|Ex-UTM netter Ponkka seen among best at coaching |
|Posted: Thursday, March 8, 2012 7:00 pm |
|COLLEGE PARK, Md. — Vesa Pönkkä has been recognized as one of the finest coaches in the country for training junior athletes. |
The United States Olympic Committee announced that Pönkkä, the senior director of tennis at the Junior Tennis Champions Center’s, was named the 2011 USOC National Development Coach of the Year for tennis.
He is married to the former Kim Callicott of Union City and the son-in-law of Lanny and Patricia Callicott of Union City.
A former standout tennis player at UT Martin, Pönkkä was nominated for the honor by the United States Tennis Association, the country’s governing body for the sport. He has led the coaching staff at the non-profit, high performance training program in College Park since its founding in 1999.
Today, JTCC is regarded as one of the premiere training centers in the world.
Pönkkä has over 30 years playing and coaching experience at the highest levels of the sport.
He has directed the coaching of 20 national champions and 11 players who have achieved a No. 1 overall ranking in the United States.
On the international level he has overseen the mentoring and training of three players with world championship titles and four with top 10 junior world rankings.
In addition to his player’s success, Pönkkä is a national leader in coaching education and the driving force behind JTCC’s training philosophy. He has given numerous speeches at USTA and International Tennis Federation coaching seminars and conventions around the world.
Pönkkä was a national champion and six-time All-America at UTM.
The JTCC, a nonprofit organization, is a world-class training facility located at The Tennis Center at College Park.
As a National Junior Tennis and Learning chapter, JTCC has partnered with GEICO and the District of Columbia government to provide underserved youth with free high quality tennis instruction. The most talented and motivated youth from the grassroots program are offered additional training at little to no cost to participating families. Published in The Messenger 3.8.12