Kyle LaCroix decided that he would become a tennis teaching professional at the age of 14.
"I knew that the tennis industry had specific qualities and traits that matched with my personality and eventually would allow me to grow and develop into a successful professional. Plus, I just loved tennis!"
I wanted to be in the tennis industry and felt my best chance to accomplish this feat was to enroll myself in the Professional Tennis Management Program at Ferris State University (Big Rapids, Mich.)," Kyle explains. "It was there that I met fellow students who shared the same passion and enthusiasm for the game that I did and knew I made the right choice, knowing that the tennis industry is where I belong," he says. "I just loved teaching"
Kyle played on the Maroon Squad at Ferris State, competing against major schools such as Michigan, Michigan State and Eastern Michigan. He graduated from the PTM Program in 2004 with a bachelor's degree in marketing. He developed his tennis and business skills under USPTA Master Professionals R.J. Tessier and Current USPTA National President Tom Daglis, who served respective tenures as the PTM director.
In the spring of 2004, Kyle was the first student ever to receive the Scott Schultz Founder's Award during the PTM Banquet weekend. This award is given to a PTM student who displays a passion for their chosen career, a great attitude, work ethic, consistent level of excellence throughout their college career and a deep level of respect from their peers. "Because of tennis - as a student at Ferris and while on internship - I have had many opportunities to meet people from all over the world who share the same interest I do," Kyle says. Today, Kyle is on the PTM/Ferris State University Advisory Board with other industry leaders.
Following his career at Ferris State, Kyle earned an MBA (Marketing) from the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor, Mich). GO BLUE!
This P-1 member of USPTA currently serves as Head Tennis Professional at the Oaks at Boca Raton in Boca Raton, Fla. A full service high end private tennis club. Kyle's #1 priority is serving his beloved members. "They are the best, most supportive and active members any tennis club could dream of having" Kyle boasts.
Along with his numerous responsibilities as the Head Tennis Professional, Kyle is very proud to be a USPTA Florida Division Tester and site coordinator for the certification and exam process at his facility. "I believe my job as a tester is an immensely important one for the USPTA. A tester's knowledge, confidence, teaching, and oratory skills is responsible for making the first impression that all applicants in the USPTA will see. Testers promote and hold up the standards that the USPTA wants to represents. We are the ultimate ambassadors to our profession, our organization (USPTA) and the sport of tennis as a whole." This attitude has already allowed Kyle to be awarded the 2009-2010 USPTA Florida Division Tester of The Year as well as the 2010-2011 Florida Division District Professional of the Year for Boca Raton. He was also honored with the 2011-2012 USPTA Florida Division Tester of The Year. His third USPTA award in as many years and his 2nd Tester of The Year in three years. Most recently, he received the USPTA Florida Division District Professional Of The Year for 2016-2017. He has also been a featured presenter at numerous tennis conferences and symposiums.
In August of 2014 in New York City at The Tennis Teachers Conference, Kyle became the youngest professional at the age of 32 to be awarded the USPTA George Bacso National Tester of The Year Award.
Along with his teaching obligations, Kyle is a prolific writer. Having written for USPTA Addvantage Magazine, Baselines USPTA Florida Division Magazine, the tennis blog LoveSetMatch.net, TennisTribe Online Magazine and currently for the world's leading tennis instructional website Tennisplayer.net.
Kyle has also been named to a 2 year term to serve on the USPTA National College Curriculum Committee for 2014-2016. In early 2014, he was also named to both the USPTA Florida Division "Under 30" Initiative executive Committee. The "Under 30" program provides educational, career networking, job search, and financial aid opportunities for young tennis professionals starting in the industry.
This ambitious tennis professional previously worked as a tennis professional at the Philadelphia Cricket Club and as an Academy/Resort Coach at Saddlebrook Resort in Wesley Chapel, Florida
"The thing I enjoy most out of my profession is seeing the joy on a student's face when they experience the "a-ha" moment. Whether it's executed on a specific stroke, on the ball machine, in a clinic, or in a match," he says. "It's an incredible feeling knowing you helped that person succeed and perhaps made a difference not only in their game, but in some cases, in their life."
When Mr. LaCroix is not on the court, he's exceptionally proud to work as an SAT/ACT tutor for high school students. Helping them prepare for college board exams, as well as improving their overall understanding and confidence in subjects that once gave them trouble gives him a great sense of pride and optimism. "The environment in which I work in, as well as the relationship/respect I have with my students, as well as my bosses, provides the perfect landscape for educational success" Kyle confides.
"I've always loved the flirtatious tango of consonants and vowels, the sturdy dependability of nouns and capricious whimsy of verbs, the struggling pageantry of the adjectives and the flitting evanescence of the adverb, all kept safe and orderly by those reliable little policeman, punctuation marks..."-Dennis Miller
Kyle wants to make it very clear he teaches Reading, English, and just about anything else...except for Math! "To put it kindly, I'm absolutely hopeless in that subject. Let's just leave it at that."
When not teaching on court or in a classroom, Kyle can be found at the beach or by the pool. He may also be cooking, his first love and a skill he learned growing up in the restaurant business. Reading a great book, or spending time with close friends and loved ones. "I also enjoy traveling and keeping in touch with all my tennis friends from around the world" he states.
Kyle has been involved with USA Swimming since 1996 and United States Masters Swimming since 2000.
On dry land, he participates in philanthropic endeavors such as Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Share our Strength/No Kid Hungry, Careers Through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP), Autism Speaks, Aid to Victims of Domestic Violence and AMVETS.
During the college football season, Kyle passionately roots for his beloved University of Michigan football team.
Kyle currently resides in Boca Raton, Florida. You can follow his tennis/food/life musings and provocations on twitter @TennisTycoon.