Forbes: Where To Find The Country’s Top Tennis Academies
Oct 1, 2020,
By Roger Sands
Contributor - Travel
Tennis academies come in all shapes and sizes, with missions that can vary greatly from one academy to the next. Just like no two tennis players are exactly alike, neither are academies that train junior players.
For some, the mission is straightforward: Give us your child for several years and we’ll turn him or her into a highly accomplished player. Of course, “highly accomplished” can mean different things to different people. Some parents expect their children to develop into the next Roger Federer or Naomi Osaka, while others hope their child will be rewarded with a Division I scholarship. Other academies have a more charitable mission. Although the John McEnroe Tennis Academy would love to produce a Wimbledon champion one day, their overall goal is to give kids some hope of rising from a bleak situation.
Before deciding if an academy is right for your child, it’s important to ask yourself these questions.
· What are your overall goals for your child’s tennis development?
· Are you okay with your child leaving home at an early age in order to train at an academy that also serves as a boarding school?
· Are you ready to invest upwards of $100,000 – or more – over the full course of their training?
· Are you looking for an academy with a famous name?
There are dozens of academies throughout the country, the vast majority of which offer superb instruction, often by certified United States Tennis Association pros. Some have withstood the test of time, while others are fairly new. Based on mission, quality of instruction, facilities, reputation and actual involvement by a former top pro, here are five of the country’s top academies.
The Evert Tennis Academy, Boca Raton, Florida
Overseen by Chris Evert, one of the most successful tennis players of all time, along with her brother John, the academy has produced countless top junior and collegiate players, along with some top pros. The academy offers both boarding and non-boarding options, and hosts a fully accredited, NCAA-approved, college preparatory high school on campus with low teacher/student ratios to meet the unique challenges of student-athletes. The Academy Program at Evert is geared towards players who are committed to an intensive training schedule in an effort to maximize their potential both on and off the court. Through a daily regimen of technical, tactical, mental and physical training, the Academy Program at Evert systematically addresses every aspect of a player’s game.
An example of the program schedule for Boca Prep students includes a 7 a.m. warm-up followed by two hours of tennis and one hour of fitness. School begins at 10:30 a.m. until 2:45 p.m. and match play runs from 3-5 p.m. After dinner a study hall for boarding students is held for 90 minutes.