Frequestly Asked Question

Why choose Smith Stearns Tennis Academy?

Our academy has been unique since the very beginning. It was developed by a vision that Stan and Billy had to create an elite junior academy that catered to each student’s individual needs while creating a family atmosphere that promoted team camaraderie. To this day, we are smaller in design and take an individualized approach to development, which gives each student the best possible chance to achieve their goals, whether that be to gain a college scholarship or become a professional player. We continue to pride ourselves on the success of our college placement program, which is a top priority at the academy.

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What experience and ability level are needed to attend Smith Stearns?

We accept students of all ability levels from beginners to top international players. Our coaches are trained in the Smith Stearns approach and they are very experienced in training students of all levels. For enrollment into our Full Time Academy, we expect each student to be a tournament player.

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When should I apply to be in the Full Time Academy?

We offer a rolling admissions process, however, it is encouraged that you apply by April 1st for the upcoming school year because spaces are limited. You will receive notice of your acceptance within two weeks of your application being processed.

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When should I register for summer camps?

Summer camps fill up extremely fast, so you are encouraged to register as soon as possible to guarantee acceptance in the weeks you wish to attend. The weeks that fill up the quickest are the last two weeks in June and the first three weeks in July.

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When do your Summer Camps run?

For 2017, our summer camps run from May 29th through August 31st.

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When does the Full Time Academy Program run?

The Full Time Academy runs from mid August through the end of May, with two weeks off in December for Holiday Break. It is a complete 9 month program.

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Do you provide housing?

Yes, we provide a boarding and non-boarding program for all students in our Full Time Academy and all of our Camps.

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Do all students, regardless of age, participate in the strength training program?

No, the strength training program is only recommended for students ages 13 and up. Younger students can participate in resistance training using their own body weight as well as various other exercises for injury prevention.

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When do you play matches?

Matches are incorporated into the academy, as they are important in the overall success of our students. In our Full Time Academy, we have designated match days each week where students will play sets and matches against other students. During, the summer camps, matches are rotated amongst students through out the week. There is also a strong focus on strategy and point play which is done on a daily basis.

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When are your camp dates?

We have camps 50 weeks a year, only excluding the two weeks for Holiday Break.

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At what age can my child join the academy?

Our Future Stars Academy accommodates students ages 4-10 using the new 10 and under Tennis concept developed by the United States Tennis Association, teaching younger students the basic fundamentals of tennis using smaller sized courts and slower balls that help encourage better overall development. Once students are ready to use a full size court, they are encouraged to move up into our Full Time Academy whether that be age 7 or age 10. With that being said, transition into our Full Time Academy or any of our Academy Camps (including Summer Camps) is based more on development than on age.

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Where is the academy located?

Smith Stearns Tennis Academy is located within the world famous Sea Pines Resort on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina.

The largest barrier island off the Atlantic coast between Long Island and the Bahamas, Hilton Head Island is located 40 miles north of Savannah, GA, and 90 miles south of Charleston, SC.

The Island lies on the Intracoastal Waterway and encompasses 42 square miles of semi- tropical, Lowcountry geography, including unspoiled sea marshes, creeks and lagoons, heavily wooded forests of tall pines, palmettos, magnolias and live oaks, and 12 miles of broad Atlantic beach.

What is the weather like?

Hilton Head Island features a balmy, subtropical climate year round and is ideal for those looking to soak up the sunshine and play in an environment conducive to tennis training.

Hilton Head Island Weather – Average low and high temperatures Fahrenheit/Celsius:

January: 40-59F/4-15C

July: 74-89F/ 23-32C

February: 41-61F/5-16C

August: 74-89F/23-32C

March: 48-68F/9-20C

September: 69-85F/21-29C

April: 56-76F/13-24C

October: 59-77F/15-25C

May: 64-83F/18-28C

November: 49-69F/9-20C

June: 70-87F/21-31C

December: 42-61F/6-16C


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What should I bring?

Please refer to the What Should I Bring page to get a full list of items that are encouraged to bring to the academy.

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