Tennis Camp This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.


   I attended the JohnNewcombe Tennis Academy for three weeks this summer and had the time of my life.My tennis improved greatly and I made new friends from all over thecountry.

The academy is in the heart of the hill country 20 minutes northof San Antonio, Texas. There are 24 hard courts and four lighted clay courts,volleyball courts, a swimming pool with a hot tub, a basketball court and amini-soccer field. Students stay in dormitory-style rooms literally feet from thecourts. The rooms have three or four beds and private bathrooms. I had only oneroommate.

The weekday schedule was rigorous but rewarding. I awoke around7:30 and ate breakfast. Then there were three-hour drills with excellentinstructors from around the world, who were great, and knew you by name. Toreceive the most from the instruction, you just needed to ask what you shouldchange about a certain stroke. After this first drill session it was time forlunch.

After lunch there was a break. I usually spent my free time playingping pong, talking to people, playing board games and watching television. Thenwe met at the Lodge to discuss the fitness workout, a 30-minute period aimed atimproving stamina. Activities range from a nonstop three-mile jog to playingsoccer. One day, the coaches took us to The Hill, which is very steep. We ran upit forward, backward and sideways many times. This kind of conditioning gets youinto shape quickly.

A well-deserved 30-minute rest was followed byanother three-hour hitting session. Two days a week we drilled, and three days weplayed matches. The coaches put a lot of thought into who should play whom andkept records of everyone's wins and losses. I always had challenging and evenmatches. No matter what your level, there would be someone to hit with. Somepeople had been playing for just a few months, while one girl was ranked in thetop ten in the nation!

Then the day of tennis was over, al-though we werefree to go out and hit again. I did this sometimes but often was too tired.

On Saturdays there was a two-hour drilling session with the coaches.Sunday was fun day, which meant the groups decided what they wanted to do,whether shopping or watching a movie. You could also stay at the ranch andpractice.

The size of the academy depends on when you go. In mid-Junethere were more than 65 people, but toward the end of July, fewer than 25.

The price is pretty reasonable: $1,650 plus tax for three weeks; if yousigned up early there is a 10% discount. Some other programs cost up to $1,000 aweek.

Be sure to bring racquets, shoes, socks, an alarm clock,toiletries, a phone card, a water jug, plenty of t-shirts and socks, towels and ahat or sunglasses. You may want to bring extra money for souvenirs, snacks,movies, etc.

I think the John Newcombe Tennis Academy is one of the bestacademies out there at the best price. My game improved greatly, and so did mylevel of fitness. The only complaint I have is that you must stay at least threeweeks.




This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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