HEATHER ANN DIEGAN
My love for Tennis began when hitting on a wall while my mom played matches in her local ladies tennis league. I was 10 years old and joined local group tennis lessons with the City of Lakeland. By age 11 I was playing in Junior Team Tennis teams and started to enter junior tournaments. Age 12-18 I established a Florida state ranking based on results from both local and state tournaments. I played on my Junior High and High School tennis team in Lakeland, Florida in which I played 1st position. I received a top award for my senior year in tennis voted by my peers for Most Valuable Player in 1990.
As a teen and college student I was mentored by Dave Beerman and fellow pro Ray Shick to teach tennis at the Lakeland City Courts in the summer time where I instructed kids and juniors for 3 years and quickly fell in love with teaching others to learn the game of tennis.
Beginning in May of 2008 I finished my formal certification as a tennis teaching professional with the Professional Tennis Registry and currently hold three certifications as a professional in Adult Development, 10 & Under tennis and Juniors 11-17 years. I was voted Volunteer of the Month by USTA in November 2011. I am currently working on writing a children's tennis book specifically for ages 10 & Under and hope to strive for meeting the requirements to become a Master Professional.
I am the owner and Tennis Director of Saint Johns Tennis Academy where I teach at the local Saint Johns Park and Recreation facility at Mills Field. I first opened the Academy in 2008 with 64 students and 3 ladies league teams. Now 10 years later, 2018 we have 120 students (juniors) and 6 ladies league teams! My heart has always been to give back to my community with the gift and passion I was given in the game of tennis. I love my community and love to give back within the arena where I started myself. Within the academy we are all geared to creating a close “tennis family” environment with the program and the best standard of teaching to all our students young and old.
In 2017 I married my best friend and fellow tennis professional Patrick Diegan and we now run the tennis academy together. We teach with some of the most passionate and best pros in Jacksonville and we mentored 4 of our highest performing tennis players to become PTR professionals themselves.
Being a tennis coach has been the best job I’ve ever had (other than being a mother of 2) and it is my passion to pass along what I’ve learned over the years to make more tennis players in the world for a sport which can be fun for life!
PATRICK TERENCE DIEGAN
Patrick is a British L.T.A. and P.T.R. Professional with over 34 years teaching and playing experience. He is former Director of Tennis at Orange Park Country Club. He is a best selling author in Tennis with his “Coaching and Learning Tennis Basics” book series with 4 books published between 2007 and 2015. He has worked at the academy since 2010. Patrick has coached in the U.K, Spain, Kuwait, U.A.E, and now the U.S. His extensive playing experience include both professional and amateur events in the U.K, France, Crotia, U.A.E, Oman and the U.S.
Patrick has played and won events on all surfaces from outdoor hard, grass, indoor hard and carpet, indoor and outdoor red clay to ‘‘Hartru'“ green clay here in the South East. When in Abu Dhabi, U.A.E he played No. 1 doubles for the Emirate and was selected to play in the National day Challenge cup against Dubai 3 years in succession and also the prestigious “Gulf Invitational” in Muscat, Oman. Patrick reached 2 top 10 Florida rankings between 1997 and 99 with No.7 in the men’s 35s and No. 9 in the men’s 30s. He recently won the men’s 55s singles tile at the 2017 P.T.R International Tennis Symposium.
Patrick coached his son Sean from toddler to becoming one of Jacksonville’s top junior players and a Division 2 scholarship at Florida Tech, 2014. His coaching philosophy is geared to get good fundamentals down as quickly as possible, then allowing his students to express themselves with their own interpretation of stroke production and style of play.