I have had the pleasure of learning from some great coaches at my tennis clubs over the years, but recently spent 4 days at the Tennis Congress in Arizona and this has changed the way I will approach tennis forever.
The Tennis Congress is a 4 day boot camp for tennis nuts. It is very intense, but the quality and the experience were seriously impressive. The coaches, a.k.a the “Faculty”, are some of the best in the sport, and they will make you rethink your game.
The days were structured between the court and the classroom. There were two types of on court sessions; one with the head coaching team and one with specialist coaches who helped us focus on areas of our game that we wanted to improve. The areas I chose to work on were my serve, return, movement, anticipation on the court, and the weaponisation of my forehand and backhand. In order to improve in each of these areas, I was placed with a specialist coach and 3 other players who were also looking to do the same.
We had 3 on court sessions with the head coaching team (2hrs each) to look at and improve our general game. The coaches I had were fantastic and with 3 of them, there was a lot of one to one contact time. Each day we focussed on a different part of the game and got to put everything we had learnt in the classroom into practice on the court.
Between each court session there were elective classes, covering all aspects of the game. The ones that took my fancy were the classes on strategy and tactics. In particular, two speakers that stood out and really changed my game. The first was Yann Auzoux, who taught us about the geometry of the court. The second was Craig O’Shannessy, the strategist for Team Djokovic. He spoke about the importance of the first 4 points, and your positioning on the court.
On day 4, we spent the morning competing in coached match play against other players from other groups on the program. This was an opportunity for us to play against others, but also to implement what we had learnt. I was excited for this but by this point, my body was not! We recorded some of the match play and I will share the stats from my game in a follow up blog post.
For me, the Tennis Congress was reminiscent of some of the hardest training camps I attended whilst rowing (and those weren’t easy!) but if you’re looking to take your game to the next level from a technical or tactical perspective, then The Tennis Congress is for you.