The month of October means fall programming at the USTA National Campus is in full swing. The second full session of fall programming gets underway Oct. 17, and there are options available for players of all ages and abilities.
For players ages 10-and-under, the Nemours Family Zone is the ideal place for children to learn to develop their tennis skills. Youth programs held in the Nemours Family Zone are committed to developing the athlete, player and person in a dynamic environment. Through a progressive pathway, players will be challenged to reach their full potential and, most importantly, have fun and develop a passion for tennis.
Youth Development programming is for players ages 11-17 who are new to tennis, players wanting to play high school tennis, and for those players who are on a performance pathway to play competitive tournaments. This program offers a wide range of classes that will focus on the development of the athlete, the tennis player, and the person. Players will be guided and informed of team and individual competitive opportunities during the sessions. Classes will be available during the daytime, after-school, and on the weekend.
For high-level youth players, the Campus’ High Performance Academy is focused on a long-term developmental plan that requires commitment, discipline and patience from players, coaches and parents. Practices feature appropriate playing progressions and proper technique as well as fitness sessions in partnership with Lake Nona Performance Club. In addition, world-renowned footwork specialist Dave Bailey works with the players weekly. The program offers a full day and after-school training option. Players have to fulfill the participation and performance requirements to be approved to participate in the program.
One of the best examples of the success of the High Performance Program is 12-year-old Jordan Lee, who began in the campus’ orange ball youth programs and now finds himself as one of the top-ranked juniors in his age group in the country. Lee established himself as a household name in the junior tennis community earlier this year when he won the IMG Future Stars event in Athens, Greece, as the invite-only event featured some of the top 12-and-under players in the world. Earlier this summer, Lee won the singles title at the USTA Boys’ 12s National Clay Court Championships, coincidentally held at the USTA National Campus, and a few weeks later reached the semifinals of the USTA National Championships, competing in the 14-and-under division. Lee is currently ranked as the No. 4 player in the country for the 12-and-under division and is the top player in the state of Florida.
To find out more about programming at the USTA National Campus, please visit www.ustanationalcampus.com/play.
Some of the other folks hitting the courts in October might have picked up the game for the first time at the Let’s Tennis Lake Nona kickoff event held last month at Boxi Park. The event, which was held on Labor Day and was meant to launch the month-long Let’s Tennis Lake Nona initiative as well as serve as a watch party for the US Open, was a huge success, with more than 1,400 patrons stopping by Boxi Park during the event. More than 100 children and adults tried tennis on pop-up courts set up in the Boxi Park parking lot and organized by USTA National Campus teaching pros.
In addition, attendees were able to enjoy the US Open’s famous Honey Deuce cocktail and watch American Frances Tiafoe’s incredible upset of Rafael Nadal. Tiafoe, a former Lake Nona resident himself, spent some time in Orlando training with the USTA Player Development staff in the years following the USTA National Campus opening. The event will return next year as it aims to become an annual fixture in the Lake Nona community.