Excellence Teams 2018 Junior Orange Bowl Workout


Hosted by the USTA Foundation in partnership with USTA Player Development, the 2018 Junior Orange Bowl Workout for the NJTL Excellence Teams brought together over 40, 11-14 year old players from 11 teams.
This year, the Workout focused on the value of confidence from the USTA Player Development’s Curriculum entitled Live Like a Champion – Character and Life Skills Program by Dr. Larry Lauer and Andres Pedroso.
Excellence Teams participants are National Junior Tennis and Learning (NJTL) youth chosen based on their elite level of tennis ability, educational outcomes and commitment to the pathway to become student-athletes at the collegiate and professional levels. 
As NJTLs embody the USTA Foundation mission to bring tennis and education together to change lives, Excellence Team events integrate tennis on-court activities and educational off-court activities. Our off-court has included group discussion and writing exercises on "Fitting In vs. Belonging – the Role of a Leader" and "Snitching vs. Respect & Loyalty to a Higher Cause" (balancing the threat and benefit of reporting the negative actions of a teammate that impacts the entire team.
Currently, the USTA Foundation has 14 NJTL chapters across the country that have identified close to 200 promising athletes. These athletes are identified and selected due to their hard work, talent, perseverance and grit. All Excellence Team coaches are USPTA/PTR certified. These Excellence Teams are provided additional resources designed to provide coaching, equipment and tournament travel at no cost to underserved junior tennis players from under-resourced populations who would otherwise never have the chance to even play. 
2019 USTA Foundation NJTL Excellence Teams
  • A’s & Aces – New Orleans, LA
  • Dallas Tennis & Education Academy – Addison, TX
  • Greensboro Tennis Association - Greensboro, NC
  • Harlem Junior Tennis & Education Program – Harlem, NY
  • InnerCity Tennis – Minneapolis, MN
  • Junior Tennis Champions Center – College Park, MD
  • Legacy Youth Tennis & Education  – Philadelphia, PA
  • Marty Hennessy Inspiring Children Foundation – Las Vegas, NV
  • Metropolitan Tennis & Education Group –  D.C., Maryland, Virginia
  • New York Junior Tennis & Learning – Bronx, NY
  • South Atlanta Community Tennis Association – Atlanta, GA
  • Sportsmen’s Tennis & Enrichment Center – Dorchester, MA
  • Tennis Memphis – Memphis, TN
  • XS Tennis & Education Foundation - Chicago, IL
The Excellence Team program includes a “playing pyramid” with mass community outreach at the bottom, a pathway of developmental programs in the middle and an elite group emerging at the top – possibly the next US Open champion! 
The statistics are astounding. Of the boys and girls who join an Excellence Team:
  • 95% have 3.0+ GPA
  • 7 players have been ranked Top 10 in the Nation
  • 96% improve their tennis skills
  • 98% continue to play tennis frequently
  • 100% report they will graduate from high school
All 14 NJTL Excellence Teams are required participate in various events, provide training opportunities for both coaches and youth and adhere to national program standards. 
  1. Coaches training – online training courses, face-to-face workshops, certified, work with a mentor
  2. Tennis Training – 30+ weeks of programming, tournament play, USTA Player Development Wild Card Playoff, USTAF NJTL Excellence Cup, USTAF NJTL Excellence Team Workout
  3. College Prep – track report cards, maintain GPA, Essay Contest, community service
  4. Marketing, Sponsorship, Fundraising & Communication
Currently, no additional Excellence Teams are being added to the program. If you have further questions regarding Excellence Teams, please contact us via njtl@usta.com


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