Boys and Girls Ages 4-11 Can Apply Now. Limited Space.
As the fall 2019 season winds down, Staley Tennis’s second full year in operation now has 34 players actively training at its academy. Around 90% of these players first started playing the sport during their high school years.
These very numbers were one of the many reasons head pro Shane Staley quit high school coaching after five years. In his time coaching, he built a girls’ program that had its first winning season in more than fifteen years, training the majority of varsity girls on the team.
“While we broke through in 2019, it was still a struggle. Tennis is an early initiation sport and the girls and boys I trained still had difficulties competing at the high school level due to inexperience, lack of match play, court time and history in the sport,” Staley reflected. “There were very few resources for tennis in our community, few volunteers and extremely limited exposure and opportunities in the sport.”
While tennis ranks among the most popular sports globally, in America (and especially in the Midwest), the numbers are down, particularly in junior tennis.
As head of the tennis program, Staley was frustrated. “It was evident that I wasn’t going to change the culture of the school in the sport and create a truly competitive team without restructuring and building a foundation locally through programs that acted as a feeder system.”
In May 2019, Staley Tennis began planning a junior pathway. Currently only juniors from the ages of 11-18 take part in its training academy. Beginning in 2020, Staley will accept 16 players annually into its academy, while additionally running new red ball, orange ball and green ball programs to foster in new players to its academy. These pathway programs will begin in the spring of 2020. Annually there will be programs offered each spring, summer and fall for ages 11 and under.
Dates and times have been announced for 2020 spring, summer and fall programs:
Applications are now being taken for those interested in initiating their children to the life-sport of tennis around the North Webster, IN area. Due to limited certified trainers in the area, each of the pathway programs will be limited to only 12 players each.
Head Pro Shane Staley will organize each program through USTA’s Net Generation to provide each player with the building blocks to develop into future competitive players. Staley is a certified coach and trainer with the USPTA (United States Professional Tennis Association). He has organized the Lakeland Youth Center’s summer tennis camp for the past 4 years. One of his training facilities is located in North Webster, IN in partnership with the North Webster Community Center.
To learn more on Staley Tennis’s new Junior Pathway Program, please visit the official page at: https://www.staleytennis.com/junior-pathway/
Applications are now being accepted here.