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Karen Rembert’s teaching style has made her one of the region’s top coaches and instructors. She is tennis director at Eau Palm Beach Resort and Spa.

Tim Stepien/The Coastal Star

By Steve Pike

    Karen Rembert isn’t your ordinary tennis instructor. Yes, she’s got the tan, the lithe body and the bright smile, but she also has a devotion to teaching and a unique teaching style that’s helped make her one of the more respected tennis coaches and instructors in the Southeast.

    Here's why: “I teach more of a ‘games’ approach,” said Rembert, who this past August became tennis director at the Eau Palm Beach Resort and Spa (formerly The Ritz-Carlton, Palm Beach) in Manalapan. 

    “I hate watching students standing in a line, hitting two balls and going to end of line. That absolutely drives me crazy. If I see another pro doing it, I just cringe. I know the kids — or adults — aren’t having fun. So as soon as possible we get into a ‘live ball’ approach. Very rarely will you see a clinic or lesson of mine just feeding balls to students.”

    A certified USPTA professional, Rembert came to Eau Palm Beach Resort & Spa from Amelia Island, where she taught part-time and coached the high school tennis team. Previous to Amelia Island, Rembert spent eight years at the Club at Coco Bay in Costa Rica. She and her husband, Julian, along with other partners, own the Coco Bay resort community in Guanacaste.

    “I made him build me a tennis club,” Rembert said with a smile. 

    That’s not surprising given her lifelong attachment to tennis, which she began playing at the age of 7 under the tutelage of her father, Keith Rothschild. He was a well-known tennis professional in North Carolina, and now lives in Naples with her mother, Brenda.

    “He still plays three or four times a week,” Rembert said.

    Rothschild allowed his daughter to keep her two-fisted approach from each side of her body and she became one of the top female players in the South. Rembert was the North Carolina State independent high school singles and doubles champion in 1985 and a two-time N.C. State 25 doubles champion.

    Rembert graduated from Presbyterian College in 1990 with a degree in business administration. She holds a master’s degree in sports administration from East Carolina University.

    From 1991 to ’93, Rembert was head professional at Raleigh Racquet Club, and from 1993-2005 tennis director and teaching professional at North Hills Club in Raleigh.

    Rembert’s goal at Eau Palm Beach Resort & Spa is basically the same as at her previous facilities. That is, build strong programs for juniors and adults regardless of their skill levels.

    “My favorite thing to do is take the beginner — whatever age — and make them into a tennis player,” Rembert said. “That’s why I’m so fortunate that I don’t get burned out.  I just love being out there teaching.

    “My vision is to have junior academies and camps and have a men’s weekend and maybe combine it with a golf outing. 

    A lot of the tennis teams I taught in North Carolina and Amelia Island want to come down here, so I want to do a spa weekend and incorporate tennis into that.

    “We’ll be hitting the Northeast market (with marketing) and with the professional tournaments coming down here in February, we want to get them involved, too.”

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