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Happy 80th Birthday Nick Bollettieri!

Some people want to go out to dinnerat a fancy restaurant. Some may want to have a party with friends. Nick Bollettieri on the other hand, he wants to parachute out of a plane with the Army Golden Knights to celebrate his 80th birthday. That is the way Nick has always been, anything but ordinary.

In 1978, Nick had a dream to open one of the most prestigious tennis training facilities in the world. With this dreamcame the birth of IMG Academy Bollettieri tennis program. IMG Academy Bollettieri tennis program became the first full-time tennis school and over 30 years later it offers much more with soccer, basketball, baseball, lacrosse, football, and golf. Thatdream of Nick's evolved into IMG Academy, the world's largest multi-sport training and education complex dedicated to developing the THE TOTAL ATHLETE.

Legendary Coach Nick Bollettieri

Nick is one of the most influential sports leaders in the world, transcending the game of tennis. He has become more than just a coach of tennis, but a coach on life. Everyday, Nick is speaking with students around the IMG campus offering words of encouragement and advice. His coaching approach not only builds athletes on the court, but more importantly, prepares them for a successful life off the court. Nick knows the keys and steps to take to help any student become THE TOTAL ATHLETE. His list of previous students include numerous former number one players likeAgassi, Becker, Courier, Hingis, Jankovic, Rios, Seles, Sharapova and Venus and Serena Williams, as well as a multitude of other world-class players, including: Haas, Kournikova, Arias, and Vaidisova. Clearly, Nick has proved he understands the keys to success.

Nick may be turning 80, but he shows no signs of slowing down. In fact, he is up every morning by 4:20 A.M and in the gym by 5 A.M. His first lesson starts at 5:30 A.M and his last one ends at 7 P.M, with just a quick lunch in-between. Even with such a hectic schedule, Nick still takes the time to walk around the courts and facilities of IMG Academy and speak to students and coaches. Yet, his job doesn't end at 7 P.M.

Nick travels the world on an annual basis conducting clinics, making appearances, and giving motivational speeches for all types of audiences.Nick is extremelycompassionate and dedicated to giving back to the community, being especially inspired by programs that help children. He is currently involved in a number of great opportunities for children who may not be as fortunate as others.

This is more than just a job to him but a lifestyle. His care and compassion is why some students even call him, "Uncle Nick." Nick brings an unique passion to everything that he does. Some of the most common advice that he gives his students is,“A positive attitude can make the impossible, possible.” Perhaps this why Nick has been so successful himself.

Here's to you Nick, on your 80th Birthday. You have been more than just a founder and president of a tennis training facility but a role model within the world of sport. We wish the next 80 years is as good as the last!

Check out this video of players and coaches telling their favorite stories of Nick Bollettieri and wishing him a happy birthday:

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