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Are you on Twitter?  Are you on Facebook?   If so, please follow Saint Johns Tennis Academy.  We will be making all important updates about weather cancelations, scheduling updates, etc. via twitter and Facebook.   Of course, we'll still make the updates here on the blog, but we understand that twitter and Facebook may be easier for some since you probably spend some portion of your time checking updates already. 

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USTA Early Development Workshop with Mali Vai and Orange Ball kids

bolles dec
bolles dec

In November and December my orange ball students and I were invited to attend an Early Development workshop directed by USTA's Rita Gladstone and Dede Allen.  I was told to pick some of my outstanding students on Orange ball (60' court) to attend two 5 hour sessions located at Bolles School in Jacksonville.  I learned more about the standards of teaching 10 & Under tennis and what we (as pros) want to see skill wise and strategy wise for the 60' court level and green ball 78' court level of tennis.  Wow!  This generation is going to rock at tennis as they get older.  I really wish I had these types of training balls to enhance my shot tolerance and accuracy.  I really would have hit twice as many balls in play and had the chance to practice my footwork and technique more as a tennis student myself.  We were joined by two "famous tennis pro's", Brian Gottfried in November and Mali Vai Washington in December.  Two outstanding pro's and sportsman I must say!  Their hearts are gold for the local tennis players and tennis community of Jacksonville!  I was absolutely thrilled and honored to teach beside them and my other fellow pros of Jacksonville from Atlantic Beach, Mali Vai and Bolles schools of tennis.

Saint Johns Tennis Christmas Camp - Mon, Dec. 29- Wed, Dec. 31- 9a.m. - 12p.m.

We will be having a Tennis Christmas Camp Monday,December 29th thru Wednesday, December 31st from 9a.m. - 12p.m. (3 days of tennis)  The cost is $95.00 which will include your food and drink at our pizza party at noon on the Wednesday AND a chance to win the Dog Fight shirt on the Wednesday, December 31st!!  What better way to ring in the New Year and wear all your new fancy tennis gear you get from Santa Clause? There will only be 16 spots open to reserve before I close out this camp.  Students need to be either in the extended hour Teen class, Academy or High Performing classes to participate in this event.  Please call me at 904-994-3376, text me or email me ( to reserve your spot in this camp.  So far 6 spots are already reserved and 10 are left open at this time, so hurry and reserve your spot! Coach Heather Lester, Patrick Diegan, Bill Angus, Cheryl Keller, Cecil Mella & Alex Pham

Layering your clothes for cold weather!

Tonight its going to be cold at practice.  No sun and under 45 degrees so how do you layer?  Here is a picture of all the clothes I would wear to prepare to hit in 45 degree weather.  Layer in light thickness 2-4 layers.  You can peel and put back on according to how hot or cold you get during practice.  You will also need a hat (to keep your head warm), thin gloves or an old sock with a thumb hole cut out and probably a scarf to keep your neck warm.

Mills Field U10 & U12 wins first place at Julington Creek Plantations NFPTA tournament!

Congratulations to our U10 green ball team and our U12 "Sonic Servers" tennis team. Both of these groups from Mills Field won 1st place competing against other local teams from Florida Yaught Club, Williams YMCA, San Jose Golf & Country Club and Julington Creek Plantation teams. Way to go team! We had a lot of fun on such a beautiful 1 photo 4

photo 3


Tennis Team Challenges

There will be two Tennis Team Challenges in which we will put together teams of like ages and skill levels to participate. This a great time to put your best team mates together and challenge other kids in the local area to a match for singles and doubles. You can put together teams with 4 minimum and 8 maximum players, 2 girls/2boys minimum per team. Next two matches will be:Julington Creek Plantation - Saturday, October 25th Eagle Harbor - Saturday, November 15th

Put your teams together and register to Randy Jenks

Matches is a 6 game set, regular scoring, tie-breaker 5-5

Good luck to all our High School Academy players for HS tryouts this week!!

We wish all the best of luck to our following students at Saint Johns Tennis Academy: Alec (senior), Kelly, Camille, Kate, Harrison (senior), Nila, Sandy, Rachel (senior), Erik, Savanna, Lindsey and Olivia (senior) for Creekside High School tennis team.  Go Knights!!

Martin, Mark, Ryan, Sydnee, Chad for Bartram Trail High School tennis team.  Go Bears!!

Sean (senior) for Mandarin High School tennis team.  Go Mustangs!!

Atharva, Mani, Mannat, Julia & Maelee for Nease High School tennis team.


Back to the tennis courts!

Tennis lessons will resume this Monday, January 6th as normal.  Please return to your normal class schedule as before the break and bring your tuition for the new month of January.  Happy New Year! I expect all our high school players back to class for next week before tryouts so that we may finish preparing you for the tryout process.  Please email me with any questions you may have.  I'm sending out reminder emails today.

Marc Moreira awarded the "Kelly Award" from Youth Tennis Foundation

For the second year in a row our tennis student Marc Moreira was awarded a $500.00 scholarship "Kelly Award" from the Youth Tennis Foundation.  We are so proud of Marc and his family!  Marc has improved so much in the past two years and has been dedicating more time to private and group lessons in order to improve his game.  He is now competing in at least one to two tournaments a month. Marc's game has grown leaps and bounds due to his dedication to practice and support of his family.  Marc continues to grow in maturity in how he deals with the pressure of competition in a tennis tournament environment.  He is a rock with his mental attitude to keep pushing himself to the next point even when he might be down in a game.  He displays good sportsmanship win or lose and encourages those around him with great team spirit.  Congratulations to you Marc!  Keep up all the great work and dedication to improving your game in the sport of tennis.  You are growing up to be a fine tennis player and we look forward to your success in tennis.

St. Johns Tennis Academy players celebrate Wimbledon 2013!

Every year at our summer tennis camp we celebrate the 3rd grand slam tournament of the year.  We celebrated Wimbledon 2013 by dressing all in white and having the iconic Wimbledon strawberries (less the creme).  Our second week of summer tennis camp is now complete, we have 5 remaining weeks of hard work improving our tennis game.

Liberty Pines Middle School tennis team in the playoffs!

We recently finished our middle school team tennis season at Mills Field.  Liberty Pines and Swiss Point are the home teams based out of the St. Johns Tennis Academy at Mills Field.

Today the Liberty Pines tennis team will play in the middle school playoffs against the Murray Middle School team for 2nd place at the Palencia tennis courts.  We wish them good luck to win today in their matches.  Go Wolves!


Were going to Plantation, Florida for Winter USTA Jr. Sectionals

The Academy will be sending a U14 intermediate team to Plantation, Florida this next weekend to compete in the USTA JTT Winter sectionals tournament. Next Friday we will hit the road for a 5 hour trip to South Florida (near Ft. Lauderdale) over the MLK weekend. We hope to have a successful weekend of great tennis and fun hanging out as a team! I will personally coach this team of 7 named the "Topspin Terminators". Wish us luck! We hope to finish in the finals and we promise to take pictures and post them next week. Good luck Topspin Terminators!

Coach Heather Lester St. Johns Tennis Academy

Happy New Year! January 2013

All tennis clinics resume back to normal Monday, January 7th! We look forward to teaching and playing tennis with all our students after a long break from the holidays. WE WILL BE CLOSED MONDAY, JANUARY 21ST FOR MARTIN LUTHER KING DAY!

High School tennis tryouts are upon us. If you are a high school student in the Academy we understand that tryouts will begin soon. We want our students to attend clinic for as long as you can before they find out if they are on their respective teams. Parents may send in two weeks of tuition this month, which is 1/2 your normal tuition. If they are able to stay longer we will pro-rate your tuition to that amount.

Please stay tuned for "The Academy" new tennis schedule coming out the end of this month.

Thank you, Heather Lester