The HUBER Tennis Ranch opened its doors in Cypress in 2007 and quickly gained reputation in and around Houston as a great Tennis venue. With 10 acres of land, 15 lit courts and a friendly and certified coaching staff, players of all levels and ages have come to play for fun and to progress under the supervision of Liezel and Tony. Liezel was still very active on the WTA tour then, working hard to gain and maintain her world #1 ranking in doubles (which she’s had for 199 weeks!). Fast forward to 2015 and something’s different about the HUBER Tennis ranch…

Liezel and Tony welcomed a new addition to the family (baby Benjamin). This happy event coupled with an intensive knee surgery have kept Liezel out of the WTA tour. This has given them plenty of time to reflect on the next step for the Ranch. This reflection gave birth (pun intended!) to the Vision for the HUBER Tennis | excellence academy.

The vision for the | excellence academy is to develop players using a coaching framework which is simple to understand and implement, and supported by tools to measure progress objectively. The idea is to remove the clutter and noise which result from subjective interpretations from players, parents and coaches about what happened, what could have happened, and what needs to be worked on. This noise is a major contributor to lack of player performance and progress!

We have designed our Integrated Player Development (IPD) framework with this vision in mind. IPD evaluates players around three axes: player, athlete and person by measuring specific criteria for each, and by consolidating the measurements into a single score. As the player goes through the IPD evaluation, we objectively and measurably identify strengths and weaknesses. Monthly, quarterly and yearly updates of this evaluation demonstrate if the training plans in place work and allow us and the player’s support team to make adjustments as needed. There are three things we do not take into account with IPD: age, match result and ranking.

With the IPD framework in place, we have updated all our training programs to integrate IPD at their core. | excellence has become our high performance program where top players go through an IPD evaluation and explanation of the expectations (what we call the IPD profile), and a continuous evaluation at practice and during tournaments of their IPD profile. Being part of | excellence carries responsibilities as players can get kicked out faster than they can make it in. We consider attitude, management of emotions, commitment to hard work and respect (for parents, coaches, players, refs) as important as Tennis and Fitness abilities. We measure those and they contribute heavily to the player’s IPD score. We teach techniques to manage mental and we teach the support team (parent and coaches) how to analyze what happened and what should have happened, and why it did not happen! With the noise and clutter gone, player can progress and perform.

Starting fall 2016 we will introduce the HUBER Tennis | excellence team. This team is composed of players with very high IPD scores. We know these players represent the best of the best in Tennis, Athleticism and have an irreproachable Persona. We trust these players to represent our core values and the core values of the sport on and off the court. As a reward, we will invest and sponsor these players as they should be, irrespective of age, ranking and results.

It is a very exciting time for HUBER Tennis and players.