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ATAC Camp April 2014

atac logo start again

The ATAC group got together again in the second week of the April School Holidays for an intensive 3 day camp. The playing standard of the students participating was very high with number 1 ranked State and National players in attendance. The main focus of the camp was improving player intensity, work ethic and equipping students with the skills to move their game to the next level. The kids really came to the party and the intensity of the camp throughout the 3 days was electric.

The ATAC camp system has been the vehicle for many top ranked junior players over the years, most recently Seone Mendez (has held the number 1 position in Australia in her age group since she was 12), Violet and Patricia Aspanath (number 1 & 2 in NSW), Codi Pearson and Blazo Duravic (ITF Pro Circuit player) as well as other highly ranked junior players.

The program for the ATAC camps have been developed from many years of knowledge and experience drawn upon from running Bollettieri Academy Camps and Tennis Australia High Performance Camps. Through utilising the state of the art facilities at Saint Ignatius College Riverview and with specialist coaches in the areas targeted for development the ATAC Camps are providing students with the most up to date training program available.

Each day the camp kicked off at 8am with player warm-ups followed by group goal settings. After months of planning with tennis footwork specialist David Bailey the warm up routine involved footwork patterns specific to the stroke which we would be focusing on that day progressing through to the racquet work required to complete the shot. We focused on our energy levels right from the get go in the warm up, energy levels were kept high through both individual and team challenges ensuring players had the best possible routine to get them ready for the day.

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On court started with home drills focusing on position behind the ball, balance and technique to ensure that the fundamental base of the strokes were sound before other variants were introduced. Players progressed through different feeding methods increasing in the level of difficulty to test their footwork and technique. Players were able to finesse the wide angle and attack down the line which was then put into point and match play situations.

Below is a breakdown of the program overview for the 3 days.

Day 1

Player Focus: Being early, being balanced and being prepared. Applying footwork patterns to music progressing through to the tempo of the rally.

Theme: Consistency in both technique and output as well as maintaining a strong core.

Method: Balance and position over the outside leg for a wide ball, holding balance and finish over  front leg for easy short balls. We carried out the Swoosh Test and but cap bounce exercise as well as half serve drills. We demonstrated how serving with a continental grip generates early racquet head speed.

With weighted points and modified starts the players learnt how to use shots developed in the morning session in point play situations.

We finished the day with a foot speed and blow out session with the kids giving every last little bit of effort. Day 1 proved to be a big day and it was off home to recover and refuel to back up for what was to follow.

on court from rear

Day 2

Player focus: Using energy to recover fast to a positive court position enabling them to take advantage of weak replies from the dominating shots they play. Efficient recovery also enables players to create more attacking situations.

Theme: Mid court attack from balls net height and below, controlling the placement in the court to enable the player to finish the point at the net.

Point play started with the front foot hop down the line and the players were to follow and play the point out from the net. From here we progressed to a short ball where the players had the option to either follow the approach to the net or to recover to the baseline.

Callum Beale (Tennis Australia Coach & Talent Development Manager) attended Day 2 of the camp to put the players through their paces and to deliver a presentation on what players around the world are doing to maximise their potential.

After Callum’s presentation each boy from the camp played against a girl in both singles and doubles. Each player set their match and technical goal and went about trying to achieve them. The battle of the sexes was played with it all coming down to the last match which was won in a tie breaker, the girls taking it out 82 gamesto 79.

The fitness session in the afternoon turned the score back in favour of the boys with a tight fought relay win by the narrowest of margins. The boys finished the day 1 point in front with more to play on the final day.

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 Day 3

We began the day with the implementation of the flow step ladder drill which teaches players to connect movement with racquet preparation. This was followed by various transfer step drills.

The focus of the day was on movement and power with balance underneath the ball to help maximise the players options.

Theme: Using the transfer step on return of serve and on high bouncing short balls.

Method: Racquet preparation from first contact with the ground on the flow step and transfer step driving off the power leg into the back of the ball.

The students did a fantastic job putting this together on court. Match play in the afternoon was punctuated by aggressive return of serves, incredible footwork and preparation which led to some very tough fought rallies.

We finished the camp with 3 battle of the sexes matches. The girls took out the overall title for the camp with a 7-3 win in the last match with all the kids cheering on.

An excellent camp with a fantastic group of kids and coaches. Thanks to Kerry Dock, David Bailey, Wade Hantos and Tristen Skelley who helped make the camp such a big success.

We look forward to the next ATAC Camp at the end of Term 2.

Simon

 

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Saint Ignatius’ College Riverview
Tennis Pavilion Riverview College
Tambourine Bay Road
Lane Cove NSW 2066

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