Davis Cup High Performance Camp--Day One~~~
I spent Tuesday finding out who and what makes up a Davis Cup camp for juniors.
The Scene: Barnes Tennis Center in San Diego, a non-profit public facility dedicated to junior tennis.
The Coaches: Martin Van Daalen, USTA High Performance coach for birth year 1991 and Mark Merklein, the HP coach for the 1990s, recently hired to replace David DiLucia, who is now coaching Lindsay Davenport, and Bobby Bernstein, the Administrator of Coaching Education for the USTA
The Players: Devin Britton, Blake Davis, Austin Krajicek, JT Sundling, Rhyne Williams, and Bradley Klahn with Alex Johnson, who trains at Barnes, filling in during the morning workouts, while Klahn attends school.
I understand the day started with an hour-long early morning run on the beach (I missed that) and then a two-hour training session with drills. While I ran up to La Jolla to pick up my Davis Cup credentials (and watched the Bryan twins hit with USTA HP coach Jay Berger), they took a break, then returned mid-afternoon to play round-robin one-set matches. And while Bernstein was doing his instructive video analysis, mechanics weren't the only focus; Van Daalen and Bernstein were also seeking footage to demonstrate how the fourteen and fifteen-year-olds could improve their warm up habits and match demeanors.
Tomorrow is the Big Event for the Barnes Center--the Bryans will be there for a clinic, and Steve Bickham and his staff were busy getting the site ready for the expected crush of young tennis fans. The facility includes 25 courts, four of which are clay, and although juniors are the focus, adults are welcome too. I can't imagine how it could be improved upon; I just wish every city in the country could find a way to copy it.