Viet "Killer Forehand" Pham

High Performance Head Pro


Viet Pham joined The Fort in 2005. He has a loyal following among top young tennis players, and for good reason. As the founder of the Gopher Tennis Academy, Pham has coached more than 100 Northern Section Top 10 players – 15 nationally ranked in the USTA Top 40 and 25 players who have gone on to play Div I collegiate tennis.

Coaching specialty: High performance juniors (or any players who have the three Ds: Drive, Discipline and Dedication)

Coaching style: "I try to create a high-energy, high-paced environment of like-minded players who are held to a very high standard. And though I may set the tone, this sort of competitive environment creates a positive peer pressure where the kids have no choice but to train and compete with purpose, focus and intensity." 

DYK? Since coming to The Fort in 2006, Viet has helped The Fort's High Performance Program players achieve a 100% offer rate of scholarship to a Division I school or facilitated acceptance at a Division III or Ivy League school, including but not limited to: 

Amherst College; Brown University; Carleton College; Dartmouth College; George Washington University; Johns Hopkins University; University of Michigan; Middlebury College; University of Nebraska; Northwestern University; Notre Dame University; United States Military Academy, West Point; University of Minnesota; University of Pennsylvania (UPenn); University of Southern California; St. Thomas University; Trinity College (CT); Washington University, St. Louis; Williams College; Yale University


More about Viet: 

Favorite tennis moment: Coaching my brother at the National Hard Court Championships at The Zoo when he beat the #1 ranked B18s player in the country!

Favorite tennis player on the pro circuit: John Isner out of a debt of gratitude for a player’s guest pass he gave me at the Pacific Life Championship which gave me a glimpse of life on the tour.

What makes an exceptional tennis player: A killer forehand, hard work and sacrifice

When I’m losing, I focus on: Just persevering, especially in attitude, in the face of adversity. There’s always a way to win, you just have to bide enough time to find it and adjust.

When I’m winning, I focus on: Staying intent on the task at hand and not getting complacent.

Favorite food: Shorty and Wags wings

Favorite movie: The Notebook (…not…well maybe a little.)

People would be surprised to learn that I: Played concert violin. I had the privilege to play at Orchestra Hall, The Ordway, The Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, The Kennedy Center and Lincoln Center.

Three items on my “bucket list”: Ride the Snaefell Mountain Course of the Isle of Man TT motorcycle race. Run The Encierro (The Running of the Bulls) in Pamplona. Compete in the LR G$ Challenge/Camel Trophy with the crew from Rover Minneapolis.

Best advice ever received: It came from Martin Blackman who served as the USTA Senior Director of Talent Identification and Development. It took me a few years to fully appreciate it. Come see me on court sometime and maybe I’ll let you in on it.

When I’m not at The Fort, I enjoy: Tennis and more tennis. And, of course, my beautiful girlfriend (*included under penalty of death!)