AON Athlete Development Programme

Overview

Tennis NZ remains strongly committed to providing an athlete development pathway that increases the chances of New Zealanders succeeding at the upper echelon of our sport. This will ultimately be evidenced by New Zealanders occupying positions within the top 100 of the ATP and WTA singles rankings. This goal, then, remains the clearly stated long-term aim of the performance arm of the organisation. The importance of athletes demonstrating the type of strong personal qualities required to excel at this level cannot be overstated. As such, the areas of commitment, grit, respect and physicality will maintain the highest possible priority in assessing athlete performance in 2019.

Athlete Benefits

  • Assigned coach
  • Individualised strength and conditioning programming and supervision
  • 12-month training scholarship
  • Daily training environment that aspires to be world-class at every level of operation
  • Performance analysis
  • Athlete Development Plan
  • Athlete priorities
  • Domestic and International Tours – On the road support from a coaching perspective
  • Physiotherapy screening
  • Physical testing

Our Plans for 2019

2019 will see a more highly focussed commitment to supporting athletes with the right personal qualities emerging from junior ranks and beginning to transition to ATP/WTA level. Primarily, this will be done through the provision of daily training environment and on the road coach support for members of our newly created Davis and Fed Cup Development squads. To further reinforce this commitment, a financial reimbursement scheme will kick off in 2019. This scheme will be available to every New Zealand athlete that is competing on the ITF world tennis tour and has an annual plan that has been approved by Tennis NZ's high performance director. 

The athlete development criteria describes objective standards for players considering professional careers that are interested in being part of the Tennis NZ national programme. Tennis NZ believes that a combination of a clear understanding as to the standards evidenced by the criteria, in addition to individual athletes representing strong personal qualities (respect, commitment, grit) will increase the chances of New Zealand being successful on the world stage (ATP/WTA top 100).

Through undertaking a rigorous investigation of the ranking histories of current successful male and female professionals (top 100 ATP and WTP players), Tennis NZ has compiled an extensive amount of information that has helped to comprise the Athlete Development criteria. In other words, the rankings of the top 100 players in the men’s and women’s games have been tracked from the date of first appearance on the ITF, ATP, WTA ranking lists; and then every subsequent year.

The respective tenets of the criteria (ranking, result and participation) are designed to act as a beacon of aspiration for New Zealand’s future ATP/WTA top-100 ranked athletes and, by extension, our future Davis/Fed Cup representatives.

It is important to note that eligibility for entry into the Tennis NZ National Program (TNZNP) is contingent upon athletes meeting the requisite levels of commitment and upholding consistently high standards in terms of attitude and behaviour.

OVERVIEW

The formulation of the criteria has involved the compilation of data to clearly delineate the ranking progression of current top-100 professional players (both male and female) in order to provide an increasingly extensive and objective evidence base. An examination of the criteria will reveal that in the younger age brackets, there remains an emphasis on National (and Australian) results and as further maturation occurs players are assessed increasingly against international benchmarks. It should also be noted that there is opportunity for flexibility within the criteria to allow for specificity on an individual-athlete basis (ITF junior vs ITF world tennis tour vs ATP/WTA pathways).

NATIONAL PROGRAMME APPLICATION PROCESS

Athletes/families that believe they have met the criteria for 2019 and would like to be a part of the TNZNP, are asked to e-mail Simon Rea – Tennis NZ High Performance Director at simon@tennis.kiwi. A copy of the athlete’s current weekly training schedule, annual plan, athlete priorities, strength and conditioning programme and most recent physiotherapy screening report must be attached. 

Please note: any application that satisfies the ranking/result/participation components of the criteria but does not include the information described above will not activate a scholarship agreement.

NATIONAL PROGRAMME ATHLETE BENEFITS

  • Assigned national coach 
  • Individualised strength and conditioning programming and supervision 
  • Financial contribution towards international travel, aligned with individual athlete annual plan*
  • 24-month training scholarship 
  • Daily training environment that aspires to be world-class at every level of operation
  • Performance analysis 
  • Athlete Development Plan 
  • Athlete priorities 
  • Domestic and International Tours – On the road support from a coaching perspective
  • Physiotherapy screening 
  • Physical testing
  • Access to sport psychology – as required

Learn More

*Tennis NZ cannot guarantee the extent of the individual financial contribution that will be provided as these decisions are heavily influenced by the fiscal state of the organisation.

OVERVIEW

Additionally, in 2019 Tennis NZ will provide a second tier of the athlete development criteria which will operate on the exact same basis described above with regard to personal qualities, albeit with completely distinct performance goals and athlete benefits. There will also be an athlete application process that is described in detail in the link pertaining to the athlete development criteria on the left hand side of this page. Known as the “silver” criteria, this opportunity for deserving athletes describes an attempt to further reinforce the sought-after combination of personal qualities (grit, commitment, respect and physicality) and levels of achievement that are within striking distance of attaining the goals contained within the “gold” criteria. The criteria itself along with the process required to apply for inclusion into the programme and the corresponding list of athlete benefits is described in length.

NATIONAL PROGRAMME APPLICATION PROCESS

Athletes/families that believe they have met the criteria for 2019 and would like to be a part of the TNZNP, are asked to e-mail Simon Rea – Tennis NZ High Performance Director at simon@tennis.kiwi. A copy of the athlete’s current weekly training schedule, annual plan, athlete priorities, strength and conditioning programme and most recent physiotherapy screening report must be attached. 

*Please note: any application that satisfies the ranking/result/participation components of the criteria but does not include the information described above will not activate a scholarship agreement.

NATIONAL PROGRAMME ATHLETE BENEFITS

  • At mutually agreed-upon times, athletes will be invited into the National Programme and fully immersed in the on and off-court opportunities that this provides
  • Strength and conditioning individualised attention/programming 
  • Daily training environment that aspires to be world-class at every level of operation
  • Weekly training schedule - review 
  • Athlete Development Plan - review
  • Athlete Priorities - review
  • International Tours – On the road support from a coaching perspective (capped at 2 x overseas experiences per annum and at TNZ’s sole discretion
  • DTE (daily training environment) support: Minimum 1 x visit per term to athlete’s home environment (if outside of Auckland) 
  • Physical screening
  • Physical testing
  • Access to sport psychology – as required

Learn More

Tennis NZ has identified an opportunity to further strengthen our support of Individual athletes competing within the transition phase from junior to professional tennis. Again, the below levels of support are only applicable for athletes that are consistently demonstrating strong personal qualities: grit, commitment, respect and physicality. In order to be eligible to receive the flight reimbursements described below, athletes are required to submit twice per year a six-monthly annual plan. The annual plan will describe, in detail, the balance between training and competition in order to align with one of our pillars of physicality. With the approval of the annual plan (twice yearly, ideally January and July), any New Zealand athlete in the below age brackets will be eligible for this support: 

 

GENDER BIRTH YEAR ELIGIBILITY  
Female 1999 Semi-Final of W60, W80 and W100  
  2000 Quarter-Final of W60, W80 and W100  
  2001 (and younger) Semi-Final W15  
Male 1999 Final M15, Semi-Final M25  
  2000 Semi-Final M15  
  2001 (and younger) Quarter-Final M15  

 

That support will consist of the following: 

As described above, athletes are requested to submit a detailed annual plan twice per year (January, July) to the Tennis NZ High Performance Director (simon@tennis.kiwi). Upon mutual agreement with regard to the priorities described in the annual plan, athletes are eligible to receive reimbursement for flight receipts to their competitive events based on the levels of achievement described above.

That is, for a 1999 birth year female to have submitted an approved annual plan for the first half of 2019 and to have made 5 x semi-finals of $60 K events from Jan-June, Tennis NZ will reimburse 100% of 5 x flight receipts for that quarter. The flight receipt can be a return ticket to the Continent that the result was achieved on. For example, if an athlete travels to the USA for a 4 week competition block and reaches the performance goal in week 3 of the tour, Tennis NZ will reimburse a return flight ex New Zealand. (Auckland - Los Angeles - Auckland) as a means of demonstrating our commitment to strengthening our support of athletes in this phase of their journey.