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.
Head Women's Tennis Coach
Bryce Parmelly is in his first season as the head coach of the Willamette University women's tennis team in 2017-18. He follows Becky Roberts, who retired from Willamette this spring after 17 seasons as the head women's tennis coach for the Bearcats. He will begin his duties at Willamette immediately.
Parmelly has coached at the NCAA Division III level since 2005. He spent the past two seasons (2015-16 and 2016-17) as the assistant men's tennis coach at Middlebury College (Vt.). He was the head men's tennis coach at the University of California, Santa Cruz in 2011-12 and 2012-13. He previously served as the assistant men's tennis coach at UC Santa Cruz from 2005-06 through 2009-10.
"We are very excited to have Bryce join our coaching staff," Willamette Director of Athletics Rob Passage said. "He brings to Willamette a wealth of experience working with successful D3 tennis programs."
Earlier this year, Parmelly was chosen as the NCAA Division III National Assistant Coach of the Year by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) for the 2016-17 season. He was the West Region Assistant Coach of the Year while at UC Santa Cruz in 2008-09.
"Throughout the interview process, I was convinced that coaching at Willamette University was a fantastic fit for me," Parmelly said. "The Athletic Department itself has come across as close-knit and extremely supportive, and one that I am eager to be a part of. I am thrilled to accept this position and look forward to building a truly special program for the student-athletes at Willamette."
In his two seasons at Middlebury, he helped the men's team achieve a combined record of 39-6, including two trips to the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) Tournament and two NCAA Tournament berths. The Panthers won the NESCAC Tournament title and reached the NCAA Championship match in 2015-16, and advanced to the NCAA semifinals in 2016-17. Players from Middlebury won the NCAA singles and doubles titles in 2016-17, while a doubles team for the Panthers fell in the NCAA title match in 2015-16.
Parmelly helped coach four singles players and two doubles teams at Middlebury to ITA All-America status. In addition, Middlebury athletes won ITA Fall Regional championships in singles and doubles in 2016, with the singles winner advancing to the national championship match. This year, all 11 members of the team earned ITA Scholar-Athlete recognition and the squad received the ITA Team Academic Award.
As a head coach at UC Santa Cruz, Parmelly led the men's team to national team rankings of #9 in 2011-12 and #12 in 2012-13. During the 2011-12 season, he guided the Banana Slugs to the ITA Indoor National Championship match and to the Round of 16 in the NCAA Tournament. UC Santa Cruz also received the ITA National Team Sportsmanship Award for all divisions that year. In 2012-13, he coached UCSC to the Round of 32 in the NCAA Tournament. As the head coach, two of his singles players and one doubles team earned ITA All-America honors.
During his five seasons as an assistant men's tennis coach at UC Santa Cruz, the Banana Slugs won NCAA Division III national championships in 2006-07 and 2008-09. UCSC won ITA indoor national titles in 2006-07 and 2009-10, to go along with runner-up finishes in 2005-06 and 2007-08. Parmelly helped coach a player to the NCAA singles championship in 2006-07 and helpd lead a player to the ITA Fall National singles championship in 2005. UCSC players claimed ITA Fall Regional titles in singles and doubles in 2008 and in singles in 2005.
Parmelly played tennis at UC Santa Cruz from 2001-02 through 2004-05. As a senior in 2004-05, he was a member of UCSC's national championship team (NCAA Division III) and received All-America honors from the ITA.
"He truly understands what it means to be a student-athlete at a school like Willamette and the important balance between academics, athletics, and other co-curricular activities," Passage noted.
Parmelly helped the Banana Slugs advance to the ITA Indoor Championship match in 2001-02 and 2003-04. As a player, Parmelly also won the ITA Fall Regional doubles title in 2004 and advanced to the championship match at the ITA National Tournament. He reached the ITA Fall Regional doubles final in 2003.
While competing at UC Santa Cruz in 2004-05, Parmelly was ranked has high as #2 in the nation in doubles by the ITA. As a team, UCSC was ranked in the top five in the nation at the end of the spring season during all four years that Parmelly played for the Banana Slugs.