USTA Player Development recently announced that eight junior development programs in six states have been named USTA Certified Regional Training Centers as part of its continuing effort to develop the next generation of world-class American players.
The eight programs will create networks serving the Northeast portion of the country and the USTA's Missouri Valley section.
The Manchester Athletic Club Tennis Academy in Manchester, Mass., the Weymouth Club in Weymouth, Mass., the Centercourt Athletic Club in Chatham, N.J., CourtSense in Bogota, N.J., and Arthur Ashe Youth Tennis & Education in Philadelphia will compose a Northeast Corridor network that will service the USTA New England, Eastern and Middle States sections. The Kansas City United Tennis Academy at the Plaza Tennis Center in Kansas City, Mo., the Overland Park Racquet Club in Overland Park, Kan., and the Tucker Tennis Academy at the Grand Health & Racquet Club in Tulsa, Okla., will compose a USTA Certified Regional Training Center network for the USTA Missouri Valley Section. (See below for an overview of each program.)
As USTA Certified Regional Training Centers, the eight programs will enhance the training and development of junior players in their respective areas of the country, and USTA Player Development will use these new partnerships as vehicles to educate and collaborate with junior tennis coaches throughout these four USTA sections to work together toward developing the next generation of world-class American players.
In addition to continuing their existing programs, the USTA Certified Regional Training Centers will host USTA Player Development camps for players, ages 8-12, in their respective regions. These players will be selected in conjunction with the USTA national coaching staff and their respective USTA Section Coaching Commission. The Centers will also help identify talent in players as young as 6 years old, run programs using the QuickStart Tennis* play format and host QuickStart tournaments for players 8 and under and 10 and under.
"Following two years of outstanding progress in the USTA Certified Regional Training Center Program, I am thrilled that we are able to announce this broad expansion of the program," said Patrick McEnroe, General Manager, USTA Player Development. "One of USTA Player Development's goals is to reach as many of this country's top coaches and junior players in a collaborative environment, and these new USTA Certified Regional Training Centers will help us continue to expand that outreach."
"Each of the eight programs have done a wonderful job of developing talent in their local communities, and we are thrilled to add them to our list of USTA Certified Regional Training Centers," said Martin Blackman, Senior Director, Talent Identification and Development, USTA Player Development, who oversees the Regional Training Center program. "These partnerships were established with the invaluable support and cooperation of the Presidents, Executive Directors and Player Development Managers of each of the four sections, and the USTA looks forward to working with these eight programs to foster and develop the abundance of talent throughout the Northeast and the Missouri Valley."
The camps will be staffed by the top coaches at the USTA Certified Regional Training Centers and throughout their respective USTA sections with additional assistance from the USTA National coaching staff. USTA Certified Regional Training Center coaches will also participate in the USTA Coaching Education program by working with and training the top coaches in their respective region and/or USTA section. Additionally, the RTC coaches will attend training sessions at USTA National Training Centers in Boca Raton, Fla., Carson, Calif., and Flushing, N.Y.
The USTA Certified Regional Training Centers 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. In December 2008, the USTA named the Racquet Club of the South in Atlanta and The Junior Tennis Champions Center in Maryland as its first two USTA Certified Regional Training Centers. In addition to the eight programs named today, the USTA also has named a network of facilities in Texas, Northern California and the Midwest as USTA Certified Regional Training Centers, as well as individual facilities in Las Vegas and San Diego. The USTA plans to name additional USTA Certified Regional Training Centers involving all USTA sections throughout the country over the next couple of years.
The new USTA Player Development unit has been created to identify and develop the next generation of American players by surrounding the top juniors 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 Center Headquarters in Boca Raton, Fla., and also utilizes the USTA Training Center-West in Carson, Calif., and the USTA Training Center-East at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing, N.Y. In 2008, the USTA began implementing its Certified Regional Training Center program as part of its effort to 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.
QuickStart Tennis is a play format that has been developed to help kids 10 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.
To get started playing tennis in a location near you visit the USTA's Tennis Welcome Center . Find more tennis technique information at the USTA Player Development Web site .