Not long after the 2010 US Open, legendary athlete John McEnroe launched a tennis academy in the Sportime campus on Randall’s Island.
He told Tennis Now magazine why he was inspired to take on the project: “For many years, the United States has struggled to develop its next class of elite players. I believe that I can inspire young players the way that my coaches inspired me. And I plan to create a system, like the one that I learned in, that supports building an all-around person, as opposed to a tennis machine.
“My academy, based here in the world’s greatest city, will provide a balance of world-class tennis and fitness training, along with a New York experience, so maybe our kids will be a little more creative, a little more intense, and will be able to think on their feet a little better, like any New Yorker. Over time, and with my guidance and that of our hand-picked coaches and pros, I think our students will see great success,” he said.
McEnroe’s brother, former doubles player and broadcast partner Patrick McEnroe signed on as camp co-director of the John McEnroe Tennis Academy last year. The longest-tenured US Davis Cup captain in history (he won the cup in 2007) spoke this week of his eagerness to hit the courts in the Hamptons at Sportime’s local digs.
“There is absolutely nothing better in the summer than tennis at Sportime Amagansett . . . gorgeous setting, incredible courts, welcoming staff, and tennis for all levels and ages. There is nothing I love more than pulling into those courts in the summertime,” said the co-director.
Director Dan Cochrane is also keen to get the ball rolling — and flying over the net — this summer. He said, “At JMTA Amagansett, we are so lucky to be able to work with a group of year-round ‘Train 52’ students, who play with us at Randall’s Island in NYC during the year and in Amagansett during the summer, and also to welcome many more great, young players who join the group for the summer.
“Our Hamptons JMTA students span a range of ages and come from all over the world. From our youngest enthusiast to older students already competing internationally, we ensure that every junior who gets a taste of JMTA Amagansett has a great experience, improves his game, and leaves with a smile on her face! My mentor at Amagansett, Patrick McEnroe, myself, and the rest of our JMTA Amagansett coaching staff, cannot wait to get out there and start working with our new and returning JMTA students starting in June 2018!”
JMTA training camp runs Monday to Friday 10 AM to 4 PM. A typical day begins with an assembly, followed by performance training or mental toughness training. On court training comes next in the morning. It includes live-ball drills and technical skills development. Players receive an hour off for lunch and rest. The food is prepared onsite in Kelly’s Café. A variety of healthy options, from hot entrees to wraps, salads, and sandwiches are available.
Afternoons at JMTA Amagansett are devoted to match play — singles, doubles, and tactical point-play games. With up to 33 Har-tru tennis courts available, campers have the chance to play, with on-court supervision by experienced coaches. The staff even provides video analysis of students in action.
Kids who are attending the camp also have the opportunity to travel to the US Open, and the training camp is set up so that inclement weather doesn’t cancel campers’ fun. There’s an indoor space designed to help keep momentum going, and an array of special events such as BBQs, pool parties, and beach workouts scheduled to make sure every day at JMTA is special.
Call 631-267-3460 to learn more about JMT Summer Training Camp at Sportime Amagansett.