San Fernando Valley tennis professional teaches skills that last a lifetime

Tennis Professional Nikki Robbins
Tennis Professional Nikki Robbins

by Rich Neher
The Los Angeles area is fortunate to be home of not only the Southern California Tennis Association (SCTA), but also to an abundance of tennis professionals. A famous tennis coach once jokingly said Southern Cal tennis pros are a dime a dozen, and there is hardly another area in the United States that is so saturated with ordinary teaching professionals. And then there are those who stand out, who see their profession as more than just a way to make money. Who teach and organize and dedicate their time with a purpose. Meet Nicole Robbins, aka Nikki, leader of Nikki’s Tennis Crew, and outstanding tennis professional at Weddington Golf & Tennis in Studio City.
A local Southern California girl from Los Angeles, Nikki spent most of her life playing tennis in Studio City. Playing number one at Campbell Hall High School in North Hollywood and from there progressing to a tennis scholarship at Northern Arizona in Flagstaff where she played on the Varsity tennis team for four years, Nikki learned the ins and outs of winning tennis matches. But she didn’t stop there. After graduating in 1989 with a degree in Sports Psychology, she returned to her roots, The Racquet Centre of Universal City and started teaching full time.
As Director of Social Activities, running many tournaments and events, she has given trophies to Venus Williams and The Bryan Brothers – highly regarded Southern California tennis celebrities. After taking over as Director of Junior Development Nikki spent the next ten years teaching and playing tennis tournaments. She was ranked number one in Southern California in the ladies 25's singles, mixed 5.5 (with her student Mike Rosett) and number three in 5.5 singles.
After The Racquet Centre of Universal City was turned into a shopping mall Nikki relocated to Weddington Tennis, formally known as Studio City Golf and Tennis, and that’s where she makes an impact in the tennis (and personal) life of so many kids and adults. She says “I enjoy teaching all levels of tennis and specialize in beginners - intermediate, where many students have gone on to successful college careers. I also work with developmentally delayed children.”
Nikki's teaching philosophy is that tennis is a skill that will last a life time, at all levels and can be enjoyed by young and old. She instills in her students a solid foundation of skill and strategy. She says “Every student has a different learning style and I always try to adapt to their needs. That often means to say the same thing many different ways so my students understand what is being taught.”
And how about the private life of Nicole Robbins? When she is not teaching on a tennis court, Nikki also enjoys the martial arts (kung fu and tai chi), skiing. She also speaks Spanish and is attempting to learn how to play the piano and speak French. But tennis is entrenched in her life like no other activity. Her organization, Nikki’s Tennis Crew offers a wide variety of tennis programs for adults and children, such as private and group lessons; Quickstart programs for juniors; Captaining of USTA League teams; tournaments; special events and camps. Wilson Sporting Goods, one of the major technology companies in the sport of tennis, has asked Nikki to be on their Advisory Staff. She is holding this position since 1989.
Nikki is in good company at Weddington Golf & Tennis. Not only is this semi-public club home of the California Social Tennis Network and the Oscar Wegner Tennis College, but it is also known for a number of celebrities that were seen there playing tennis lately, like Will Ferrell and Jon Lovitz. And one of the most famous tennis players of all time is known to use the golf driving range every once in a while: Pete Sampras.

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