Excellence camp benefits players, coaches

August 11, 2016 10:15 AM

By Ashley Marsahll, USTA Foundation

A group of 26 talented juniors spent a week training on Florida’s east coast as part of a collaborative partnership between a trio of USTA groups.

The organization’s Player Development department joined with the USTA Foundation and its Diversity and Inclusion team to host the 2016 NJTL Excellence Team Camp in Boca Raton.

Over the five days , the 12- to 14-year-olds were put through their paces on the court and given help and instruction off it. In addition, the players had the opportunity to earn wild-card spots into the National Clay Court tournament and the National Championships for the Excellence Teams.

The camp, held just a short drive from Miami, included players from the Harlem Junior Tennis & Education Program, the South Fulton Community Tennis Association, the Marty Hennessy Jr. Tennis Foundation, the Junior Tennis Champions Center, New York Junior Tennis and Leaning, the Legacy Youth Tennis & Education, Sportmen’s Tennis & Enrichment Center, the Dallas Tennis association and MTEG.

After a morning of training on Monday, the players were split into age-appropriate groups for three days of round-robin pool play followed by a day of mixed doubles. John Evert, the brother of Hall of Famer Chris Evert, attended a number of the sessions to observe the players as he continues to select scholarship recipients for the Jimmy Evert Scholarship Program, named after their father.

Supporting the players were 12 coaches who also had the chance to expand upon their own coaching education. Each day, 90 minutes were set aside for coaches to discuss topics from player scheduling and teaching fundamentals to training pathways.

While the coaches were meeting together, players joined discussions on themes such as “Competing Like a Champion”, and current American touring pro Grace Min spoke to the players about her experiences as a junior player and on the pro circuit. 



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