U18 Performance Academy

Team Bath’s U18 Academy is a continuation of its Regional Player Development Centre and offers a high-performance environment to continue a player’s development.

The aim is to take a player to the top of the junior game, introduce them to professional tournaments and prepare them to transition into a university programme or the professional game.

There are many areas that can impact players in this age group. As always, we work with the players to work out what is right for them as an individual and then as a tennis player.

Key considerations:

  1. Schooling: Players can go to our affiliated schools (Prior Park College and Ralph Allen School), take part in online schooling or attend a school of their choice. They need to pick schooling options that are appropriate for their academic level while allowing their tennis to develop.
  2. Coaching: We like to make sure players have a team of coaches around them, so they feel supported and their development is continuous if an individual coach is away.
  3. Tournament scheduling: We are aware there are several routes a player can take in this age group. They may follow an international playing schedule attempting to reach a top junior ITF ranking; they may play a mainly domestic schedule and look to up their national and UTR ranking; or they may attempt to transition into professional tournaments as fast as they can. We can provide support and guidance on whichever route they take.
  4. Age and stage: Every player is on their own journey and we consider both their actual and physical age when designing programmes for them. This has a big impact on what load a player can tolerate.

The U18 program continues the key fundamentals of the Bath programme:

  • Hitting at the top of the bounce;
  • Moving through the ball;
  • Following a good hit (transition to the net);
  • Attacking second serves.

As players grow, we work with them to develop their identity and gain a true grasp of what makes them an effective player. This is where player’s programmes become individualised to make sure they work at key areas to enable their games and identity to flourish.

Players have access to technical, tactical and match-play sessions. These sessions are always underpinned by the psychological aspects of the game. Coaches work at this daily, with the help of sports psychologists, to make the players as mentally robust as possible. Players can have additional off-court sessions with sports psychologists if required. Alongside this players engage in strength and conditioning training, prehab sessions and on-court movement coaching.

Support while away at tournaments is key to a player’s success. Our coaches travel to domestic and international tournaments to watch players compete and monitor how their game is developing, providing a true reflection of their progress.

How to apply

Please contact U18 Academy Lead Coach James Pankhurst – email jtp45@bath.ac.uk – and a visit can be arranged if appropriate. If the player is of the right level and all parties agree that Team Bath is the right place to train then a player can start immediately, at the beginning of the next term or at the start of the next school year.

If you would like to visit one of our partner schools, Prior Park College and Ralph Allen School, this can be arranged through us or directly with the school.

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