JUNIOR DEVELOPMENT
PrograM

 

CLASSES

Red Ball Pre-Rally (ages 5-6)

Class designed specifically for our youngest ages as they begin to grasp the fundamentals of the sport. In this class, we highlight the understanding of both sides of the students body (dominant vs non-dominant), hand position, and the physics of the bounce. Students will already be learning to train cooperatively and that much of the class is done in pairs.

Red Ball Pre-Rally (ages 7-9)

This class highlights many of the same skill checklists as the “pre rally” class for the younger ages. The difference is that this class is for those students who enter the sport in this age range and are trying to grasp the skill needed to execute a peer-to-peer rally.

Red Ball Ready (ages 7-9)

Students in this class can already execute a rudimentary to intermediate peer-to-peer rally on the 36’ net with the red training ball. At this stage, we begin to highlight fundamental court movement and understanding of “open space.” Players will be growing their ability to serve overhand to the correct box and keep track of scores both using ordinal counting (0,1,2,3,4...) and tennis scorekeeping (love, 15, 30, 40, game).

Orange Ball (ages 7-12)

Players in the orange ball class have already exhibited the ability to maintain a peer-to-peer rally without difficulty. These students understand scorekeeping with ordinal numbers and have a basic to mastered grasp of tennis scorekeeping. Entrants to this class are based on skill competency but the age range can vary from 7-years old through 12-years old. Exit skills which we are trying to achieve in this group are:

1. Creation of both topspin and underspin on both sides of the body

2. Full use of continental grip on serves, volleys, and slices.

3. Employing court width in order to open up space to win the point

Green Ball (ages 7-14)

Players in this group need to have grasped the list of exit skills outlined in the orange ball class. In this group, we build on those fundamentals but also think about strengths, weaknesses, offense, and defense. Players at this stage will learn that the net is a place in which the point should conclude and look to attack when the opportunity presents itself. Entrants in this class are based on skill competency but the age range can vary from young ages through 14-years old. Exit skills which we are trying to achieve in this group are:

1. Creation of both topspin and underspin on both sides of the body

2. Full use of continental grip on serves, volleys, and slices.

3. Employing court width in order to open up space to win the point

Intro to Tennis 1.0 (Beginners 10+)

This class represents a point of pride for our program in that we provide an option and developmental pathway for late entrants to the game of tennis. Similar to classes for all entry-level players, this class will give students the opportunity to gain the skills needed to continue the sport of tennis. Players will gain understanding of reaction on both sides of their body, basic movement patterns, and what constitutes a rally or point.

Intro to Tennis 2.0 (Novice ages 10+)

This class exists as the next stage after Intro to Tennis 1.0. Players in this group can competently execute a peer-to-peer rally and now we extend the size of the court, speed of the ball, and dynamics of the ball bounce. Players in this group will gain the ability to add spin to the ball as they begin to understand basic strategy. Scorekeeping using traditional tennis scoring (love, 15, 30, 40, game) will be used to help progress the students forward.

Pre-High Performance (USTA L7-L6, UTR up to 4.0)

Players in this group have achieved all the skill sets from the ROG training spaces and are now looking to build them bigger, stronger, and faster. Players will learn of pattern play and how to create “serve + one” scenarios. Those players in Pre-High Performance have chosen a specific lifestyle path. They know when their last tournament occurred and when their next tournament will take place. Competition is neither seasonal nor sporadic and these players have lofty expectations to pursue the sport collegiately.

High School Training (USTA L7-L6, UTR up to 4.0)

Students in this group have a strong tennis base and are looking to build up their middle school and high school teams. These players have passed through the ROG phases of tennis and are now training to become stronger in those skill sets. These players typically compete seasonally in school tennis or sporadically in USTA products.

 

OUR METHODOLOGY

Skill Acquisition and Skill Competency

Using standards set by the USTA and other coaching organizations, our students have a clear set of entry and exit skills for ascendancy from one training stage to the next. Stages should be met with intent of completion as opposed to racing forward and missing key developmental items.

The junior development program directed by Coach Michael D. MacVay has three pillars by which the organization and structure proceeds. These pillars influence the definition and composition of our classes but also the curriculum which is used to educate the students.

Progressive Training Environments

Our robust class offerings are designed to meet the needs of most any junior player. Once players obtain their requisite exit / entrance skills, they will be guided from one training environment to the next. Moreover, they will be presented with competitive options should they decide that tennis pathway is suitable for them.

The Student in Four Parts

A successful and well-rounded athlete should:

  1. Possess the physical skillsets their sport demands

  2. Become analytical problem solvers of the sport

  3. Maintain emotional intelligence

  4. Form social bonds so that tennis is not only a place of personal growth but a place to bond more deeply with their community

 

PROGRAM SUCCESSES

Junior Team Tennis

The Polo Tennis and Fitness Club has been an active participant in the USTA’s Junior Team Tennis and has placed team in all the red-orange-green-yellow divisions.

 

 

In the spring of 2019, our 14-and-under team won the state title for their division at the Texas Sectional Championships.

 

OUR TEAM

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Coach Michael D. MacVay (Coach Mike to the kids) has been educating young tennis players for nearly 25 years with just over the last 15 years being in Austin, Texas. Coach Mike has had a hand in all levels of junior coaching from beginners to player on the college recruitment pathway. Additionally, Coach Mike has held or still holds several positions within the greater tennis ecosystem.

Boards, Committees and Coaching Selections

  • President – Capital Area Tennis Association

  • Committee Member – USTA Texas Junior Competitive Committee

  • Committee Member – USTA National Junior Competitive Committee

  • Advisory Council – Capital Area Tennis Association – Junior Team Tennis

  • National Head Coach – USTA Texas – Zone Team Championships

  • Team USA Coach – USTA Texas 

  • Early Development Head Coach – USTA Texas

  • Member – Professional Tennis Registry

 

Awards and Distinctions

  • Junior Tennis Professional of the Year (‘14) -- Capital Area Tennis Association

  • North Star Award (‘15) -- USTA Texas

  • Junior Program of the Year (‘16) -- USTA Texas

  • 10-and-Under Coach of the Year (‘17) -- Capital Area Tennis Association

  • America’s Top Tennis Coach (‘21 -- nominated) -- Tennis Channel