake Effect 2022 to 2023.
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