Junior Coaching & Development

Facilitating Match Play


Ever since my son arrived home from his stint in SoCal, he’s been arranging hitting sessions and practice matches for himself. He’s built up a nice network of hitting partners around Atlanta, and they meet up at a public park or neighborhood courts for a no-cost training session that keeps both players match-tough and in top physical shape. After 10+ years of paying for drills, lessons, and tournaments, I can tell you my bank account has greatly appreciated the break (see my last post for more More >

Is There A Way to Make Junior Development Less Costly?


We’ve all seen the estimates of how much it costs to take a junior player from beginner all the way to college or the pro tour (click here for a thorough breakdown). Upwards of $300,000. That’s insane!

What if there were a way to significantly reduce that number? After having gone through this journey myself, I have some concrete ideas that could make tennis more affordable without jeopardizing the quality of training and development. I welcome you to add your suggestions in the Comments More >

Let’s Start At the Very Beginning


Photo courtesy of www.davidmles.com

The day my middle daughter arrived at the barn for her very first horseback riding lesson, she (and I) thought she’d find her instructor, get on a pony, and start riding. Imagine our surprise when the instructor spent the majority of that first lesson-hour teaching my daughter about the various parts of a saddle, the names of all the pieces of tack required, how to care for the equipment, how to clean and care for the animal itself, and how to choose the More >

Tennis Level Does Not Equal Tennis Level


Today’s post is written by Coach Todd Widom. Enjoy!

I think there is a misconception in the tennis world that you need to be playing with higher level tennis players, junior or professional, in order to become a higher level tennis player. Level does not equal level. If you want to maximize your potential, you need to put your blue-collar work ethic on and get to business. This is something that should be done in a disciplined manner. The tennis player needs to understand how they are going to More >

Summer is Officially Over?


Today is the first day of school in our county. Crazy, right? But, since that’s the reality of living in Marietta, Georgia, I thought this was a good time to write about my son’s month in California, his orientation at Santa Clara University, and his plans between now and September 19th when he moves onto campus (Santa Clara is on the quarter system – hence, the late start date).

As I shared a few months ago here, my son spent the month of July training and competing in Southern California. More >

Coaching Character First


Earlier today, I had the opportunity to take part in a conference call hosted by the USTA. On the call were Martin Blackman, the new GM of Player Development, along with French Open Junior Champion Tommy Paul, Wimbledon Junior Champion Reilly Opelka, and ITF Junior World #1 Taylor Fritz.

Transitioning from the juniors to the pro tour is never a straight-forward process, and success at the junior level doesn’t guarantee success at the professional level as evidenced by these two articles: Girls More >

Home School vs. Traditional School


Image courtesy of familyfrugalfun.com


Today’s guest post is the second from new ParentingAces contributor Todd Widom, a junior coach in South Florida. Todd competed in USTA junior tennis and reached a #5 ranking in US Boys 16s and held the # 1 ranking in US Boys 18s. That success earned him a full athletic scholarship from the University of Miami. After reaching the semifinals of the NCAA tournament in 2003, he decided to test himself on the pro tour. Due to multiple injuries, Todd’s career More >

10 & Under Pathway for Florida Players


USTA Florida just announced its new pathway for 10-and-under tournament players in the section. The pathway was developed with solicited input from coaches and parents throughout Florida and utilizes the red, orange, and green balls based on age and skill level.

Tournaments are designed to fit the level of the players. For example, red ball events are half-day and don’t track results. The pathway includes a grandfather clause for players who turn 11 during the 2015 competition year and who More >

One Bite At A Time


Image courtesy of www.gettingbusinessresults.wordpress.com

This is Part 2 in a series by coach, radio host, & author Bill Patton. Click here to read Part 1.

“Never underestimate the power of a small group of committed people to change the world. In fact, it is the only thing that ever has.” Margaret Mead

We must first endeavor to make a commitment to fair play, and for our children to do the same, then engage with others who have that shared commitment. For those on the fence, we need to bring More >

The Elephant in the Room


Image courtesy of suecroftphysiotherapistblog.wordpress.com

Today’s guest post is by coach, author, and radio host Bill Patton. His latest book, How to End Cheating in Junior Tennis, is available online at this link: www.Amazon.com. Enjoy!

“It’s alarming to note that 38% of junior tennis players play only one tournament prior to dropping out of tournament play. We need to do all we can together to create a fair tournament experience as the main feature to help encourage our new competitors to More >

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