Haviland Tennis Academy opened in 2014 as Ryan Haviland, after ten years of coaching private lessons and small group clinics, realized that a full service academy would be required to consistently take his students to the highest levels of the game. It is widely known that tennis academies tend to produce the best players and that the majority of their students go on to receive college scholarships. Over the past decade, the vast majority of state, southern, and national champions from the U.S. have been products of tennis academies. Additionally, virtually all of the current pro stars also came up through academies. Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray, David Ferrer, Serena Williams, Caroline Wozniaki, Maria Sharapova, and Ana Ivanovic are all examples of this. The lure of academies is that they offer seemingly endless opportunities for quality practice time, constant access to coaching (in lessons, clinics, and at tournaments), other serious players to play/train with, and access to high level coaching.
There are however, negatives to tennis academies.
Generally speaking, there are two distinct types of tennis academies in the US: academies that are time-tested, and indeed very good (top-notch, dedicated facility specializing only in juniors, lots of high level players, formerly successful players for coaches, and a full slate of services offered); and then your small local academies that pop up at clubs, public courts, and college campuses in almost every town all over the country. The problem with the later is often poor or overcrowded facilities (shared with club members or college teams), not many high level players, a dearth of experienced/formerly successful coaches, and distractions to the junior program created by club or public facility protocols, members, or college team players getting in the way. Often the coaches at these academies make statements glorifying their backgrounds, although there is insufficient evidence that any of their stated accomplishments ever happened, or that they were indeed a long-term or significant coach for some of the former players that they advertise having coached. (Please google your coaches, or anyone you are considering to coach you, and visit www.ifttennis.com, www.usta.com, www.itatennis.com, www.atpworldtour.com, and www.wtatennis.com and search them and make sure what they are telling you about their past aligns with the documentable facts!)
The problem with the legitimate, time-tested academies is that while they are indeed very good at what they do, they are often incredibly expensive, commanding fees of $30k, $40k, and even up to $70k a year just for academy training sessions. Costs can skyrocket even higher when you include the $100-$250 per hour private lessons costs, travel coaching, racket stringing, and room and board. It is also industry standard to charge up front for the semester, and these places usually offer no refunds for any reason. If your child gets sick, goes on vacation, or just wants to stop, you stand to lose thousands of dollars. Unless you are rich, unfortunately these types of high level academies squeeze out many of the talented hard working players that would greatly benefit from attending them.
Another negative to most academies is the depth of the coaching staff. While virtually all reputable academies have one or two truly top notch coaches (who were almost always formerly successful college and/or pro players themselves), if you look into the bios of their “assistant” coaches, you typically find people that have no pro, D1 college, or high level junior experience. They are often former community college players, or never even played college tennis at all. Furthermore unless your child is one of the very best players in the program, he or she usually will not get to work with the top coaches. So in essence, even though you move away and are paying the big bucks to attend a big name academy, you’re often getting coached by the same caliber of coach that is an assistant at your local tennis club.
At Haviland Tennis Academy we strive to create a different kind of academy experience and are committed to providing top-notch coaches for all player levels, a large pool of players to train with, a first class tennis center to allow for the best possible training, and to have reasonable prices and fair billing policies.
Unlike most of the high profile academies around the US, we do not require you to be extremely wealthy to take part in our academy. Our full-time tuition for academy training is presently $4,800 per year for 3rd-6th graders, and $6,600 per year for 7th-12 graders. Additionally, lesson prices are only $60 an hour. We believe private instruction is absolutely essential to the development of elite junior tennis players, and for that reason we do not charge the $100-$200 per hour fee that most academies around the US demand. Furthermore, we run our entire program month to month, so you are not required to pay up front for an entire semester of training that your child may or may not receive.
Our Coaching Philosophy:
We believe strongly in the statement that less can be done with more. The beauty of a great teacher, in any discipline in life, is that they can make learning the complex seem simple. We strive for simplicity at Haviland Tennis Academy, and you will find that our coaching approach has condensed everything down to the essentials required to be a great tennis player. We want smooth, technically sound stroke production, and then we focus on the following 6 main areas of the game:
1) developing a stronger first and second serve.
2) becoming a better returner of serve that can both attack weak serves and defend well against strong serves.
3) having a bigger, more consistent rally ball that moves the opponent around the court and creates short balls and errors.
4) being able to attack successfully, as well as finish at the net at the appropriate time, when the short ball presents itself.
5) being able to defend and consistently get the ball back and get out of trouble when an opponent hurts you.
6) developing better footwork and becoming quicker and more efficient at moving around the court.
When these core components to a tennis player’s game are addressed, we have found that players experience improvement in results very, very quickly. We guarantee results for anyone in our full-time academy that also does a weekly private lesson. After two months, if you have not improved markedly, we will refund your two months of clinic fees in full. See how many other academies have the confidence to offer a guarantee like that!
Additionally, we strongly believe that every player should have multiple people to train with that can beat them. It’s hard to take your game to the next level if you do not receive a daily challenge, and lose quite regularly, as there is no better teacher of what not to do than failure. Because of this we have brought in a team of elite young coaches that still beat virtually anyone they play, so there is no worry of even a top 10 national boys 18’s player coming to our academy and being bored or unchallenged.
Lastly, we do not believe in the mantra that a junior tennis player must drop out of regular school and train for 4-6 hours a day. We acknowledge that the vast majority of junior players are not going to develop into elite professional players, and therefore we believe strongly that being raised in an environment that is as normal as possible is of utmost importance. Most pros train for about 3 hours a day, 6 days a week, and experience has shown us that this is also acceptable for junior players (even those aspiring to make the pro tour). It truly is quality over quantity, and when you take part in an academy that trains for 5-6 hours a day it becomes extremely expensive, a players grades may begin to suffer, overuse injuries may occur, and burnout can become a very real concern due to the lack of free time to pursue any other passions in life. Again, at Haviland Tennis Academy we strive to do things differently!