Starting a tennis-based podcast was never a career aspiration for Steve Williams. The Colorado tennis coach was simply looking for an outlet to discuss mechanics, footwork, and the UTR Rating. Lucky for Williams, he found the perfect partner to bring his passion project to life.
In January 2022, Williams linked up with local tennis legend Bob Bateman, and the duo released their first-ever episode of the FRA Podcast.
“We talk a lot about the benefits of the UTR Rating and level-based play,” said Williams. “We also dive into skill acquisition and motor skills.”
Williams wasn’t big on paid marketing for the podcast, so he was stunned when it made the top 20 in the U.S. in the tennis genre. The tennis themed show has also been a success abroad, especially after their latest podcast with Irish coach Bill O’Callaghan blew up in the U.K. with thousands of streams.
Despite recently starting this new project together, Williams and Bateman go way back. They met because they coached some of the same tennis players, and realized they shared a similar coaching philosophy. He recalls that Bateman was the person who introduced him to the UTR Rating over 10 years ago.
“I’ve been coaching tennis for 17 years and I was an early adapter before most players and coaches knew what UTR was,” he said. “I should give Bob credit.he was the one who turned me onto UTR 10 years ago.”
Bateman, a decorated college player and coach, knew the importance of having a level-based rating and passed the knowledge on to Williams, especially since there was so much inconsistency with tennis ratings.
Not only did Williams become a big fan of the UTR Rating, he has been using the Universal Tennis software to run Match Play events out of public parks in the City of Loveland, Colorado, for over a year.
Williams’ has also dabbled in Junior Circuit events, but says his Friday night level-based Match Play events are the most popular events he runs at Front Range Academy.
“As a provider, I have found the UTR Rating to be fantastic because you can use those numbers and metrics to split kids up by skill level. There is no favoritism or politics,” said Williams. “Kids also have time to develop and improve, and they are having fun.”
Williams says he would recommend the platform to all providers due to the rating accuracy and ease of the software.
“The Universal Tennis customer service is quick and easy. The whole system to create events is so simple and easy to make draws. Everything is pretty intuitive and user-friendly.”Interested in learning more about the Universal Tennis software, click here!