Unlike the well known tennis academies Nick Bolletieri, Chris Evert, and a few others across the nation, why are there not more junior training centers in Norcal, specifically the SF Bay area. I have heard of Kim Grant Academy in Palo Alto and Richard Tompkins in Fremont, but what do aspiring juniors have in the Tri-Valley area? Tennis has become a very popular sport here. I coach youth tennis and often asked where juniors can go for advanced training and work towards a college scholarship or tennis career. Aside from private lessons, I don't know where to refer them. Any feedback appreciated.
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That's a great question Dudley. So many of the kids travel to Tompkins or Eagle Fustar. As far as the Tri-Valley the only true public option that has high level kids is Crow Canyon and Joyce also has something going up at DVHS, and I've also been impressed with several of the kids Akshay who is now teaching in Dublin again. Those two places have the largest collection of kids. Unfortunately many facilities and "pro's" only see the kids as dollar bills and are not fully committed to long term development. I really think there is room for a premiere junior training program in the area with all the great players in the area. The programs over the hill have a head start in marketing and players,but a committed program should be able to gain traction and have kids from 18's and down training there. The toughest part is retaining kids from 15-18, you need those kids to pull along that younger group. Someone will get it going, by having exceptional coaches that can walk the walk and have the respect from players and parents and really push the kids to new levels.
Hal, thanks for your feedback. Travel seems to be quite common with the parents I've talked with having to drive to South Bay or across the bay. It takes a lot of time. I have heard and familiar with Crow Canyon being one of the few private clubs with good local tennis programs. I know Steve Ward personally and he always has top juniors in the Norcal rankings. I have been referring most of my youth students to his club. As for Joyce and her DVTA, I don't think the City is allowing permits to run her program anymore. Some of the other private clubs in Livermore, Pleasanton and San Ramon would be great places to run year-round junior programs, but they do not support Youth League Tennis (YLT).
That's interesting news about the program at DVHS, I heard that she did not have a contract with the city but that may have been wrong. Well the tough thing with YLT is that if those kids are playing at club in YLT, the club's feel that they should be in the program already there. I think the city should allow outside contract bids for court usage at Cal high or DVHS. I was at the mustang soccer complex today and having a facility like that for tennis would be awesome.