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QuickStart Tennis Featured at IMG Bollettieri Tennis Academy in Florida

August 31, 2010 09:49 AM
QuickStart Tennis game module demonstrations for coaches
Tennis guru Nick Bollettieri (left) speaks to coaches as the
workshop moves to the indoor courts at the IMG Academy
Workshop participants rally on the QuickStart mini-courts
IMG Bollettieri workshop helpers and their USTA Florida gift bags
Workshop participants, organizers and coaches
The legendary IMG Bollettieri Tennis Academy and the QuickStart Tennis format for 10-and-under children came together in late August when the Bradenton, Florida-based facility, home to former No. 1 Maria Sharapova and past champions such as Andre Agassi and Jim Courier, hosted a USTA Florida QuickStart Workshop for tennis instructors.

"Our coaches thoroughly enjoyed learning more about QuickStart. Craig Jones was extremely professional, and did a great job," said Miguel Rosa, IMG Bollettieri junior tennis manager, who with national QuickStart trainer Jones from Augusta, Ga., and area USTA Florida Tennis Program Coordinator Susie Bessire organized the event. "We are looking forward to using QuickStart as a teaching tool for our younger, upcoming kids. We feel it will greatly increase the retention rate with our 7 to 10 year olds, and it provides us with a great alternative for our after-school Future Stars program."

Nineteen IMG Bollettieri Tennis Academy coaches attended the 3-1/2 hour workshop, along with other IMG staff, sports coaches and onlookers who watched from the sidelines.

"All initial apprehension was erased within the first 10 minutes of speaking with Nick [Bollettieri] and his staff," Jones said. "They are great supporters of the QuickStart play format and want to incorporate QuickStart into their programs. The training was incredible. Everyone stayed engaged whether they were playing on the 36-foot courts, helping with athletic development or watching video in the classroom. They went out of their way to make us feel welcome and let us know this was important to them."

Jones worked with 8- and 9-year-old players from the Academy on the 36-foot and 60-foot indoor courts using the QuickStart transition balls. The young players were so enamored with the orange low-compression balls, that offer a lower bounce in the younger players' hitting zones rather than bouncing head high or over their heads, that they asked if they could keep them.

"Obviously they really liked playing with the 'orange' ball!" USTA Florida's Bessire said. "The IMG Bollettieri coaches' and kids' keen interest in the QuickStart format of play was equaled only by their on-court enthusiasm. IMG Academy also has hopes to offer an after-school program this fall using the QuickStart format of play."

QuickStart Tennis is the new USTA-approved format for teaching children age 10-and-under, featuring smaller court sizes, racquet sizes, foam and decompressed balls, a simple scoring system, and net heights adjusted to ease kids into the sport. To see a video of QuickStart Tennis in action go to: http://consumers.quickstarttennis.com/.

For more info on USTA Florida QuickStart coach and player offerings CLICK HERE.





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