For Immediate Release
Blackman Tennis Solutions Set to Launch February 14, :
Martin Blackman, Former USTA Senior Director, looks to build tennis Champions with focus on teaching and mentoring
Boca Raton, Florida, February 7, 2011 – Blackman Tennis Solutions (BTS), headed by former United States Tennis Association (USTA) Senior Director of Talent Identification and Development, Martin Blackman, announced today the launch of the Blackman Tennis Academy (BTA) set to open on February 14, 2012. Located in Boca Raton Florida at the beautiful Boca Raton Resort & Club, the academy’s programs will be designed for aspiring High Performance players.
“After three very rewarding years with USTA Player Development, I want to get back to my passion of coaching committed junior players. I am looking for players who want to be champions, on and off the court,” said Blackman. “Not all of my students will be able to pursue professional tennis, but I want all of them to use tennis and the skills they learn through tennis – discipline, problem-solving and a commitment to excellence, – to obtain a college education. At the same time, I will be looking for young players who have the ability and desire to become world-class professional players.”
Blackman, 41, was born in New York and raised in Barbados and played professionally for six years after an outstanding amateur career. He was a winner and finalist at the USTA National Championships in Kalamazoo, Mich., winning the Boys’ 16s title in 1986 and reaching the Boys’ 18s final two years later. Blackman was a member of two NCAA Championship teams at Stanford, where he played doubles with Patrick McEnroe, current General Manager of USTA Player Development.
From 1999 to 2004, Blackman served as the Head Men’s Coach for American University’s tennis team, which won three consecutive conference titles under his tutelage, earning him three Conference Coach of the Year awards. In 2004, Blackman was appointed Director of The Junior Tennis Champions Center in College Park, Maryland, building the program into a paradigm of excellence in junior tennis training, and the prototype for the USTA Certified Regional Training Center (RTC) Initiative. In 2008, McEnroe brought Blackman on board to replicate the success of the College Park model across the country. “I have known and respected Patrick for nearly thirty years and will be forever grateful to him for entrusting me with the task of heading up the Initiative. Patrick’s choice of Kent Kinnear to move the RTC Initiative forward is an excellent one. Kent is the right man for the job, and I am confident that under his leadership the program will be successful.”
During his tenure Blackman led over 20 Regional Training Camps for the best 8-13 year-olds in the U.S. “I have been lucky enough to spend most of my life playing at and working at various levels of the game I love, from the juniors, to college, the ATP Tour and back to college as a Head Coach,” said Blackman. “Along the way, I’ve been able to learn from the best minds and coaches in the business – Nick Bollettieri, Pancho Segura, Coach Dick Gould, Vesa Ponkka and most recently Jose Higueras. With the USTA, I learned so much from Jose, Jay Berger, Ola Malmqvist and the National Coaches, which re-ignited my passion for being on the court. Branching off on my own to work with young, committed junior players to develop Champions on and off the court was the natural next step in my career”.
As Blackman departs, he is confident that the USTA is on the right track to create the next generation of great American players. “Under Patrick’s leadership, USTA Player Development is executing a brilliant four part strategy to ensure that we re-assert our dominance of the professional game: 1) Direct Coaching at our National Training Centers; 2) indirect Coaching through our RTC’s and the best private coaches in the country that is subsidized by Player Development; 3) Coaching Education for junior development coaches; and 4) the dissemination of a science-based, progressive, proven Coaching Philosophy (developed by Jose Higueras and our National Coaching staff) to players, parents and coaches. All are working together to create a wave of world-class players that we will see cresting in a few years”.
Blackman says that the goal of BTS is to create the best training program in the world, with the Academy only accepting a small number of players that are willing to make a 100% commitment to getting better and doing the work necessary to develop. In addition, BTS seeks to become a leader in providing tennis services, leveraging the experience, knowledge and networks of Martin and his wife, Sennait Blackman. BTS will provide coaching education, player evaluations, club consulting and program design services, as well as a comprehensive Tennis Concierge service for global clients seeking tennis experiences around the world.
Teaching and Mentoring
All great players possess certain qualities: sound fundamental technique, athleticism and a driving passion to be great. There are many paths to maximizing potential, but the two factors that never differ are fundamentals and mentoring,” says Blackman. “In order to teach the fundamentals of the game of tennis properly, the coach must be committed, engaged and accountable at every stage of development. In order to cultivate the belief and confidence it takes for a player to become a ‘winner,’ a player must be mentored. Those two attributes, teaching and mentoring, will be the cornerstones of our program.”
BTS will identify players who need support as part of a formal mentoring and scholarship program. Martin and his wife, Sennait, feel very strongly about giving back. “At every critical juncture of our lives, we have been fortunate enough to have mentors and benefactors that have given us the opportunity to go above our expectations. Giving back will not just be part of the program, it is who we are.”
About Blackman Tennis Solutions
Blackman Tennis Solutions is a full service boutique tennis company that provides on court and off court tennis services for players, families, coaches and programs. We specialize in high performance training for junior players of all ages. Our training is based on a deep understanding of stages of development and parameter-based teaching. At BTS, we believe that every practice must have clear objectives, and every player needs to follow a developmental plan in order to maximize their training.
For more information please visit: Blackman Tennis Solutions