Tennis is complex and ‘doing it on your own’ is tiring, sometimes frustrating and at times really uncertain.
Tennis Programs provide more than learning the game. What is overlooked are the hidden elements to tennis development. What our Academy has put particular effort into is the enjoyment factor athletes should experience when training but at the same time experience a high performance environment that is filled with athletes with common goals.
Players should not feel burned out and ultimately we need to ensure they still love the game. We have focussed on 5 areas to ensure we run a successful tennis program.
Powerful Coaching: The coaching needs to be at the highest level and meet the demands of the game for now and into the future. The Academy or program must reflect and show genuine effort into lesson design, structuring practices and planning training blocks.
The academies pathway must be benchmarked through observations and case studies against leading academies and backed up by directors and coaches involvement in high performance professional development through courses and also other areas including workshops in movement, education, communication and strength & conditioning. It is important to know that the directors and coaches are professionally developing themselves and their program. A program also has coaches with different strengths and
Accountability: The top Academies work on an idea of making people feel safe but setting out what is acceptable and what is not.
Missed sessions is unacceptable. You miss 4 squads a term, you miss 32 hours of training a year. It adds up. When you train on your own, skipping that hit is all to easy.
Standards only develop from being in the business of running academy squads over time, this experience matters. Evidently squads are bigger than the individual – athletes are accountable to one another but also the expectations of the program.
The Playing group: The playing group o
What the most productive environments are good at is protecting the team and the culture. These environments are not interested in taking more and more kids. They want the right kids and families that suit what they do and what they believe in. It’s not necessarily what these academies add to the playing group but rather protecting what they believe in and removing personnel or not adding particular athletes if it does not allign with the culture or if it disrupts the learning environment.
Resources: If the program can create a thriving culture then they can operate out of any venue.
What the very top tennis academies place all their attention on is the hidden assets within their program.
Who are the coaches? What are the systems they use to teach? Is there a specific process? What are the lesson themes? Where is the game heading? What are their core drills?
Its not new facilities or the latest gadgets. They may help but there not important to a coach or an Academy that has clear method and a reason for doing what they do.
Common Goal: A tennis academy that has something special going on has established a sense of purpose through a common goal and a clear path. This sense of something bigger than the individual drives everyone involved to perform and train in a manner which brings intensity and energy.