In this month's article, I encourage adult tennis players to
participate in two activities to boost their game
in a short period of time: (1) sport psychology training seminars,
and (2) adult tennis camps.
Sport Psychology Training Seminars
Since last month's plea for increased psychological skills training
at the junior level (See March, 1996
Mental Equipment at the ATP Tour Headquarters), several tennis
directors and club owners summoned me
to conduct mental toughness clinics for their adult members. After
all, kids shouldn't be the only ones
having fun! I'll remain local this month and deliver Mental Equipment
to USPTA Professional Mike
Oransky's woman league members in Gainesville, Florida.
Have you ever attended a mental skills training seminar or taught
these skills to others? I would love to
hear from you about your experience. Please describe aspects of the
mental skills training that were most
beneficial and I'll share selected comments in a future column.
You can send me a message using this form
Adult Tennis Camps
Another way for adults to have fun and gain valuable tennis knowledge
in a short period of time is by
attending a tennis camp. Adult tennis camps, fitness and nutrition
resorts, and spas are quite popular and
numerous in Europe. This may be due to extended European holiday
periods, or just cultural traditions
that promote "working to live" rather than "living to work."
Adult tennis camps show no resemblance at all to campsites. The best
camps are housed within chic
resorts in luxury surroundings. During my tennis coaching career, I
worked at various tennis programs in
clubs, hotels and resorts throughout the world. The tennis camp that
I am most familiar with, as a tennis
professional for 5 seasons, is Bio Hotel Stanglwirt in the Tyrolean
Alps of Austria. This Peter Burwash
International managed facility was often rated by tennis magazines as
the top tennis camp in Europe.
Guests were greeted on Sunday evenings and left on Friday evenings
after a complete tennis experience.
Guests ranged in age from 18 to 80, from beginning tennis players to
ranked professionals, and from
anonymous store clerks to world famous celebrities.
Tennis camps vary on a great number of qualities. If you are
planning a tennis vacation, do your
homework first. Here is my list of the top five questions to ask in
looking for your ideal tennis camp
If you want to improve your game very quickly, you will want to
attend a sport psychology seminar. When
you have more time, book your reservations to a quality tennis camp.
- Level of Personalized Attention
Do the staff get to know each guest personally, discover their needs,
and remain flexible enough to meet
these needs? Know why you are taking this vacation and let the staff
know (e.g., tournament
preparation, stress release, trying to overhaul your game).
- Quality of Tennis Instruction
Are the tennis staff competent tennis professionals? In group
training, no more than 4 players should be
assigned to a court per instructor (4 is a group, 5 a crowd).
- Quality of the Tennis Facility
Are the courts in first class condition? What surfaces are available?
Are there indoor courts in case of
- Quality of the Resort and Surrounding area
Does the place more resemble a boot camp or the Ritz Carlton?
- Comprehensiveness of the Program
Is there a well balanced and complete agenda? The best tennis camps
A. Welcoming and departing socials
B. Initial efforts to group players according to their demonstrated
abilities on the court
C. Well rehearsed demonstrations of themes and strokes provided by
D. Stretching sessions prior to instruction
E. Daily group and private instruction
F. Round robin socials
G. Video analysis
H. Radar gun analysis
I. Singles and doubles exhibitions by the professionals
J. Mental fitness training
K. Tennis strategy sessions
L. Ongoing videos of famous tennis matches
M. Ratings of guests' ability level with feedback regarding areas
needing most improvement.
See you next month...