by Anna Cook
Marian has always had the reputation of containing a treasure trove of talented athletes. Student-athletes work hard during their designated season and sometimes even harder during the off-season. Year-long athletes put in hours of practice each week in order to keep up their strength, endurance and technique.
Junior Berkley Beene is an athlete who plays tennis year round. Making the varsity tennis team her freshman year, she has continued to build up her tennis skills. During the summer, Beene plays outdoors in clinics with other players, along with taking private lessons and competing in tournaments.
In the winter, Beene plays indoors at the Tennis Club and takes doubles lessons with her No. 1 Marian Varsity Doubles partner, sophomore Emma McClellan. “It keeps me in shape. It’s also a good way for me to bond with my dad because he plays tennis,” Beene said.
In addition to playing in clinics and taking lessons, Beene recently attended The Elite Futures Invite at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida from Feb. 22 to Feb. 24. While in Florida, Beene played eight hours of tennis a day for three days, working on all tennis skills from serving to approach shots.
In fact, Beene was personally asked by Nick Bollettieri, founder and President of the IMG Academy. Bollettieri encouraged Beene to come out and play in the invite and that he would personally take a look at her game.
“It was just really cool that he took the time out of his day to send me that video considering how busy he probably is,” Beene said.
Bollettieri is well known for training players who move on to become nationally ranked and eventually internationally ranked, world champions. He offers private lessons for $900 an hour and helps with the training of the athletes in the prestigious Bollettieri Tennis Program at IMG. The Academy itself has also been a training base for well-known tennis players such as Maria Sharapova; Serena and Venus Williams have also trained at the Academy.
Beene benefited from the Future Invite saying, “I really improved on my serve and backhand. I also worked a lot on incorporating ‘quick feet’ into my game.”
Tennis is a lifelong sport that is never short of ways to improve a player’s game. Her year long preparations and training has prepared her to compete in this year’s tennis season and follow Bollettieri’s advice, “Remember, Berkley, play one point at a time.”