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Tennis. The death of Nick Bollettieri, the famous coach who coached ten world No. 1s

His daughter announced on social networks on November 20 that she was going to leave. A message that quickly rocked the tennis world. Nick Bollettieri, slender, perpetual sunglasses perched on his ever-tanned smiling face, has spent fifty years exploring and enlivening the life of tennis, contributing to the development and influence of the game. The American is listed as one of the most influential figures. in modern tennis. In 2008, the Wall Street Journal baptized this self-made man. the most effective coach in the history of tennis. In 2014, the New York Times published: Nick Bollettieri is 82 years old. His view of tennis talent is 20/20. »

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Clive Davis is to music what Nick Bollettieri is to tennis. Clive has an ear for talent, whether it’s Aretha Franklin, Steve Wonder or Mariah Carey. Nick has created more tennis players than anyone. It’s hard to summarize Nick. He is a great motivator. He knows how to push your buttons, make you do what you need to do. He created an industry. Imagine the talent coming to you, not the other way around Jim Courier, one of his many students, emphasized a few years ago on Espn.

Nick Bollettieri was born in Pelham, New York, just outside the heart of tennis. But love at first sight will happen, he who loved US football as a defender. A philosophy major from Mobile, Alabama, he joined the college’s tennis team after stumbling upon tennis his freshman year of high school thanks to a married uncle who offered to trade a few balls with him. After serving in the US Army’s Parachute Unit, he taught at Miami Law School before finally switching to tennis. “ To earn a few dollars, he starts teaching tennis at courts in North Miami Beach for $1.50 for a half-hour lesson. “, – shows the international hall of fame.

His first camp originates in Wisconsin at Wayland Academy. Then he became the tennis manager of a hotel in Puerto Rico. Then in 1978, driven by a vision, he founded his academy, the Future Factory of Champions, in Bradenton, Florida. “ When Nick Bollettieri arrived on Florida’s west coast more than 35 years ago, he brought with him a lot of courage, boundless energy and blossoming dreams. ” recalled the Herald Tribune. “ It transforms 40 acres of tomato fields into an epicenter of sports and performances known worldwide “, as summarized by Espn. His biography will be for the title in 2014. change the game “.

Nick Bollettieri has revolutionized coaching with an aggressive game driven by abundant, ferocious, devastating fronts unleashed from the baseline. His method is based on group-born imitation. The first of his students who will create a career is called Brian Gottfried. Next best contenders include Jimmy Arias, Aaron Krickstein. Before the young prodigies appeared on the screen: Boris Becker, Monica Seles, Jennifer Capriati, Anna Kournikova, Martia Hingis, Andre Agassi, Jim Courier, Marcelo Rios, Maria Sharapova (arriving at the Academy at the age of 9), Martina Hingis or Elena Yankovic. . Boxers also included Tommy Haas and Kei Nishikori. And the academy has seen a parade of prestigious trainees (Pete Sampras or Michael Chang). As for French players, Nick Bollettiere has seen Yannick Neu, Mary Pearce, Tatiana Golovin or Paul-Henri Mathieu over the years.

Launched with about thirty young players, the Florida-based academy quickly went down a storm, releasing multiple champions and ten world No. 1s, setting itself a benchmark that has been replicated to this day.

IMG bought the academy in 1987 (the expanded campus includes football, golf, baseball fields), but Nick Bollettieri never left. For the picture: He stayed connected to tennis. As close as possible to the young staff, in search of novelties. On the courts as well as behind the scenes.

Adhering to a proven method. A mixture of hard work (his detractors reproached him for strictness, extreme military methods), denial and determination. In the service of ambition. “ I think the coaches kind of try to mold the players into what they want. It cannot be like that. You have to make some adjustments, you have to work with them, their talent, their personality. To be part of a team like the one shared with Venus and Serena Williams. “ He gets results ”, used to sum up Richard Williams about Bollettieri. In 1980, Sports Illustrated headlined: It will make your child a champion, but it won’t be as much fun. »

A skilled communicator with a sense of communication and formula (“ A good mind is 80% a good body “), well-supported businessman Nick Bollettieri, the son of Italian immigrants, knew how to make his crazy success story bear fruit. The man who had the art of polishing a jewel and harnessing the potential of developing a project, who knew how to make people believe that nothing was impossible. Bollettieri had the art of growing wings. The success of his academy was a source of inspiration for Patrick Mouratoglou, Justin Henin, Rafael Nadal, Sergi Brughera, Juan Carlos Ferrero, Spartak Moscow…

Admired or criticized model Nick Bollettieri, who liked to call himself “ Michelangelo of tennis Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2014. He once summed it up in an interview. The secret of my success is to thank the critics and do what my grandmother and father told me. let the results speak for themselves and never argue with a critic. I got so many opinions that they could sink a battleship… »

Source: Le Figaro

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