When Golfers Try Tennis | IMG Academy Cross-Sport Training
Golf and tennis are two sports with a lot of similarities. Both can be played alone or in pairs and require plenty of mental awareness and strategy. Golf courses vary in size and difficulty while tennis courts can be clay, grass, hard, or even sand. To strengthen their golf game, IMG golf student-athletes were invited to train on the courts to understand how tennis can benefit their main sport.
The session began with a pep talk from Jimmy Arias, IMG Tennis Director and one of the first tennis student-athletes at IMG Academy. “When I was eight years old, I decided I was going to be number one in the world,” Jimmy says. “I was also 100% sure I would be number one in the world at some point because I knew that I was willing to outwork everybody else.”
Jimmy’s work ethic definitely paid off—he turned pro at 16, won the 1981 French Open mixed doubles, and has four professional singles titles. “One of the major things that you have to have is belief,” he explains. “Belief, concentration, and being able to stay calm during stressful situations and be able to continue to think.”
After a tutorial on how to properly hold the racket and return the ball over the net, these student-athletes were deemed ready for a true challenge. Each player was tasked to return a real serve—one that comes in at around 135 miles per hour off the racket of Martin Damm. “This ball is going to come fast, very fast,” Jimmy says. "Your job is to keep your body still and get your strings on the ball.”
Watch the video to see how well these student-athletes adapt to a new sport. To sign up for a golf camp or a tennis camp, explore our boarding school programs, or to see all of our available youth programs, check out the links below.