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Nick Bollettieri at the 2006 US Open.
Nicholas James Bollettieri
July 31, 1931
Pelham, New York, U.S.
Nicholas James Bollettieri (born July 31, 1931) is an American tennis coach. He pioneered the concept of a tennis boarding school, and helped develop many leading tennis players during the past decades, including Andre Agassi, Jim Courier, Monica Seles, and Mary Pierce. He has also worked with Maria Sharapova, Daniela Hantuchová, Jelena Janković, Jerome Romualdez, Nicole Vaidišová, Sabine Lisicki, Sara Errani, Tommy Haas, Max Mirnyi, Xavier Malisse, Venus Williams, Serena Williams, Martina Hingis, Anna Kournikova, Marcelo Ríos, Kei Nishikori. Bollettieri has also been a tour traveling coach, for the last time with Boris Becker for two years.
He has been mentioned and profiled in a few television series and documentary films, including Jason Kohn's documentary film Love Means Zero, which was premiered at the 42nd Toronto International Film Festival on September 9, 2017.
Born in Pelham, New York, to immigrant Italian parents, Nick Bollettieri attended Pelham Memorial High School. He was a charter member of the Beta Lambda Chapter of the Omega Gamma Delta Fraternity and he graduated in 1949. In 1953, he graduated 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 Brian Gottfried. His first formal tennis camp was at Wayland Academy in Beaver Dam, Wisconsin.
Though he had only dabbled at the sport in high school, Bollettieri was the tennis director at Dorado Beach Hotel in Puerto Rico in the late 1960s when it was a Rockefeller resort. His main assistant coach there was Julio Moros, who followed Bollettieri 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 (NBTA) 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. Bollettieri currently coaches top-tier players at the academy, and spends most of his life in Bradenton, Florida.
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 City: 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.
Bollettieri 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 Bollettieri's teaching to life in a set of 10 DVDs that cover everything from tactics to practice and forehands to drop shots. Bollettieri has also published a very recent autobiography entitled: BOLLETTIERI - Changing the Game, which covers everything from where he was born to the present.
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, 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. Bollettieri also was commencement speaker at the college's commencement ceremony.
Bollettieri married Cindi Eaton on April 22, 2004. That same year, Nick and Cindi founded the nonprofit fitness camp, Camp Kaizen.
Bollettieri has seven children; five adult children, James, Danielle, Angelique, Nicole and Alexandra, and two adopted sons, Giovanni and Giacomo. He also has two granddaughters, Willa Bay and Addison Skye and two grandsons, Hudson and Jameson. Bollettieri's wife is Cindi Eaton Bollettieri.
- 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.
- "Nick Bollettieri: Celebrated coach still going strong at 82". The Independent. 2014-06-18. Retrieved 2017-05-26.
- "IMG Academy Bollettieri Tennis Program". Retrieved 2019-11-08.
- Bollettieri, Nick (2001). Bollettieri's Tennis Handbook. Human Kinetics. pp. 456. ISBN 978-0-7360-4036-5.
- Bollettieri, Nick (2005). Nick Bollettieri DVD Collection. pp. 519 minutes. ISBN 978-0-7360-7000-3.
- "TENNIS.COM PODCAST: AN IN-DEPTH INTERVIEW WITH NICK BOLLETTIERI". tennis.com. 20 December 2018. Retrieved 20 December 2018.
- "Garber: Bollettieri one of the most prolific and effective coaches in history". ESPN.com. 6 September 2008. Retrieved 13 December 2017.
- "Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri – It's time for big John Isner to". The Independent. 2015-07-02. Retrieved 2019-01-08.
- Robson, Douglas (15 July 2012). "Nick Bollettieri still going, still controversial, at 80". USA Today. Retrieved 15 January 2015.