Guest Author - Sandra Eggers
The Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy (NBTA) has produced world-class tennis professionals such as Jim Courier, Andre Agassi, Monica Seles and Anna Kournikova. They specialize in turning kids into champions. Here's a closer look at what NBTA is all about.
Located in Bradenton, Florida, the NBTA facility encompasses 53 tennis courts on 190 acres, and offers both educational and athletic training to top juniors. It's a tennis boarding school for elite juniors. A typical schedule for full-time students includes about 6 hours for studies and 6 hours for tennis/conditioning. They also offer an accelerated schedule, summer camp and a week long holiday schedule, as well as adult programs.
All this does not come for free, and in fact carries a pretty hefty price tag. Make sure Mom and Dad are sitting down when you call to ask for pricing. You could easily put your kid through college, more than once, for what you may end up paying for Mr. Bollettieri's services. Is it worth it? Some students have gone on to renowned success and stardom, while others have dropped in for a few months and parted on not the best of terms.
Besides the money, a big factor to consider is the emotional stability of your junior. Are they ready to live away from home? Are you ready? Is this the kind of educational environment you want your child to develop in? These are questions you and your child need to consider and honestly answer before this kind of decision can be made.
What Bollettieri's does give you is tennis, tennis and more tennis. The facility attracts top players from all over the world, so you'll find plenty of practice partners for some high quality tennis. You'll get a chance to play on different surfaces, and to receive feedback on your game as you play out points. Physical conditioning is also a big part of the experience, but they also stress technique and strategy as well as mental conditioning.
Tennis academies such as NBTA and others are not for everyone. Juniors and adults alike go to Bollettieri's for a great workout. Most don't attend with hopes of making millions on the pro tour, but it's not impossible. Just ask Andre Agassi. Just ask Monica Seles. They are the leading examples of American and foreign-born juniors coming together with others who share a common goal.