The Advanced Tennis Academy within Palmas Academy
This year the enrollment has duplicated due to the success of the program. “We have made the effort to hire the best available coach on the Island and the results are tangible,” said proudly the director and owner of this Advanced Tennis Academy, Jorge González. The results are tangible and the project has acquired more credibility among parents to the point that many families have moved to Palmas, either buying a property or renting. Even though some of the kids live in the “dorms/apartments” at Montesol right behind the courts, they already have 4 apartments and are looking for more.
For those of you that don’t know about the Advanced Tennis Academy, the program works as follows: students from the program attend class from 8 am to 12:30 pm. At 12:30 pm a bus from the Tennis Academy picks them up to start their tennis routine that includes a nutritive meal designed by a nutritionist, physical conditioning, physiology coaching and tennis training. After all this training (which usually ends anytime between 5 or 7 pm), they go back to their parents’ house and eight of them go to one of the four villas rented by the Tennis Academy for the students that stay in Palmas for the week. At the boarding villas they live and study with one of their trainers. “They are with us from 5 pm Sunday to 6 pm Friday,” says Jorge González.
Jorge González, who has been playing tennis since he was 5 years old, is the coach for our National Tennis Team for the Pan-American and Central American games and is the captain of the Puerto Rico Copa David. Jorge has been Puerto Rico’s tennis champion since he was 12 years old among many others recognitions. For 14 years he directed the Tennis Academy at Parque Central in San Juan with 200 children and 18 teachers.
THE MONICA EQUATION
As expected, Monica Puig’s gold medal has pump up the passion for tennis and more importantly, it has empowered kids to believe that, “Yes, you can do it!”
“Mónica is an inspiration for all of us; it’s our first gold medal in an Olympic games and from a woman!” said Diana Pugols, one of the students participating at the Palmas Tennis Advanced Academy and added that she screamed a lot. “I learned that you can’t let your nerves control your game. It was a great lesson.
Alejandro Fernández, also from Palmas Tennis Advanced Academy, stated that: “You can’t listen to negative people that say that only a small percentage of people triumph. You have to work hard! If you put your 100% everything is possible. Mónica just did it!”
Definitely Mónica’s triumph is an example and an inspiration for all these young tennis players.
On his behalf, Jorge González said that for tennis, this triumph has been spectacular because it has united people and has given confidence to Puerto Ricans to believe that anything is possible if you put all your energy into something. For the sport it is very important because it is the first time Puerto Rico wins a gold medal in a sport that isn’t as popular as basketball or baseball. “We have to recognize that the PRTA (Puerto Rico Tennis Association) has put a lot of effort in the past few years to make tennis more accessible.” González added that Puerto Rico was won a lot of medals in Central American and Pan-American games and this definitely opens a lot of doors for tennis.