In the end it’s not who starts in first but who ends in first that matters.  Don’t let the sweet smile fool you. 12 year old Kelsey is rapidly becoming arguably the biggest ball striker in the U.S. in any age division. Kelsey had fun improving her return game this past weekend while earning  her first 14’s Southern Level 3 Title as a 12 year old. Kelsey joined Strive full time in June and is quickly making noise both at the Southern and National levels.

Katey and Olivia 1st and 4th

Congratulations to Katey and Olivia. A work in progress transforming one’s game can be a daunting yet rewarding task. This week both girls were rewarded for their perseverance, grit, and resolve. Katey took home her first G14’s Southern Level  3 title knocking out the 2nd seed and 1st seed in the final while Olivia pulled home 4th place. Nice start to the year girls. Movin on up…finally got a piece of the pie…stop it George!

AC Southern Doubles Champion AC Southern 1A Finalist Feb 2014

AC began her journey at the Strive Tennis Environment just over a year ago ranked at 135 in the southern rankings. She has blazed her way to top 5 in the south in the girls 12’s rankings as only an 11 year old. It appears she is in a hurry and on quite a tear. She decided she liked the orange of Knoxville and battled to a 9-1 record at the Southern Level 1A Tournament achieving the finals in Singles and taking home the Doubles Title for back to back Southern Titles. Nice start to the year AC. It appears she has Southern cookin on her mind already!

January Bling Bling

Posted: February 10, 2014 in Strive Events
Anna Claire Takes 5th Place Singles Southern Level One

Anna Claire Takes 5th Place Singles Southern Level One January 2014

Strive Girls Take 1st and 2nd Doubles at Southern Level One 2014

Strive Girls AC and Kelsey Take 1st and 2nd in Doubles at Southern Level One January 2014

It was a fun filled start to the year in January for the Strive girls.  Anna Claire and Kelsey racked up the bling bling at the highest level Southern event of the year, the Winter Southern Level One event in Macon, Ga. Anna Claire had her all time best showing in a Level One Southern event achieving a 5th place finish en route to a 5-1 record for the week in singles. Anna Claire and Kelsey played with different partners but also made it all the way to the doubles final securing Strives first Southern Level One Doubles title while also finishing runner up at the same time.  Interestingly enough the coaches and parents found it a bit more relaxing to have an all Strive final. It seems this is a win/win proposition that we wouldn’t mind getting used to.


Congratulations! Congratulations! Congratulations! At our specialized boutique we have a very small number of only 5 students in our Strive Tennis environment and 2 coaches. This lends to the most laser focused hands on player development training environment offered anywhere in the world. What took us 3 years to do in the 1990’s (mind you we had a pool of 1500 students with 8 locations to work with back then when we were ACE Academy)  has taken us only 1 year 3 months to achieve similar results with our current players totaling only 5 players.

Congratulations to Strive players Kelsey Smith who made semi finals achieving a 4th place finish and Anna Claire Mitchell Who went 5-1 to win the consolation draw achieving a 5th place finish at last weeks National Level 2 event. Both players defeated multiple seeded players above them along the way.

AC and Kelsey had no national ranking to speak of just over a one year ago. They were losing right and left, day and night, working on the development of a very difficult style of game to master, so it’s quite a remarkable feat to say the least to achieve such a lofty result in such a short amount of time.  It has not been an easy road, as many losses, many ups and downs, much foresight and patience, much vision, parents who wanted to quit, players who wanted to quit, and much needed trust in our guidance had to be surrendered to in hope that the execution of the games they were working on would one day come to fruition. We are glad you had faith and trust in our guidance girls. Your trust is paying off. These two girls will tell you the rewards have been worth all the pain and agony they had to go through to reach such goals. The future is bright!

More importantly they won doing things other players were/are not willing to do at 11 years old…even serving and volleying to win on match points. Trust and faith are a peculiar thing.  They could have given in and quit many times over the last year, could have given into their fears and let discouragement rule their lives as they were taking their lumps developing their games, but rather the players and parents bought into what we were selling…and instead did NOT quit, persevered, and in the end prevailed. We are very proud of you AC and Kelsey! You are now on your  way to a top 50 national ranking, of which they will both achieve barring injury in 2014. Sometimes one must go slow to go fast. As they say “Choices are the hinges of destiny”. Choose wisely…

“Don’t be afraid of your fears. They are not there to scare you. They are there to let you know that something is worth it”- C. JoyBell C

First Southern Level One Title

Posted: September 1, 2013 in Strive Events
AC Southern Level One Title

AC Wins Southern Level 1 Doubles Title with Carly.

It took only 11 months to get her first Southern Level One Title, and she worked very hard to get there. Anna Claire “AC” Mitchell partnered with Carly Briggs to win the Southern Level 1 Doubles Title August 2013. AC had fun serving and volleying for the first time in a tournament. What was way cool is that she actually ended the first set with two serve and volley winners. Not bad for only being 4 feet nothing and only learning S & V the week prior. Just think when she gets 12 years old…She might be able to hit 3 serve and volley winners :-). Congratulations AC and Carly!

Kayleigh Wins First Title

At 9 years old Kayleigh has come light years with the development of her game in only 9 months of training. We accepted Kayleigh into the Strive environment at almost a complete beginner level based upon her exceptional effort, attitude, and passion for the game. She has now bloomed into one of the biggest games at Strive and certainly one of the fiercest for a 9 year old that you will see anywhere on this tennis planet we call earth.  We believe great things are in store for Kayleigh’s tennis future. Congratulations Kayleigh on winning your first 12’s tournament  title, of which we are sure many more are to come. Not bad for only being 9 years old and only training regularly for 9 months. Keep rockin!