Tennis is a hugely important sport in France. As well as being host to some of the world’s most prestigious tournaments, such as Roland Garros and the Paris Masters, there are many thousands of tennis aficionados in France and the country has also produced players ranked high in the ATP.
France also has one of the most prestigious tennis academies in the world, which you can read about below:
Mouratoglou Tennis Academy
Patrick Mouratoglou is part of the staff
The chance to participate in ITF, ATP and WTA tournaments
Applicants need to go through a selection process to be accepted on to the annual programme
What is the tennis academy?
The proficiency tennis academy in France is a specialist sports centre providing coaching which works to improve the physical, technical and psychological abilities of promising young tennis players whose aim it is to play tennis professionally. The academies have a specialist coaching team, it uses the latest technology to optimise results, it carries out personalised specialist training and works on all the aspects of each player’s game. Participants can, while staying at the academy, also take part in national and international tournaments, in accordance with their age and ability, supervised by their principal coach who guides them through all their activities.
When do the tennis academy programmes take place?
The proficiency tennis academy is open throughout the year. It offers different lengths of programmes, from two weeks up to a full academic year. For the longer term programmes, the academies usually offer accommodation and an educational programme in addition to the tennis coaching which enables the young athletes to stay at the academy and pursue their academic studies at the same time as working on their tennis. To enrol in the annual programme, applicants must initially take a shorter term programme, so their ability can be assessed to ensure they meet the entry requirements of the annual programme.
The short term programmes take place throughout the year and are open to young players of all abilities. Having said that, it should be noted that coaching in the proficiency tennis academy is very intensive and requires a certain level of physical fitness in order to be able to take part.
What professional tennis academies do we offer in France?
In France we offer a professional tennis academy which is a global benchmark when it comes to tennis coaching for young tennis players.
Mouratoglou Tennis Academy: this academy is located in Niza and is a fantastic tennis centre which has been completely refurbished in 2016. The new school is the result of a partnership between the prestigious ISP Tennis Academy and the world famous coach Patrick Mouratoglou. It has its own school, outstanding accommodation and state of the art sports facilities. Top players such as Serena Williams occasionally use the facilities to prepare for competition.
What level of skill is required to enrol into these academies?
This depends on the programme. For the short term programmes there is no minimum level, although the majority of participants are established tennis players with intermediate skills and are accustomed to regular training and competing.
The annual programmes require a mínimum standard of skill and preparation. In fact to be accepted on to the programme, candidates must first participate in a short term programme. In this way, the participant gets to know the academy and will be familiar with the requirements they have to fulfil for the annual programme. Also the coaches can evaluate participants’ skills to ensure they meet the entry requirements.
How many hours of coaching do the participants of these academies get?
The proficiency academies offer a very intensive coaching programme which requires a commitment of 5 or 6 hours a day, covering physical and technical training. This means that the programmes are designed for girls and boys who take their tennis very seriously and whose aim is to improve their game based on effort and dedication. To be able to cope with the demands of the programme, those applying for a place should be accustomed to taking regular exercise, at least three times a week.
The annual programmes are very demanding, given that many hours of the week are dedicated to coaching and at the weekends participants play in tournaments.
The shorter term programmes do not require such a high level of physical fitness but nevertheless they are still very intensive and not all young people will be able to cope with the demands.
What else do participants learn at the academies?
These academies serve not only to improve the participants’ tennis skills but also provide a lot of other benefits. The simple fact of living together with other young people from many different countries is a very enriching experience. They make new friends from other cultures who share their passion for tennis. They learn about the dedication and effort needed, which helps them not just in tennis but in other areas of their life.
Other benefits of the programme are that the young people learn the values of the sport, the importance of exercise, a healthy lifestyle and eating a good diet. Participating in the programme helps the young people to look after themselves as they grow into adulthood, whether or not they ultimately become tennis professionals.