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Competitive Tennis Program at Carleton Tennis Centre

Tryout is mandatory and will take place at Carleton Tennis Centre on Aug 8 & 9. Register for the tryout here.

If you have any questions, check out Frequently Asked Questions first. If you have other questions, send us an email.

View general info about the competitive program, TDC, coaches and tryout.

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- Is participation in a try-out mandatory to join the competitive Tennis Development Center (TDC) program at Carleton University?


Yes. All students and families interested in participating in the program must take part in the try-outs in order to learn in detail what a competitive tennis program is all about but also for us to learn about the students and to select the ones that have the potential to succeed in the sport at the advanced levels. Tryout also helps to place them in the appropriate group.


- When and where are the TDC try-outs taking place?


Tryouts are held when there are openings in the program.  Contact us if you are interested in a try-out.


- What if we are away during tryouts?


You can register for tryout first and we will arrange a specific tryout time with you. Please visit the tryout online registration page here:


- What is the format of the tryout?


Students will be subject to a battery of physical tests that involve running, skipping, throwing objects and jumping. There will be assessments of student’s performance in collaborative and simple competitive situations.

We do not expect the youngest children (5 to 7) to be assessed on the technical tennis skills but rather on the sports generic skills (speed, endurance, agility, response to signals and ability to focus).

In addition to on court student assessment, the coaches will conduct an interview with at least one parent to understand the level of commitment to tennis as a sport, and to assess the family sports background and past experiences as those markers correlate positively with a child’s future success in advanced sports though it is only one of many determining factors.


- How long is the tryout going to be?


The families should be prepared to spend approximately 2 hours at Carleton University. Some waiting time will be required. Bring water and snacks or attend nearby Tim Horton’s while awaiting your turn.


- What is the criteria of evaluation?


The TDC is interested in having students with better than national average levels of coordination, speed and agility (ability to change directions in space), healthy level of endurance (prolonged effort such as 10 minute non-stop run or 3 minute non-stop skipping), children who are very comfortable with basic biomechanical motions such as throwing (with either hand), catching, remaining in dynamic balance position, with flexible and coordinated body (appropriate for the age).

In addition, the TDC is looking for students who grow up in a home environment where participation in a fairly difficult, advanced sport is understood in the right context, and the proper and well understood family support for the sport is available.


- Who are the coaches and what are their qualifications?


The program is headed by Tennis Canada – certified sports coaches John Wins-Purdy and Michael Paduch. Both are experienced former competitive players and junior coaches who have worked with students from 5 to 70 years of age.

John: Regional Coordinator for OTA and Tennis Canada, Top 5 player in Ottawa, Club Pro 1 and Director of St. James, most successful junior development program of all community tennis clubs in Canada.

Michael:  Played at the college level in Europe and combines European and Canadian coaching and playing experiences. He is a father of two teenage athletes one of whom is a national Canadian swimmer and another provincially ranked tennis player.

All assisting coaches are competitive or former competitive athletes with current, up-to-date good standing with Tennis Professionals Association (TPA), have the professional insurance and completed training in place.

The coaches have the police record checks to work with the vulnerable sector on file to present to parents upon request.


- What is the length of the program? Do I have to participate for the whole length?


The TDC program is NOT a summer or fall tennis program. It is a multi-year, annually delivered competitive tennis program. Students commit annually and progress from one level or the next each year. Parents commit to a 9-month training schedule typically from late September until July of the following year.


- What is the goal of this program


The goal of the program is to increase the level of junior competitive tennis program in our region by developing the next wave of competitors. We hope a certain non-trivial percentage of the students who begin their tennis journey with the program this year will end up playing on the national or North American college circuit, and some may end up accepted into Tennis Canada national training program and play in international competitive events when in their mid to late teens.


- Is there going to be a wait list? 


Upon completed try-outs, the coaches will make a joint determination and will extend invitations to students selected to the program. Some students will be placed on the waiting lists, so they may end up in the programs once a spot becomes available. Our goal is to have a stable, finalized group that trains together for the next year by the end of the first 2 to 3 weeks of training (end of October).

It is therefore possible that a place or two may open up in October if a player or a family withdraws for some reason.


- What is the time commitment?


Depending on the age and specific sub-program, the commitment is between 3 days a week of training and match play (younger children) to 3 – 4 days of training plus 2 days of competitive match play on the weekends (older players). The time commitment matches the required sport-specific commitments as outlined in Tennis Canada Long Term Athletic Development guidelines for tennis.


September 29, 2015 to the end of July, 2016

Regulation Ball: 6:15-8:00pm on Monday Wednesday and Friday

Green Dot: 5:00-6:45pm on Monday, Wednesday and Friday

Orange Ball (7-9yrs): 6:15-8pm on Tuesday and Thursday; match play on Saturday/Sunday

Red Ball (5-7yrs): 5-6:45pm on Tuesday and Thursday; match play on Saturday/Sunday 


-  Are there any competitive elements included in the program? Are the students going to participate in any competitive tournaments during the program?


League Competition on weekends is mandatory and a part of the program. Tournaments will also be scheduled as part of the program at least once per every 3 months.


- How competitive the program will be in general?


This is an advanced, competitive tennis program. We plan on only accepting juniors who meet the physical and mental standards during assessments and who are committed to a full 9 months of training and competing.  If a parent has some reservations about the concept of a child playing competitive sports, where some players win and other players lose on a weekly basis, this program may not be appropriate for you and your child.


- What if my kids are faster/slower than the rest of the group as time goes on?


We will address these concerns as they arise.


- Does it matter if my child is participating in multiple competitive sports programs (e.g. ice hockey, swimming and soccer) during the same period of time?


We encourage and support participation in more than one sport; however, parents need to be realistic. The demands this program will place on students will be such that the student will be unable to participate in and be successful in more than 2 sports. In addition, not all sports complement each other plus participation in competitive events in multiple sports will lead to conflicts in schedules. To avoid these problems, we recommend a child participates in one main and one supporting sport or activity. Each situation should be discussed during the interview with the coaches on a case by case basis.


- What if a kid cannot make it to certain classes due to family vacations or other reasons?


The coaches have families and are reasonable people. If a student is missing significant number of practice days, the student will not perform well and the parents (and the student) will know that.

There is time for 3 weeks of family vacation in the summer and 2 weeks in the winter (in addition to Christmas Holidays) plus a day or a few elsewhere in the year. However, a child will not be able to take 3-4 weeks of winter vacation and 2 months out of country during the summer.  Vacation can be discussed during interviews at try-outs.


- What is the cost of the program?


The cost is based on the sub-program (type of the training ball) a child is signed up into as it determines the number of students in the group and therefore the shared cost. Certain additional fees such as annual player license, cost of tournaments and the cost of tennis equipment (mainly racquets, strings and shoes) need to be considered on top of that.


Please email for more information.


- Is this program more expensive than recreational tennis?


It’s not.  Our prices are very affordable compared with most recreational and competitive programs on a cost per hour basis.


- What is the coach to player ratio?


1:6 Maximum for RED, ORANGE and GREEN DOT Ball.  1:4 for Regulation Ball.


- Do I pay with post-dated cheques and when do I pay?


Yes, we will require 10 monthly post-dated cheque at the beginning of the program.


- If my kid loses interest in this program, is there a fee for withdrawing him/her from the program?


Yes. We will require a payment for the month after the month of withdrawal to give us time to find another kid to take over the spot. 




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