USTA Player Development announced that eight junior development programs in six states have been named USTA Certified Regional Training Centers as part of its continuing effort to develop the next generation of world-class American players. The eight programs will create networks serving the Northeast portion of the country and the USTA’s Missouri Valley section.
The Manchester Athletic Club Tennis Academy in Manchester, Mass., the Weymouth Club in Weymouth, Mass., the Centercourt Athletic Club in Chatham, N.J., CourtSense in Bogota, N.J., and Arthur Ashe Youth Tennis & Education in Philadelphia will compose a Northeast Corridor network that will service the USTA New England, Eastern and Middle States sections. The Kansas City United Tennis Academy at the Plaza Tennis Center in Kansas City, Mo., the Overland Park Racquet Club in Overland Park, Kan., and the Tucker Tennis Academy at the Grand Health & Racquet Club in Tulsa, Okla., will compose a USTA Certified Regional Training Center network for the USTA Missouri Valley Section. (See below for an overview of each program.)
As USTA Certified Regional Training Centers, the eight programs will enhance the training and development of junior players in their respective areas of the country, and USTA Player Development will use these new partnerships as vehicles to educate and collaborate with junior tennis coaches throughout these four USTA sections to work together toward developing the next generation of world-class American players.
In addition to continuing their existing programs, the USTA Certified Regional Training Centers will host USTA Player Development camps for players, ages 8-12, in their respective regions. These players will be selected in conjunction with the USTA national coaching staff and their respective USTA Section Coaching Commission. The Centers will also help identify talent in players as young as 6 years old, run programs using the QuickStart Tennis* play format and host QuickStart tournaments for players 8 and under and 10 and under.
"Following two years of outstanding progress in the USTA Certified Regional Training Center Program, I am thrilled that we are able to announce this broad expansion of the program," said Patrick McEnroe, General Manager, USTA Player Development. "One of USTA Player Development’s goals is to reach as many of this country’s top coaches and junior players in a collaborative environment, and these new USTA Certified Regional Training Centers will help us continue to expand that outreach."
"Each of the eight programs have done a wonderful job of developing talent in their local communities, and we are thrilled to add them to our list of USTA Certified Regional Training Centers," said Martin Blackman, Senior Director, Talent Identification and Development, USTA Player Development, who oversees the Regional Training Center program. "These partnerships were established with the invaluable support and cooperation of the Presidents, Executive Directors and Player Development Managers of each of the four sections, and the USTA looks forward to working with these eight programs to foster and develop the abundance of talent throughout the Northeast and the Missouri Valley."
The camps will be staffed by the top coaches at the USTA Certified Regional Training Centers and throughout their respective USTA sections with additional assistance from the USTA National coaching staff. USTA Certified Regional Training Center coaches will also participate in the USTA Coaching Education program by working with and training the top coaches in their respective region and/or USTA section. Additionally, the RTC coaches will attend training sessions at USTA National Training Centers in Boca Raton, Fla., Carson, Calif., and Flushing, N.Y.
The USTA Certified Regional Training Centers expand the USTA Player Development program’s reach throughout the country by partnering with academies, clubs and tennis centers that have a proven record of identifying and developing tennis players. In December 2008, the USTA named the Racquet Club of the South in Atlanta and The Junior Tennis Champions Center in Maryland as its first two USTA Certified Regional Training Centers. In addition to the eight programs named today, the USTA also has named a network of facilities in Texas, Northern California and the Midwest as USTA Certified Regional Training Centers, as well as individual facilities in Las Vegas and San Diego. The USTA plans to name additional USTA Certified Regional Training Centers involving all USTA sections throughout the country over the next couple of years.
The new USTA Player Development unit has been created to identify and develop the next generation of American players by surrounding the top juniors and young pros with the resources, facilities and coaching they need to reach their maximum potential. The Player Development program is based at the USTA Training Center Headquarters in Boca Raton, Fla., and also utilizes the USTA Training Center-West in Carson, Calif., and the USTA Training Center-East at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing, N.Y. In 2008, the USTA began implementing its Certified Regional Training Center program as part of its effort to expand the USTA Player Development program’s reach throughout the country by partnering with academies, clubs and tennis centers that have a proven record of identifying and developing tennis players.
* QuickStart Tennis is a play format that has been developed to help kids 10 and under play the game of tennis. To make the game more accessible to children, several elements have been modified including the court size, the racquet size, the balls, the scoring system, and even the net height.
OVERVIEW OF PROGRAMS NAMED AS USTA CERTIFIED REGIONAL TRAINING CENTERS
The Manchester Athletic Club Tennis Academy utilizes 11 outdoor hard courts at the Manchester Athletic Club (MAC) in Massachusetts. The program is designed for junior players who are dedicated and driven to reach their peak potential, and offers intensive weeks of drills, stroke analysis, supervised match play, and fitness and mental conditioning. The MAC Tennis Academy is run by Academy Director Francisco Montoya and Tennis Director Todd Carpenter.
The Weymouth Club is located in Weymouth, Mass., and is one of the largest tennis facilities in the Greater Boston area, featuring 10 indoor hard courts and three indoor/outdoor clay courts. The Weymouth Club provides tennis programming for kids as young as 3 and features daily QuickStart Tennis clinics as well as tournament training workshops. The Weymouth Club is run by Head Coach Rich Reyes, Tennis Director Dave Preston and Player Development Director Seth Walrath.
The Centercourt Athletic Club is a leading tennis facility in Chatham, N.J., that features eight indoor hard and 12 outdoor clay courts, with 16 courts used during the winter season. The facility offers extensive junior tennis programming that serves more than 400 students per session, including a high-performance academy that specializes in the development of competitive players and four levels of daily QuickStart Tennis classes that service more than 200 students ages 3-10. The Centercourt Athletic Club is run by Founder and Managing Partner Clay Bibbee and Head Coach Phil Stevinson.
CourtSense is a comprehensive program of tennis instruction based at a facility in Bogota, N.J., that features seven indoor hard courts. CourtSense provides year-round programming for juniors and adults of all playing levels and utilizes the QuickStart Tennis play format. The program embraces a simplified and orderly progression of learning so students and achieve a mastery of skills at every level of play, and it incorporates fitness in all clinics. CourtSense is run by Managing Director Gordon Uehling and Head Coach Carlos Cano.
Arthur Ashe Youth Tennis & Education (AAYTE) is a National Junior Tennis & Learning chapter located at a facility in Philadelphia that features 16 hard courts. AAYTE provides year-round programming for students of all ages and abilities, from after-school and QuickStart Tennis clinics for young beginners to the Futures Stars and Maximum Performance programs for elite high school students. AAYTE programming is run by Tennis Director Lance Lee and Player Development Co-Directors Jon Glover and Justin O’Neal.
The Kansas City United Tennis Academy was founded in 2008 and is run outdoors at the Plaza Tennis Center and indoors at the Hilltop Racquet Club in Kansas City, Mo. KC United has approximately 45 players in the program who range in age from 8 to 18. The program develops well-rounded student-athletes via training based on specially developed periodization schedules. KC United is run by joint owners Eric Rand and Elliott McDermed, and is assisted by former professional Daryl Wyatt.
The Overland Park Racquet Club (ORPC) has served tennis players in the Kansas City region for more than 35 years. Located just south of Kansas City, Kan., OPRC features 14 indoor and eight outdoor courts, an Olympic-sized swimming pool and a fitness room. OPRC also features the OPRC Jr. Tennis Academy that services the Midwest’s best tennis players, adding to its legacy of player development. OPRC is run by co-Directors Aaron Marchetti, Pete Stroer and Stuart Waters.
The Tucker Tennis Academy is located at The Grand Health & Racquet Club in Tulsa, Okla., which features 15 lighted outdoor and six indoor hard courts. Founded in 2001, the academy caters to junior tennis players throughout the Missouri Valley and provides programming for players ranging from young beginners to aspiring collegians and professionals. The Tucker Tennis Academy is run by Director Trent Tucker.