Since 2017, the philosophy of the High Performance team is:
- Establishment of daily training alongside the Tennis NZ National Programme
- To uphold a level of excellence in standards, behaviours and culture
There are many ways to achieve greatness in tennis. However, there are key elements to optimise the chance of success.
As seen in the Long Term Athlete Development (L.T.A.D.), a child needs to be part of a training environment for ten years to optimize their chances for success. Tennis NZ has therefore created and encouraged different programmes in line with a player’s development and skill.
As the player matures and is aligned with their personal interests and potential, different training options and possibilities arise. Initially in their club environment, then extending to their region and ultimately moving up to national and international level.
The High Performance team’s aim by the end of 2020 is to:
- Have a consistent high performance environment existing across New Zealand’s three major cities - Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch (these cities have suitable indoor-outdoor facilities)
- Have a system that is consistent across the clubs, right through to the National Programme
Tennis NZ Programmes
It is vital to choose a programme that fits a player’s values and objectives. It is important to note that research shows the clubs who follow the L.T.A.D. framework give children a better opportunity to achieve their goals.
Tennis is a game that requires play, not just learning. Hours spent on the court practicing and competing should reflect recommendations given by Tennis NZ.
Before enrolling in a club programme, parents and caregivers should ensure the coach is qualified and can provide a detailed schedule outlining both private and group sessions along with strength and conditioning hours.
Depending on the age and level of the player, below are three different programmes available which can be adapted to the individual.
- Tennis Hot Shots for 6 years old to 10 years old
- Development programme for 11 and older
- High Performance programme for players with a more competitive mind set
Regional programmes are expected to uphold standards and behaviour aligned to a world class tennis programme with a strong focus on the 11-14 year old age bracket:
- Players are selected by the regional Head of Performance and the National Head of Performance coaching team with selection based on both results (tennis and fitness) and potential
- Each region has a selection criteria aligned to Tennis NZ criteria (please refer to the Appendix of the Athlete Development Pathway document)
- It is a complimentary programme that gets the best players training together
- The programme is run by regional and national coaches in coordination with private coaches
As well as developing and giving a complimentary experience for the players, the programme aims to:
- Provide leadership for developing performance coaches in line with Tennis NZ performance coach development guidelines
- Build relationships with private coaches
- Gain greater insights and meaningful contribution as to the challenges and opportunities that exist for coaches at association/club level
- Help build the next layer of players who could be selected for the regional/national programme
The national programme operates at the Albany Tennis Park in Auckland and starts at age 14+ for females and 15+ for males:
- The national programme is responsible for leading and delivering a high performance tennis programme to selected players while improving individual athlete performance via a specific and targeted approach
- Eligibility for entry into the Tennis NZ National Programme is contingent upon athletes meeting the requisite levels of commitment and upholding consistently high standards in terms of attitude and behaviour
- The support provided to the athletes can be found in the Criteria document (please refer to the Appendix of the Athlete Development Pathway document)
- The programme drives and upholds national standards and expectations aligned to world’s best practice. In addition, both staff and athletes will desire a consistent level of excellence for all high quality high performance coaches, and particularly those who are determined to positively impact the development of New Zealand athletes
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 Tennis NZ'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
Transitioning between playing junior events and the professional tour is a crucial period in the development of a player. To further support players and their coaching teams during this transition phase, we will provide support through the Davis Cup & Fed Cup Development Squad programme.
The selected athletes into the programme will play a pivotal role in New Zealand’s long term desire for both Davis and Fed Cup teams to achieve at a world-class level. Each year, squads will be selected following consultation with Davis and Fed Cup Captains.
These athletes will be included at mutually suitable times into the Auckland based daily training environment. Tennis NZ will endeavour to provide on-the-road support for this group where athlete’s schedules align.
It is important to note that this group can be added to at any time across the year by way of ranking, result and commitment. These will be decisive factors to create further opportunities for aspiring 18th birth year and older athletes.
Davis/Fed Cup represents the pinnacle of national representation for New Zealand athletes. Culturally we strive to be a united and high-performing group across athletes and staff alike, whilst prioritising our commitment to compete with grit, respect and physicality at all times.
A major focus within the high performance team over recent years has been the integration of our Davis and Fed Cup athletes into the daily training environment in Auckland whenever they are home. This benefits our younger athletes who are able to experience how our professional athletes uphold training standards and elite habits on and off the court.
The Davis and Fed Cup Captains, supported by the performance team keep in regular and ongoing contact with the groups playing at this level regarding schedules, programmes and priorities with emphasis on
pre-season training blocks.
Kiwi athletes who wish to continue their tennis journey in a post-junior capacity have the enormous and significant opportunity that NCAA tennis provides in terms of resourcing and support . This enables the athlete to continue to chase their dreams on both an academic and sporting front.
The experience that NCAA sport provides is hugely enriching. In the right programme with the right coaching staff, athletes can continue to progress at elite levels from a developmental perspective.
Further details regarding academic eligibility requirements for New Zealand athletes can be found HERE.
College tennis athletes are eligible to receive support from the World Tennis Tour Support Scheme (please refer to the Appendix of the Athlete Development Pathway document). Upon submission of an approved annual plan they can be eligible for Davis and Fed Cup selection whilst still at college.
National Programme Application Process
Athletes/families who believe they have met the criteria and would like to be a part of the Tennis NZ National Programme, are asked to e-mail Christophe Lambert – Tennis NZ High Performance Director at firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 (criteria information can be found in the Appendix of the Athlete Development Pathway document) but does not include the information described above will not activate a scholarship agreement.