The former professional world #6, Higueras’ legendary coaching career includes advising Grand Slam champions Michael Chang, Jim Courier, Roger Federer, and Pete Sampras. Higueras also served as the former USTA Player Development Director of Coaching from 2008 to 2017.
“This is my second time coming to JTCC, and I continue to be impressed. It’s a great program because of the people, and for me, people are the most important part,” commented Higueras who offered his advice to young players with high aspirations.
“Don’t waste any days because any days you waste never come back. The most important thing is to play consistently because once you do that, you can maximize your potential,” he offered to encourage hard work by the players.
First on his agenda during his visit to JTCC was attending the United States Tennis Association (USTA) Mid-Atlantic Coaches Workshop held at JTCC.
Speaking to more than 40 coaches from JTCC and the Mid-Atlantic region, Higueras joined Ponkka, JTCC Senior Director of Player Development Ali Agnamba and Senior Director of Coach Development Oliver Akli, and JTCC Bolles Director of Tennis Claudio Pistolesi, to lead the four-hour presentation that included a discussion on coaching principles and the dynamics of a coach-player relationship. Higueras’s four non-negotiables with his players include respect, engagement, effort, and punctuality.
“To have one of the most successful coaches in tennis visit JTCC as a resource for our players, parents, and coaches in the community to learn from was amazing,” Ponkka said.
Following the workshop, Higueras met with JTCC members and parents stressing the benefits of the Junior Development pathway.
Higueras shared his coaching secrets with six JTCC High Performance players by working with them for two hours early Saturday morning.
“Coach Higueras introduced me to different ways to train,” JTCC High Performance player Imani Jean remarked. “One of my favorite things he said was, ‘There are no drills. Practice how you would play in a match.’ That piece of advice will stick with me forever.”