Ben Gage, Durham, NC Tennis Coach

Ben Gage

Ben Gage Tennis RTP



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WFU Collegiate & ATP Pro Tour Vet and un-retired USPTA Club Pro, brings broad perspective as tennis analyst, performance drill mate, teacher & club consultant. View all coaching experience

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Training Locations


Trial Package
In-Person Training for a single athlete

1 session package with Coach Ben. 60 minute session length. A Basic analysis of your game status and overall improvement needs, plus tips!

Session Length: 1 hour

$115 1 session + one-time fee

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Standard Package
In-Person Training for a single athlete

5 session package with Coach Ben. 60 minute session length. Specific sessions on each game category area you prefer and/or Ben suggest. A written review of tips included at the end.

Session Length: 1 hour

$450 5 sessions ($90/ea) + one-time fee

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Elite Package
In-Person Training for a single athlete

10 session package with Coach Ben. 60 minute session length. A complete game improvement analysis, including hitting sessions. Written analysis and reviews after each session including suggestive tips. Tennis Video analysi... See More

Session Length: 1 hour

$750 10 sessions ($75/ea) + one-time fee

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One time Vidoe analysis
Online Training for a single athlete

Send a video under 30 mins for review and analysis (strokes and movement)

Session Length: 1 hour

$150 1 session + one-time fee

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Doubles Team Training
In-Person Training for up to 4 athletes

Coaching for your doubles team on court positioning, transitioning to wide and short balls, tactical maneuvers on transitioning to net and volley & overhead drills

Session Length: 90 minutes

$340 2 sessions ($170/ea) + one-time fee

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Movement & Strategies
In-Person Training for up to 8 athletes

Performance drills and strategic maneuvers to improve foot work, body positioning and balance. How and when to hit open stance, how to pivot the hips and shoulders for more control and use the legs for more power.

Session Length: 2 hours

$1000 4 sessions ($250/ea) + one-time fee

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Comprehensive High Performance Training
In-Person Training for a single athlete

Half Day Performance Training and Match Coach Analysis designed for serious competitors seeking to maximize their game improvements. Includes shadow swing spot agility drills; live ball hit drills, point play assimilation-... See More

Session Length: 3 hours

$1500 5 sessions ($300/ea) + one-time fee

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  • Wake Forest University (NC)

  • 20 years

  • Qualified Private Coach
    Passed Coach Course

  • Adults, Kids, Teenagers

  • Lob, Forehand, Slice, Drop Shot, Volley, Backhand, Topspin, Serve, Point Strategy, Footwork


  • Wake Forest University (NC)

  • 20 years

  • Qualified Private Coach
    Passed Coach Course


  • Adults, Kids, Teenagers

  • Lob, Forehand, Slice, Drop Shot, Volley, Backhand, Topspin, Serve, Point Strategy, Footwork

More About Coach Ben


Certified Tennis Pro:
A sport professional who coached and competed collegiality and globally, Ben Gage has over 25 years of direct tennis competition and coaching experience at the amateur and professional level. Originally certified as a USPTA Teaching Pro by the US Professional Tennis Association right out of college after turning pro, he competed on the ATP Pro Tour Satellite Challenger Circuit in Europe, Scandinavia, Florida & South Africa.

Coached Champions:
Coached local, state, and regional champions including nationally ranked and collegiate players. Coached high school tennis (state champion & undefeated teams) early in his career.

Versatile Career Summary:
Ben's career versatility brings a broad and fresh perspective to the game and life. After traveling half the world as a tennis pro and then as sporting goods marketing executive, distributor & brand builder early in his career, he spent the 2nd half of his career working in product innovation, technology transfer and commercialization.

Ben returned to tennis part time as teacher to give back and develop new instructional solutions. He's updated on the new instructional technology and methods, modern top spin swing styles, and quick movement drills----he can teach and hit old school and new school!

Seasoned Pro- Training & Teaching in Ral-Dur-Ch H:
Ben still has that natural instinct for the game as both performance hitter and teacher with current game and coaching know how. Most recently, he’s coaching & training again in collaboration with European & Collegiate Players at various levels.

Founded Hilton Head Island Tennis Academy:
One of the first pros to land on the island, Ben pioneered tennis on Hilton Head in its' early formation days. He owned and operated the Ben Gage Tennis Academy there for years affiliated with the Sea Pines Company and former Wimbledon/US Open Champion & World #1 Stan Smith. He served as Director of Tennis and Resident Professional at multiple Sea Pines resort and private community locations intermittently over a 15 year period, founded the Hilton Head Island Jr Tennis Program, Coached at Hilton Head Prep, and served on the Wilson Sporting Goods Tennis Advisory Staff.

Mentored under Tennis Hall of Famers and Educational Pioneers:
Ben trained and mentored under his WFU Varsity Tennis Coach, the late Jim Leighton (WFU's "Leighton Courts" legacy name---home of the 2018 NCAA National Champion Demon Deacons & ESPN's Winston Salem Mens' ATP Pro Tennis Open). Coach Leighton, NCAA Hall of Fame & International Tennis Hall of Fame, was acclaimed as the 'Pro's Pro' or Teaching Pro of the Teaching Pros (developed early USPTA teaching certifiers & the famed Dennis Van Der Meer whom founded the PTR international tennis pro certification).

In addition to working closely under Hall of Fame and Grand Slam tennis legend Stan Smith at Sea Pines on Hilton Head, Ben collaborated with a pioneer in the field of Instructional Systems Technology, the late Dr. Mendel Sherman, Professor Emeritus Indiana University, pertaining to Robert Gagne's "Conditions of Learning" and teaching techniques in video instruction!

Teachers' Invention:
Previously, Ben co-invented (with Indiana University's Dr Sherman) and pioneered a proprietary tennis teaching tool, system, and video technology, THE STROKE SHAPER, for introducing tennis to kids and adults quickly to enable teaching swing skills separately from movement and ball timing skills by hitting a ball suspended in mid-air that could be struck and travel unimpeded over the net for instant hitter feedback!

Next Generation 'How to Learn' Tennis Technology Solution:
Ben is in stealth mode researching a 'digital tennis academy, smart instructional solution' to mass market worldwide, 'How to affordably learn tennis without an expensive pro or private club tennis court'.

Ben's Tennis Value Proposition:
"My broad tennis history & other career experience, combined with a 'student of the game mind set', brings a unique perspective to the game as a seasoned tennis business analyst, teacher and players' mentor or coach! And, I am personally connected at high levels to former and current top officials of the USTA, PTR, USPTA, ATP Tour and Tennis Hall of Fame."

Ben's done it all, been there, done that!
Now, it is YOUR turn in the tennis sun!

He's ready to help you.
And, he's only a click away!

---State Scholastic & Jr Tennis Champion:
Former AA High School State Tennis Champion, PP&R State Jr Tennis Champion, USTA State Jr Champion, and member of the State Jr. Davis Cup Team.

---Varsity Tennis Collegiate Champion:
Nominated an "Outstanding College Athlete of America" as collegiate player his freshman and sophomore years competing in the NAIA, upon which he won a Regional Collegiate Championship before transferring and earning his BA at Wake Forest University where he was a member of the nationally ranked NCAA Varsity Tennis Team his Jr and Sr Student Athlete Years working closely with WFU’s Coach on his own game and on how to teach others as player/coach.

---Pro Tour Player:
Sponsored in his prime by US & European Sport entities as a professional competitor 3 seasons on the international ATP Pro Tennis Challenger Satellite Circuit despite recurring collegiate injuries, competing against the world's top 200 players in Florida, Europe, Scandinavia & Africa.

Ben says he played the Pro Tour not just to test his capacity to improve further and gain world class status, but also more importantly to him to see the world, experience other cultures and prepare himself as a teacher and coach in life.

Unique Combined Player/Teacher/Coach Credentials:
(Significant on court Competition, Training & Clinic Experience with former top level name Pros and Players):

"I competed against or trained on court and performed exhibitions and clinics with several Grand Slam Hall of Fame players, world top 20 players and other top 100 tennis pro greats and Collegiate All Americans early in my career including Stan Smith, Yohan Kriek, Tim Wilkison, Jeff Borowiak, Sashi Menon, Stanislav Birner, George Hardy, John Sadri, Billy Brock, Keith Richardson, Mark Harrington, Zina Garrison and Malivai Washington. Today, I utilize these and other experiences and observations incurred 'more recently' to teach beginners to league to collegiate and pro entry level. I continuously update my tennis mind and techniques because the game is forever evolving-- faster, more spin, and better athletes with improving technologies to support it, yet getting easier and easier to learn in the beginning"!

Active on Court:
"I don't play competitively anymore, however I am currently active on court, hitting better off the ground with more pace and top spin from the back court than ever, drill training with other former pro & collegiate players and teaching pros. Despite some sustained injuries that limit my full court maneuverability and service pace, I do performance hitting drills to stay healthy and to keep my strokes in sync and up to date in the new extreme grips with high racquet velocity swing style pathways and heavy top spin. Today, I typically require longer warm ups and more careful movements on wide and short balls. Nevertheless, I can still pound the ball and place it anywhere with varied spins and plenty of 5.0 pace as hitter. I play down or up depending on my students level. I love just hitting or drilling with anyone, novice to proficient."

Grateful to his Mentors (as player & teacher):
"I learned the most as a player and teacher training and mentoring for years under my WFU Coach, the late Jim Leighton (my #1 Tennis Mentor), the master teacher of some of the top tennis teaching pros of all time."

"COACH Leighton, one of the winningest NCAA Tennis Coaches of all time, is an inductee into the NC Tennis Hall of Fame and the NCAA Coaches' Hall of Fame and winner of the International Tennis Hall of Fame's Educational Merit Award."

"Coach taught me to be a life time student of this evolving game by constantly re-analyzing it and keeping up with new ways and the latest techniques of hitting, maneuvering, playing and teaching the game. I still do that today by continuous education: observing others playing, teaching and coaching on court, collaborating with other pros, and reading up and watching online tennis coaching videos from around the globe, as well as hitting regularly with high level players and testing new grips, movement patterns and different swing styles on court as player and teacher, not too mention developing my own solutions."

"And of coarse, I am grateful to the former world #1, Stan Smith, Chairman of the Tennis Hall of Fame in New Port, a previous Sea Pines Tennis Pro Colleague on Hilton Head, whose entire family are friends to my family. He was a personal inspiration to me when I was a young jr player and then pro with his attacking game I once emulated, and his exceptional sportsmanship, world class attitude and great clinician skills that I experienced as a co-pioneer of tennis on Hilton Head in clinics and exhibitions in the early days of Sea Pines Company, where I began my Professional Tennis career early in life. I always benefited from hit training and doing exhibitions or clinics with Stan Smith (aka licensor owner of the signature Adidas 'Stan Smith' Tennis Shoe, over 50 million pairs sold to date)."

Wake Forest University Varsity Tennis Alum:
(2018 NCAA National Tennis Team Champions/2019 Team Runner Up)
"Recently I benefited from weeks of live observation of my College Tennis Alma Mata, WFU, winning both the Team and Individual NCAA National Tennis Championships this spring in May, 2018! It was a great study in how the top level college game is coached and played today. And the Championship Celebration party hosted by our Coach was so exciting to all the current players and WFU Tennis Alums whom attended!"

Friend to area ACC Collegiate Tennis Coaches:
"Tony Bresky, our Head Coach at Wake Forest University and 2018 NCAA Coach of the Year is a great model for a clever and calm coaching style. Duke's respectful Tennis Coach, Stan Smith's son Ramsey Smith, took lessons from me as a kid on HHI and UNC's Coach, Sam Paul, grew up in the same Carolina home town as me learning initially from the same teacher, Don Dixon, top NC State Tennis & Basketball Alum, whom started my entire family in the game years ago."

Dedicated to Growing the Game & Building Your Game:
Tennis took him halfway around the world at an early age, so he has rededicated a focus on tennis to pass it on to you and others, beginners to advanced.

Student Target:
Whether you are a beginner just starting out or an advanced league & tournament player, Ben's quick analysis combined with his customized teaching solutions will help you improve rapidly, guaranteed. Adapting and patient, but challenging. Ben can teach long classic stokes or modern high velocity swing styles with heavy top spin at all levels!

Ben Gage's Teaching Specialties:
"My teaching specialty is a unique ability and 'professionally trained eye' to adjust to my students' personality, athletic & mental capability, level of play and playing style--beginner to advanced. I use a very positive approach with an emphasis 'on what to do' (not, what NOT to do). I am a natural born athlete and teacher (my Uncle Bobby Gage, Clemson All American, made the longest run in NFL history -record held 32 years). But now in my life, it's all about your goals and YOUR game, NOT mine! I had my day in the tennis sun!! And what a day it was seeing much of the USA and half the world, meeting so many neat people from many social backgrounds and cultures."

Everyone Can Learn Tennis:
--Many Reach High Performance Levels, Some just play for Fun, Exercise & Social Connectivity--
Today, with the new high performance racquets and all the great athletes in the game, tennis is now the most challenging and all around "athletically and mentally " demanding individual skill sport in the world!

However, everyone can learn tennis within their movement capacity and skill potential. It is much easier to learn and improve your game today with the new high tech gear, smart court technology and advanced movement coaching know how for all levels!

---You need an Adaptive & Patient Coach to Learn and Improve Optimally:
You'll improve quicker with a qualified Coach who was a proficient player that knows how to teach and coach today's game; and one who can adapt to your particular attributes and limitations.

Ben knows how to make it natural within your own play style and capability, not mechanical or forced by over emphasis on just one or two things----- always with a focus on fun, fitness, improvement and injury prevention! Wining can easily follow all that if you practice the right way enough under the guidance of a qualified coach!

Coaching Focus:
Ben's ability as a 'continuous student of the game' who can quickly analyze your game and build or rebuild your strokes is unprecedented. He can demonstrate and teach 21st Century Styled Modern high velocity swings and heavy top spin shots to the younger generation or 20th Century Styled Classic swings for long flowing flat, deep strokes and sliced shots to the older generation! He typically focuses on efficient strokes and movement, court positioning strategy, shot selection, balance and agile maneuvers; and 'how to play" specific balls, tactically..... including the transition game moving to and recovering from wide shots, lobs and deep overheads to transitioning through "no man's land" (mid court, between the baseline and service line) from the back court to the net inclusive of reaching short balls to attacking approach shots, playing half volleys and touch shots, drops shots and angles, to all court adaptive shots (Federa's mastery) based on the point play situation. He encourages positive self talk to help players not beat themselves, exceed their limits and reach beyond their self perceived potential. He says he always enjoys teaching anyone who wants to learn and improve at any level regardless of talent, level, age or socio-econ background.

Advanced Coaching & Hitting Options:
For advanced tourney juniors or adults--- Ben can set up movement drills with dropped balls or do technical work on stroke efficiency with a tossed ball, feeder hit or ball machine, as well as agility & hitting drills as stationary hitter coach to mover student.

NOTE: For VERY advanced players, Ben has access to high level hitters who can provide on court movement drills and full court performance sessions in collaboration with Ben as your co-hitter/feeder or observer/analyst coach.

QUICK START System for 10 & Under's and Beginner Adults.
Today, Ben endorses this new Entry Level Tennis System (requires specialized gear- several categories of larger, slower, lower bouncing balls & smaller/lighter racquets on reduced sized courts) to accelerate beginner level tennis skill learning for a quick and sustained rally in back and forth hits.

--Grass Roots Pioneer & Tennis Community Activist--
On Hilton Head, Ben secured exclusive contracts with public and private entities including Sea Island developers of area resorts & private communities, local public and private schools, Montessori School, Children's Centers, and Recreation Associations to build student and private class participation-- including academy busing of the under privileged into gated residential and resort communities to gain a reputation as the "best in class" for area kids of all socio-economic and cultural backgrounds--- a first on the island!

Supporting Tennis Organizations Today: Currently, he's also open on a limited basis to assist your tennis organization or help you develop and grow your tennis club. He ran or operated out of over a dozen quality tennis facilities in his career including 4 locations on Hilton Head, SC.

ALERT: Availability to a limited number of students in 2019:
"Today, I am accepting ONLY a limited number of select students at specific times a few hours per week: early mornings or late afternoon on some days and Saturdays. I do have a day job (I am an Executive in Residence for NCSU’s Innovation Commercialization Office and consult as a serial innovator and emerging market entrepreneur working with start ups and leading university technology transfers based out of NC State’s Centennial Campus and Raleigh Founded Co Working locations.

Family Sport Benefits:
"There is more to life and me than tennis, but the game is no doubt the best vehicle for health, exercise, travel and upward social mobility! My dear Mother use to say, 'Tennis is THE Family Sport for a Life Time.” She wisely started our family in tennis on a back yard clay court my Father, Brother, Sister, and I built by our hands with limited equipment and resources when I was only 10 years old. Both my parents were great tennis etiquette and life roll models”.

---Ben's Personal Testimonial about his Life Long Tennis Passion---
"I did it all in the game as: Collegiate and Pro Player, Team Coach, Club Teaching Pro, Resort Academy Owner, Teaching Device Inventor, Manufactures' Rep, Euro Tennis Brand Distributor and new USA Court Sport Brand Creator/Owner all before age 40! Now, as a young minded and able bodied senior coach, I am giving back to the game and to you as a Tennis Industry Expert, Game Analyst & Teaching Pro.

"I would be thrilled to consider supporting your tennis endeavor and/or you or your family's tennis development, both jr and adult. Let's make a tennis connection."

Simply clIck CU Founder Stephan Curry's www.CoachUP.com/me/TennisAcademy to find Ben Gage

Action Photos

Client Reviews

Ben drills with me to give us both a work out. He has been great at pointing out some advanced level subtleties my club pro missed, such as how to play varied shots and change ups from opponents by paying closer attention to the ball--- that is its' speed, spin, depth and pathway after the bounce. Today he showed how to play against a fast paced low, sliced ball with backspin to my bachand that typically gives me trouble as a two handed top spin centric player (Nadal has the same problem on this low bouncing ball). Ben's high performance tip made an immediate big difference. I can now return those low slices more consistently and deeper in the court with more pace and flatter, but with just a enough top spin, rather than trying to over top spin that low ball with my regular backhand which is hard to time causing me to miss the shot or mis hit. He calls it "knowing how to play the ball" based on its speed, spin, placement and bounce. I had never heard of that.
Ben Gage was born to analyse, innovate, motivate, teach and coach! I improved more in 10 one hour on court tennis sessions with Ben over two months, than I did with my young club pro taking lessons over a three year period. I'm not sure the younger generation of high level tennis player/coaches know how to teach technically and thoroughly at the entry and intermediate level. And the older generation typically is not updated on the new techniques. Ben seems to know both old school and new school. That factor sets him apart!
I appreciated your time with my Jr ranked daughter's one day player assessment and the written evaluation.
My daughter really liked your specialized, acute teaching style. We hope to continue with your support for her advanced tournament development play.
And thank you for the tips and summaries of our lesson. It is really helpful to review everything when I get home and before the next lesson. I appreciate it.
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