In order to achieve success as tennis player, you must have a great sense of balance. That balance is part technique and part philosophy for us. We are looking to provide exceptional tennis development opportunities to youth and adults, beginners and national-level players throughout the Willamette Valley and Oregon.
Our focus is on developing physically, mentally, and emotionally balanced and well-rounded tennis players and people.
Physical: We train the body to perform the physical tasks required for tennis, as well as our muscles to be in condition so as to give us confidence in their ability to perform in any given situation.
Mental: We focus on creating a cleared mind that enables us to excel in the moment. A clear mind focuses on simple tasks (see the ball) during strenuous situations (point play), enabling the well-trained body to perform at its highest potential.
Emotional: We strive to manage and accept our emotions but not to be controlled by them. When we are frustrated, we accept our frustration, and release ourselves to move beyond our emotions towards our goal. Emotions remind us that we are alive, and when embraced and focused, are powerful tools.
Early Preparation, balance, and relaxation are the core principles of Balance Tennis. These principles are applicable to every stroke on the tennis court as well as in real life.
Early Preparation: Preparation is your initial response to the ball, and involves both the upper and lower body, your hands as well as your feet.
Balance: Balance is part of effective ball-striking and begins with your initial reaction to the ball and continues through your finish. Good balance is established through a strong first move. The feet, knees, and racquet do the work of adjusting to balls within and outside the strike zone. Good balance is the key to power, control, and recovery after shots. In life, balance is also important for development, health, and happiness.
Relaxation: A smooth and naturally excellerated swing is a product of good preparation and balance. The concept is to put your body in a position to let the racquet do most of the work, while engaging only the necessary muscles. A relaxed motion engages both the upper and lower body. Essential to a relaxed stroke is a clear understanding of early preparation and balance.
Who We Are
Head Men's Tennis Coach
Ben Belletto began coaching at Linfield College after a highly successful coaching career in Southern California, where he was head men’s tennis coach at Whittier College and Pomona-Pitzer Colleges for a combined 12 seasons.
The majority of Belletto’s 12-year coaching span in the greater-Los Angeles area came at Pomona-Pitzer. From 2003 until 2013, his teams were ranked for seven consecutive seasons among the top NCAA Division III programs. At Pomona-Pitzer, Belletto twice guided the Hens to appearances in the NCAA Championships and his teams boasted an ITA Academic All-America in every season from 2006 until 2013.
His career accomplishments have included the ITA West Region Men’s Coach of the Year award in 2011, 16 ITA All-America selections, 50 ITA Academic All-Americans, 29 all-conference awards and five straight Top 20 national team finishes.
More recently, Belletto led the Whittier men’s and women’s programs, elevating both to rankings among the Intercollegiate Tennis Association’s Top 30.
From 2004-2015, Coach Belletto led the Nike Tennis Camp in Santa Cruz, overseeing a successful summer camp program for kids and adults. He went on to establish a similar summer camp program at Whittier, Pomona-Pitzer, and Linfield colleges.
In addition to NCAA tournament coaching experience, Coach Belletto is well-connected within the Division III tennis community, having served as a national and regional ranking chairperson for the past eight years. Belletto resides in McMinnville with his wife Katie, sons Max and Miles, dog Buckwheat and cat Mr. Peepers.
Co-Head Women's Tennis Coach
Success on the tennis court is a recurrent theme in Coach Carl Swanson’s coaching and playing career. Swanson joins Lisa Macy-Baker as co-coach of the Linfield women’s tennis team after serving 15 seasons as head coach of the Linfield men's program.
In his 17 years as a collegiate tennis coach, Swanson has been honored as Coach of the Year in the NWC seven times and his teams have won 11 conference championships. Since 1999, Swanson he led teams to more than 300 collegiate victories and he has coached over 40 all-NWC players, including multiple All-Americans, Players of the Year, ITA Champions, Sportsmen of the Year, and Academic All-Americans.
Swanson believes in service to the sport of tennis and in that spirit he is currently the National Chair of the ITA Awards Committee and has served the ITA, NCAA, and USTA in multiple committee and coaching capacities throughout his coaching career.
As a player, Swanson was a top-5 ranked junior in the Pacific Northwest, led South Eugene High School to back-to-back Oregon state tennis titles, was a three-time All-American at Pomona College, and an Ojai doubles champion. As an adult competitor, Swanson has multiple sectional and national championships and continues to compete at a high level.
Swanson is a graduate of the University of Oregon School of Law and is a licensed attorney in the State of Oregon. At Linfield, Swanson works in the Department of Student Affairs where he serves as a Conduct and Community Standards Officer.
Coach Swanson lives in McMinnville with his wife, Dr. Charlotte Goddard, who also serves Linfield in the Office of Enrollment Services as the college's transfer coordinator.
Co-Head Women's Tennis Coach
A Hall of Fame athlete and accomplished tennis coach from McMinnville High School, Lisa Macy-Baker is co-head coach of the Linfield women's tennis program. Macy-Baker leads of one of the top women’s tennis programs in the Northwest Conference. In the span of 11 seasons, the Wildcats have captured six NWC titles and three invitations to the NCAA Division III regional playoffs.
Prior to joining Linfield, Macy-Baker coached girls tennis for four seasons at McMinnville High School, leading the Grizzlies to a 51-20 dual match record, a district and league tournament title, and a fifth-place finish at the Oregon Class 6A state championship tournament in 2010. She also taught special education in the McMinnville School District since 2006, first at McMinnville High School and more recently as special education case manager at Duniway Middle School. Macy-Baker served similar roles at Bend’s Mountain View High School while also leading the Bend Metro Parks and Recreation District’s youth tennis summer program. Her coaching career began as junior varsity girls tennis coach at McMinnville High School in 2002.
A star athlete at McMinnville High in the mid-1990s, Macy-Baker lettered four seasons in both basketball and tennis. A point guard on the basketball court, she was a four-time all-conference and three-time conference most valuable player for the Grizzlies, concluding her career as the school’s career leader in points, steals and assists. In tennis, she competed at the Oregon state tournament all four seasons, and was a two-time district doubles champion.
After receiving her diploma from MHS in 1994, Macy-Baker earned a full-ride scholarship to play basketball at Oregon State University. Though she competed with the Beavers for just one season, Macy-Baker went on to graduate with honors from OSU in 1998 with a bachelor’s degree in general science. She later completed a master’s degree in special education at Portland State University in 2002. Lisa and her husband, Ron, live in McMinnville with their two daughters, Cameron (4) and Eleanor (born in October).