Virtually every Israeli professional tennis player began their development at the Israel Tennis & Education Centers. The ITEC’s High Performance Program unites talented athletes from various socio-economic circumstances, as Jewish, Muslim, Christian, and Druze children develop and train together, reflecting Israel’s multi-cultural society. Importantly, it draws many of its athletes from the ITEC’s social impact programs.
Israel takes special pride in its ambassadors in fields such as music, film, art, architecture and sport, who learned their respective crafts as children and young adults, and have since found national and international success. When it comes to sport, success has always been a national obsession. In fact, ITEC alums are inextricably linked to some of Israel’s most memorable sports moments, making Israeli and Jewish communities abroad proud of their heritage:
- Andy Ram and Yoni Erlich, 2008 Australian Open Doubles Champions, bring home the countries first Grand Slam Championship.
- The 2009 Israeli Davis Cup team, comprised of ITEC alums Andy Ram, Yoni Erlich, Harel Levy, Noam Okun, Eyal Ran, Amir Hadad, Noam Behr and Dudi Sela, upset heavily favored Russia to advance to Israel’s first appearance in the Davis Cup semifinals.
- Shahar Pe’er stormed through the 2010 Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships to silence her critics after being denied entry the previous year due to her Israeli citizenship.
- Amir Hadad paired with Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi of Pakistan in 2002 to reach the third round doubles of the 2002 Wimbledon Open, teaching the world a lesson of tolerance through tennis.
For many children, Israel’s champion tennis players serve as role models, proving that dreams can be fulfilled and anything can be accomplished if you work hard enough. The ITEC continues to nurture a new generation of champions who will regularly compete in top ATP and WTA tournaments, as well as successfully represent Israel in Davis and Fed Cup tournaments, as their elders did before them. In the process, children look up to Israel’s tennis champions while developing their own talents as world class players. The Israel Tennis & Education Centers offers a wide range of programs for tennis enthusiasts of all ages. They include:
Other Tennis Programs:
The Mini Tennis Program teaches children ages 6-8 their first steps in the game of tennis on half-court, while also advocating teamwork.
Achievement Program involves children ages 8 and up, in which they compete with one another, gradually achieving different skills.
Adult Tennis Program offers adults of all ages and all levels tennis lessons in groups of 4 to 6 participants.
Competitive Program involves uniquely talented players. It affords them the opportunity to develop their full potential to become world-class tennis champions.
Cardio Tennis for Adults combines aerobics and tennis. It is designed to work the whole body in one hour, burning calories in a fun way to the beat of high energy music.
Athletic Development For Toddlers
is similar to the kindergarten program. It is run at all ITEC centers and is aimed at children aged 4 to 6. It helps them improve coordination, balance, and other motor skills.
The Girls Elite High Performance Program (U-14)
In today’s day and age, women are still discriminated against professionally and, unfortunately, receive fewer opportunities for professional and financial success. This is a global phenomenon, taking place in Israel as well as other countries throughout the world and affecting all fields, from high-tech and management to law practice and sports. The Girls Elite High Performance Program provides special young aspiring girls under the age of 14 with an opportunity to cultivate their tennis abilities under the watchful eyes of coaches and other trained staff. They are also exposed to lessons in life skills that will make them productive members of Israeli society as they grow older.
High Performance Workshops & Internal Tournaments
The ITEC’s competitive coaches throughout Israel participate in 2 weekly staff meetings, 3 regional lectures and seminars and 1 national seminar designed to advance their knowledge and professionalism. The coaching staff sets annual goals for each competitive player, which are evaluated three times throughout the year. In addition, the coaches meet with the player and his parents once every year.
The ITEC’s Competitive Program is managed by a professional committee composed of the ITEC’s most experienced coaches who meet once every 2 months. The Director of the ITEC’s Competitive Program and committee member Ronen Moralli is one of Israel’s most renowned tennis coaches. He has coached top players, such as Harel Levy, Andy Ram and Yoni Erlich, while serving as head coach of Israel’s Davis Cup Team from 2003 to 2008.
Hosting International Tournaments in Israel
The ITEC has a rich history of hosting international tournaments, both on the ATP and WTA tours, and particularly on the junior circuit. Every year, the ITEC’s Tournament Department draws up a list of annual tournaments to be held at the Israel Tennis & Education Centers. They feature Israel’s top young competitors and other talented players from around the world.
On the ITF circuit and in conjuncture with the ATP, the ITEC hosts 6 Men’s Futures Tournaments every year, with the hopes of hosting even more in the years to come. On the junior circuit, the ITEC hosts 4 annual Tennis Europe (TE) Tournaments and 2 ITF Tournaments for both boys and girls.
Tournaments are held at ITEC locations throughout Israel, in cities such as Haifa and Kiryat Shmona in the north, Ashkelon and Arad in southern Israel and Jerusalem and Ramat Hasharon in central Israel. Tournament conditions are top-notch and strictly abide by governing tennis regulations. Pre-tournament notices, as well as scores and updates during match play, are available online at the ITEC website.
ITEC coaches offer personal training to individuals of all ages, as well as personalized and structured training sessions to competitive players and players with special needs who are unable to practice within a group framework.
Residence Academy – Ramat Hasharon
The Tennis Boarding School in Ramat Hasharon offers young competitive players from Israel’s periphery cutting edge facilities and professional staff, all within a nurturing environment that cares for their every need as young adults. The players attend a local school during the day and practice in the afternoon under the guidance and care of trained coaches and experienced players.
Traveling Teams Participating in Overseas Tournaments
Participation in tournaments overseas is imperative to young players’ success, as it exposes them to a wide array of players and facilities and develops their self-confidence outside of their natural comfort-zone. As future professionals on the ATP and WTA circuits, these players will have the opportunity to compete all over the world.