Best Academy in Atlanta for juniors??

We are relocating to the Northern Atlanta suburbs in early December and would like some recommendations on good tennis academys for juniors. Any help and/or advice would be greatly appreciated.
 

gplracer

Hall of Fame
Lots of good tennis going on in Atlanta. My friend Vu teaches at UTA. He is a great guy and did a great job with my kids when he lived here. Jason Fleeman at Eaglewatch is a great teacher and great guy for kids as well.
 
Last edited:
There are a good many to choose from. What part of the northern 'burbs are you moving to? We are in Roswell/Alpharetta/John's Creek area and Ace, RCS, Windward and Alpharetta Tennis Academy are all close by. At this point we are leaning toward Windward for at least a trial, but are going to keep talking to other parents at the last few tournaments of the year to see what they have to say.
 

Soianka

Hall of Fame
There are a good many to choose from. What part of the northern 'burbs are you moving to? We are in Roswell/Alpharetta/John's Creek area and Ace, RCS, Windward and Alpharetta Tennis Academy are all close by. At this point we are leaning toward Windward for at least a trial, but are going to keep talking to other parents at the last few tournaments of the year to see what they have to say.
I recommend Alpharetta Tennis Academy. Jeff Wilson and his wife are great people.

You'll get better, more personalized relationship there than any of the other places mentioned. His homeschool group is really wonderful and so are his other programs.

He's the kind of coach that really tries to help every kid reach his/her potential.

I can't say enough good things about the guy.

RCS is a factory and a bit of a scam with their monthly AND yearly membership fees to join a run down tennis center with limited facilities. The facility is looking better since the ATL championships, but it's still hard to justify a monthly and yearly membership fees as there really are not any amenities other than tennis offered (swimming pool, outdated workout area). It's not a country club, there shouldn't be membership fees at all just to get some tennis lessons. There are also a ton of kids there and it's harder to establish a personal relationship with any of the coaches because of that.
 
Last edited:

himynameisNIKE

Professional
Contact Zivannai Murungweni. I **** you not, he is hands down the best tennis coach I have ever had the pleasure of learning from.
 

j00dypoo

Rookie
I can second the RCS (Racquet Club of the South) comment by Soianka. It used to be well run, but then new management kicked out the old coaches and it went downhill fast.
 

himynameisNIKE

Professional
Where does he work?
he started my brother and I about 10 years ago at Laurel park tennis center in marietta, they had a fantastic junior program. we have sinced moved from georgia, but he does not work at a tennis center anymore, just gives privates wherever he can. but seriously, this man knows tennis, id highly recommend contacting him, email me if you want his number or something
 

duusoo

Rookie
I believe it was UTA but his main coach is now at Windward, I believe.
Wasn't his name Hawkins, or something like that maybe Dawkins, I don't know, but I saw them working in Tampa onece, and I thought this guy was real solid, upper 1% in my mind, workouts were very difficuly, but specific, good coach. I'd try and find him.
 
Over the past six years, we have become familiar with most of the junior tennis coaches in the Atlanta area. I have a lot of opinions and they're not all good (write to me at video@high-techtennis.com if interested) but I can say without a moment's hesitation that CRAIG JONES at Idle Hour Country Club in Macon and TORREY HAWKINS at Windward Lake Club in Alpharetta are two wonderful people who happen to be excellent coaches. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMEND THESE COACHES!!! :)
 

High Rustler

New User
you really have to be a bit more specific, north atlanta is like a 50 mile radius and traffic will be a HUGE part in your decision. That said, I would add Dias/Harrision, Baskin/Olde Towne, and hobson to what has been mentioned. I've also heard rave reviews on Jason Parker/ seven oaks?? not sure where his group is. UTA is everywhere, Blackburn, Chastain, Cherokee, etc. Adding to a few RCS comments, I do beleive they are one of the best if your kid is "top 100" in the region. If not...
 

ga tennis

Hall of Fame
Over the past six years, we have become familiar with most of the junior tennis coaches in the Atlanta area. I have a lot of opinions and they're not all good (write to me at video@high-techtennis.com if interested) but I can say without a moment's hesitation that CRAIG JONES at Idle Hour Country Club in Macon and TORREY HAWKINS at Windward Lake Club in Alpharetta are two wonderful people who happen to be excellent coaches. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMEND THESE COACHES!!! :)
High Tech Tennis you guys are AWESOME! Great people that do great work.You guys have done work for my daughter over 5 times.I agree we have been with Craig for about two years now and he is the best!!!!!!!
 
Yay for the love, GA TENNIS! :) I agree also that Atlanta is such a huuuuuge place and you really have to find a coach/academy with a facility that is convenient to you. We've heard many, many parents lament the fact that they have to leave their coaches (who they LOVE) because they just can't get their player there (after the player or the coach relocates within Atlanta). I would also like to add big props for Greg Amerson - one of the nicest guys you will ever meet. Greg has recently joined RCS...
 
One other point I'd like to make: a person may be the best tennis coach on the planet but if they're not a good person, i would never ever allow my impressionable child to spend time with that person. These players learn much more than just tennis from their coaches! Just sayin'...
 

duusoo

Rookie
One other point I'd like to make: a person may be the best tennis coach on the planet but if they're not a good person, i would never ever allow my impressionable child to spend time with that person. These players learn much more than just tennis from their coaches! Just sayin'...
Current events are certainly shaping this as well.
 
you really have to be a bit more specific, north atlanta is like a 50 mile radius and traffic will be a HUGE part in your decision. That said, I would add Dias/Harrision, Baskin/Olde Towne, and hobson to what has been mentioned. I've also heard rave reviews on Jason Parker/ seven oaks?? not sure where his group is. UTA is everywhere, Blackburn, Chastain, Cherokee, etc. Adding to a few RCS comments, I do beleive they are one of the best if your kid is "top 100" in the region. If not...
Northern Johns Creek/Alpharetta area of north Fulton County.
 
When it comes to tennis academies in Atlanta, you can certainly choose from many. But if you're looking for quality coaches who are quality people, you cannot go wrong if you choose Windward Tennis Academy in Alpharetta. Same goes for Craig A. Jones Academy in Macon. We've known these folks for 6 years-TOP NOTCH ACADEMIES and TOP NOTCH PEOPLE---no question about it!!
 

High Rustler

New User
you cannot go wrong if you choose Windward Tennis Academy
Seconed. My son's been whupped by plenty from there, and on the whole they seem like very good sports. If it's at the windward club, though, it may be a bit west/northwest of you. There was a summer hobson operation at epiccenter but I don't know if it stuck. Gotta think someone's got a franchise at epiccenter, which may be closer. you'll also be reasonably close to the deathstar that is RCS.
 

gplracer

Hall of Fame
High tech we were leaving the Levine/Ginepri match and i turned around and my son was gone! He was at your booth because he remembered how nice you were from the state 10s at idle hour. Thanks!
 
Thanks. In my experience I wouldn't look any further, I'd see if he could take on my child, this guy is very good!
My daughter is now training at Windward which is only about 2.5 miles north of me. Torrey is one of the instructors in her program and when we asked him if there was anyone he recommended for some 1 on 1 coaching, he said he would like to train my daughter himself. problem is, he is very busy and I've not had much luck reaching him to schedule practice times. I guess I'll keep trying. Thank you all for all the great input!
 
gplracer-just saw your comment and it made me smile. not sure who you are or who your child is but we are all about having fun so hope our paths will cross again (i'm sure they will). :)

netninja-torrey + all windward guys are notoriously hard to reach but they are all AWESOME or they wouldn't be there. KEEP TRYING. better yet, write to ariley@windwardclub.com. Amy Riley is the club manager and she gets things done, lol.
 
gplracer-just saw your comment and it made me smile. not sure who you are or who your child is but we are all about having fun so hope our paths will cross again (i'm sure they will). :)

netninja-torrey + all windward guys are notoriously hard to reach but they are all AWESOME or they wouldn't be there. KEEP TRYING. better yet, write to ariley@windwardclub.com. Amy Riley is the club manager and she gets things done, lol.
We ended up going with Ellie Vegliante. Ellie was referred to us by Torrey after my daughters first practice at Windward. I can tell you that she is great and a real pro! She has broken down my daughter's traditional forehand and is now training her to use the modern Europen forehand which has my daughter quite frustrated as she feels as if she is starting over but that will pass. She's tough but she is very good!
 
We ended up going with Ellie Vegliante. Ellie was referred to us by Torrey after my daughters first practice at Windward. I can tell you that she is great and a real pro! She has broken down my daughter's traditional forehand and is now training her to use the modern Europen forehand which has my daughter quite frustrated as she feels as if she is starting over but that will pass. She's tough but she is very good!
What's that? As usual, it smells like $$$ for a new coach.
 

Soianka

Hall of Fame
I hope not man. I think it's even tougher on her to take the huge step backward than for my wife and I to have to watch it.
You should ask the coach specifically what it is she wants to change and why.

If it's legit, then it's not a step backward at all.
 
Piggybacking off of this...

Where do intown kids find the best training?

Depressing to read about all the best programs being an hour outside of the city.
 

Soianka

Hall of Fame
Piggybacking off of this...

Where do intown kids find the best training?

Depressing to read about all the best programs being an hour outside of the city.
They go OTP or have a private coach.

UTA Chastain may be okay for some drills twice a week and its in the Buckhead area.

Still that's not enough for a serious tennis player. You'll have to travel outside of the city for that.
 

High Rustler

New User
I thought UTA had a franchise at bitsy Grant? I haven't heard of a thing between there and Peacthree city or Idle Hour. Truimph-n-tennis has a lot of tournies on the southest side of town and probably has info on that area.
 

Soianka

Hall of Fame
I thought UTA had a franchise at bitsy Grant? I haven't heard of a thing between there and Peacthree city or Idle Hour. Truimph-n-tennis has a lot of tournies on the southest side of town and probably has info on that area.
They do at Bitsy and also at Piedmont, but the groups there are for beginner and intermediate players.
 

dbordel

New User
They do at Bitsy and also at Piedmont, but the groups there are for beginner and intermediate players.
That may be changing. Rumor is that the Chattahooche Plantation location is being sold and the players (the top group and 2nd from top) will move to Bitsy, Chastain and Blackburn.
 

topspinrj

New User
That is correct. Chattahoochee Plantation is under contract for end of July to be knocked down to build houses. Bitsy Grant and Blackburn will be splitting the pros.
 

Soianka

Hall of Fame
That is correct. Chattahoochee Plantation is under contract for end of July to be knocked down to build houses. Bitsy Grant and Blackburn will be splitting the pros.
That's interesting. It will be nice to have some good instruction in town.
 

topspinrj

New User
I would expect the elite kids will be heading to Bitsy . The Bitsy setup is really nice for running an elite academy with both hardcourts and clay.
 

t135

Professional
Country Club of Roswell has an academy program coming online shortly. Guy from windward is there now. Nice that it's a clay court based program.
 

AceJohn

New User
I am in a somewhat unique situation as my son trained out of the Country Club of Roswell, Harrison, and is now at Ginepri/Olde Towne.

The tennis program at Roswell was terrible. It has been several years now so I am sure it is better now but back 5 or 6 years ago they went through 2 or 3 tennis directors and multiple coaches coming and going in a crazy 18 months. We really liked one of the coaches and then he left and then it snowballed. They had zero high level juniors at the time. Zero. It was a rec/fun/camp type program. Nobody was teaching and it felt more like babysitting.

We then moved him to Harrison and he played ALTA and USTA out of there for 3 years. It was hit or miss but the experience was overall positive. The coaches were nice and knowledgeable but with 1 practice a week and then a match on the weekends the results and skill development was minimal. They allowed terrible kids onto the teams just to make $. I remember one year they came in 2nd in USTA City and then a few months later during the next season they allowed 2 kids to join who didn't own rackets and couldn't even hit the ball. They pushed us towards the Diaz Academy but the facility is not very good and I felt that there were too many kids. What was worse is that the prices were not competitive for that type of limited facility. if it had beencheaper we would have considered it but there is no physio, gym, locker room, food, clay, indoor, etc. I wouldn't really feel comfortable dropping my young child off at Harrison for a few hours by himself and the drill sessions were full of sad looking parents just standing around because seating is limited.

After talking to multiple current college players, ex-college players, and parents of highly ranked Juniors, we joined the Ginepri Academy at Olde Towne. http://www.oldetowneathleticclub.com/ginepri-performance-tennis-academy/ .There is a bar, restaurant, gym, pool, lockers, masseuse, steam, sauna, etc. in addition to both clay and hard courts and 2 indoor practice courts. You can drop your kid off and know they are safe. You know if it rains they can go inside to practice or worst case go inside and shower, eat, watch tv and use wifi. It is an amazing facility and a real family feel to whole experience. What was funny was that it was cheaper than the Diaz Academy. I have run into several parents from Harrison who said they had to go to the Diaz Academy because they couldn't afford Ginepri/Olde Towne but the pricing was actually less. We liked everything so much that I cancelled my membership at Roswell. This place trains the kids exceptionally well. Besides the stroke development and refinement and drill instruction, I'm talking diet, nutrition, yoga, speed and agility, etc. They offer 2 days a week, 3 days a week, 4 days a week, 5 days a week, and even home school programs. Every drill session has an indoor conditioning segment where Paul Fortunado takes the kids through state of the art cutting edge training. Their main coaches are all former college players or former pros. People like Jason Parker, Julius Roberts, John Shults, Ellen Young, Joseph O'Dwyer and Richie Martin. I have been impressed at my son's development. Lastly, and this is cool for my son so some people may not think it is all that great, but pros are there hitting/practicing all the time. I've seen Jack Sock, Ryan Harrision, Robbie Ginepri and Donald Young. I've seen Melanie Oudin, Bobby Reynolds, Alexandra Stephenson and James McGee. My kid is a tennis fanatic and he loves that little perk. I hope this help bit.
 
Top