||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (December 2009)|
Nick Bollettieri at the 2006 US Open.
|Born||Nicholas James Bollettieri
July 31, 1931
Pelham, New York
|Spouse(s)||Cindi Eaton Bollettieri|
Nicholas James Bollettieri (born July 31, 1931), is an American tennis coach, born to Italian parents, who is credited with developing many leading players, including Andre Agassi, Jim Courier, Monica Seles, and Mary Pierce. He also has worked with Maria Sharapova, Daniela Hantuchová, Jelena Janković, Nicole Vaidišová, Sabine Lisicki, Sara Errani, Tommy Haas, Max Mirnyi, Xavier Malisse, Venus Williams, Serena Williams, Martina Hingis, Anna Kournikova, Marcelo Ríos, Kei Nishikori, and coached Boris Becker for two years.
Born in Pelham, New York, to immigrant Italian parents, Nick Bollettieri attended Pelham Memorial High School there and was a charter member of the Beta Lambda Chapter of the Omega Gamma Delta Fraternity, graduating in 1949. He graduated in 1953 from Spring Hill College (Mobile, Alabama) with a degree in philosophy. After serving with the United States Army, attaining the rank of First Lieutenant, in 1956 he turned to teaching tennis after dropping out of the University of Miami Law School. Bollettieri's first students included Sheryl Smith and Brian Gottfried. His first formal tennis camp was at Wayland Academy in Beaver Dam, Wisconsin.
Bollettieri was the tennis director at Dorado Beach Hotel in Puerto Rico in the early-mid-1970s when it was a Rockefeller resort. His main assistant coach there was Julio Moros, who followed Nick when he set up his academy in Florida.
Moving to Longboat Key, Florida in 1977, Bollettieri served as an instructor for the Colony Beach and Tennis Resort. In 1978, Bollettieri opened the Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy near Bradenton, Florida on 40 acres (162,000 m²) in unincorporated Manatee County on the west coast of Florida, about fifty miles south of Tampa. NBTA was the first major tennis boarding school and it changed the way tennis was taught at the elite junior level.
Seeing a template for other sports, International Management Group (IMG) bought the academy from Bollettieri in 1987, but Bollettieri continues to manage and play a pivotal role in the development of the tennis academy and ancillary programs.
The earliest Bollettieri pupils to reach no. 1 were Monica Seles, Jim Courier, and Andre Agassi. Later, Marcelo Ríos climbed to the top while associated with Bollettieri. The Williams sisters have a long-standing relationship with Bollettieri, having visited the academy for years, and they often prepare for Grand Slams there. Mary Pierce and Anna Kournikova also trained at the academy. More recent students training with Bollettieri include Maria Sharapova (who moved from Russia at the age of nine) and Jelena Janković (from Belgrade, Serbia, aged 12); both became no. 1.
On May 18, 2008, Nick Bollettieri was honored at the New York College of Health Professions with an honorary doctorate in Humane Letters for his contribution to the world of sports, fitness, and wellness. Nick also was commencement speaker at the college's commencement ceremony. In 2014 Bollettieri was inducted to the International Tennis Hall of Fame.
Bollettieri continues with teaching and public speaking engagements worldwide, including a visit to teach students at Tri-State Athletic Club in Evansville, Indiana. He is instruction editor of Tennis Magazine and has written an autobiography, My Aces, My Faults, with Dick Schaap, New York: HarperCollins (1996). Hardcover: ISBN 0-380-97306-5, ISBN 978-0-380-97306-4. New York: Avon Books (1997). Paperback: ISBN 0-380-78723-7, ISBN 978-0-380-78723-4.
Nick has also written an instructional book, Bollettieri's Tennis Handbook, which covers everything from stroke techniques and strategies to skill development and physical and mental conditioning. The Nick Bollettieri DVD Collection brings Bollettier's teaching to life in a set of 10 DVDs that cover everything from tactics to practice and forehands to drop shots.
Bollettieri married Cindi Eaton on April 22, 2004. That same year, Nick and Cindi founded the nonprofit fitness camp, Camp Kaizen. It is a five-week health and fitness summer camp which is run in Vermont for overweight girls between the ages of 9 and 14. The camp features the activities found in summer camps of the 1950s, "no computers, video games, cell phones, Ipods, and no fast foods. Just weeks of fresh air, hiking, biking, swimming, arts and crafts, talent shows, etiquette classes, campfires, community service, and good old-fashioned games..." and also includes "expert medical, nutritional, physical, and psychosocial advice and training."
Bollettieri has five adult children (one son and four daughters), and two adopted sons, Giovanni and Giacomo, as well as two granddaughters and two grandsons.
- Barlett, Mark (2012). The Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy: A late twentieth-century history of tennis, youth specialization, and entrepreneurship (Master of Arts thesis). Iowa State University.
- "IMG Academy Bollettieri Tennis Program". Retrieved 2013-04-22.
- Bollettieri, Nick (2001). Bollettieri's Tennis Handbook. Human Kinetics. p. 456. ISBN 978-0-7360-4036-5.
- Bollettieri, Nick (2005). Nick Bollettieri DVD Collection. pp. 519 minutes. ISBN 978-0-7360-7000-3.
- web site for Camp Kaisen