As we get closer to launching our junior pathway, there have been many changes made to how this academy runs. There are two divisions: a public side with the junior pathway (everyone’s welcome and accepted) and a private side with the full or summer academy. Then there is the club side which is separate and open to competitors from all over the region.
I get asked this a lot as parents often wonder about the distinction between them all. What makes them different. So I wanted to take some time to break all three areas down.
The first year we ran academy, everyone could join. Starting this year, we’re limiting the number of junior players who train here. It all goes through an application process.
Why the change? In 2018 and 2019, I spent 400+ hours each year on court (just in the summer months) training older junior players (14-18). Most of these juniors got a late start in the sport. I found the vast majority enjoyed the academy experience and the personal coaching, but very few were invested in the sport and seriously driven to compete and grow competitively. Most of these players didn’t have any intention of taking part in USTA tournaments or many other competitions. Being only one coach, I had to limit my time on court with players who are invested in the sport.
A good example of players who are ushered/accepted into the academy are high school players intent on being #1 at their schools. Staley Tennis has trained every #1 girls high school player from the local school district since 2014. We’ve accepted several of the boys into the academy this year and we expect we’ll see the same with the boys program. We also are training several players from outside the local school district, who travel to the academy to get trained each year by Coach Staley. Furthermore, all players with intentions of extending their tennis careers into college are also a great candidate for academy.
What is considered academy? Academy is full registration into all of the programs we offer, including classes, group drills and private lessons. We run this from April through October each year.
Ages 10 & Under
We believe every child at the elementary school level should be initiated to the sport early. Our Junior Pathway is always open to the public. We do not have an application process or deny players from taking part (but do have limited space due to the number of coaches and specialized equipment). We consider our Junior Pathway as the pre-academy where kids can try out a new sport. Some may love it and eventually become full academy players when they graduate from the pathway. Others might go in a different direction, towards another sport to their liking and never seek out joining the academy. We offer this pathway to introduce the lifesport of tennis to every kid.
Staley Tennis Club focuses on organizing and running area events, mainly UTR. Everything in club is competition. And it’s open to all juniors ages 11-17. Junior players can join the club and take part in match play opportunities including tournaments and leagues. Events are run almost every weekend from mid-April to mid-October. There is a one-time registration fee of $99 per player and individual events range from being free to register to low-cost (most 2020 events are $15 to enter).
There is a separate club site which you can access HERE.
Players do NOT have to train at our academy to be a part of our club. It’s open to all juniors!
Also important: we will be moving to incorporating adult club events in the near future. So if you’re adult and want to compete in mixers or leagues, please don’t hesitate to contact us to inquire.
HOW TO GET INITIALLY INVOLVED
The best way to get information is to sign up for our newsletter. We post all new openings and opportunities there first.
If you have a player wanting to take part in some tennis activities with Staley Tennis, check out the Kourts app where we include all of our public booking events including open group drills.
Shane Staley is the founder of Staley Tennis and a USPTA-certified trainer, Accredited Professional Coach and instructor.