7-time USPTA Coach of the Year Rick Macci and his staff coached: Venus Williams, Serena Williams, Jennifer Capriati, Mary Pierce, Tina Pisnik, Katia Afinogenova, Anastasia Myskina, Lauren Albanese, Andy Roddick, John Roddick, Vince Spadea, Tommy Ho, Christian Rudd, Karim Alami, Cecil Mamit, Wayne Ferreira, Brian Dunn, Eric Taino, Justin Gimelstob, Byron Black, Tommy Shimada, Mike Sell, and other top professionals and junior champions. In addition, Rick serves on the USPTA Player Development Board and has been the #1 tennis consultants for Donald Trump and T. Management.
To shed some light on how Mr. Macci started out I will quote Doug Browne the Hideaway Beach Director of Tennis who in 2005 said:
“After our fabulous three-year run in Polk County, I was offered a position I couldn't turn down in Daytona Beach and we left the area. But I had a super Junior Tennis Academy, which included star Tommy Ho, and I was concerned about the students' futures. I turned the Academy and many of the club members to the Grenelefe resort and Rick's business exploded. Within one year, Rick and his staff turned young Tommy Ho into the best Junior in the world and then his business snowballed. After his success with Ho, along came young Jennifer Capriati and then the world-famous Williams sisters. During this time, Rick gained the reputation as the Junior Guru and every top Tennis kid wanted to go to the Rick Macci Junior Tennis Academy. To tell you how clairvoyant I am, I couldn't have guessed that Rick would become an internationally-known Tennis coach.”
But he did!!!
I can not say enough about how good a coach Mr. Macci is. He is an absolute giant in Tennis coaching history. But I’m here not to talk about Mr. Macci as a coach I’m here to talk about Mr.Macci’s Academy and that’s where a problem starts.
As of June 2005, the Academy made its home at the Deer Creek Tennis Resort in Deerfield Beach, Florida. There is a mixed reaction about the place from parents and coaches. The majority of courts are “American Clay” which is not very popular with pro players. (Don’t ask me why this is, it is what they say).His program includes housing, meals, transportation, and parental supervision. Students stay with an Academy coach's family. The boarding program is limited and structured on an individual basis. The boarding arrangement is not really very attractive or serious like what you would expect from an Academy which bares Mr. Macci’s name. The Academy training is separate.Then you realize that Mr. Macci is either very ill advised by his managers or he is a very bad businessman. Either way somebody should be sacked or Mr. Macci needs to sack himself!!!
Some times in life a lucky few come to the point where their names become bigger than themselves. And Mr. Macci is one of these people.Where would all successful businesses be today if the people who created them didn’t understand that they themselves and their creations must always walk on separate paths? Like that their creations can live longer then themselves. I’m 100% sure that Mr. Macci given the right people around him would have been able to create a second to none Academy in the world, however now we have a Rick Macci Tennis Academy and Mr. Macci himself being one entity…A one man shop.
“When you take a lesson with Rick, you are surrounded by the power of “positive thinking” that fuels the technical development of molding a tennis champion. Rick’s tennis court has an assembly of his often used instructional “SAYINGS” that have come to be called … MACCISMS!” Hear is some Maccisms from Mr. Macci:
• Laziness is the X factor that destroys talent.
• A bad temper is a real key to failure.
• Practice more than anybody in the world. Now that is dedication.
• Having the ability to forget is the real key to staying positive.
• The ball is only as low as you make it.
• Use your legs to hit shots not your hands.
• Everyday make today better than yesterday, if you can remember that today.
• Truly love + enjoy + want pressure.
• Believing is magic.
To be honest “MACCISMS” are not anything new or unique and many coaches used similar sayings but in a different style. I would stay far away from any “ISAMS” which begins with a name of a man; actually I do stay away from all “ISAMS” all together, especially when business is in question. He can do this in his personal writings (books, websites, blogs, etc) but not through promoting and explaining his Academy.
“A key aspect of the Macci philosophy is the Team Family Approach of building a strong bond among player, parent, and coach.”
However Greg Russell the academy director who was popular with parents and kids, resigned from his post without even serving his notice. It was a big lost for Mr. Macci’s Academy, unfortunately well publicized, which could never happen to the IMG Team at the Nicki Bolliterri Academy.
“The Academy Staff is all USPTA-certified with former World Tennis Association touring coach, Marco Martizi spear-heading the RMTA coaching staff.”
Marco is nice guy but honestly, can he really carry the momentum of the Mr. Macci Tennis name on his own? In my opinion not.
“RICK MACCI is one of the top motivational speakers in the country. RICK believes in making a difference in people’s lives and developing a winning attitude extends well beyond the sports field. Rick can be the guest speaker at your next event, whether it’s a Fortune 500 Company Conference or a keynote speaker for your Awards Banquet.”
Being a Motivational Speaker is a great way to make money and to be in touch with a more diverse public but that should be done discreetly. In any case without a shadow of a doubt this is nothing to do with bringing up players of the near future, so it should be again removed from being connected with his Academy.
“The portfolio of news articles and videos that track the 25-year career of Rick Macci, his Academy, and his phenomenal students (five of whom achieved #1 World Rankings) is unmatched in the tennis industry. The following are just a few samples among thousands in the immense collection of note-worthy career accomplishments.”
Mr. Macci doesn’t have to promote himself by posting some old paper clippings. But the PR team of Mr.Macci is non- existent so anyone in Mr.Macci’s surrounding is probably offering him random ideas of how to promote the Academy. No promotion is better then bad promotion.In the last couple of years Mr. Macci’s predicted quite a few children to be the new Serena, Venus and Roddick but that prediction has not materialized. If he and his team carry on annually predicting players, then take pictures with those “prodigys” with Mr Macci and then allowing them to post them on their own websites and U Tube they will de-value Mr. Macci's name and that will be a calamity of catastrophic proportions for Tennis history. His Academy and personal business engagements need to be professionally re-adjusted and put undercontrol as tight as a bottle. If it is not done Mr. Macci will lose again like how he lost out when the sister Williams’ left him after he found them the sponsorship deal of the century! Because in Tennis, business concerns often eclipse the sport. The hyping of a new talent can spark a vicious scramble amongst coaches and sponsors for a bit of the action. And there is intense competition amongst parents and Academies for scholarship and sponsorship deals. With kids treated as commodities – by some parents as well as some in the Tennis business – newcomers and the naive can find the territory hard to negotiate. It is difficult to know who to trust.
That is my thinking about Mr. Macci, his business and his Academy, are they correct don’t ask me just ask the man himself:
"Macci himself seems a little bitter about the rewards for coaching champions. “Should I have got more money?” he says, asking his own questions.
“Should I have got more credit? Absolutely!”"