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Originally Posted by tennisking1
I am generally talking about tennis academies, not specifically about any of them except if I have first hand experience.
First, I mentioned three of them in which my daughter was enroled.She was there from couple of days to few month.I do not have to mention that she came back worst off than she left.
What can you expect from people who present 400 that is 300 WTA player who was there few days as their own product.Very poor ethic, and these people should not be called tennis coaches.How these people can work with children/young people?
Nick Bollettieri will always have his very high place in tennis coaching history, and I do not have enough information to compare his cons and pros.I can just tell about certain actions or behaviour which I dislike to any tennis coach, so Nick Bollettieri.
Good tennis coah differ from others that he can make educated guess which is more probable to go through than guessed by uncompetent person.This quality have just the very best.With this quality goes along respect and responsibility.If one has this quality many parents will come for advice.Responsibilty is on the person that if his guess is far off he looses credibility.Let illustrate this:when I was in Spain, I talked with some quality domestic coaches and they told that it is no problem for a player to get sponsors if he/she is recommended by recognized tennis coach, but if recommedations greatly differ from actual outcome, one¨s credibility is gone.So, they are careful.
Nick for one player from my country (that player came to me few month later) said that he is world class potential, but put him in z - group.He knew for sure that the player is no potential at all (he could not pass qualification in his age grup back home), but obviously he read his father mind.This is very wrong, and this is abuse.I do not like this kind of behaviour from any tennis coach especially world class.So this experience contradict with what you say about praxis in academy.
In this case Nick was personally involved, not his staff.
There another case with this academy where player did not see Nick at all.
Pretty good player from my country (I know because he would hit against player I coached) went to Nick¨s academy.One day his father called me home.He was so excited so he had to share his excitement.They told (in academy) they never seen somebody hit as hard as his son.Right away did not smell good.He played well , but not so well that somebody would state something like that.I asked his father how did they come to this conclusion, and he said that they would put against his son 2 ball machines (250 balls each), and he would hit , and hit , and hit.Everything was clear to me.This was sheer quantity, no quality, and could not lead to success.
Epilogue:the player came home, and he was hitting hard, but his balls were dispersing - had not direction, and depth.He had false hopes that he was better while he was much worse player than at the time when he went to the academy.Obviously nobody paid any attention to his tennis.
These are reasons why so many people who were in one of tennis academies (not just specifically Bollettieri¨s )speak against them.These are honest people.Some would recommend in spite of own bad experience.
To conclude:tennis academies are generaly bad:
- for anyone who wants to start tennis on right foot
- for players who are not good enough to sign with one of the management groups who invest in them, and manage their tennis career
Tennis academies are good for:
- mature tennis players who are actually their own coaches and need a lot of sparring
Word class players or potential world class players who are in tennis academies or come periodically are just formally there.Former ones come with their own staff and use just facility, and latter ones have completely different treatment than the rest of the students.
Good illustration for that would would be racket bought in tennis store, and the same brand of racket with which one of the world class players plays.They have very few things in common - brand,name (facility).So is the case with ordinary students, and these two groups.
Once again, tennis academies are money machines so they do not need good tennis staff.There are few exceptions, but their are not there for ordinary students.
In Depth Description of Bringing a Child Up a Competitive Ladder with Advices and Recommendations
Last edited by Bubo; 08-28-2009 at 12:04 PM.
First of all, we never used ball machines at Bollettieri. I never even saw one the entire time I was there except when the new S.A.M. was being brought about. #2, everyone comes to the academies thinking they are going to be the next big thing. I don't believe that Nick told anyone they were going to be world class and then put them in the weaker groups. If he did, he saw potential, but sometimes you have to work your way up. It is inevitable. Just because someone has a 125 mile an hour serve at 15 doesn't mean he or she has anything else. It takes everything to make it. World class players were built from the ground up quite often at Bollettieri. Maybe with a little patience, the kid would have seen things come to fruition like Nick said (or supposedly said), but everyone wants immediate gratification. That isn't how it works there. You come in and you had better find a way to work your way up. Never expect to just be in the top group. You have to earn that. The competition there is very high and sometimes it is best to not get into the high groups until you become comfortable. If Nick actually did say anything, I am sure he said that the player had the potential. I never heard him once say that the player was a shoe in to make it. He has to see your work ethic first. He never said that to Courier, Agassi, or any of those guys. He told them if they worked hard and really gave their all, they could be world champions. Believe half of what you see and none of what you hear from tennis parents who are angry because things didn't go like they planned. Brad Gilbert had to work his butt off when he was at Bollettieri. Nick used to tell him he might want to find a job. Now, I know that there are plenty of weak academies out there, but there are plenty of good ones too. Bollettieri is one of the best and he has the track record to prove it. The only ones I ever heard complain were the players who went from being a big fish in a small pond to being a small fish in a big pond.
Originally Posted by Bubo
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