Our training begins with a full assessment of the player's competencies in the following areas: technical, tactical, physical, nutritional and mental. From these assessments we create an individualized developmental plan for each athlete. Our integrated training environment then provides the opportunity for athletes and coaches to implement that plan in order to move down the critical path towards becoming an elite tennis player. Academy coaches meet with parents and athletes periodically to assess progress and reevaluate goals. The Academy has four main training environments—tennis, fitness, sports psychology and nutrition. Each of these environments build off established developmental plans.
The core tennis program consists of advanced biomechanics and stroke technique, patterns of movement, tactical development, style of play, and competitive skill building.
Each session will move towards building skills in realistic competitive situations. Younger participants will spend more time focused on establishing core fundamentals coupled with applying the skills in competition. Older participants will focus on the development of tactics, patterns of play, strategy, weapon development and mental management skills.
Our daily off court physical training program incorporates dynamic and age appropriate athletic work based on the developmental needs of the athlete. Players are tested twice a year for the purpose of identifying athletic vulnerabilities which can make the player susceptible to injury and to help shape the players physical training program. Our younger athletes focus on aerobic endurance, muscle strength and endurance, core strength and stability, complex coordination, agility and flexibility. Our older athletes incorporate weight and resistance training, foot speed/footwork and explosive power. All groups incorporate functional exercises that bridge physical skills with tennis specific movement patterns.
We use video extensively to enhance a player's learning experience and personalize their coaching. The video is an evergreen resource and lives on the player's personal Academy page.
The Academy coaches attend U.S.T.A. Tournaments throughout the year to observe our players during competition outside of our daily program. The information gathered from a tournament is then shared with the coaching staff, including our sports psychologist and fitness trainers. The facts gained are then synthesized and incorporated into the player's weekly training program.
The role of our Sport Psychologist coach, Brian Lomax of Performance Extra and Family Sport Coach David Benzel, is critical to the the overall development of the players and parents of players at the Academy. Our Sport Psychology program combines a variety of educational platforms that include on and off-court work shops, small group meetings, personal meetings and Academy community workshops.
Athletes must strike a balance between the physical, technical and psychological aspects of their game in order to achieve their potential. Mental skills training helps Academy athletes to develop a higher sense sense of self-worth, overcome match and performance anxiety, maintain emotional control and positive thinking, improve their ability to focus under pressure and increase their self-confidence.
Just as important is the role a parent plays in supporting their child’s tennis. In the password protected section of the website, our Family Sport Coach, David Benzel provides parents with a wealth of resources on a monthly basis including webinars, articles and workshops.
Jane Polley, MS, RD, LDN, is the Academy Nutritionist. Jane educates Academy athletes on the importance of proper nutrition and hydration. Components of the nutrition program include pre-and-post match fueling, learning to combine protein and carbohydrates for proper fueling, making proper food choices away from home and facts regarding supplements. Our nutrition program is presented in small group meetings, player and parent seminars and a wealth of information is also contained in the password protected section of our website. Individual nutrition counseling is also available.