#106: Aaron Rusnak: Channel your inner "RUDY". Be brave and follow your dreams!

Season #5

Today's guest is one of The Coaching Podcast's regular listeners, Tennis Coach Aaron Rusnak. He lives and breathes the three core qualities of what makes a great coach, someone who is passionate, a great listener and truly cares about their players beyond the wins and losses. Aaron takes us inside his sliding doors moment when he had to leave a club after 12 years and be true to his morals and values. By doing this, he stepped outside of the box, re-discovered himself and is determined to follow his goals and dreams thanks to the wonderful support he has from his family and the many players whose lives he continues to impact today.

Take a deeper dive into Aaron's mindset at the following intersections of this episode; 

  • Challenging Coaching Moment – stretching your comfort zone 2:10
  • The importance of respect 7:45
  • Sliding Doors – Post a professional career, Aaron faces the identity crisis,  "I am a tennis player" versus "I am a tennis coach" 8:54
  • Conduct a coaching session using questions only (we dare you?!) 12:41 
  • Empower decision-making - Pull information versus push information on your player 14:01
  • What makes a great coach? 14:31
  • How do I become a better coach to be recognized on the tour? 16:00
  • What's your niche? 18:00
  • Coaches inspire growth - learning from other great coaches 19:10
  • Click on the link to listen to Darren Cahill's episode on The Coaching Podcast
  • Old school thinking but new school creativity = be true to yourself 21:17
  • Lead by example, lead with passion and have empathy for your students and your peers 23:10

 You can follow Aaron on Social Media via Instagram at inspire2betennis and
LinkedIn @ Aaron Rusnak

  • Teaching and Coaching for 26 years
  • Was voted Top 25 male tennis professional coach by Tennis Channel and Tennis Magazine 2021
  • GPTCA ATP Tour certified Coach 2021
  • Director of Performance at Five Star Tennis Center
  • Usta Pro Circuit Player 2002-2008
  • #220 on the Usta Pro circuit Ranking 2008, was Nationally Ranked in 2008 18 in Singles and 8 in Doubles in the Country 
  • USPTR Certified Professional
  • USPTA Member
  • Resistance Band Training Specialist
  • Racquet Fit Specialist
  • Former Head Women's and Men's Coach at Elmhurst University 2018
  • On the Coach of the Year ballot in 2018 for the CCIW on the Women's Side
  • Made history in 2012-2013 season winning Conference on the Men's side at Elmhurst University which had not been done in 52 years
  • Feature Speaker at the Illinois High School Tennis Symposium 2012 & 2015
  • In 26 years went on to develop players who went on to play at big Division 1 and Division 3 schools from Iowa, Notre Dame, Marquette, Colgate, Valparaiso, Detroit Mercy, Brandeis, Carthage, and many more to also training a player to get ATP Singles Points.
  • Coached a player who went on to win the Wisconsin State Championships in 2021.
  • Background in Regenerative Holistic Treatment.

This episode was sponsored by LUCKY IN LOVE. Here is the link to shop for 

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