| By Steve Annacone
Nick Bollettieri speaks to a group of kids and tennis players at the 2019 New York Tennis Expo.
Photo Credit: Lee Seidner


Nick Bollettieri was the most successful tennis coach in the history of the sport.

He was not always a fan favorite; he wasn't trying to win a popularity contest. He often did and said things that people on the outside did not like or disagreed with. However, the players he coached understood what he was saying and achieved things that would never have been possible without his help.

Nick's biggest gift was his ability to give his players the vision that they could beat anyone and be the best in the world. Not all of them achieved that goal, but many did. In addition, he was one of the first coaches to put a team of players together, and use the competition amongst them to help each one reach their potential. The players at Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy were very connected with each other. There were daily battles on the practice court and in tournaments, and these challenges gave them a chance to compete in an environment that instilled the confidence necessary for success at the highest level.

Nick touched so many lives: players, coaches, parents, and everyone he had contact with, became part of the family. He was a visionary and his influence became the framework for many of the tennis academies worldwide.

Most importantly, Nick had a big heart and was always willing to give everything he had to help players reach for the stars. Tennis players at any level can benefit from learning more about Nick's journey and following his philosophy of leaving it all out on the court in both practice and matches. Believing that you can do something can take you a long way and Nick Bollettieri always believed in himself, his coaches, and his players.

R.I.P. Nick.




Steve Annacone, USPTA Elite Pro, is the Director of Annacone Tennis, www.annaconetennis.com and MyHamptonsPro, www.myhamptonspro.com throughout the Hamptons, NY.  In addition, Steve and Miguel Coelho have introduced the JET (Junior Elite Tennis) program at the Tucson Jewish Community Center (Tucson, AZ) for high level players ages 8-18. Please contact Steve at info@annaconetennis.com.