Junior Development Squads
WHAT IT IS
Junior & Teen Development Squads That Teach Elite-level Tennis Skills
We believe in providing players with every opportunity to reach their potential.
To do this, we offer a complete player development pathway, which guides players through to the highest competitive level. The foundation of our program is our comprehensive player development philosophy, which builds the technical, tactical, physical and mental skills an athlete requires to compete at the elite level.
HOW IT WORKS
Our Elite Squads
Red Junior Development Squad (60mins)
We transition players who demonstrate a high standard of skill acquisition, into red ball rallyers. This means children will develop advanced reception skills to send and receive an oncoming ball, judge and anticipate the flight of the ball, and move accordingly to strike the ball to their opponent.
Additionally red stage squad players will be exposed to competition pressure, how to handle emotions in a competitive environment, and start basic strategic thinking and tactical components of the sport.
Progress will enable players to take part in the Eastern Region Red Stage club competition, representing Doncaster Tennis Club against other local clubs in the coming seasons.
Orange Junior Development Squad (60mins)
We transition players who demonstrate a high standard of skill acquisition and focus into ‘match/competition’ ready players. This involves developing players far beyond stroke mechanics, into players who think strategically, who adopt patterns of play according to the phase in each rally (attacking, defensive, or neutral), and who learn to use the environmental conditions (wind, drizzle, sun) to their advantage, to ultimately participate in their first club match representing their local club against other local clubs in the Eastern Region Club-based competition, or play their first Tennis Victoria Tournament.
Green Junior Development Squad (90 mins)
We transition players who’ve demonstrated a high standard of skill acquisition in the Orange Junior Development Squad to the next level. This enables them to not only participate in their first club match, representing their local club against other local clubs in the Eastern Region Club-based competition and to play their first Tennis Victoria Tournament, but to also take part in the Association Junior League (AJL).
Junior Squad Training (90mins)
We challenge players’ on-court performance and performance under match pressure. This constraights based training provides an environment to thrive, and take your game to the next level. Players in Junior Squad are aiming to achieve “rubbers” competition grading and or best of three set tournament rounds.
Rubbers Squad Training (90mins or 2 hrs)
Training at an elite level allows ambitious tennis players to realise their tennis dreams successfully. We currently offer coaching and support to a range of elite junior tennis players competing and winning local and national tennis tournaments.
Slamin’s Talented Athlete Squad (90mins)
Brings together athletes who have selected tennis as their main sport, and are actively competing in club-based competitions and tournaments. This squad has several levels but matches one main criteria; all Slamin Talented Athlete Squad (STAS) members are committed to being the best they can be, committed to being professional during their on-court performance, as well as off-court.
Three levels are provided:
- Level 1 – Junior STAS
- Level 2 – Early Rubbers STAS
- Level 3 – Established Rubbers STAS
Players are allocated into one of these STAS levels according to their Club Competition Grade or tournament performances. We offer three levels so that we can provide a performance environment for players from 10 to 17 years of age. The younger players look up to the older players, and this role modeling is important for each age bracket.
The squad aims to take players to ‘the next level’ through a professional squad atmosphere. A combination of hard work, commitment, and motivation is expected by all players and a desire to train both on and off the court. The squad will focus heavily on tactics and strategy within match play, tennis-specific fitness training, footwork and movement, and scenario-based drills and gameplay. The aim of each session is to encourage the evolution of a participant’s individual style, technique, tactics, and strategy, such that they can confidently compete in their weekend club matches or tournaments and handle the competitive pressure in their tennis-playing journey.
The STAS squad is based on good character building and support of each other. Players who display poor sportspersonship, or those who don’t put their best effort forward (EVERY) time, regardless of their ability? This is not the squad for you. This is a positive environment for athletes to achieve on the court.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
Our environment provides each athlete with a Player Support Team. This team is focused on the needs of the athlete, and what is required to take that player to their potential in the sport. Our performance team includes professionals from all aspects of athlete development.
Elite Training Squads Features
These coaches work exclusively on the biomechanics of stroke production, and efficient movement patterns to react and respond to various directions of balls, and recovery to the next shot. These coaches teach players how to impart spin on the ball, why we use spin and when. Sounds simple enough, but a child must be taught racquet face angles for the impairment of spin and direction, and why? Children don’t automatically know the net is the lowest in the middle and higher at the side, or that cross-court is the longest direction, thus taking the most time, ie: giving them the most time to recover between shots. This means players learn, when they are defending, to hit the longest direction to give them the most time, and when attacking, to hit the shortest distance to take maximum time away (is one example). Hence “technique lessons” set players up for long-term success in the sport, and this is the first learning platform a player is invited to join.
Squad Training Coaches
These coaches work solely on rallying skills, change of direction, strategy, training principles, and the three overall components of being a competition or tournament player:
- Building better weapons than your opponent.
- Using your weapons effectively.
- Using your weapons consistently.
This is the additional learning platform players are invited to join.
Once players reach a certain level skill-wise, and maturity-wise (i.e. they really want to be the best they can be), they are invited to attend squad training in addition to technique coaching.
In the USA, they actually have just technique coaches and just squad coaches, so as a parent, you travel to two different clubs for each learning platform! In Australia, we maintain technique coaches and squad coaches within one venue.
All players in Hot Shots remain in technique coaching and squad training together. Those who don’t wish to take part in squad training, simply remain in technique coaching. Remember, Squad Training Coaches do not teach technique, hence why those in squad training MUST complete a technique lesson to have the appropriate understanding each week to take a squad session.
Once players reach yellow ball stage, players will either engage in private or semi-private lessons (usually due to time restraints of secondary school) or because they want to complete their technique coaching with a friend. Players also complete at least one, if not two, squads a week to facilitate their capacity to peak at major tournaments.
Players who are playing casually, new to the sport or returning to the sport, or sampling playing for fun, participate in technique coaching only during the yellow ball stage. The explanation above is for players who have selected tennis as their number one sport to excel in.
HOW TO GET STARTED
How Do I Join?
If your child already coaches with us and wants to join a squad, please speak with their Coach to discuss their suitability. If you are new to Slamin Tennis & Fitness, please book a free trial to get started today.