Monday, February 9, 2009

ISP Academy

The history

The ISP Company was created by Charles Auffray, while he was still playing in the ATP Tour. The ISP mission was to help French tennis players obtain scholarships in American universities.
The company evolved by sending more and more athletes of all sports (track and field, golf, soccer, swimming…): more than 500 since its creation!Answering a growing demand from young players looking for a place to train seriously in order to prepare for the ATP and WTA tours or to get a scholarship in an American university, Charles Auffray and RĂ©gis Lavergne, also a former player on the ATP Tour, start the ISP Academy in 2003.
Since then, the number of players coming to train at the ISP Academy with our professional coaches and top facilities, has not stopped growing.

The mission

The main mission of the ISP Academy is to prepare young players for a professional career while, at the same time, allowing students to get a solid education. This allows students to make a choice after they graduate from high-school. The ISP Academy offers the possibility to get a scholarship in an American university.


Le ISP Academy club welcomes tennis players of all ages at the Sophia Country Club.With a capacity of 20 courts including 10 clay courts and 3 indoor hard courts, a coaching staff of 12 former ATP professionals, the ISP Club offers clients a unique opportunity to take tennis lessons all year in the best conditions.ISP Club has the right program for you, depending on your level of ability, fitness and motivation, tennis lessons are totally adpated to your personnal needs.Don't wait and come visit us on the sunny French Riviera

The ISP Academy Team

The ISP team of coaches is essentially composed of former professional players having evolved on the WTA and ATP tours as coaches and players.
Charles Auffray

DirectorFormer n°190 ATP and 15th in FranceGraduated in business from Pepperdine

I Say:

This Academy is the "Love child" of Charles Auffray. Like his copatriot Patrick Mouratoglou he is another King of self promotion. He is cleverly using famous Tennis players who used his facilities for occasional training and is portraying them that a normal parent will have the feeling that this is an everyday occurence. He has never produced a player worth talking about but his prices are ludicrous!
He is more expensive then Nick Bollettieri Academy. His sales pitch is that through him French players can achieve a scholarship in one of the US Colleges.
If you want to rent the court per hour or to use his services as a "Agent" to achieve a scholarship for a US College maybe you should try it. But using him and his team to help you to raise your child to a professional level is a waste of time and money.
Charles Auffray's knowledge in his opinionis that vast that he is running Golf, Soccer, Swimming, Athletics, etc at the same time.

Billesley Indoor Tennis Centre

Disability Tennis

Billesley Indoor Tennis Centre,Kings Heath, 0121 464 4222

This tennis centre has 6 indoor courts and 8 outdoor floodlit courts. It is completely on the level with automatic doors. It is home to Billesley's Wheelchair Tennis Team.

Wheelchair Tennis Group

Wheelchair tennis is the fastest growing wheelchair sport. Billesley Wheelchair Tennis Team meet at the Tennis Centre twice a week for coaching and match play.The Team is always looking for new players and welcome complete beginners or existing players.

I Say :

Great !!!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

International Christian Tennis Association (ICTA)

They Say:
Since 1999, the International Christian Tennis Association's world-class tennis academy has specialized in true, high-performance tennis training combined with outstanding discipleship training programs.
Students are empowered with the enormous benefits of Christian small group settings for maximal personalized goal achievement in education, discipleship in Christ, and tennis.

Current ICTA Locations

Paris, France
Kiev, Ukraine
Rhode Island
South Carolina

Note to Prospective Students...

Do you have a dream to play college tennis or pro tennis? Would you enjoy being part of a special group of talented junior tennis players from around the world? Do you want to grow in your Christian faith?Our junior programs might be for you! ICTA's students are among the most amazing Christian young men and women in the world. Our tennis training is among the best in the world, too!Would you like to train for tennis 3 to 5 hrs a day, 5 to 6 days each week, while also growing deeper in your walk with Jesus? ICTA's Discipleship programs are second to none, and all academy students travel to famous pro tournaments in the USA on ICTA's large-scale mission trips! Are you ready for a real purpose to train? Do you want more from your hours on court and travel to tournaments with a team & coach who really cares about your future?World class tennis, amazing discipleship programs, pro tournament mission trips... sound like your style of fun!?Our programs have been the answer many people have been seeking and we just might be the answer for you...

I Say:

Decent and very well disciplined place to be. But you do not expect anything else from an Academy guided by Christian principles. I really want to see them practically involving themselves in the rough corners of big cities in Europe. Evangelical work is a big part of them and if that is what you respect and need I can not find a better Tennis Academy around.

Prince Sponsorship


There are few players on the tour today that did not play Prince at one time or another in their career. From Andre Agassi, Monica Seles, Andy Roddick, Patrick Rafter and Michael Chang to current Prince Pros Maria Sharapova, Nikolay Daveydenko, Jelena Jankovic and Sam Querrey, the list goes on and on. Each of these players, past, Whether racquets, footwear, apparel or string, players continue to look to Prince as their brand of choice in order to gain an advantage on the court.
The Prince philosophy is about building a team of players who want to be involved with the Prince brand and who are active and contributing members of the Prince Team. From product playtesting and validation to marketing and trend forecasting, Prince sponsored athletes at all levels perform an important role in the overall company strategy.

Who is a Prince Sponsored Athlete?

He or She:

Is highly skilled junior competitor, seeking to perform at the best of their abilities in every opportunity.
Is always striving to raise the level of his/her game.
Possesses a high level of sportsmanship on and off the court.
Respectful of the game, his/her coaches/students, opponents, officials, sponsors and spectators.
Has earned the respect of his/her opponents.
Manages his/her equipment in a professional manner. He/she understands that it is their responsibility to have their equipment organized and prepared in advance.
Promotes Prince Products through their actions and words.
Competes regularly at a national and/or international level and achieves exceptional results.
Is proud to be associated with Prince Sports, Inc

The Prince High Performance Team Programs provide the pathway for influential players to grow with our brand wherever their tennis talent and ambition may take them. We have programs in place for players at every stage of their tennis career. If you are interested in applying for sponsorship consideration, please read though the program guidelines and then click the appropriate link for your player category below:


Guidelines for sponsorship consideration are as follows:

  • Junior Player with a top 200 National Ranking in their age group

To apply for sponsorship consideration, please fill out our online application. Incomplete applications will not be given consideration. A Prince Representative will contact you once your application is reviewed.


Prince has been committed to the college game for years and continues to strive to make performance products that help coaches and teams maximize opportunites for success. Former college players, such as Paul Goldstein and James Blake, have successfully made the transition from the best in college to the best in the world utilizing Prince products along the way.
There are several programs in place for interested coaches and players. For more information To apply for sponsorship consideration, please fill out our online application. Incomplete applications will not be given consideration. A Prince Representative will contact you once your application is reviewed.


Making the commitment to compete at the national/international level while holding down a job and raising a family is an exercise in dedication, endurance and time management. Our Prince Adult Sponsorship Program is in place to facilitate the success of those individuals that choose to make this sacrifice to order to achieve high rankings in the sport they love.
Guidelines for sponsorship consideration include the following:
Adult Players with final USTA National age group rankings of top 20 singles OR
Adult Players with final USTA National age group rankings of top 10 doubles
To apply for sponsorship consideration, please fill out our online application. A Prince Representative will contact you once your application is reviewed. Note that all required information must be provided for consideration.

How to ...

By Alison Johnson

• Wear the right footgear. Choose tennis shoes with skid- resistant soles and high arch support, which will guard against pain and inflammation near your heel. Heel inserts or special socks also can absorb shock on hard court surfaces and protect the lower back. A salesperson at an athletic store can help.
• Use the right racquet. Ask a professional for advice on a racquet's overall size, grip and string tension. Smaller heads and very tight strings, for example, require more force from forearm muscles and can lead to inflammation and tissue tears known as tennis elbow.
• Avoid old balls. Aim to replace balls as soon as they start to lose their bounce. If you've had arm and shoulder problems, never play with wet balls (or in very windy conditions).
• Work out your arms. Stretching and toning arm muscles off the court will guard against tennis elbow and other injuries. Swimming is one great way to do that. Note: Overall body conditioning through exercise such as jogging, cycling and strength training also is important.
• Get help. Ask a tennis instructor for tips on proper stroke techniques. Bending your arm the correct way when you hit overhead serves and groundstrokes, for example, will decrease stress on your elbow.
Warm up. Take about 10 minutes to walk, jog, stretch and go through the motions of tennis strokes before hitting a ball. Cold muscles are tighter and more prone to injury.
• Survey the court. Clean off leaves, debris, wet patches and loose balls before you start a match to avoid slipping.
• Be smart. If you get hurt, follow a doctor's recommendations on rest, ice, elevation and use of a brace. Elbow injuries in particular can be difficult to fix once they become chronic, and some require surgery.

The oddest injuries in tennis

By Mark Hodgkinson

Pet pooches have been in the tennis news this week, after Kim Clijsters disclosed she had injured her tailbone after tripping over her dog while playing football. Clijsters revealed she was kicking a ball around her garden with her father and her boyfriend when she collided with her hound, Diesel.
"I stumbled over Diesel and fell badly. Very stupid. Fortunately it was nothing serious but it was bad enough to have to take two days of rest," Clijsters said, but the Belgian, who has not played on the tour for two months because of a wrist injury, indicated that she is still scheduled to return to the circuit on Monday.
Still, Clijsters has entered the hall of fame of tennis's bizarre injuries and ailments.
Unsurprisingly, Goran Ivanisevic is already in there. The Croatian had to withdraw from a tournament in Miami in 2003 when, while taking a stroll along a Florida beach, he stepped on a sharp seashell and damaged his foot.
There was another occasion in the late 1990s when he was playing a doubles match in Toronto, partnering Australian Mark Philippoussis, and decided to head the ball over the net. Unfortunately, Philippoussis arrived at the same time to play a more conventional stroke, and the two banged heads together. Ivanisevic needed stitches (the crowd were in stitches), and Philippoussis was concussed.
And, what about the time when Ivanisevic walked out of his Monte Carlo apartment to go off to practise, and then suddenly realised he had forgotten his rackets? He tried to run back inside, but the door slammed shut and broke several of his fingers.
Or how about Yevgeny Kafelnikov? The Russian had to withdraw from the 1997 Australian Open after damaging his hand while hitting a punch-bag.
Clijsters is not the first tennis player to have an animal-related injury. German Gottfried von Cramm, Fred Perry's pre-Second World War rival, lost part of his index finger as a child while feeding sugar to a horse. But he went on to win the French Open twice, in 1934 and 1936.
There is another interesting inter-war tale as well, as Mary Bundy, an American, famously fractured her leg while playing a match at the 1930 US Open but insisted on carrying on, staggering around the court with the use of a crutch. She lost, by the way.
Can anyone think of any other odd tennis ailments and injuries?

Why so many tennis players are getting injured?

By Martina Navratilova NEWSWEEK

Tennis in 2008 was sometimes more like a casualty ward than a sport. Australian Open winner Maria Sharapova battled a shoulder injury for much of 2008 and did not play after August. French Open champion Ana Ivanovic hurt her hand at Wimbledon and never hit her stride again. U.S. Open champion Serena Williams finished the year with an ankle injury and played sparingly all season. Strangest of all, the woman who was widely expected just 12 months ago to become world No. 1 in 2008 ended up catching up on her studies at home. Justine Henin was about to hit her peak, at 25, but the effort of getting there had exhausted her physically and mentally, and her May retirement shocked the world. The men's game was similarly afflicted, with Rafael Nadal winning Wimbledon—and then suffering a knee injury in the fall that kept him out of the Masters Cup and the Davis Cup final. Roger Federer struggled for a big part of the year with mononucleosis.
This parade of injuries and illnesses will certainly add to the drama at this year's Australian Open, which begins Jan. 19. Only the fittest players can thrive in a tournament notorious for its difficult, hot playing conditions. And since Henin's departure there has been a vacuum in women's tennis. With everyone else at the doctor's office, Jelena Jankovic became world No. 1 last year, and that ranking whizzed around like a tennis ball in a high-speed rally. Any of eight players look like they could win the women's title in Melbourne. Among the men, Federer and Nadal both still look strong, but so does Novak Djokovic, the young Serb who won in Melbourne last year, and Britain's star, Andy Murray, who defeated Federer and Nadal to win an exhibition event in Abu Dhabi earlier this month.
Yet the drama ahead will come at an enormous cost—and has already raised serious questions about why so many tennis players are struggling or getting cut down in what ought to be their prime. When I won my 18 Grand Slam singles titles between 1978 and 1987, I was the fittest woman in tennis, but the global circuit was far less developed, and there was not the demand to play every week of the year. Even then the tour was too long. After 1989, the only way I could get the physical and mental break I needed was to stop playing in the Australian Open and start the tour in February. Today's athletes can't do that. Even players way down in the world rankings can win hundreds of thousands of dollars, and with ever greater financial incentives comes ever greater pressure from agents, organizers and sponsors to keep playing all year round. Some players don't have any kind of off-season at all, as they try to maximize their earnings during the "exhibition" season in November and December.
Moreover, athletes are now starting younger and playing harder. Some children as young as 9 are hitting balls for four to five hours a day. The modern composite racquets with nylon strings and big heads that are now in fashion have added too much power and put enormous wear and tear on young bodies. (Wooden racquets, with gut strings, would not only protect the longevity of players' careers, but add more variety to tennis.) Hard surfaces are an even bigger problem. When I was growing up we played on clay, grass, indoors and on a carpet laid on wood. We played on hard courts in just a few tournaments. Now the majority of tournaments are played on hard courts, and most of the tennis academies have hard courts as well, putting a pounding on players' feet, legs and lower back.
More injuries are likely—unless tennis's governing bodies modify the calendar, fight back against the racquet manufacturers that have hijacked the game and insist that tennis academies limit the use of hard courts, particularly for the young. But until then, we are likely to move into a new era in which there are no dominant players year after year. Indeed, the age of King-Evert-Navratilova-Graf may already be over, and the men's game will one day be similarly affected, with Federer possibly the last of a string of dominant players that began with Borg, McEnroe and Sampras.
Yes, Federer has stayed impressively fit, and at the rate he has been winning Grand Slams over the past four years—13 to date— it looks as if he could win 20. As of now, I would say that he is on track to become the greatest men's player of all time—but only if he can stay healthy. Along with big wins last year—including the U.S. Open and a gold medal at the Beijing Olympics—he has had some high-profile losses over the past 18 months, including to Nadal at Wimbledon, where he had been regarded as virtually unbeatable. It was also Nadal, not Federer, who won last year's French Open. Federer lost as well at the Australian Open, to Djokovic, and he has even acknowledged the difficulties of playing so often and so hard: "I've created a monster, so I know I need to always win every tournament," he said after his Melbourne defeat. "It's not easy coming out every week trying to win."
It is a lesson more athletes, both amateur and pro, seem to be learning with every passing match.

Navratilova, winner of 18 Grand Slam singles events, is a member of the Laureus World Sports Academy (, a group of 46 of the greatest living sportsmen and -women.

Understanding Tennis Elbow: Getting to the Root of the Problem

David Bayliff PT, MPT

Among tennis related injuries, one of the most frequently treated diagnoses is lateral epicondylitis, or “tennis elbow”. There are several injuries that may present as tennis elbow. The soft tissue that typically becomes irritated is the extensor carpi radialis brevis; a forearm muscle that originates just above the elbow. A quick and easy assessment to determine if one has tennis elbow is to palpate the back of thearm just above the outer aspect of the elbow. If the ECRB is inflamed, the palpation will be painful. One other sure tale sign is that the pain is reproduced when shaking hands.Recreation and novice players will develop lateral tennis elbow 90% of the time when this particular inflammation occurs. For the highly skilled player, 75% of the cases develop on the medial, or inside portion of the elbow. A third and least common form of this injury is when there is inflammation in the posterior aspect, or back of the elbow. Medial and posterior inflammations are often attributed to the stresses imparted on the medial (inside) forearm muscles and the triceps during forceful and repetitive serving.The primary causes for all three forms of tennis elbow include: faulty mechanics, timing breakdowns (such as hitting out of the strike zone) and forces imparted by the equipment. When all three coincide, then the elbow is sure to endure “the perfect storm”. Interestingly, players who utilize a two-handed backhand are less likely to develop tennis elbow. It is believed that the stability provided from the other arm greatly reduces the stress imparted on the injured tissues. It is also possible that the additional arm may compensate for weakness of the biceps and the brachioradialis (forearm muscle). Although research has yet to be done on the effect of the biceps and the brachioradialis with tennis elbow, I hypothesize that it is this weakness that contributes to tennis elbow. The theory is that with such weakness comes a loss of deceleration of the forearm during a slice backhand (for the one-handed backhand) or the serve. The elbow is then forcefully extended as a result. The stroke mechanics and timing can be easily addressed by a skilled certified teaching professional. A professional can also provide excellent feedback on equipment evaluation and modification. It first must be pointed out that while no definitive relationship between tennis elbow and racquet head size, stiffness, and balance has been identified, a causal relationship has been identified between these factors. The following are some simple tips that one may find beneficial.A favorite racquet among recreational and club players is the oversize wide body frame. The advantages to this style of frame are that the size generates more power with less effort, and they provide greater vibration dampening. The stiffer the racquet, the less forgiveness there will be on those ill-timed shots. Conversely, a more flexible racquet will provide a softer feel of the initial impact. Additionally, a light to medium weight racquet (10.6 – 12.5oz) with a head-light or evenly balanced frame will afford more forgiveness.String type also plays an important role in tennis elbow. For a softer feel, choose a gut or a mutifilament string. A lower tension will also enhance the softness. Also, a lower tension creates greater post-impact ball velocity and greater power with less stroke effort. It is recommended that players returning to the game following a bout of tennis elbow restring their racquet 2-3 pounds lighter than their usual tension.Dampeners are effective for decreasing high frequency string vibration. But they seem to have no impact for lower frequency, more damping frame vibration. It has been shown that vibrations from the racquet that may cause injury are transmitted through the racquet head itself. Finally, it is widely accepted that there is less effort required to hold a larger size grip. Research has substantiated this notion. It has been found that there are lower activity levels in the forearm extensors (the large muscles on the posterior side of the forearm that become inflamed; the ECRB, for example) during execution of a backhand with a larger racquet handle. Despite the findings of the research, one should take into account one’s personal comfort when selecting a grip size. A perfect example: it has been reported that Rafael Nadal uses a 4 1/8 grip! Probably the most dominating factor regarding grip is the importance of a loose grip vs a “death” grip. A loose grip will diminish the impact force of the racquet while aiding in generating more power, depth, and control with the shot.When all these factors have been addressed, licensed physical therapist will then be able to assist one in resolving the inflamed tissues and to identify any other strength or range of motion limitations in the body which may have contributed to the cause of the symptoms. An effective home program should include icing 10-20 minutes, or a 4-5 minute ice massage to the sore muscles two or three times daily. When strengthening, first exercise the muscle group opposite of the affected muscles. Begin strengthening the involved areas once the pain begins to subside. Stretching and cross-friction massage (deep rubbing against the muscle/tendon grain) helps to flush out the inflammation and to prevent tightening of the tissues. Other areas to strengthen, which have not been fully addressed in previous literature, are the scapular (shoulder blade) muscles, biceps, hips, legs and trunk rotation. As in any sport, the “core” musculature is where an athlete generates his or her power. A weakness here and one is sure to develop compensatory pain or consequential symptoms. A weak core will lead to a break down in stroke mechanics. In review, what is essential to recognize is that the ultimate cause of tennis elbow is one of the following factors: faulty mechanics, hitting out of the strike zone, too stiff of a racquet (including the player’s grip and the string type and tension), or any combination of these.