Legendary coach Nick Bollettieri coming to Portland for tennis clinics, at-risk kids
Email the author | Follow on Twitter
on September 09, 2015 at 11:25 AM
Tennis can change a child’s life, even if that child isn’t going to be the next Andre Agassi or Maria Sharapova.
“What we’ve found is that when kids play tennis and get in shape and become serious about it, their homework begins to pick up,” says legendary coach Nick Bollettieri, who honed the games of both Agassi and Sharapova. “They’re learning how to build their character.”
That’s why Bollettieri, a member of the International Tennis Hall of Fame, is coming to Oregon next month. He’s headlining the “Train Up with the Pros All-Star Charity Weekend,” Oct. 16-17, at the Stafford Hills Club in Tualatin.
The 84-year-old Bollettieri, newly retired pro Mardy Fish and other players and coaches will run academy-style clinics benefiting Train Up Foundation, a Florida-based nonprofit that supports at-risk kids. The foundation’s mission is similar to the Portland After School Tennis & Education (PAST&E) program at the St. Johns Racquet Center.
During the clinics, Bollettieri will select one junior player to receive a paid training week at his famous IMG Academy in Florida.
Tickets for the clinics — including a training block for adults — and a bonus exhibition match involving Fish are available online. Check out all the details about the event on the foundation’s website.
“The player will be selected (for the week at the IMG Academy) based not only on how they hit a ball, but how they speak, their attitude, a combination of what gives a kid the character and the chance to survive in life,” Bollettieri says.
The coach views the foundation’s work as an extension of what he tried to build at his academy. He says he’s just as proud of the many graduates of his academy who went on to college and careers outside of tennis as those who held up Wimbledon trophies. Even for talented young athletes, tennis shouldn’t be the be-all and end-all. It’s simply one way to open up life’s possibilities.
“We’ll be talking to parents about what their expectations should be,” Bollettieri says. “We’ll be talking to them about how they shouldn’t just grade their child on the result. They should grade their child on the effort. Effort is how you succeed in life.”
— Douglas Perry
Please take a moment and sign up for Event Updates!
THE TRAIN UP FOUNDATION IS A MEMBER OF THE CHAMPIONS FUND, INC. (Fed Tax ID #59-3685490). A COPY OF THE OFFICIAL REGISTRATION AND FINANCIAL INFORMATION MAY BE OBTAINED FROM THE DIVISION OF CONSUMER SERVICES BY CALLING TOLL-FREE, WITHIN THE STATE, 1-800-HELP-FLA. REGISTRATION DOES NOT IMPLY ENDORSEMENT, APPROVAL, OR RECOMMENDATION BY THE STATE. PLEASE REFER TO NUMBER CH-12412.