The Doubles Boot Camp Experience
By: Michael Torres
Imagine waking up at the crack of dawn only to find yourself hearing blissful waves crashing upon the shore in the distance. Imagine meeting people from different areas across the world all coming together for one sport. Imagine having the opportunity to learn and absorb information from more than 10 different instructors who all love the game of tennis as much as you do. These are the experiences one may go through while participating at our yearly Cliff Drysdale Tennis Doubles Boot Camps.
I was fortunate to be able to partake and offer my services within the boot camp this year. It was 4 am and I found myself in the car headed to the airport with my fellow tennis instructing mates, Mitch Joyce and Stephen Shields. Waking up early is never easy on our own I will confess, but the energy we provide to each other is incredible. The plane ride was great and as we landed we were greeted by two more from our phenomenal team. Katie Steck one of the masterminds behind our boot camps, drove us from the airport to our gorgeous destination, the Amelia Island Omni Resort. The facility houses 23 har-tru clay courts, which play just as lovely as they look.
Planning and executing out our roles to ensure a positive result for the camp was done on a daily basis before and after everyday on court. The communication between all of us as well as passion shown through the coaches was almost overwhelming. Ideas, jokes, and small talk filled the room as we got ready to welcome our first arrivals of the weekend. As we were preparing for the guests to arrive, one can describe the situation’s energy as the calm before the storm. The only difference is that we, the tennis teaching professionals, were the storm!
Booming out the gate our head pros seem to kindle the fire that would begin our weekend. As the first day went on, the energy was uncontainable as if it was a competition of who was the loudest between two sets of courts that were completely on the opposite side of the facility form each other. Little did I know this energy would continue to thrive throughout the days of the boot camp.
Meeting and greeting everyone was a remarkable thing due to the fact that there were so many different tennis backgrounds all conjoining for one full weekend of tennis instruction. Understanding what tennis was to some and what others wanted from the sport was really inspiring due to the fact that the sport of tennis effects everyone who plays It differently. Just as there is no correct way to serve, or essentially hit a tennis ball, there’s never a right time to start playing as well as indulging yourself into the learning environment to play the game everyone has come to love.
The environment that is created in these weekends I can honestly say is one of a kind, as you get every possible combination of levels as well as people, all of which who are great and passionate about learning and playing the game. Not only do we as coaches have the opportunity to meet these people but learn from them as well as they too have an impact on how we grow as a person. Just like the guests, the coaches who gather from the different clubs associated within the company combine to create this massive bubble of experience, passion, and dedication which you can see on everyone’s faces as they are coaching and interacting with the guests.
Long hours on and off the court throughout the short weekend shape the double boot camps and really help capture what they represent in the company.
The fun, passionate, and knowledge filled experiences that one can have by indulging yourself within the camp is an experience which I hope many can have. The people met, and the memories made set the mark year after year, and every mark made becomes a stepping stone within the company. Thus creating a bridge between people all over the world through the game of tennis. I am lucky enough to now be apart of that bridge which connects not only the family of coaches in Cliff Drysdale Management, but also the people who we are lucky enough to meet!