Academy Pros Training Course

The Completion Level of Your Training.



Click Here – Watch First

What you are about to go through is called an Execution Plan.

You’ll notice in some of the videos I appear to be talking to subscribers of my website, but just ignore that because the content is the same that I want to have you watch.

Below is a short tutorial video we created for you that shows how to navigate this Execution Plan.

Our Teaching System

Every Good Lesson Program has a Definable Teaching System.

Many Teaching Professionals do not have a definable Teaching System they use to teach their students. Instead, the pros give individual lessons that are not connected to the previous lesson and pros from the same staff all have their own preferred teaching methodologies and language that they like to use and that is different from the other pros on the same staff.

This is no way to organize a lesson program at a club where there is more than one pro. We like to think of our teaching system as our common language. It has 4 parts, but each pro can use his own personal coaching style within the 4 parts so they can customize their delivery. This is important because too much direction makes the best pros feel like they are micromanaged and cannot teach using their preferred style.

The main reason to have a definable teaching system is so that the members of the club can all receive consistent messaging from ALL the pros at the club. It is the cornerstone of every great lesson program I have seen.

Our Teaching System has 4 areas that we want all our pros to use when they teach our players. These include…

  1. The 6 Zones of the Court
  2. The 4 Runways on the Court
  3. The 4 Strike Zones in Tennis
  4. The Segmented Swing

In the video below, I will show you more details about how we use our teaching system.

How to MODIFY a Tennis Drill

The Best Pros Can Modify a Drill for Multiple Levels of players.

Many Teaching Professional struggle to modify their tennis drills so the SAME drill can be used across a wide range of skill levels. The  result is they throw out many drills that they have labeled to narrowly as being for HP players or for Beginner players.

The secret is that if you apply 6 filters (questions) that we use to modify all our drills, you will be able to add to the total number of drills in your arsenal.

The 6 filters (questions) we ask ourselves about any drill when thinking about modifying it are…

  1. Can we change the feed direction?
  2. Can we change the number of balls? (fewer = more cardio)
  3. Can we change the feed rate? (frequency)
  4. Can we change the feed difficulty?
  5. Can we change the player’s starting position?
  6. Can the drill be changed between cooperative vs competitive?

To help you better understand how we modify tennis drills, we have created the video below that shows me making several modifications to one of our most popular drills.

How to Shine as an Assistant Pro

What it Takes to Shine as an Assistant Pro?

Most of you will be playing the role os the assistant pro at the Academy.  One of your most important jobs is to make the lead pro look good.

Listen carefully, I am NOT saying that assistant means young or inexperienced. I believe anyone who is not leading the class is an assistant pro, even if they might be the boss or a more experienced pro.

The video below will show you the important things that you MUST do when you are acting as the assistant pro (not leading the class).

Project Sets

We believe there are 2 types of practicing in Tennis.

1) General practice: This is the stuff we do with the masses. It is really good and covers all area of the game.

2) Specific Practice: This is when we TARGET a certain area of a player’s game and ramp up the REPS they get in this area. At the Academy, we offer this in the form of our project sets, but only to the summer-long players.

These players will be brought indoors on certain afternoons to work on one of the 5 Play Situations they have identified as important to them.

Bob Cawood will lead this effort for us again this summer. You should know what this is about in case you get questions.

Click Here to See the Project Sheet Document


Be on Time

Our Pro meeting is at 10:15 am daily by the flagpole.

This is essential for a smooth day; please do not be late, even by a few minutes. If you need to put on sunscreen, fill your water jug, or take that last phone call, etc… Do it such that you can be at the flagpole by 10:15 am.

To keep the payroll simple, we will not be paying you for these 15 minutes, but we will pay you for the 30 minutes during lunch. You will end up getting paid for 5 hours a day.

You are expected to be on your court by 10:25 am to greet the players and get them warming up. We’ll do the same warm-up drill every day. Three on each side, rotate out if you miss a shot, groundies.

Your Main Job

You will be doing 2 main types of COACHING while working the Academy.

  • Running Your Drill Court: This should be easy because the drill will always be demonstrated and explained thoroughly before you adjourn with your player to your courts. Your main job here is to stay engaged, say something after every point (encouragement or technical advice) and get to know the names of your players on YOUR court.
  • Coaching During Match Play: This is more difficult because players may be upset about losing and many of them are not very receptive to your questions about how their match is going. Since you are not directly engaged in feeding a drill, it is easier to hang out in the shade and become disengaged.

The more important thing is #2 because that is where the real learning happens for our players.

We recognize that when you are a young coach you may not feel like you have enough knowledge to impart to the players BUT you can also stay engaged by saying something after EACH POINT.

This might seem like an impossible task but you can always default to encouragement if you are not comfortable with giving technical advice.

Pro Meeting

We have a regularly scheduled pro meeting every Thursday from 3:30-4 pm.

You are expected to attend and you WILL be paid.

This is when we will go over the Friday tournament pairings as well as the next week’s court assignments.

Rain Policy

We NEVER cancel the Academy and will just move indoors if it rains.

The Rain decision between going inside or outside at the BEGINNING of the day will happen by 10 am.

If it starts to rain AFTER we have started outside, we will just move indoors.

When this happens, it gets hectic FAST. I need all of us to chip in and help with the transition indoors.

If we decide to have an off-court station on rainy days (like TV or other) then please be flexible as we may need to have you switch jobs that you are doing that do. You may even be asked to play.

Playing In

You may be asked to PLAY in from time to time.

Most of the Hope varsity players are already on a half-work half-play format.

Just be prepared to play in for match play if we have odd numbers and note that you might have to play with really inexperienced players.

Just a heads up to be ready to battle at all times. If you are assigned to play a match with weak players, we expect you to play NICE and NOT crush them.

Cell Phones & App

Cell phones are NOT permitted on the court.

The only exception is if you have a leadership role and will be needing to communicate with Jorge.

Everyone else should keep your cell phone under the spine near your rest area.

You are welcome to use your cell phones while we are on a water break.

On occasion, I might ask some of you to keep your cell phone on you if I need to connect with you while I am away from the Academy.

Coach’s Eye: I would like for all of you that have a smartphone to download this app. It costs money but I will reimburse you.

Working Outside the Club

Working OUTSIDE the club… What’s Expected?

In the past few years, we have had more situations where some of you have the opportunity to teach players outside the club. Here are my expectations with that: 

  • Players you meet through the club may not be taken by you to be taught elsewhere or not through the club.
  • Players that you are already working with outside the club should be brought to my attention to avoid misunderstanding.
  • New players you meet (outside the club) while you are employed by the club should be taught through the club.
  • I have made exceptions to this but I want to be consistent and be in the loop.
  • Stringing rackets – You should NOT be soliciting rackets to string from our players. I do not want you stringing and dropping off rackets at the club for those you might already be stringing for. The club has a stringing business so we need to respect that.  If you already have some stringing clients, then let me know so we have no misunderstandings.


Driving Policy

This Policy comes from Hope College. We MUST follow it carefully.

The driving policy for the players is as follows:

NEW in 2018 – Hope is now requiring any of our coaches that transport players to be registered through the College. I’ll tell you more about that at our face-to-face meeting.

In case we need to go to HC for match play overflow – The kids that drove themselves to the academy may drive themselves to HC along with anyone else that they drove to the academy that morning.

Players may not take anyone else in their car. That means the rest of us must take everyone else in our cars.

I need the pros to keep your cars semi-clean in case we need you transport players.


Lunch will be available each day to players and pros.

The cost is $6 (not $5)  and it includes a sandwich, chips and a beverage.

The beverage will be served to only to people that ordered lunch and the pros even if the pro did not order lunch. It will be a 5-gallon jug of a punch.

If you want lunch, you will need to sign-up for it at the check-in desk before 10:30 a.m. each morning.

The pros nor players may not leave the site for lunch but will be paid for the half hour lunchtime. I’m expecting that during this time you’ll be “hanging” with the players or preparing for the afternoon session.  Lunch is from 1-1:30 p.m.

Please be ready to assist with lunch set up as needed.

Etcheberry Class

Etcheberry Speed & Agility Class.

We offer players in the daytime Academy an option for our Etcheberry Speed & Agility class.

This class is optional and meets Tues-Fri only from 9-10 am BEFORE the daytime academy.

The price is $40 per week or $250 for summer-long

You should know the BASICS of this class so you can answer any questions you might get.

Below is a video about our Etcheberry class so you’ll know what it is about.

Night Academy

Our Night Academy meets on T & TH from 6-8 pm and has become VERY popular.

This meets for 20 classes over 10 weeks. For players in grades 9-college ONLY. Over 50% of the time is used for supervised match play…

As a Hope varsity player that is working the Academy, you are REQUIRED to come and work the Night Academy because it is part of staying, eligible with the work hours we must pay you for NCAA rules.

QuickStart Academy

QuickStart Tennis Academy: Grades are based on fall 2018.

Grades 1-2-3: Meets (3x) Tues, Wed, Thurs from 8:30-9:30 am. 

These players will play on a 36′ Red court using foam balls. Lead pro is Matt Bradley

Grades 4-5: Meets (4x) Tues, Wed, Thurs, Fri from 8-9:30 am.

These players play on both a 60 and 78 foot (regular) court and use low compression orange and green-dot balls. Lead pro is TBD.

We are West Michigan’s only certified 10 & Under program by the USTA and we are fully compliant with the new USTA rules regarding players this age.


Hope College does ONLINE payroll.

Most of you are already familiar with the online system.

If this is new to you, we will train you how to submit your hours online.

Please set a phone calendar reminder so you do not forget to submit your hours.

You will have the option of getting a physical check or opting for direct deposit.

You WILL get paid for our 30-minute pro meeting on Thurs from 3:30-4 pm if you attend the meeting.


We ALL wear the SAME shirt every day.

The Academy staff uniforms are the same T-shirts that the player get, but they also say COACH on the back.

All of you that are working every day will get 6 shirts and you are expected to wear them every day.

You may also wear an Academy shirt from past years, but it is better if you can wear the current year’s shirt so we all look the same. Access

You can all have access to my drills website.

Instructions for logging in to the website are….

  • Click the Member Log in link in the upper right corner
  • UserName = HopeCoach
  • Password = Hope1234 (case sensitive)  

Please do NOT share these log in details with anyone else.


Start Here

In this SECTION of the Execution Plan we will show you several videos on How to Feed during tennis drills.

All of these videos are from the Feeding Skills section of

However, this Execution Plan will only include the videos that are most important for what you will be required to FEED at the Hope College Tennis Academy.

This is an important section and worth your time watching.

We have had new (often younger) pros at the Academy that realized too late that they could NOT feed very well and this was embarrassing to them as a coach and makes the Academy look bad as well.

Lastly, do NOT assume that since you might be a strong tennis PLAYER, that you automatically be a good feeder.

These are two separate skills and you don’t want to find out on the court on your first day that you cannot feed properly.

You can now progress through the next tabs and start watch the various FEEDING videos we have selected for YOU.

Intro to Feeding

This video is an Introduction to the FEEDING section.

This training is designed to help you AVOID having a bad feeding experience which will be embarrassing for you.

What Grip to Use

This video covers what Grip you should use when you feed.

HINT… It’s NOT the same grip you use to play.

Ball Cart Placement

This video covers WHERE you should position the ball cart as it relates to the coach.

You’ll learn how to avoid a Rookie mistake made by many new feeders.

Feeding to the Strike Zones

In this video we cover the importance of feeding the ball into the various STRIKE ZONES of the player.

You should be able to feed to all 4 strike zones based on the skill level of each player.

Where the Pro Feeds From

In this video you will learn the common places on the court that you will need to feed from.

Using the Segmented Swing

In this video we will show you the how using a Segmented Swing can help you feed a variety of types of shots.

Spins and Your Feeds

In this video we show you the importance of the type of SPIN you send when you feed sand how your grip will influence that.

It is very important to be able to feed different spins to players of different skill levels.

Feeding & Your Reputation

In this video we cover why you MUST take your feeding skills seriously.

If you get labeled a poor feeder by the players, it’s hard to change that reputation.

Feed Rhythm

This trick a great way to learn to feed and double speed.

In this video you will learn how to keep up with fast feeding pros.

Grab Techniques

In this video we show you a couple of options for how to GRAB the balls out of the cart.

There is more to it than you might think.

Ball Trajectory

In real life we get low and high balls coming our way.

This video covers the importance of being able to feed the ball with different trajectories.

Summary – Feeding

The entire goal of putting you through this FEEDING TRAINING was so that we do NOT hang you out to dry.

There has been more than one occasion where we have not trained our staff on how to properly feed and they have be very humiliated when players start giving them trouble.

Remember that being a good player does NOT necessarily translate into being a good FEEDER.

In this final video I summarize the importance of feeding skills and WHY you should care about it.

Types of Lobs

In this video we discuss the TYPES of lobs you need to be able to feed.

We also cover what makes a good lob feed vs a bad one.

Types of Volleys

In this video we show the types of VOLLEYS you’ll need to be able to feed.

They’re NOT all the same.

Feeding Drop Shots

In this video we show you some trick to feed a consistent DROP SHOT.

This one is often overlooked.


This could be the most important video in this section.

In this video we show you some common feeding mistake that pro make that are actually DANGEROUS.

Safety Issues

In this video we show you some common SAFETY issues that come up on the practice court.

We will also show you how to AVOID them.

Feeding Contest… Test Yourself

This is actually an ASSIGNMENT I want you to do.

Practice the 1-minute feeding test that is shown in the video and see what your score is.

We will all go on the court during our face-to-face meeting and try this.. it will be fun!