About the Barth-Hawtin Tennis Academy

Launched in Spring of 2019, the Barth-Hawtin Tennis Academy is a world-class program that offers comprehensive development for highly competitive junior tennis players, along with training opportunities for professional players and their teams. Named for Kiawah Island Golf Resort’s founding Director of Tennis, Roy Barth, and his son and current Director, Jonathan Barth, and Bruce Hawtin, a national leader in player development, the Academy operates out of the world-famous Kiawah Island Golf Resort, which perennially ranks as the number one tennis resort in the world.

Additionally, Barth-Hawtin have partnered with the Kovacs Institute, led by Mark Kovacs, PhD, a leading expert in sports physiology and performance, to develop the Academy’s tennis-specific physical training and sport science components. Dr. Kovacs has earned a reputation for developing numerous professional athletes through his science-based testing, training, conditioning and injury-prevention methods. He has coached and trained John Isner, Frances Tiafoe, Robby Ginepri, Madison Keys, Sloane Stephens, and Reilly Opelka among many others. The Academy will prioritize physical training to foster stronger, more physically developed athletes to complement foundational tennis skills. Each member of the Academy staff are certified through the International Tennis Performance Association (ITPA), which provides them with an advanced background in various aspects of sport science and fitness for tennis athletes.

“Everyone gets a little better just by showing up. The key is to maximize the speed of development. Most players are playing catch up in one or more areas of their game, so identifying the areas that will have the highest impact is a game changer for our athletes.” – Academy Director and Cofounder, Bruce Hawtin

The Barth-Hawtin Process

The partnership between BHTA and the Kovacs Institute ensures all our programming is supported by the latest sports science research. Our process begins by individually testing each athlete to identify weaknesses in the following areas: physical, technical, tactical, and mental. This testing allows us to determine the highest priority areas that we need to focus on with each player to achieve the fastest possible progress. Furthermore, this process ensures players do not injure themselves attempting to master technical faces of play that their bodies may not be ready to safely execute.

For example, for a player who struggles with serve, physical weakness is the most likely cause. That player’s serve will not improve until we address and strengthen the underlying physical issues. Our process provides corrective intervention to prevent injuries that would likely occur from the player attempting to execute technical maneuvers that their body is not yet physically conditioned to perform. After following our process with close instruction, conditioning and monitoring, that athlete will be able to serve in a mechanically sound manner that their body is now optimally conditioned to execute.

Once all testing is completed (testing is repeated every 8 to 10 weeks over two days with Dr. Kovacs), each player’s individual plan is established and merged with their tournament schedule. Dr. Kovacs writes each player’s physical plan for BHTA staff to implement within the fitness curriculum. We assign each player a primary coach who is responsible for monitoring that player daily. We hold team meetings twice a year with parents, the player, the player’s primary coach and Academy Director, Bruce Hawtin.

Because our programming is highly individualized, each player needing technical work will receive one-on-one work during academy sessions. We will also recommend private instruction for these players, and we summarize these details in each player’s individual plan.

Additionally, BHTA collaborates with quality outside programs by bringing in small groups of players with their coaches to work together for training weeks and other programming. This unique aspect fo our program provides our players a wider variety of hitting partners and gives our coaches a chance to collaborate with other coaches and learn their methods.

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