Moving to Georgia...need help....

I am relocating to Atlanta, Georgia in a few months and I have a 9year old daughter. We currently homeschool her and we are looking for the best junior development coach in the area. She has only been playing tennis for about 10months, but, she has gotten progressively better in a short amount of time.

Still she is a better athlete with potential than a tennis player today. She has played soccer, volleyball, and ran track in the past. In volleyball she received the best Spiker award, and she won 5 gold medals last summer in track. We are not interested in her being the best 10year old tennis player in the world right now. But, we do want her to get best-in-class training and learn the game. Both my wife and I are former athletes (the wife a former sprinter in track, and myself former football player) but neither one of us has played tennis before.

Any suggestions on the best junior coaches for young girls would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
 

Soianka

Hall of Fame
I am relocating to Atlanta, Georgia in a few months and I have a 9year old daughter. We currently homeschool her and we are looking for the best junior development coach in the area. She has only been playing tennis for about 10months, but, she has gotten progressively better in a short amount of time.

Still she is a better athlete with potential than a tennis player today. She has played soccer, volleyball, and ran track in the past. In volleyball she received the best Spiker award, and she won 5 gold medals last summer in track. We are not interested in her being the best 10year old tennis player in the world right now. But, we do want her to get best-in-class training and learn the game. Both my wife and I are former athletes (the wife a former sprinter in track, and myself former football player) but neither one of us has played tennis before.

Any suggestions on the best junior coaches for young girls would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
Coach Amerson at Lifetime tennis is a great developmental coach.
 
T

TCF

Guest
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kimguroo

Legend
Atlanta is big city and you should tell us where you will live unless you are willing to spend hrs to drive. Also every cities has decent tennis academies so it depends on how serious you are.

Lifetime tennis (Racket club of south) in Norcross should have good programs.
 

Soianka

Hall of Fame
Lifetime tennis (Racket club of south) in Norcross should have good programs.
Yes, but I'd make sure to get her in Coach Amerson's group and schedule at least one private a week with him (if he has time).

He developed Grace Min and a host of other excellent female players.

He really focuses on excellent technique.
 

gplracer

Hall of Fame
There are a lot of good people at Lifetime. My son did a southern camp there. Another good contact there would be Sanjay Jayaram.
 

ga tennis

Hall of Fame
I am relocating to Atlanta, Georgia in a few months and I have a 9year old daughter. We currently homeschool her and we are looking for the best junior development coach in the area. She has only been playing tennis for about 10months, but, she has gotten progressively better in a short amount of time.

Still she is a better athlete with potential than a tennis player today. She has played soccer, volleyball, and ran track in the past. In volleyball she received the best Spiker award, and she won 5 gold medals last summer in track. We are not interested in her being the best 10year old tennis player in the world right now. But, we do want her to get best-in-class training and learn the game. Both my wife and I are former athletes (the wife a former sprinter in track, and myself former football player) but neither one of us has played tennis before.

Any suggestions on the best junior coaches for young girls would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
Heath Waters.
 

WoodIndoors

New User
Heath Waters.
GA,

Based on his website, he seems to know his stuff, very good coach.

...I'm just curious,

How 'strict' he is about that straight arm stuff?

I mean, I have a pretty clear idea what are the benefits (and downsides) of doing it, can do it and teach it also no problem there, but just not sure if thats a good idea with every player

So, how do you see it, does Heath evaluate every player separately or trying to make them all to do straight arm? Any of his juniors hit with double bend?

If not all of them straight arm, what's you opinion how that's decided when not (he decides, player decides...?)

One of the reason why I'm asking this is because he seems to compliment his wife many times (on videos) of 'perfect shots', after explaining this straight arm stuff, when his wife hits NOT with straigth arm but more or less double bend (or combination of both tecniques)

Not trying to put him down or anything here, just curious how he puts this straight arm stuff in practise
 

drfrankfree

New User
Heath Waters a good coach but he is very unorthodox in his methods (he encourages two forehands instead of a backhand). He is also in the neighborhood of 200 for a private lesson. My suggestions would be Windward Academy in Alpharetta. Windward has several 5 stars and Blue Chip girls in all age groups. The coaches are top notch. Cant go wrong there. Another suggestion would be Jeff Weaver at ACE Academy in Norcross. Jeff has some younger girls 12s and 14s who are top 100 in the nation. In my opinion, Jeff is the most complete development coaches in the city. He has a smaller academy that allows him to give lots of one on one time. If you want some other info on coaches, training, etc in the ATL, PM me as I have a son who 17 and a 10 year old daughter currently training. Good luck.
 

kme5150

Rookie
Rodney Harmon

He has limited time to work with players but he has always made time for players who had the drive and ability to make it to the next level. He can definitely lead you in the right direction without breaking the bank.
 
Atlanta is a big city...but these coaches are top-notch! In no particular order, you can't go wrong with these guys:

Greg Amerson (Lifetime)-Norcross
Torrey Hawkins (Windward)-Alpharetta
Jason Parker (Olde Towne Athletic Club)-Marietta
Jeff Weaver (ACE Academy)-Norcross
 

ga tennis

Hall of Fame
I am relocating to Atlanta, Georgia in a few months and I have a 9year old daughter. We currently homeschool her and we are looking for the best junior development coach in the area. She has only been playing tennis for about 10months, but, she has gotten progressively better in a short amount of time.

Still she is a better athlete with potential than a tennis player today. She has played soccer, volleyball, and ran track in the past. In volleyball she received the best Spiker award, and she won 5 gold medals last summer in track. We are not interested in her beingg the best 10year old tennis player in the world right now. But, we do want her to get best-in-class training and learn the game. Both my wife and I are former athletes (the wife a former sprinter in track, and myself former football player) but neither one of us has played tennis before.

Any suggestions on the best junior coaches for young girls would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
All the suggestions are good. Go to The others then go see Heath and you will see the difference. Good luck.
 

ga tennis

Hall of Fame
Heath Waters a good coach but he is very unorthodox in his methods (he encourages two forehands instead of a backhand). He is also in the neighborhood of 200 for a private lesson. My suggestions would be Windward Academy in Alpharetta. Windward has several 5 stars and Blue Chip girls in all age groups. The coaches are top notch. Cant go wrong there. Another suggestion would be Jeff Weaver at ACE Academy in Norcross. Jeff has some younger girls 12s and 14s who are top 100 in the nation. In my opinion, Jeff is the most complete development coaches in the city. He has a smaller academy that allows him to give lots of one on one time. If you want some other info on coaches, training, etc in the ATL, PM me as I have a son who 17 and a 10 year old daughter currently training. Good luck.
Really? Only one kid there hits two forehands. Have u been out to see what hes doing or is this information someone told you?
 

ga tennis

Hall of Fame
Sorry GA....this is getting a little crazy now. Very few need to spend $250/hour for Heath or whatever he charges. All the coaches mentioned are excellent and cheaper and are more than enough for the OP.

She is 9....no nine year old on the planet needs to pay for Heath for goodness sakes!
You only get one chance to do it right TCF!! :)
 

ga tennis

Hall of Fame
Sorry GA....this is getting a little crazy now. Very few need to spend $250/hour for Heath or whatever he charges. All the coaches mentioned are excellent and cheaper and are more than enough for the OP.

She is 9....no nine year old on the planet needs to pay for Heath for goodness sakes!
You need to see whats goin on before you judge. Trust me TCF.
 

Soianka

Hall of Fame
Another good one is Jeff Wilson in Alpharetta.

He was travelling with Irina Falconi on the WTA for a time though...not sure if he is still doing that.

Otherwise, he has a nice small academy with lots of personal attention.

I would definitely go with Greg Amerson though of Lifetime Tennis if I were you.
 

ga tennis

Hall of Fame
Tell you what.....let my girl get to 10 years old, then we will come up and you arrange for every single one of Heath's students who are 10-11 at that time to play her.

You might be surprised to find that Heath is not the only one able to develop great players.
I know you can develop a great player. I got faith in ya.
 

drfrankfree

New User
Really? Only one kid there hits two forehands. Have u been out to see what hes doing or is this information someone told you?

Yep, I've been out there. I've seen the Strive kids play and if I recall correctly, it's Heath's daughter who hits the 2 forehands. So, by logic, I'm assuming that's his method. I'm not saying it is good or bad. It may be the next big thing but it IS unorthodox. I also agree with other posters that $250 is waaaaaayyyy too much for a private for a 9 year old. There are plenty of other coaches in the ATL with a better record for developing juniors than Heath. Tori Hawkins at Windward, for example, has every bit as sterling of a resume as Heath at 25% of the price. That;s not to say Heath isn't a great coach. He obviously is. I just argue that he is $180/hr better than the next guy. Especially when talking about a 9 year old.
 

drfrankfree

New User
I'll just post a quick follow up to my post above. I know Heath will respond with his bio including his wife, Ashley Harkleroad, and a list of pros he has worked with. Heath is a great coach and I hope he is not offended by my presenting facts. His methods may very well produce the next "big thing" in tennis. In response to the OPs original question, I will just present this: 1n the 2013 class, Windward has 6 girls in the top 200 in the nation, 4 in the top 100. In the 2014 class, there are 4 Windward girls in the top 100, in the 2015 class there are 4 top 200, and so on. Just looking at the recent success, I, as a tennis parent find no compelling argument to spend 4x for a private lesson over someone who is constantly and presently producing top 100 talent. I don't mean to offend Heath at all.
 

jctennis

New User
Battle2Victory,
I agree with drfrankfree's suggestion about Jeff Weaver at ACE Academy in Norcross.

About Windward Tennis Academy, in addition to Torrey, there are other very good coaches. Will Wright and Henry Darko. Their academy is very highly reputed for girls as drfrankfree mentioned. There are some very good younger girls as well in their day time program.

I would suggest you to try out all academies suggested here. Spend some time when these coaches take private lessons for other kids, talk to them about what you want from them for your daughter and make your decision.

Good Luck!
 

Nastase

Rookie
There are so many options in ATL. Please try out multiple options and find the program and coach that fits your kid on mutilple levels. TAS, Lifetime, Windward, CC of the South, ACE, ATA, Old Towne, and others all offer decent programs...but are each different culturally. I like some of the coaching recommendations here, but there are a couple recommended here (and maybe 100 coaches in ATL) that I would not have my kid in front of.
 

High Rustler

New User
OP, having read the thread I'd ad Ashley Hobson Gwinett & Snellville; and Diaz at Harrison Tennis center to the earlier list. UTA produces a lot of talent as well, and i think it is all at Blackburn these days, but I'm not sure. All of these are north atlanta, if you are on the southside I really can't help.

While you will no doubt find fanatics for every one of these pros (my kids see one on that list), I beleive that any on the list will get you where you are going just fine. I'd look hard at the one located closest to you as commute has a lot to do with quality of life here. Personally, I've found that in the larger academies (Windward & lifetime for example) it's easy to get wrapped up in how many they have at the top. The real question is how do they handle the next tier?

I ran track in high school and college (D1) and speak from that background.
 

AceJohn

New User
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. 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.
 
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