pattersonhedshotFor Nick Patterson, Tennis For Life is much more than a name – it represents a guiding philosophy that reigns supreme no matter who he’s working with.

In a teaching career that now spans almost 40 years, Nick has shared his love for tennis with a countless number of local tennis players – from as young as age 4 up to 80 and above.

Nick’s first introduction to tennis came as a 7-year-old when his parents put him in swim lessons at the Ottawa Tennis & Lawn Bowling Club (though he was more drawn to the courts than the pool). His first job was weeding the garden at OTLBC, then painting and court maintenance.

Nick became a certified tennis instructor when he was 17 to pay for his studies at Dalhousie University, where he also played varsity hockey.

Once a junior city champion in doubles, Nick is now a year-round instructor at the Carleton Tennis Centre, a manager of tennis camps at numerous local sites, a tennis ambassador for Sporting Life, and a volunteer for countless more local tennis initiatives and organization.

tennisforlifeottawalogo-blackfigureswithemailThat’s all on top of running his own tennis teaching and management services.

Whether it’s a 5-year-old child picking up a racket for the first time, a 16-year-old hoping to earn a tennis scholarship, or a 75-year-old looking to take up the sport, Nick caters his services to any age, ability and goal.

Nick is well-known on the local tennis scene for an enthusiasm that spreads like wildfire – particularly with kids.

His high-tempo sessions ensure that no time is wasted standing around. He employs drills that keep players moving, and there’s always a fitness component to each session, such as relay races for youth. Fitness and fun are always #1 with Tennis For Life Ottawa.

On top of his club pro 1 coaching certification from the Tennis Canada-backed Tennis Professionals Association, Nick is also certified to teach cardio tennis, which combines aerobics with a tennis lesson.

Nick has taught at virtually every club in the city over the course of his career, and he’s spent plenty of time teaching the sport in school gyms too.


In a single year, Nick introduced 5,000 kids to tennis at 30 different institutions – part of the free Tennis in Schools program, which can feature larger balls that are easier to hit for beginners, called “progressive tennis.”

Nick also coaches the Elmwood Eagles school tennis team, while Tennis For Life Ottawa is the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board’s exclusive tennis school for international students.

Add to all that a foray into pickleball instruction and organization – a popular sport with the senior crowd and, increasingly, all ages.

For Nick, it’s all about developing a love of sport that lasts a lifetime.