View Full Version : What Happened to Tennis Academy Kids?

auntie janie
Apr 3rd, 2003, 11:59 AM
Remember a few years back when it was an accepted truth that from now on, every top player would be a product of Bollettieri's or some other elite live-in tennis academy? When every few months we would hear Nick raving about his latest charge, and how "This one will be the best of them all"?

Well what happened? Who in the top 10 is a product of one of these joints? Who is on the way up now? Maria Sharapova is one, but of course at her age the jury is still out on her.

Although the Williams sisters did attend Rick Macci's academy for a while, clearly they are still mostly the product of their parents' teaching. The same goes for Monica and Bollettieri's. How about Kim, Justine, Amelie, Jelena -- none of them learned their tennis in a place like that, and each has her own unique style and came up in her own individual way.

Maybe it was all smoke and mirrors the whole time! Maybe the academy approach does not do the best job any more, at least when it comes to girls. Maybe the top players there are actually over-coached, a theory I saw discussed one time in Tennis Week, so when they get on court they don't think on their feet ably enough.

If I had a daughter with ambitions of becoming a pro, no way would I send her to one of these factories. They DO NOT produce women champions. And maybe they even hurt the ones who could have been champions.

What do you think?

Apr 3rd, 2003, 01:03 PM
i agree. steffi and martina never attended these acadamies too.

King Aaron
Apr 3rd, 2003, 01:21 PM
I don't think Tennis Academies are that good or bad. They provide a place where everyone is qualified. You get advice, coaching techniques, everything. The only downfall maybe is that they expect a lot from themselves when Bollettieri proclaim them as the next champion.

I think it comes down to talent and determination, if you have both of that, it's hard not to be at the top with or without going to an academy.

auntie janie
Apr 3rd, 2003, 05:10 PM
I wonder also if the academies' preferred baseline-game techniques became too familiar to opponents over time. Though I think these days even Bollettieri's teaches a more varied game.

If, as aaron says, a real champion will blossom with or without this type of background, why go then, leaving home at a young age, spending those big bucks?