The Austin Tennis Academy (Austin, Texas) will be the third USTA Certified Regional Training Center as part of the USTA's continuing expanded efforts to develop future American tennis champions. The USTA plans to announce at least two additional sites throughout the state to create a Regional Training Center network to better serve the junior tennis community in the USTA Texas Section.
“We are excited to partner with the Austin Tennis Academy in Texas which is known for its dynamic programming and accomplished coaching staff,” said Patrick McEnroe, General Manager, USTA Player Development. “Through our Regional Training Center program, we will be able to share the USTA’s coaching philosophy while learning from the personal coaches who are developing our best young talent in Texas as we move towards our goal of working with the top American coaches to grow the base of American tennis and develop American champions.”
The USTA Certified Regional Training Centers will 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.
“Because of the size and scope of the USTA Texas Section, we are able to take a unique approach with regards to creating a network of Regional Training Centers throughout the state,” said Martin Blackman, Senior Director of Talent Identification and Development, USTA Player Development, who oversees the Regional Training Centers. “By adding additional programs, we will be better equipped to expand our reach throughout Texas, one of the most talent-rich areas of the country.”
In addition to continuing their already existing programs, the USTA Certified Regional Training Centers will now also host USTA training camps for players in their region ages 10-14. These players will be selected in conjunction with the USTA national coaching staff and their respective USTA Section Coaches Commission. The Centers also will help identify talent in players as young as 6-years-old, run programs using the QuickStart* format and host QuickStart tournaments for players 8-and-under and 10-and-under.
The camps will be staffed by the top coaches at the USTA Certified Regional Training Centers with assistance from the USTA national coaching staff. The coaches at the USTA Certified Regional Training Centers also will serve as an extension of the USTA Coaching Education program by working with and training the top coaches in their region and respective USTA Section. Additionally, the coaches will attend training sessions at the USTA National Training Center in Boca Raton, Fla.
In December, the USTA named the Racquet Club of the South in Atlanta and The Junior Tennis Champions Center in Maryland as its first two Certified Regional Training Centers. The USTA plans to name approximately a dozen Certified Regional Training Centers during the next five years.
The Austin Tennis Academy is located at the western edge of Austin, Texas in a secluded, picturesque Texas Hill Country setting. ATA's main facility has 12 lighted hard courts. ATA's "sister" facility, Lakecliff Racquet Club, has five hard, two clay and one grass court. The ATA's management team is comprised of Jack Newman and Deb Cahill.
The new USTA Player Development unit has been created to identify and develop the next generation of American champions by surrounding the top junior players 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 Facility in Boca Raton, Fla., and also utilizes the USTA West Coast Training Center in Carson, Calif. Last year, the USTA announced its first two Certified Regional Training Centers, in Atlanta and Washington, D.C., as part of its expanded efforts to develop future American tennis champions. The USTA expects to name approximately ten more Regional Training Centers over the next five years.
*QuickStart Tennis is a new play format that has been developed to help kids ten 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.