Growing up in Huntington Beach I played a lot of tennis. The weather was always nice so it was rare that we couldn’t play. We belonged to a country club and I played in many tournaments. I also played tennis in high school for all 4 years. Now that I have children of my own, the natural progression was to give them the experience to learn tennis.
We started my oldest son at the age of three. My husband and I would take him on the courts and he would pick up balls and play around. As he got older we wanted him to gain more skill so we tried several different places for instruction but none of them were up to par.
Finally, just last year we found a fantastic Tennis program called The “French Tennis Academy”. In just the first 5 minutes I knew their program was a perfect match for my son. The coaches that teach have an amazing teaching style and really work with the kids to help them understand the core concepts of the game.
The location of the program is at Soka University in Aliso Viejo. If you have never been to Soka I suggest visiting just for the views. The tennis courts are above the soccer field which has an amazing view of Aliso Viejo. There are trees everywhere and parking is never an issue due to the large parking structure they have.
French Tennis Academy Sunset
French Tennis Academy Coaches
There are 3 coaches that run the program. Vincent Allegre, Julien Faurel, and Nicolas Giachino. All 3 are of course from France and they all teach the same common lessons:
The coaches use French coaching methods that have been very effective over the years. They are extremely rigorous and demanding about the core principles of technique, footwork, and tactics while maintaining a fun and encouraging atmosphere. Vincent, Julien and Nicholas also teach your child the meaning of discipline, hard work & commitment that are core values to achieve her/his maximum potential.
Vincent brings significant tennis experience to the program with over 15 years of teaching. Vincent is a USPTA Certified Tennis Professional 1 (highest level), a former UCLA All-American and professional ATP player. For Vincent’s full bio click here.
Julien brings considerable knowledge to the program with 10 years of experience teaching tennis and becoming an expert at working with young players. Julien coached for 5 years in one of the most prestigious French tennis clubs in Paris: Le Stade Francais. For Julien’s full bio click here.
Nicholas is the most recent addition to the academy and he has incredible enthusiasm. He can really get the kids pumped up and has a great sense of humor.
A typical day at the Academy starts off with a good stretching session.
Skills At The French Tennis Academy
They focus on the strengths and abilities of each student. The one thing that impressed me when we first started is that they really work a lot on calisthenics. For the first 15 or 20 minutes of the class they have the kids running laps, doing relays, or some kind of game that involves movement. Calisthenics are beneficial in both muscular and cardiovascular fitness, and can also improve psychomotor skills such as balance, agility and coordination.
One of the neat things about being on a college campus is that safety is all around you. There are security cameras on all of the parking decks as well as safety call boxes placed intermittently throughout. There is even one close to the courts. I like knowing that big brother is looking out for my kid.
I highly recommend the French Tennis Academy. It is a very selective program with a limited number of players. There is a 5/1 students to coach ratio which is awesome!! They also offer summer camps, tournaments in France as well as a summer exchange program. In my opinion there is no better tennis program around for kids ages 3-14 years old in Orange County. You can reach them at frenchtennisacademy (at) yahoo.com on Facebook or call them at (949) 357-8441 or (917) 882-9488.
(Disclosure: This is a Sponsored Post to help spread the word about The French Tennis Academy, however all opinions expressed are 100% my own)