©Colette Lewis 2005
I attend many tournaments and what I see and know about coaching I basically have learned in that highly charged environment. So I was delighted to have an opportunity to see some of the country's most renowned coaches "in the trenches" as CARE Academy director Mark Bey referred to it in his introductions.
Bobby Bernstein, the Administrator of Coaches Education in the USTA's High Performance division, brought along his video camera and computer analysis program and spent the entire day today discussing and evaluating stroke production with junior players and their coaches and parents.
Wayne Bryan, the father of the Bryan twins and motivational speaker extraordinaire, provided his unique brand of humor, drills and instruction on the court with juniors and then spoke to their parents about the challenges and rewards of raising a tennis champion.
Rick Macci, one of the country's most honored and respected developmental coaches, took time from his academy lessons in Florida to provide Chicago area youngsters with the benefit of his insights, and parents and coaches observing his lessons probably learned how to hit better volleys too.
The college tennis forum featured parents Dan Bruch and Jon Vegosen, who had recently been through the college recruiting process, Katie Schlukebir, a Stanford graduate who is now a traveling coach, Vanderbilt's women's head coach Geoff MacDonald and others, all providing their perspectives on the process of obtaining a tennis scholarship.
I observed and laughed and thought and, most of all, learned, which is the ultimate goal of Bey's conference, now in its ninth year. I've only briefly touched on all the resources available to players and their parents this weekend, but I have Wayne Bryan's well-traveled word that it is a combination of instruction and information for coaches, parents and players that should serve as a model throughout the country.
For more information about next year's conference or the CARE Academy, contact the Libertyville Tennis and Fitness Club at (847) 362 5553.